Ancient days they were when first the Shianti set foot upon the land that men call Magnamund. Long had they journeyed through the void, homeless wanderers in search of a place to call their own. And so it was that when the Shianti first looked upon the face of the land, their hearts were raised in wonder. They saw a world of nameless mountains, untamed forests, and lands both wild and free. Here they chose to cease their wanderings and to devote themselves to the study and appreciation of this newfound land.
To the delight of the Shianti, the race of man first emerged at this time and they watched his early struggle towards civilization with eager concern. Like gods the Shianti seemed to the minds of primitive men. Tall and proud, shining with a radiance that spoke of magic and arcane mystery, the Shianti moved among them and with their powers of wizardry, aided man in his development.
As the centuries passed, man fell to worship of the magical Shianti and the power of these wizards grew even stronger. With hungry hearts they sought to unlock the mysteries of knowledge, sending their minds into other planes of existence and strange worlds beyond the sphere of the material plane. Their foresight was now unmatched and the power of their thought was mighty indeed. It was at this time that they created the Moonstone. Woven of the very fabric of the astral plane of Daziarn, this translucent gem was the greatest achievement of Shianti wisdom. It was the binding force of all Shianti magic, containing the combined might of all their wizardry, the sum of all their knowledge. The Golden Age of the Shianti had come and the Moonstone was the instrument of their dominion throughout all Magnamund. Man stood as little more than a shadow, blinded by the shining white light of Shianti glory. But, in creating the Moonstone, the unwritten laws of nature had been transgressed. For the Moonstone, like the Shianti themselves, was something outside of man’s own world; it defied the natural order laid down by the creators of Magnamund and disrupted the balance that the gods had designed.
The Goddess Ishir, High Priestess of the Moon and mother of all men, showed herself to the Shianti and spoke to them of the destiny of man: ‘The children of this world must claim their inheritance. Their time has come and they must learn to stand alone. They are lost in their worship of you and the day draws ever nearer when they will covet the power of the Moonstone.’
And the Shianti said: ‘Forgive us, Great Goddess, for we intended no harm. We love mankind even as you do. We have sought to do good and protect your children from harm.’
But Ishir replied, ‘Of this there can be no doubt, but this world is not your realm. Man must be free to pursue his destiny alone, and you must leave, for you trespass on his domain.’
The Shianti were filled with sorrow. They feared a return to the void and to their lonely wandering, and pleaded with Ishir that she might allow them to remain. Ishir was filled with pity for them. She spoke again, saying, ‘If you are to remain, you must obey my command. You must take a vow never to interfere with mankind’s fate. As a token of good faith you must lay aside the Moonstone, and return it to the plane where it belongs.’
Solemnly, the Shianti agreed. The vow was sworn before Ishir, and the Moonstone was returned to the Daziarn. The Shianti then moved south to the Isle of Lorn. They encircled their new home with a web of enchantments, magical mists, and mage winds to prevent man from ever finding their place of refuge in the Sea of Dreams. Knowledge of the Shianti faded with time, save in southern Magnamund where it became enshrined in legend, and the worship of them endured. Priests of the Shianti religion preserved their teachings and patiently awaited the day when the ‘ancient ones’ would return, bringing with them lasting peace and the blessing of a new golden age.
Two thousand years strode by and man advanced as Ishir had foretold. He built great cities and cultivated the land; his kingdoms rose and fell; he made war and loved and laughed and became master of his fate. But a new power was emerging in the province of Shadaki. There Shasarak the evil Wytch-king ruled. The black necromancer commanded an army of brutal soldiers and had a devoted following of men who upheld his religion of demonic worship and sacrificial rites. Devotees of the Shianti and other religious cults were persecuted in a merciless purge. Ruthlessly, the Wytch-king destroyed all his opponents and began a terrible war with the peoples of the neighbouring provinces. From the ruins of war Shasarak shaped the Shadakine Empire, subjugating whole nations to his evil rule. As the provinces fell to his might, the Shianti looked on helplessly, bound by their vow to the Goddess Ishir never to interfere in the affairs of man.
On the night of the crowning of Shasarak as Overlord of the Shadakine Empire, a great storm broke upon the Sea of Dreams, a storm that raged with unnatural intensity. Lashed by wind and rain, illuminated by wild lightning, the waters heaved and danced in fury to the thundering music of the storm, unchecked by even the enchantments of the Shianti. When finally the tempest died, the Shianti looked out in amazement on the shattered hull of a ship drifting towards their shore. Never before had this occurred, for the enchantments and mage winds had kept them secure from the curiosity of man by forcing him to sail close to his own land.
