Forest of Answers
“North, east or south,” Valance called over his shoulder to the others.
“And you?” Chalk asked Koram.
“North, west and east, in that order,” replied the fighter.
“And the told me north, south and west, so north it is!” the wizard said. “This was actually easy.
“Finding directions from talking wooden carvings in the middle of a forest?” asked Valance.
Later that night the adventurers found a small tavern that would let them sleep in the barn for a price. The priest of the Spider God offered to pay, but they all noticed that the tavernkeeper seemed hesitant to take the silver coins.
“You are very generous this evening!” Chalk said. “Gambling pay off recently?”
“No, when nobody was looking I took a few of the coins from the base of that oracle,” replied Valance.
Chalk suddenly became pale.
“What?” asked Valance.
“I don’t know yet, but that explains why I have felt like we were being watched for the last few miles. You idiot! Why would you take coins from something like that?” asked the wizard.
“Hey, it’s a game to try to steal from the altar of the Spider God where I come from, usually with painful, horrifying and sometimes disfiguring consequences, but it is still a game.”
“We are probably all going to get maimed over this too before it is all said and done. Idiot!”
The ‘Forest’ in Forest of Answers is a bit of a misnomer as there are only three ‘trees’ involved and these are actually poles carved from great trees that each have a face on them as well as many carved symbols, weapons, sigils and animals. Each bearded face resembles that of a dwarf or old human and seems to stare blankly ahead. At the feet of this strange monument are sometimes hundreds of coins, weapons and other items that seem to be offerings of some type.
The origins of this strange oracle are mysterious at best, but it is known to move about at times with no real rhyme or reason, some say that a clan of dwarfs are caretakers of this monument and are the only ones allowed to remove the offerings at its feet.
In the game: The three carved faces on the poles will answer questions of anyone who asks, sometimes with a riddle to answer first, sometimes a small quest or task and sometimes there are just three contradicting answers that need to be chosen from. In the latter case two answers will always be false and only one will bear the truth, but the same face may answer with a true answer for one person and a false the next.
These three poles, lashed together with tongs of leather and iron are an ancient oracle of a dwarven people that are now obscure and keep to themselves, considering this monument as their gift to the world. These dwarfs move about mysteriously, monitoring the Forest of Answers and if anyone is seen taking tribute from the base of the poles the dwarfs will do anything in their power to make life very difficult for that person, but most often indirectly so, making an effort to not give themselves away. These dwarfs also move the Forest of Answers from place to place either on a whim or via some design known only to them, doing so secretly and without being seen if at all possible.