Eden the Rogue, Chapter Two: Eden's Guile


"Ho! Friend, some assistance!"

Turning around, Eden saw that he was being called to by a lost fighter. "What happened to you?" Eden asked, "You look like you've been headbutted by Tulkas."

"Ah! If only! I go by the name of Grinymnir, and I am afraid I will have to ask for your aid! You see, I was patrolling these woods, making safe paths which had moments hence been overrun by all manner of beast and horror. Mountains of trolls laid dead at my feet, and my blade did taste the flesh of countless beasts!"

Golly, this guy's florid, Eden thought to himself.

"But alas, I now find myself brought low. I did encounter a foe beyond my ken, an all-encompassing terror that would make a man's blood run cold."


"Ha! That milksop?"


"That wastrel pup?!"

"Then what?!"

"Bees." On noticing Eden's stare, Grinymnir added, "They sting really hard!"

"Still," He continued, "Might I ask your assistance? Could you escort me to my recall portal? It is but a short distance from here."

Eden frowned, "Hold on, wasn't word of recall banned after that guy with the plague recalled himself into Arwen's bedchamber?" The warrior stammered and coughed theatrically, eventually managing, "Ah! Er-hum! I mean... my... jumpgate? Yes. I'm one of those... anorithil fellows."

"What's an anorithil?"

"Don't worry, they've been unlocked."

"Ah, those anorithils. Okay then, let's go. By the way, what do you think of my boots?"

And so the pair made their way through the Trollshaws. Eden soon found that Grinymnir was not an easy individual to guard - his recent punishment at the hands... stingers... of the bees had robbed him of what little sense of direction he had, yet he retained his Quixote-like impulse to charge towards anything dangerous looking. This impulse came to a head as the pair both ran (simultaneously) into the chest of a particularly large and nasty troll.

"A foe!" Grinymnir thundered, his eyes not focussing, "At last! Taste my blade, villain!"

"Hey, wait! Wait...!"



"... What?!" Eden was as stunned as the troll was. Why didn't his dual strikes do that?! He would've been more happy if that troll had just thumped Grinymnir out of his boots. Still, Eden knew an opening when he saw one; when he was done with the troll, it had a lot of openings.

 Level 4!
 +3 Constitution
 +1 Dual Weapon Training
 +1 Disengage

"Hohoho!" Grinymnir gave a roaring laugh, "The rapscallion couldn't hope to match my strength! Good work, my boy!" He gave Eden a hard clap on the back, causing him to stumble, "You make a fine sidekick, lad!"

"How's about this for a sidekick..." Eden grumbled, shortly before noticing the commotion behind Grinymnir. "Oh... my..."


A shadow troll, bigger and nastier than the troll just defeated, stood with its club ready. Behind it, wolves from a nearby pack had approached, drawn by the noise of combat (and Grinymnir's gasconade) and were now snarling, fangs bared. Though not as readily apparent, Eden also noticed a serpentine form slither through the grass, its copper head advertising its deadly poison. Even a rat had shown up.

"Ha! So more foes wish to taste Grinymnir's wrath! Come, Eden, my faithful companion! Soon, our vestments shall be wrought of troll leather, our boots plush with wolf hide! We could maybe use the snake as a belt, and... Eden? ... Eden?"


Eden hunched against an old oak tree, panting from his frenetic sprint. Looking downwards, he patted his new yellow boots affectionately; they might have looked silly, but they could really get you moving! At this point, he mused, he would normally swing by the Bree scribe's store to get them identified, but that course of action was obviously impossible now. He'd have to think of his own name for the boots! "I think I'll call 'em... Eden's Valour!"

The sound of Grinymnir screaming as he was torn apart like soft bread echoed through the woods.

"... Eden's Guile maybe."

Eden was at an impasse. He hoped to travel further into the Trollshaws, but now a veritable wall of troll flesh, wolf fangs, snake poison and rat nibbling blocked him, and he knew that the chances of besting those odds were grim, especially if he got poisoned - he had his superstition about not leaving one "section" of the world for another while poisoned, after all.

Eventually, he decided he'd do what he'd always do when he couldn't make up his mind over something.


"The tavern's shut down?!" Eden howled, falling to his knees with horror.

"Yeah..." Sighed Grim, Alatariel's nemesis, "It's ever since those Angolwen boffins worked out that spell that makes it so you never have to eat or drink." She smiled, "Pretty nifty though, isn't it?"

"I don't drink to sustain myself!" Eden snapped, "I drink when I need to think of something! Not to mention to block out that Grinymnir's screams. The Trollshaws were a bust. All I got out of it were these boots. Eden's Guile, they're called."

Grim grinned, "Cute." Eden sighed - he had forgotten about them being bright yellow and covered with ribbons. Grim continued, "Aren't you going to comment on my find?"

"Whoa!" Grim had produced, out of nowhere, a flawless masterwork longsword. "That's some blade!" Eden exhaled, "Where'd you get it?"

"Some butterfingers dropped it in the Old Forest," Grim shrugged, "A fighter I found said he'd give me 'skill points' if I gave it back. What are skill points?"

"You were in the Old Forest?" Eden asked, ignoring Grim's attempt at a fourth-wall joke, "Isn't that place a little dangerous? You could've been killed."

"Dangerous? Pshaw! No more dangerous than where you were mucking around. Besides, you have to be alive to die... heeheehee... Eden?"

Eden was already running for Bree's border in the direction of the Old Forest, "Yeah yeah! You're a necromancer! Whatever, bye!"


As Eden began his expedition into the Old Forest, it appeared that Grim's appraisal of the area's danger was correct. Instead of trolls, Eden now found himself accosted by bees and ants. "Battles against insects," Eden thought happily to himself, "Now this is adventuring I can get used to."

That was when Eden saw him. An orc. He had only even seen orcs in books, and he believed they had been banished from Middle-Earth for good. To say the scene was unreal was an understatement, especially when he saw what the orc was busy doing... petting a cute little bunny. Even though Eden fiercely stuffed the collar of his leather armour into his mouth to muffle his cackling laughter, the orc nevertheless heard and slowly turned his warty, scabrous face to glare at him.

"... You mock Bubhosh?" The orc's voice was low and dangerous.

"No! No...! Mmph...!"

"If you mock Bubhosh, Bubhosh will kill you."

"Oh, really?" Eden's ego and confidence in his fighting ability had been bolstered by his recent victories over the trolls in the Trollshaws, "Do you actually think you're capable of beating me, Bubhosh?"

The orc's glare burned holes through Eden's skull, "... I am not Bubhosh. This is Bubhosh."


"Bubhosh, attack!"



Will Eden fall to a vicious Monty Python joke?
Will people overlook the fact I've obviously gone to the Old Forest to powerlevel?
Will Grim ever let her feud with Alatariel just drop already?
Will the fact I can't use shops ever factor into the story at all?!

Find out in the thrilling (THRILLING!) next chapter!