The Shianti went quickly to the ruined ship where they found only one survivor—a baby. They perceived the sudden arrival of this human child as a sign of great portent, and they conceived a plan by which they might lawfully aid mankind. They named the orphan child Grey Star, because a star is the symbol of hope in the Shianti faith, and because of the silver streak in the child’s jet-black hair. In the shadow of the wrath of the Goddess Ishir, they raised the child as one of their own and taught him their secrets. Diligently they set about their instruction, for their aim was to provide a saviour for mankind. Armed with the might of Shianti wizardry and wisdom, their hope was to create an adversary equal in power to the evil Wytch-king of Shadaki, for they realized that only with the death of Shasarak would man once more be free to determine his destiny.
You are Grey Star, trained in the secret arts of a Shianti wizard. Sixteen years have passed since you arrived on the Isle of Lorn, the hidden realm of the Shianti race, when you are called to a meeting of your Shianti masters.
‘Grey Star,’ says Acarya, High Wizard of the Shianti, ‘you have been summoned to this meeting so that we may lay before you a quest of great importance. Your people, the race of man, are slaves of an evil tyrant, Shasarak the Wytch-king of Shadaki. He has made pacts with demons and has captured the spirits of the dead who do his bidding as undead slaves. He has the power to control the minds of men; none can resist him and the land of your birth cries out in fear of the cruel hand that crushes its heart. No power remains intact to challenge the might of the Wytch-king. Our ancient vow to the Goddess Ishir forbids us from intervening in the fate of man, and the Moonstone now lies hidden on another plane. We have taught you the ways of Shianti magic in the hope that one day you would take up this quest—to recover the Moonstone and use its power to destroy the Wytch-king. You are human. No vow prohibits you from leaving the Isle of Lorn, nor are you forbidden to aid mankind in any way you choose. No charge is laid upon you to accept the quest, yet if you refuse, your people will be doomed to a choice between slavery and destruction at the hands of the Wytch-king of Shadaki.’
Bravely and without hesitation, you give Acarya your decision, but your voice trembles as you speak: ‘I accept the quest of the Moonstone. What must I do?’
There are sighs of relief all round. ‘You have made us proud this day, son of man,’ says Acarya, smiling. ‘The Moonstone lies hidden in the Daziarn plane, which can only be entered by locating its portal. We know this can be found in the lands of men: it is called the “Shadow Gate”. However, it rarely remains in any one location for more than a day and is invisible to human sight. For this reason you must seek out the Lost Tribe of Lara, a race of primitive but magical creatures we call the Kundi. They possess the gift of astral vision, which enables them to see the Shadow Gate. Once, long ago, the Kundi inhabited the forests and mountains of Lara. Before the Shadakine army invaded the free provinces of the south, they passed through the mountains of Lara, using the Morn Pass. There the Shadakine army were frequently ambushed and delayed by the Kundi, who always disappeared into the safety of the forests before the Shadakine could retaliate. Finally, in desperation, the Wytch-king burnt the forests, and the Kundi were forced to flee. To this day, no one is sure where the Kundi went, and consequently men refer to them as the Lost Tribe of Lara. Your first task is to find the lost tribe and persuade them to guide you to the Shadow Gate. Your training is incomplete but you must begin without delay. The Shadakine Empire now stretches to the very shores of the Sea of Dreams, and the power of the Wytch-king grows with each passing day. Our presence is known to him and his attention is often turned towards us, probing our defences and testing the measure of our powers. He is hungry for new conquest, and though he fears us, the day is sure to come when he will cross the Sea of Dreams to challenge the Shianti.’
Acarya places his hands upon your shoulders and looks deeply into your eyes. ‘The fate of humanity and of the Shianti depends on the success of your quest. Find the Moonstone, Grey Star…You are our only hope; if you fail then all is lost.’
To keep a record of your adventure, use the Action Chart.
Before you set off on your adventure, you must discover how well your Shianti masters have prepared you for your quest by determining your fighting prowess—COMBAT SKILL—your state of mind—WILLPOWER—and your physical stamina—ENDURANCE. To do this take a pencil and, with eyes closed, point with the blunt end of it onto the Random Number Table. If you pick 0 it counts as zero.
