totems


When the heroes first arrive in the Realm the Dungeon Master conjures magical totems into their possession. Presto is given a hat out of which he can conjure objects and cast spells, Eric is given an indestructible shield blessed with a forcefield, Sheila is given a cloak that renders her invisible when the hood is raised, Diana is given a javelin that grows and shrinks, Bobby is given a club that wreaks tremendous havoc and Hank is given a bow that fires versatile arrows composed of energy. Invariably these totems are dubbed as weapons by the Dungeon Master, Venger and the heroes but only the bow and club and perhaps the shield and javelin could be called weapons.

The heroes know straight away how to use their totems without tutoring from the Dungeon Master and competence in them could be an innate function upon ownership. When Diana's javelin is snapped in half by a dragon turtle she is not bothered and casually fuses the two part together, suggesting knowledge of how to mend her totem is innate.

The totems come from the Dragon's Graveyard but it is not explained why Dungeon Master owns them. Tiamat recognises the totems but is not bothered that the heroes have them so theft can perhaps be discounted. It is possible that the Dungeon Master took them without Tiamat's permission but as the graveyard is littered with similar discarded totems she considers them worthless and not worth challenging their ownership. In the graveyard dragonish skeletons can be seen clutching similar totems.

Oddly, Tiamat is not bothered that the relatively inexperienced heroes have these six totems despite Venger dedicating much time and energy into confiscating them because he claims he can defeat and enslave her with their combined might. Possibly he has miscalculated their value and their pooled magic is insufficient to rival her. She even invites Venger to the Dragon's Graveyard to claim the six totems knowing that the heroes are planning to kill him, then observes the ensuing battle without interference. If Venger's belief in the totems' power is correct then this is a very risky gambit for her to take.

Another theory on why Tiamat does not seem to care about the heroes having the totems is that their enchantments were ebbing and about to become depleted so would pose no risk to her if Venger claimed them. In the Hall Of Bones episode the totems become powerless and have to be recharged by the Skull of Power. Bobby claims that the totems will remain recharged for another three hundred years but it is not stated where he got that figure from and could have just invented it.


Venger does manage to claim the six totems on one occasion and holding them in his hand uses their combined energy to fire a mystic bolt at Tiamat but unbeknownst to him the totems are depleted and the bolt leaves the dragon relatively unharmed. Frustrated, he discards the totems as worthless.

The totems become depleted again when the Dungeon Master absorbs their magic to help battle the Nameless One before he teleports himself and the heroes into the Underworld as means of escape. The totems are then later recharged by the Dungeon Master when he submerges himself in the mystical pool known as the Heart of Dawn. Not only does it recharge the totems but it also repairs the cloak that got ripped up and the club that got broken.

The totems function much more powerfully in the Dragon's Graveyard as this is where they originated but do not function on Earth. (In the original script for The Box episode the totems did function on Earth.)

When the demodragon grabs the heroes' totems their combined magic disrupts the spell Venger used to enslave the monster.


When quizzed by the heroes about how to get to the Dragon's Graveyard the Dungeon Master replies that they carry the way with them and that it should begin with Hank the ranger. Trapped in a cave they guess that he meant their totems and Hank fires an energy arrow that ricochets around and is caught in Presto's hat. A pink globe of energy floats out and when Eric deflects it with his shield it turns yellow and grows, floating towards Diana who also deflects it with her javelin causing the globe to turn green and grow further. Wondering what to do, Sheila throws her cloak over it and again it expands; this time turning purple. Bobby bats the approaching globe away thinking it is threatening Uni and the energy sphere explodes, teleporting them all to the Dragon's Graveyard.




In the Servant Of Evil episode a quintet of lizard men were employed by Venger to use the heroes' five stolen totems against them. Armed with the bow, javelin, shield, cloak and hat the monsters fought the children with expertise, with Presto bemoaning that he was never as good as conjuring things from his hat as his lizard man counterpart was who summoned a trained black hawk.

Unless the lizard men were shamans and predisposed to magic this suggests that anybody can use the totems and that the heroes could have used each others. They never interchanged their totems though and even when Hank is abducted in The Winds Of Darkness episode his powerful bow is carried by the others but never used. However, in the P-R-E-S-T-O Spells Disaster episode Uni conjures a flying carpet from Presto's hat and in the Millennium Children script when faced with reconnoitring Venger's castle Sheila asks if anybody else wants to accept the task and borrow her cloak instead, although this may have just been a humorous comment.

1 comment:

  1. This is what I believe:

    1. On the heroes instant expertise with the totems, I believe they earned what it takes to use them as they arrived in the Realm (save Diana, who was already an athlete on Earth). Other than that, I believe that, first of all, DM gave the totems to each of them based on skills and traits they bear. For once, some websites claim Hank was a scout on Earth, so he was perfect for the Ranger role. And on "The City at the Edge of Midnight", it is revealed that Presto was already into magic tricks, so it is only logical to name him the Magician.

    2. On how the DM acquired the totems, I am a firm believer that he asked Tiamat to borrow those Totems, as he was clearly monitoring the kids before bringing them to the Realm. Also, Tiamat wasn't actually bothered that they had it, so my theory must be true.

    3. On why Venger wants THESE totems specifically, I think it's because, as it was shown on "The Dragons' Graveyard", their combined powers are immeasurable.

    4. On how the lizard men knew how to use Hank's bow, Eric's shield, Sheila's cloak, Presto's hat and Diana's javelin, I believe they were predisposed to use them, the same with the dragonic skelletons Venger revived to fight the kids on the Dragon's Graveyard. Or it may be that only the creatures of the Realms can fully use any of them, as Uni used Presto's hat to conjure a flying carpet, which takes us to the next topic.

    5. I believe that each of the kids is only predisposed to use his or her own totem. A proof of this is that, again on "The Dragons' Graveyard, once the kids get to the namesake location, they start to examine the discarded totems. neither of them succeeded. Bobby tried to take a sword, but it was too heavy for him, causing him to drop it. Later, while waiting for Venger, Eric grabs a trident , and it causes him to drop it.

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