Map

This is a map I drew of the area so far known to the Tarenvale Travelers.
I don't know if it is accurate or to scale.
-Rothus

The Adventures of Rothus, page 48 [D-829]

Camp of the Oracle, after the attack:

I guess it’s not really the camp of the Oracle anymore. I don’t have another name for it, though. It’s like Evan says, if we start to think of a place as home the Gods will see fit to destroy it. We assume that Joachim is dead. We found the bodies of Pippin and Judeau where they fought valiantly. Florm was nearby. Fost did survive, but injured. The coven that trained Lily is down to a single member. Roran himself is in a near-death state. He breathes, but that is about all that he does.

There are too many dead to bury. Some wanted to anyway and I can’t blame them for that, but there are just too many. Work teams have been assembled to give each of the dead their due and then burn the corpses outside the camp. The smell returns to the tents anyway. The ashes and smoke rise up toward the Gods where the wind catches them. I wish I had paid more attention when the Sister Daily explained what happened to the dead. I can’t remember what Erastil says to them when they meet him. I can’t remember any of it.

We are all exhausted. Physically and mentally worn out. Lily seems to have energy, though. It is a duty-bound energy, from the desire to see Dalton’s ashes back in Tarenvale and buried as is proper. Even though his final act was traitorous, the majority of his life was honest and inspiring. “I’m going to Tarenvale to bury Dalton’s ashes. If you want to come with you can, but I’m leaving soon,” Lily tells the group.

“We’re not done with the funerals, we still need to sort out the remaining tents and supplies. We don’t even know what’s going to be the future of this camp. We’ll go to Tarenvale, just be patient,” Evan says.

The Adventures of Rothus, page 47 [D-828]

Outside the camp of the oracle, three days later:

Travis leads us up to some forest that we start to recognize. We must be close to camp. Joachim’s going to be really glad to see these bracers. Then maybe we can go back to Tarenvale and see Mother.

Evan stops the party, “Hey guys, I hear the sounds of battle. Rothus, go check it out, okay?”

I drop down and move closer to the clearing. I can hear the noises now and I peek out to see … Dalton and Roran are fighting! Each other! I jump up and run up, “Hey, what the heck is going on?!”

Roran pushes me away with his free hand, “Get out of here, boy!” He then gets a solid grip on his sword and charges at Dalton yelling, “Traitor!” What is going on here? Does this have something to do with Iregor’s warning? The silver dragon said that he doesn’t trust Dalton, that he threatens the whole world. Is it possible that Iregor was right and that Roran knows it too now? I hope Dalton’s not evil.

Travis fires a shot into the melee, but misses them both. Who was he aiming for?!

Then, the battle slows down as our attention moves to something else. Some sort of shadow is taking shape. I would almost say it is alive, but that’s absurd. Then what is clearly an arm extends out of the mass of darkness and a mouth forms the words, “This ends now.” The hand forms a glowing sphere and throws it at Roran. He is knocked away from Dalton and lands a little ways from our party. I run up to help him. He’s unconscious, but I think he’s still alive. I hope Aeryn can do something!

“Master, I have it for you.” The words seem to be coming from Dalton’s mouth, but that’s clearly impossible. He’d never serve such a being. Without any regard for possibility, he stumbles over to the shadow and hands it a stone. The peculiar rock shifts colors from red to orange to yellow and back to red. That’s not something you see everyday! Is it a stone of power? I don’t know what they look like, but it must be something really important to convince Dalton to strike down Roran!

The shadow grabs the stone, “Ha ha ha!” Then the stone glows into a solid flame. The shadow wields it uncertainly for a moment, but then looks right at Dalton. A heart-beat later Dalton bursts into flame! It consumes him whole! Then the shadow flows back to where ever it came from, running like a common criminal.

I suddenly realize that Aeryn is by my side checking on Roran. “He’ll survive, but he needs rest,” she says.

Travis runs up to where Dalton once stood. All that remains are ashes and his prized sword. Dalton was always protecting Tarenvale, even when we didn’t know it. He sacrificed himself so that we could get out safely when the beasts swarmed the town. He and Roran were our guardians, the ones we could depend on, and now his final act was to serve some terrible shadow from the void. There is no justice in this.

Travis collects Dalton’s sword. “You have no right to that!” Lily yells. She stares Travis in the face and we all argue about what must happen with the blade. We’ll have to keep it. We can’t just leave it here.

“You can hold onto it, but you can’t sell it without telling me, okay?” I say. Tavis then wraps it up in a blanket (no point telling the whole world we have it).

Lily bends down and collects Dalton’s ashes and puts them into a bag where they mix with her tears. She then takes the bag and wanders off into the woods by herself. No one is brave enough to tell her to stay.

The rest of us carry Roran to the camp on Evan’s re-purposed tent. From here it looks quiet. Honestly, if Roran and Dalton were fighting, I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone hid out of sheer terror. Carrying Roran keeps our pace pretty slow.