The first number that you pick from the Random Number Table in this way represents your COMBAT SKILL. Add 10 to the number you picked and write the total in the COMBAT SKILL section of your Action Chart (e.g. if your pencil fell on the number 4 in the Random Number Table you would write in a COMBAT SKILL of 14). When you fight, your COMBAT SKILL will be pitted against that of your enemy. A high score in this section is therefore very desirable.
The second number that you pick from the Random Number Table represents your WILLPOWER. Add 20 to this number and write the total in the WILLPOWER section of your Action Chart (e.g. if your pencil fell on the number 6 in the Random Number Table you would have a WILLPOWER of 26). If you decide to use a spell or utilize the power of your Wizard’s Staff, then you will lose WILLPOWER points. If at any time your WILLPOWER falls to zero or below, you may not use any of your spells or your Wizard’s Staff. Lost WILLPOWER points can be regained during the course of the adventure, and it is possible for your WILLPOWER points to rise above the total with which you start your adventure.
The third number that you pick from the Random Number Table represents your powers of ENDURANCE. Add 20 to this number and write the total in the ENDURANCE section of your Action Chart (e.g. if your pencil fell on the number 6 on the Random Number Table you would have 26 ENDURANCE points). If you are wounded in combat, you will lose ENDURANCE points. If at any time your ENDURANCE points fall to zero or below, you are dead and the adventure is over. Lost ENDURANCE points can be regained during the course of the adventure but can never rise above the number with which you start your adventure.
When you start your adventure, your education in the ways of wizardry is incomplete. You have mastered only five of the seven Magical Powers that the Shianti call the Lesser Magicks. The choice of which five Powers these are is up to you. All of the Lesser Magicks may be of use to you at some point on your quest, so choose them with care. Your survival may depend on the correct use of a Magical Power at the right time.
The seven Magical Powers available to you are listed below. When you have chosen your five Powers, enter them in the Magical Powers section of your Action Chart.
This Power allows a wizard to transform his thoughts or desires into magical energy. By concentration of the will it is possible to create magical shields of force to bar doors or move objects. Sorcery drains more WILLPOWER points than any other Magical Power, and is most effective when your WILLPOWER points are high.
If you choose this Power, write ‘Sorcery’ on your Action Chart.
The Power of Enchantment enables a wizard to charm or beguile other creatures, and create illusions in the minds of others. He will be able to extract information from others, place thoughts and compulsions into another’s mind, or cause them to believe that imaginary events are actually taking place. Some magical or highly intelligent beings may be immune to the powers of Enchantment.
If you choose this Power, write ‘Enchantment’ on your Action Chart.
The Power of elemental magic allows a wizard some control over the natural elements of Air, Fire, Earth, and Water. By entering a trance and chanting incantations, you may summon aid from the spirits of the Elemental Plane. Elementals have very little understanding of man, and for this reason a wizard can never be sure of the nature of the aid the Elementals may send.
If you choose this Power, write ‘Elementalism’ on your Action Chart.
A wizard who possesses the Power of Alchemy is able, through the mixing of various substances, to create magical potions. Given the correct ingredients, a potion may restore lost energy (i.e. ENDURANCE points, WILLPOWER), or temporarily improve various abilities (e.g. COMBAT SKILL). The use of Alchemy may also allow a wizard to alter the nature of substances (e.g. change lead into gold), but the necessary ingredients and the correct equipment (e.g. a pestle and mortar) must be at hand. The use of the Power of Alchemy drains no WILLPOWER.
If you choose this Power write ‘Alchemy’ on your Action Chart.
The Power of Prophecy allows a wizard to foretell the future through meditation. A meditative state will allow a wizard to make the correct decision when facing conflicting choices or difficult actions; to discover the whereabouts of a person he has once met, or an object he has once seen. It may also allow him to determine the true nature of a stranger or a strange object. Magical beings or objects are sometimes hidden from the Power of Prophecy.
If you choose this Power, write ‘Prophecy’ on your Action Chart.
This Power bestows upon a wizard the ability to deduce facts about events by touching objects connected to them. Through deep concentration, a wizard may lay his hands upon any inanimate object and visualize scenes that have affected it. Visions brought about through the use of Psychomancy are often cryptic, taking the form of a riddle or puzzle. Some magic items are resistant to the use of Psychomancy and may, sometimes, impart misleading information.
If you choose this Power, write ‘Psychomancy’ on your Action Chart.
