Yesterday, after spending most of the day scribbling, scrawling, drawing and fretting, I published a one-page encounter. Voltari’s Retreat isn’t a replacement for Stench of the Sea by any means, just something to tide people over while I finish my work.
Aaron McLin made a couple of very relevant points over at Google+ about Voltari’s Retreat. Firstly, the text should say garderobe, without the ‘U’. I will correct that in the next draft along with the errant spelling of Voltari (which becomes Viltori in several spots). While I hand-wrote all the text in the left panel of the one-pager, it shouldn’t pose much of a problem to make amends. A trifle of PhotoShop magic should suffice.
More central to the plot, Aaron commented:
…while I like the Codex of Morca idea (so much one could do with that!) I don’t understand why on Earth it would be in the latrine of all places. It seems to make life more difficult for Voltari, with no clear benefit.
I see Voltari as borderline insane. I have him down with a narcissistic personality disorder that has him gloating over the Codex of Morca and carrying it around with him. I can see a little of the modern obsession in his actions, like our own treatment of gadgets – like a tablet or smartphone. He carries it with him everywhere, but his own distracted, wayward mind means he puts it down sometimes and forgets it – then feverishly sets about turning the place over to find it again. Call it a personality flaw – and something I should emphasize in an update. I wanted to combine aspects of an overthrown dictator with a manic personality.
Gollum‘s fascination with the Ring, from The Lord of the Rings, might also compare with Voltari. While the One Ring possessed it’s own agenda, Gollum did lose it and left it behind without noticing any absence until after Bilbo already chanced upon it. Voltari might face a similar situation if the exploring player characters treat the garderobe ‘toilet paper supply’ as anything more than a curiosity. If he fails to make it back to the garderobe before the characters, Voltari may have to talk it back into his possession or harass them with Smoke Elemental servitors until they lose interest in it.
I really appreciate the feedback and hope to blend some of these thoughts into the creative mix for other future projects, as well as correcting and enhancing this one.