Eden the Rogue, Chapter One: The Outset

Join the adventures of Eden, the rogue who's only discernable ability is to hold a dagger the right way around!

Two points to consider:
  • This game takes place under Madmonk's challenge: No using stores!
  • It also takes place pre-Maj'Eyal - it's set in Middle-Earth. The story switches over to the new setting soon enough.


"Out, you filching footpad! You backbiting bandit!"

"Hey, wait! Look, I’ve got gold! I’m here to trade -- agh! Careful, I bruise like a peach!"


Deposited in a heap outside the jeweller’s shop, covered in scratches and welts, Eden silently cursed the youthful exuberance he had displayed in his adolescence. From the first time he managed to smuggle a bottle of slime mold juice from the alchemist’s store he was hooked on the thrill that thievery brought.

Over time, as he aged, he had slowly developed and refined his faculties. He practiced the arts of misdirection and stealth, he began to carry knives with him as a "deterrent" to any would-be heroes. He learnt many skills that a would-be rogue would need, but not the most important one: Don’t steal from your hometown, especially when said hometown’s residents all know your name, face and address. Especially when you’re a rather boastful person who’s prone to bragging while drunk.

In one day, he had become an outcast. The jeweller’s store was closed to him, thanks to his magpie-like attraction to shiny objects. He was chased from the alchemist’s store in a hail of broken bottles, exploding gems and golem fists. The scribe’s store had gone out of business even without Eden’s help – one could steal what they wish and simply use one of their pilfered scrolls of teleport to escape. The town’s weaponsmith even said that he "had a mithril mace of massacre just waiting for that toad Eden".

In truth, he rarely visited the armoury even before his fall from grace; a friend of his at the tavern said that the armourer, Alatariel, was a dark servant of that menacing horror from history Morgoth. Mind you, this was the same friend who claimed she was a necromancer with a ghoulking concierge and had been seen eating the daisies outside her house on more than one occasion.

So, that was it, thought Eden. He’d have no choice but to pack his bags and move on to pastures new. He didn’t relish the idea; even for a rogue, the world outside Bree seemed a strange and frightening place. Just last night he had heard about a massacre in a small lumberjack village no short distance from his desired new home, Minas Tirith.

It was at this point that Eden spotted a strange figure stumbling down the street. An adventurer of some sort, clad head to toe in beaten and dented plate armour with a notched longsword by his side. The figure weaved, staggered, and eventually keeled over, lying perfectly still where he fell.

Eden approached the fallen warrior. He couldn’t help but notice the leaves and large splinters that dotted the crevices in his armour. "Are you well?" Eden asked slowly. He wasn’t going to steal someone’s armour unless they were completely out of it, after all.

With a great creaking noise the figure sat up. He removed his helmet; the face underneath looked like it had been stuck on the underside of a boot for a month. "That… that trunk!" He gibbered.

"Excuse me?"

"The trunk!" The warrior repeated. He retched momentarily, eventually coughing up an acorn, then continued, "You just can’t get away from it. He weaves it right, he weaves it left, then WHAM! I can’t handle it, I can’t handle it. He’s too much!"

"Who? Who’s too much?"

"Bill!" The warrior yelled. Bill? He thought that old sack of stony muscle had given out ages ago, but evidently he was still active enough to dole out arboreal punishment to anyone who came too close to his lair. Eden had thought that there was a rogue Ent about, what with all the stories of people being found dead with great stump-marks covering their bodies.

Maybe this was just the break he needed.


Eden was feeling confident as he approached the Trollshaws. His mighty Bree powers had given him access to the school of field control, and by luck the leather armour he had appropriated for himself was rather… nature-resistant. "You hear that, nature? I resist you!"

Then he met a wolf.


By the time the wolf fell, Eden was on the verge of doing the same. His acrobatic, almost theatrical stabbing manoeuvre, a move he had coined as “the dual strike” (that he hoped would become his signature move) had sailed a clean foot over the wolf’s head. All that time practising on scarecrows was a waste, he grumbled to himself - animals can move. On spying a grey mold, quietly festering to itself on the bark of a tree, he chuckled, "Well, maybe not a total waste."

Continuing through the undergrowth, a few belligerent worms and rats being his only obstacles, Eden felt his heart beat a little faster as he spotted it. A forest troll, sat picking its teeth under the shade of a large tree. On spotting Eden it heaved itself onto its misshapen feet, gave the formal trollish challenge of "URRRGHAAAH!" and lumbered towards him, club raised.

"Trolls. Trolls are dangerous," Eden muttered rapidly, "Got to be focussed. No mistakes. One mistake and you’re dead. One mistake and -- gaah!"


