The Lotus Test is a legend of a Dharvic king.  Nearing the end of his life, he had used various forms of magic to prolong his life, but his methods were not complete.  Various issues were arising as he developed odd allergies and diseases due to the crazy magics he was using to sustain his life.  In order to relieve his symptoms, he required a certain lotus flower that could only be found growing in a valley protected by mountains and nearly impossible to get to.

So the king (most often called Shah Razzaa) hired a trio of siblings (two brothers and a sister) to go and gather the lotus flowers for him.  They were explorers and treasure hunters (you know - adventurers) and agreed to do it.  They took the king’s ship to the region, penetrated the mountains at great risk, fought off the bandits and monsters in the area and returned to the ship with a bag of the lotus flowers.  Once on the ship, the first mate offered to buy the flowers from them.  He had a bag of diamonds and told him that he served the king’s great grandson who was hoping to bring change/new blood to the kingdom by letting the old king finally die.  The trio captured the first mate and held him hostage in their quarters on the ship, demanding their meals and other needs while the ship returned to the king.

Once they returned to the king, they gave him the lotus flowers and the traitor, only to learn that the traitor actually did work for the king.  The whole thing was a set-up.  The king did not need the flowers, and the first mate worked for him.  In fact, they were the fifth team the king had sent on this mission, but only the first to succeed.  The trio became the king’s most trusted advisers and enforcers having proven their merits both on the battlefield and their loyalty.

There is an alternate version of this story in which the trio refuse the first mate, but this causes a major battle on the ship.  The trio kill or drive off all of the sailors and are forced to sail back to the king on their own.  When they return to the king, he is furious that they killed his agents and seeks to have them executed.  In this battle, they cannot kill the king, but manage to kill his two spell casters who were keeping them alive.  So the end of the story is that the trio is exiled from their homes and the king is doomed to die without his sorcerers to keep him alive.

Many adventurers see many of their missions as “the Lotus Test”, useless exercises just to prove to their employer(s) that they are capable or loyal or both.  Outside the adventuring community, this story is not popular and not all that well known.

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