At first glance, it appears to be a map of the general area it is found in. The map is a standard sized parchment scroll. It looks worn, but not ancient by any stretch. It may or may not have a scroll tube with it.
When unrolled, the map can speak. The voice conveys a quiet and educated tone. Upon first unrolling, it will ask the owner questions about who they are, what is the time and date, and who is with them. This is simply the map, Ithar by name, getting to know its new owner. Once familiar with a person and its companions, it will be conversational with them, sometimes giving them answers before they even ask the question.
Inevitably, the voice will ask, “What is it that you are looking for?”
With a “Here you are,” or “I know where you need to go to find what you are looking for,” the map’s appearance changes. It shows a general route to what you are looking for. The map will be vague, and have you looking for three landmarks (normally) along the way.
At each landmark, there will be a challenge to be overcome. While these are often physical challenges, there will be intellectual and emotional choices to be made. When approaching a landmark/ challenge, Ithar will sometimes become a map of the local area (including any secret passages and such as appropriate). Some of these “encounters” may earn you a tool or piece of information that you will need along your journey or to get to the final item.
If you don’t like the directions, the map will sigh and complain that just because you can’t follow the map, does not mean it is not the best path for you.
Note: The map is never wrong, per say. It will know where you are the object of your search are going to “cross paths”.
If you ask for Ithar’s help to find something else, before finding the subject of the current map, Ithar will provide the information, but the route will be long, dangerous, and bothersome. If you ask for local directions (for where a good inn is or how to find Appleton), Ithar may or may not help, depending on how you have treated it AND if you are still on the way to search for original item.
Ithar, the Map, always know exactly where to find what you are looking for, even if you don’t know it yourself. If you are looking for your socks, it will show you. If you are looking for the great item of a quest, it will show you. If you are looking for yourself or a heart’s desire, it will show you.
Ithar is intelligence (superhuman), wise (super human, Solomon like), and strong willed. It is also very experienced having been around several Elven lifetimes (Arn’t Elves immortal you ask? Yes. Think about it). It likes to make friends with its owners, because they are normally the only people who talk to it. (Ithar does not like pointless conversations, so don’t make small talk with it, but you can have discussions with purposes with it). Ithar is a patient, scholarly teacher type. He is helpful, when he can be. If it is said to have a flaw, it is that “It knows what is best for you”, because it has known people like you before. (Given its wisdom and magiks, it takes very little for it to know a great deal about you.) Every challenge it chooses is to make you (or one of your companions) a better, more skilled, person. (Note these challenges are along the a general route you could of taken anyways, on the way to the time.)
Ithar is effectively indestructible. It is said to be made from a piece of divine parchment, said to come from the book of knowledge or the book of fate, depending on the translation. (In reality, it is just an intelligent, well crafted magic item which can limitedly foresee the future, past, and the present, as well as find anything.