When we finally reach the tents and wagons we see why no one was down in the clearing. There are bodies everywhere. Their corpses are strewn about left for the survivors to move. We bring Roran into his tent and make sure he is stable.

Aeryn and Lotech immediately move about the camp to heal the injured. There are a lot of them, but some of the people have already organized a space outside the healer’s tent.

Evan, Travis and I don’t have any healing skills, we’d only get in the way. I try and think how we can help, and it suddenly hits me. If I were an enemy of the camp, like a lizardman or something, right now would be the perfect time to attack. Dalton weakened us, I can’t let someone else finish us. Wandering around the camp there are a lot of people who are just sitting, despondent. They don’t know what to do and so they do nothing. I get as many of them as I can to stand up and follow me around. We just walk the perimeter of the camp, watching for threats. Well, they’re pretty out of it, I might be the only one keeping an eye out.

Evan and Travis go to Joachim’s tent. They find the spot where it was, but the burnt remains leave nothing ti find. The Oracle’s wagon is the same. They go to see what they can find in Dalton’s tent. It, of course, is totally unharmed. There isn’t anything particularly shocking.

After a while, all of us (except Lily) find ourselves outside the healer’s tent moving stuff, setting stuff up and what not. Aeryn gets worried about her and goes off to find her. When she doesn’t come back, Travis goes off to look as well. They both come back saying that Lily just wants to be alone.

Evander Smith – Déjà vu Part the Last

“Yeah,” said Evander. They walked around camp, most people were too shocked to speak and those that did just said “Dalton…”

“Let’s check out his tent,” suggested Evander. Dalton’s tent was one of the few still standing. It seemed that the people were to afraid to approach it, Travis and Evander easily got in. They searched through his belongings but found nothing of note.

“Here, you should have this,” said Travis handing over Dalton’s sword. “You’ll probably get more use out of it than I will.”

“Thanks,” said Evander taking a sheet and wrapping up the blade. Evander left to set up his tent and stored his belongings. After that Evander volunteered to help the healers. He continued to work until his body began to feel like lead and he retired to a nightmare filled sleep.

Evander Smith – Déjà vu Part the Eighth

They continued to watch the fight. Aeryn squints as if trying to see something in the distance.

“Did you know there is a shadow watching you guys?” called Aeryn to Roran and Dalton.

Of course there are shadows watching. There are shadows…Evander didn’t get to complete that thought. A being of pure shadow emerged from a shadow.

This ends now,” said the shadow in a harsh voice that sent a chill down Evander’s spine. The shadow extends his hand and a rippling bolt of force shoots forth slamming into Roran sending him flying. He lands five feet from the group. Roran stops moving and Aeryn rushes to check on him.

Dalton stumbles to the shadow, “I have it my master,” and takes out an orb that seems to be made of fire. The shadow accepts the orb. “You have served your purpose,” said the shadow. Dalton bursts into flames. He doesn’t even have a chance to scream as he is turned to ash, only his sword surviving the intense flames.

Travis and Lilith run up to Dalton’s remains. Lilith takes out a pouch and, using magic, secures his ashes whilst Travis claims the sword. After getting the ashes Lilith wanders back into the woods.

“We have to get him back to camp,” said Aeryn tending as best she could to Roran's wounds.

“Here, use my tent,” said Evander. Between them they make it into a makeshift litter. Travis and Rothus carried Roran back to camp while Evander goes on ahead to make sure it is safe. When Evander gets back to camp it is in ruins. Most noticeably Joachim’s tent and the Oracle’s wagon are just gone. Many tents have met with similar fates. All around camp there are dead bodies, horribly burned, people walk about in shock. The only ones moving with a purpose are the healers.

It seems that the number of the dead out number the living. Evander waits for the others and escorts them to Roran’s tent. Aeryn is quickly snatched up and tasked with helping the injured. “I’m going to patrol the area,” said Rothus heading out.

“Hey, let’s see if we can find out what happened here,” said Travis.

Evander Smith – Déjà vu Part the Sixth

The travelers ate breakfast, broke camp and began the long walk back to Joachim and the camp. They made good time, as they got back to camp in three days instead of four. During that time Rothus experimented with the bracers and the amulets. When more then sixty feet away the amulet stopped glowing, and as one got closer the amulet glowed brighter and brighter until it was as bright as a torch. A good bag of leather could shield the light no matter how bright the amulet.

Travis had been guiding the group back to camp with Evander in front in case there was any trouble. As they're walking through the last bit of forest Evander hears the sound of metal hitting metal, and explosions. Evander holds up a hand telling the others to stop.

“What is it?” asked Rothus.

“I think there’s fighting ahead,” said Evander.

“I don’t hear anything,” said Rothus.