Crack! Eden slithered to the ground as a club connected with his skull. His mind still alert (but mostly scrambled) Eden leapt to his feet, both knives aimed at the troll’s heart. "Craven spawn of evil!" He declared, revelling in the melodrama, “Take this! Dual strike!" and, with an acrobatic spin, plunged both his daggers into the troll’s carbuncled hide.

Crack! The troll’s club hit him again.

Fleeing through the woods moments later, Eden thought to himself, "Shouldn’t that troll have been dazzled by my amazing combat techniques just now?" Eden was dazzled, that much was certain; the combination of troll concussion and poison from the vine was making strange lights and shadows dance before his eyes. With hesitation, he finally took a healing potions, one of his last successful thefts from Bree, and uncorked it…

"You know," Thought Eden, toeing the troll’s knife-ravaged body, "Just once I’d like to be able to beat something without being pumped up on whatever mad reagents these potions have in them. Hey ho."

 Level 2!
 +3 Dexterity
 +1 Weapon Combat
 +1 Dual Weapon Training

"… is a gorgeous glade, but I could swear that looked like part of a human femur."

"Yeah," Eden said sardonically, “What could be dangerous in a place like the Trollshaws?! Operative word: Troll!"

Wandering between the trees, Eden smiled inwardly as he noticed a large pond a distance away. The amount of drowned trolls bobbing around in it was always a comfort to him, plus it would give him a chance to wash some of the yuck off his daggers.

His drinking friend from the tavern, the one who believed Alatariel to be the very spawn of evil, had some funny ideas regarding the Trollshaw’s ponds. "Y’see," She’d say, "Isn’t it funny that they’re always at the bottom-right? I think it’s because all the trolls, like, sit in one place so the ground kinda sinks down there."

"… Bottom-right from what?" Eden would always reply, to which his friend would shrug.


 Level 3!
 +3 Dexterity
 +1 Knife Mastery
 +1 Dual Weapon Training

Eden frowned. There was a suspicious copse of trees in the distance, their leaves unnaturally dark and pendulous. He heard the telltale rattle of bones, he sensed strange magical energies in the air, and he could distantly detect the cries of an unseen chorus complaining about the power of skeleton mage manathrusts, and they’ve beaten [insert roguelike here] so they can’t be wrong, the game must be!

Anyway, it was obviously a skeleton mage hideout. After all, some undead minions must commute; they can’t all live in their dark towers. Biting his lip, Eden snuck away as best he could. There’s not much point putting a knife in someone’s ribcage if the ribcage is all that’s there, after all.

A huge, shadowy figure loomed ahead, and Eden felt his pulse quicken once again. Shadow trolls were dangerous even by troll standards. Coming to the decision that he should strike as hard and as fast as he could, exploiting the troll’s deficit of agility, Eden leapt at his monstrous opponent, knives bared and screaming…

The troll fell immediately. Eden was obviously pleased, but also rather baffled. On closer inspection, he could see that the troll’s dark colouration wasn’t just thanks to its shadowy nature – it was sick. Eden shuddered; just what was that green ooze he had beaten moments previously? With a quick detour back to the pond he had found to wash off his knives, and mentally blocking the knowledge that he may have just "attacked" a pile of half-digested dwarf bits, Eden squared his shoulders and continued onwards.

"11th of Yestarë. Saw an absolutely gigantic troll, but fortunately I threw him off my scent."'

"No! A gigantic troll?! That’s insane! 16th of whatever! I just saw a skeleton… MADE OF BONES!" Eden cackled. It was much easier making fun of tattered pieces of paper than of people. He hoped he’d meet the writer of these diary pages though; club-shields are always handy.

"Hmm, this shadow troll is NOT sick." Eden thought to himself, spying a large figure a distance away. The troll was acting most strangely; it seemed to be capering around on the spot, giving off bizarre trollish giggles, lumpy flecks of drool flying from its jaws as it span and bobbed. Then Eden saw the ridiculously bright and cheerful yellow boots it was wearing.

"Heehee! Nobuddy catch Grunkthob! Grunkthob is da master! Grunkthob is good an’ heavy and his feet are… huh?" The troll had spotted him. Immediately ending its capering and hefting up its club, the troll charged at him, his boots producing a comical squeaking, bellowing "GRUNKTHOB BEAT YOU! GRUNKTHOB IS ERU MAYBE!"


"What a character," Eden thought minutes later, tugging on the yellow boots, “If that ring from Sauron’s age was still around, this is the guy I’d give it to.”

In a different location, at a different time, in another plane of existence, a powerful and inscrutable entity grumbled to itself.

“An artefact on level two of the Trollshaws, in a self-imposed challenge game? … This death shall be exquisite.”

Eden's mucking about in the Trollshaws continues in chapter two!

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