Eden the Rogue, Chapter Seven: Visions Of Arenji

Note: Bear in mind Eden's adventure here takes place in beta12b, pre-rogue traps and pre-Maj'Eyal!

"Ah, this man looks like a guard. Excuse me, sir! My name is Eden, a simple traveller from Bree. You’ve probably heard from that novice mage who has the power to allow people into Angolwen without being admitted himself; I’m to be welcomed here, correct? Perhaps you could show me to a reasonably priced inn? Nothing Haradrim, their food tends to give me --"

The minotaur Eden had approached, fed up with the rambling of the puny ape-headed human before him, swung its battleaxe down in a brutal arc.

"Where… where am I?"

Eden opened his eyes, then promptly slammed them shut again. Commanding his eyes to show him something different, he tentatively opened them again.

A desolate wasteland stretched before him, its surface covered with unnatural-looking craters and rubble. No evidence of life could be seen, not a single plant. There was evidence of former life, though: Skeletons, heaps of them. The sky was dark, filled with roiling, purple clouds, sporadically shooting spears of fire down at the blighted land.

But Eden wasn’t focussed on this. He was focussed on the figure before him. Only the wildest, most shunned and zealous cults followed him. Normal folk didn’t dare think of his name, let alone speak it. Eden had doubted his existence too, but he was now stood before him: Arenji, the dark Vala of misfortune, chance and failure. Eden now realised that the skeletons before him must have been moments from survival before their deaths: One had a potion of full healing in its bony grip, and another held a piece of parchment, the controlled phase door incantation on it half-read.

"Enjoying your adventure, mortal?" Arenji boomed, his voice redolent with scoreboards and ASCII gravestones.

Eden squeaked in response. It seemed his vocal cords were rather more shocked than the rest of his body was.

"I needn’t tell you your fate, Eden. You’ve known it yourself, ever since you took up the Boots of Tom Bombadil in the Trollshaws…"

"E-Eden’s Guile," Eden stammered. Yes, so I just corrected a Vala, Eden thought in disbelief. He cleared his throat; the idea that Arenji was going to kill him regardless of what he said gave him a peculiar form of confidence, "Y-You know, some people in life win, r-regardless of your actions. You… you’re not all-powerful!"

Arenji’s dark eyes burnt through Eden. The supernatural equivalent of a smirk appeared on his lips, "Perhaps. Your case is a special one, Eden. You’re living on borrowed time. Already, this world is fading. Another world will replace it, a world you sadly will not be a part of. Other rogues will take your place… rogues that can lay traps, say…"

"Traps!" Eden exclaimed, "Listen, Arenji, you say this world is fading, but the only proof we have of that is your words. Maybe you’re wrong! Maybe… maybe this new world and mine can exist, together!" Metaphysical debate wasn’t Eden’s strong suit, and he soon found himself saying the first thing that came to mind. After all, he was in a hellish wasteland confronting a figure from myths and legends – he could’ve said "argle-bargle-ningy-nong" if he wanted and it would have been just as effective.

"Think that if you will," Arenji mocked, "It matters little. Soon, your world shall be destroyed in an entirely different sense…"

"Different how?"

Arenji cast an eldritch hand out, indicating the wasteland around him, "Behold, this act of destruction heralds the birth of a new world! Your kind may soon come to call it… the Spellblaze…"

"Right…" Eden considered calling the maleficent deity before him a nutcase, decided against it, then complimented himself on his wise choice.

"Who knows? Maybe you will survive, in some form. Your petty acts of burglary and stabbing may continue in the new realm. But know this: While the other Valar may vanish, I will endure, and I’ll be just the same… you silly goose!"

Eden was baffled, "Did… you just say silly goose?"

Arenji was gone, replaced by Grim, "Rise and shine, Eden!"

With a startled snort, Eden awoke, laid out on the labyrinth’s floor. Beside him was the repeatedly-stabbed body of a minotaur. Eden scratched his chin, silently thanked himself for his reflexes, and walked away.

 Level 15!
 +2 Strength
 +2 Dexterity
 +2 Constitution
 +3 Dual Strike
 +1 Weapon Combat

Eden frowned. He appeared to have forgotten to better himself when he achieved level fourteen. “I suppose I did have a lot on my plate, what with Bree and everything…”


"How long does this circuitous corridor go on for? Surely there must be a shop or something soon…!"


"How do mages live like this?! Maybe they just teleport between their homes and shops and things, ignoring all this maze stuff. Yevanna’s stockings, no wonder so many mages are obese."


"Come on Eden, focus. Nobody said reaching Angolwen was going to be easy. Just stay calm."


"hahaaahahhahahah paths and paths and paths and paths naaahahahaahaha"


"Ahh, now this looks special." Eden had spied a dagger. While it may have looked normal to a passing layman, the distinguished murderer would recognise it as being of dwarven-steel construction. Dwarves, while not busy going mad, killing their nobles and flooding valleys with magma, make stellar equipment. Furthermore, the blade seemed to be coated with a corrosive acid, and its serrated edge lent itself well to massacre.

"An acidic implement of massacre…" Eden thought. Hardly stealthy, but then Eden didn’t consider himself a particularly cunning rogue. A good set of knives was a fine replacement for intelligence, anyway.

 Level 16!
 +2 Dexterity
 +1 Constitution
 +1 Knife Mastery
 +1 Lethality


"I’m beginning to think – this is just an inkling, mind, just the tiniest thought flitting through the deepest, most subconscious part of my psyche – that this may not be Angolwen."

"PUNY HUMAN," Came a rumbling roar from the darkness beyond, "YOU DARE INTRUDE UPON THE LABYRINTH OF --"


"Sorry for not letting you finish your big introduction," Eden shrugged at the minotaur lord’s carcass, "My physician says I have an abnormally small melodrama gland. Still, it looks like my little jaunt here wasn’t completely worthless…"

"Helm the Hammerhand," Eden thought to himself as he held up the stark iron helm, "Hero of the Westdike. Now there was a man who knew strategy. After all, there’s little more terrifying than being attacked by a mad hairy man in the middle of a snowstorm!"

"Now for the journey back up…" Thought Eden with reluctance, "Good thing I’ve got a good sense of direction. This maze detour wasn’t my fault; anyone would think this was Angolwen!"