“Ro, Travis scout ahead to see what’s happening,” said Evander.

Rothus disappears into the forest, Travis just walks to the edge of the forest to see what’s happening.

“Guys get up here now,” said Rothus urgently.

Evander and the others quickly go to the edge of the forest to see what’s happening. They see Dalton and Roran fighting to the death. Each bears numerous wounds yet they continue to clash. After on particulary brutal exchange of blows Dalton kicks Roran and sends him flying.

Roran picks himself up off the ground. “YOU FILTHY TRAITOR!” Roran bellows charging back into the fight.

“We have to do something,” said Lilith.

“What can we do?” asked Evander watching the fight. The field is a maelstrom of steel and arcane energy.

“I don’t know, something. We have to stop them!” said Lilith becoming frantic.

“I’m sorry, but there’s no way to get close with out getting killed,” said Evander solemnly.

Evander Smith – Déjà vu Part the Fifth

“Follow me,” said Oric leading them to the cave.

“Thanks,” said Evander walking into the cave. He returned a few minutes latter with his back pack. It had a few more holes in it but was still functional.

“I guess this is good bye,” said Lilith looking at Oric.

“Aye, guess it is,” said Oric.

“Will we ever see you again?” asked Aeryn.

“Only if you come to visit. We dwarves don’t get out much since we have all we need in the tunnels,” he said.

“Bye Oric,” said the travelers.

“Bye, take care,” said Oric before heading back down into the caves.

“That was exhausting,” said Rothus.

“Lets set up camp and head out during the day,” said Evander. The travelers made camp and set up watches and proceeded to sleep. Evander is kicked awake by Rothus.

“Wha?” asked Evan sleepily.

“You missed it, I saw movement in the grass, and I thought it was a monster so I woke up Travis to see if he could see it or if I was imagining it. Then we woke up Lily and that’s when the monster attacked, but I managed to fight it off. I think it was a lion or tiger or something,” said Rothus.

“You mean kitty?” asked Lilith.

“Shhh, Evan doesn’t know that,” said Rothus.

“You attacked kitty?” asked Evander.

“Hey, that animal is vicious,” said Rothus.

“Alright, I’ll be out in a bit,” said Evander kicking Rothus out of his tent.

Evander Smith – Déjà vu Part the Fourth

“You know there is one way to figure out who has the right time,” said Evander.

“Oh?” asked Rothus.

“We could check the library and see how much of it has been fixed,” said Evander.

“Great, lets get a dwarf to take us there,” said Rothus. Aeryn, spotting the white robed dwarf, waves him down.

“Could you take us to the library one last time?” asked Aeryn. The dwarf nods and the travelers begin to follow. The dwarf turns around and points at Rothus and Travis motioning them to stay here.

“Fine, I thought those books where boring anyway,” said Rothus.

“Yeah, the cool kids will stay here,” said Travis as Aeryn, Lilith and Evander went to the library. When the doors opened the trio could see that it was still a mess, if two weeks had passed it would be almost functional. However, it was much as it had been the past few days.

“Huh, guess you guys were telling the truth,” said Evander. The dwarf went inside and promptly returned with a book giving it to Aeryn.

“You know I’m leaving right?” she asked. The dwarf nodded.

“Thank you,” said Aeryn looking at the book. It was the codex. The dwarf then lead them back to the banquet hall to meet up with Rothus and Travis.

“Good news, you aren’t missing any time,” said Evander.

“So, does this mean you're like two weeks older know?” asked Lilith. Evander just shrugged his shoulders.

“Alright lads and lasses, time to go,” came the familiar voice of Oric. “Everyone ready?” he asked. They nodded there heads. “Then we be off,” he said. The travelers followed Oric through the winding twisting tunnels until they came to an opening. Over head the stars shown brightly and the moon was hanging in the sky.

“Hey where is the entrance we entered from?” asked Evander.

Evander Smith – Déjà vu Part the Third

“Fine, I put two on Durn,” said Travis.

The king and Durn fight, both master axe fighters. Evander tried to watch but there moves were fast and flowed like water making it impossible for him to catch every axe stroke. The king and Durn continued to fight for several minutes until Durn made the smallest mistake. The king saw his chance and with a powerful downward swing aimed to split Durn's head open, however Durn twisted to the side, the blade missing him by inches, and brought up his axe to the king's throat.

The two dwarves stood still for several seconds and the crowd erupted in cheers.

“Just watch, the king will turn this around,” said Rothus completely confident.

“All right Durn, this match goes to you,” said the king, the crowd erupting in cheers.

“Pay up pal,” said Travis.

Durn lowered the axe from the king's throat and took a step back.

“Couldn’t Durn have killed him and become king?” asked Lilith.

“Doesn’t work like that lass,” said a dwarf.

“A deals a deal,” said Horthgar removing the bracers. “You have earned these,” he said tossing the bracers to Evander.

“Thank you your majesty,” said Evander bowing. Not wanting to lose the bracers, Evander put them on for safe keeping.

“Now is there anything else you need?” asked the king.

“No, it is time for us to go,” said Rothus.

“Well in that case, a feast for our guests, to see them off with ale in their stomachs and songs in their hearts!” called Horthgar.

“Aye!” replied the crowd. The feast was meat of all sorts, and mead, ale, beer, and countless other spirits. After the feast the travelers pack up and prepare to leave.

Evander Smith – Déjà vu Part the Second

“Just how long were we in that room?” asked Aeryn.

“Aye, the room you went into was created to turn hours into weeks,” said king Horthgar chuckling.

“What would you need a room that did that for?” asked Aeryn.

“To make weapons to fight enemies of the dwarves,” said the king.

“Like goblins?” inquired Aeryn.

“Dwarves don’t fight puny goblins, we fight Orcs, Ogres and Ogreas,” said the King.

“Now gimmy tha' axe,” said the king, taking the axe from Evander’s hands. “Durn. Front and center.” Durn comes within two paces of the king, drawing his axe, then both fall into a fighting stance.

“Duel in the throne room,” calls a dwarf and in moments many dwarfs begin to pour in to watch the fight.

“I got three gold on Durn!” 

“Bah, Durn can’t tell wich way to hold a mug I put five on the king!” The cheer of the crowd prevent Evander from making out anymore words. Quickly retreating, to not get caught between Durn and the king, Evander joins his friends.

After staring at each other for a few moments they burst in to motion, swinging the axe with out reserve. As they clash sparks fly and the clang of metal penetrates the cheers and jeers of the crowd. “Is this normal?” Aeryn asks loudly to get her voice heard over the crowd.

“Aye,” replies a dwarf.

“What happens if Evan’s axe breaks?” asks Lilith.

“What was the deal again?” questions a dwarf.

“We don’t get the bracers,” replies Travis.

“That,” said the dwarf.

“I put two gold on the king,” said Rothus.

Evander Smith – Déjà vu Part the First

The Dwarf led Evander down twisting turning tunnels to a room. “These tunnels make no sense,” said Evander aloud.

“Aye, it’s to confuse invaders,” said the Dwarf. “Here we are lad, you are not to leave this room 'til you 'ave completed this,” the dwarf said handing Evander a sheet of parchment. On the parchment were instruction on how to create a battle axe of dwarven design. Though it was hard to read, at least it was written in common. Evander nodded understanding and entered the room. Inside was a forge and the raw materials needed to make the axe.

The door shut behind Evander who turned and looked at it. Taking a deep breath Evander set to work. Hour by hour, day by day Evander worked pounding the metal bars into a worthy axe. Food would appear mysteriously and empty dishes would disappear. During this time no one visited Evander, not even his friends. With nothing but the forge and a small cot in the room there was nothing for Evander to really do but work.

Finally, after working for uncounted days Evander emerged from the room bearing the axe he had forged. “The king will want to see you lad, but first let’s be gettin' you cleaned up,” said a dwarf who had been standing by the door when Evander emerged. Evander was covered head to toe in soot and damp with sweat. The dwarf began walking and so Evander followed once again to the shower room. When he emerged his clothes were washed. Once he had dressed, Durn approached Evander.

“Alright lad, time to be a showin' da king wut ye got,” said Durn. Evander just nodded, too nervous to speak, and went to the king. Evander goes through the throne room, and the same procession as the first time. When Evander gets to the feet of the throne he kneels with the axe head resting on the floor and his hands upon the haft. A short while later Evander’s friends arrive.

“Wow Evan, how did you craft that in just a few hours, your dad usually takes weeks to craft,” said Lilith.

So taken aback by this statement Evander begins speaking without thinking about where he is. “What do you mean a few hours, it’s been two weeks,” said Evander.

“Wow Evan, when did you get to be such a good liar? Though, I would have said that it took minutes instead of weeks,” said Rothus sounding impressed.

“I’m not lying, you're missing two weeks of your lives,” said Evander.

Rothus' Wooden Dice

Rothus has made some dice in the game, and I have put markings on some dice of my own. I bought some blank wooden dice and used a wood-burner to mark them.


I was playing around with different pips. Standard dice have a dot for each pip. I thought maybe a pip could be represented by a line, all six forming a coherent design. One die makes a swirl and the other makes a star. I wanted them to be simple enough they could be read quickly.

I also thought that pips could be represented by intersections of lines. The two dice on the right-hand side have a fixed number of lines (6 and 4 respectively) but have a changing number of intersections between those lines. 

I also played with the idea of using arrows to indicate mathematical relationships between the sides forcing the players to do some peculiar calculations after rolling the dice, but I figured that there was nothing intuitive about it. If someone were to stumble upon such a die, it would be incoherent.