Mastery of this Power permits contact with the spirit realm. A wizard wishing to speak with the dead, or to call up a form from the spirit world, must draw a magic pentacle and enter a trance, when the use of the correct spell-chant will reach out to the Spiritual Plane. Standing within the protection of a magic pentacle, a wizard may consider himself to be relatively safe from harm. If he wishes to speak with a corpse, especially one whose former life was good and righteous, then a wizard can expect help and advice. However, contact with those whose former lives were evil or selfish can be a perilous, and often fatal, experience. Evil spirits are reluctant to return to the realm of the dead and may try to trick a wizard into freeing them into the world of the living. All spirits, good and evil, will require some service of the wizard in return for their aid. Any failure to perform this task, however difficult may result in the wizard losing his life.
If you choose this Power, write ‘Evocation’ on your Action Chart.
Your Staff is your most valuable possession. It looks and feels like an ordinary quarterstaff, yet it is stronger than any known metal. This is your main combat weapon, for you are untrained in the use of any other form of armed combat. It contains a potent force that is unleashed at will by the power of your mind, and causes a beam of destructive power to hurtle from its tip. Every time you unleash this power you must deduct 1 WILLPOWER point.
In the event that your enemy survives such an attack or should you fall victim to a surprise attack, you will be forced to engage in close combat and must attempt to strike your enemy with the Staff. If your attack is successful, a bolt of energy will be released from the Staff that is capable of inflicting great physical harm. If you wish to increase the amount of damage that you inflict in this way, you must use more WILLPOWER points and multiply the number of ENDURANCE points lost by the enemy, accordingly. For example, if you chose to expend 3 WILLPOWER points on your attack, all enemy ENDURANCE point losses would be multiplied by three.
If you enter combat without your Staff, deduct 6 points from your COMBAT SKILL. If you have no weapon at all, you must deduct 8 points from your COMBAT SKILL.
You wear the grey robe and hooded cloak of a Shianti Wizard. Your only weapon is your Wizard’s Staff (note this on your Action Chart under Weapons). You wear a Backpack containing 4 Meals (note under Meals on your Action Chart), and you have been given a map of the Shadakine Empire (note under Special Items on your Action Chart) which you place inside your robe.
If you have chosen Alchemy as one of your Magical Powers, then you will have a leather pouch for herbs and potions hanging from your belt. The Herb Pouch contains the following:
Mark these 4 items in your Action Chart.
Your Herb Pouch will carry a maximum of eight items.
On your last day on the Isle of Lorn, your Shianti Masters offer you the following gifts to aid you in your quest. According to Shianti custom, you may choose one of them. They are:
When you have made your choice, mark the item on your Action Chart under the headings given in brackets, and make a note of any effect it may have on your ENDURANCE, WILLPOWER, or COMBAT SKILL totals.
Now that you have your equipment, the following list shows you how it is carried. You do not need to make notes, but you should refer back to this list in the course of your adventure.
Any item that may be of use and can be picked up on your adventure and entered on your Action Chart is given capital letters in the text. Unless you are told it is a Special Item, carry it in your Backpack.
There will be occasions during your adventure when you have to fight an enemy. The enemy’s COMBAT SKILL and ENDURANCE points are given in the text. Grey Star’s aim during the combat is to kill the enemy by reducing his ENDURANCE points to zero while at the same time losing as few ENDURANCE points as possible himself.
At the start of a combat, enter Grey Star’s ENDURANCE and WILLPOWER points and the enemy’s ENDURANCE points in the appropriate boxes on the Combat Record section of your Action Chart.
The sequence for combat is as follows:
This process of combat continues until the ENDURANCE points of either the enemy or Grey Star are reduced to zero or below, at which point that combatant is declared dead. If Grey Star is dead, the adventure is over. If the enemy is dead, Grey Star proceeds but with his ENDURANCE and WILLPOWER points possibly reduced.
A summary of Combat Rules appears in the back of this book.
During your adventure you may be given the chance to evade combat. If you have already engaged in a round of combat and decide to evade, calculate the combat for that round in the usual manner. All points lost by the enemy as a result of that round are ignored, and you make your escape. Only Grey Star may lose ENDURANCE points during that round, but then that is the risk of running away! You may only evade if the text of the particular section allows you to do so.
You are about to embark on a quest of great peril, for your journey will take you to an unknown land that is dominated by evil. Refer to the map and make notes as you progress through the story: they are sure to be of great help to you in future adventures.
You will discover items that could be of help to you on your quest. Some Special Items may aid you in future Grey Star adventures, others may be red herrings of no real use at all; so be selective in what you decide to keep.
Be cautious in your use of WILLPOWER points, as your WILLPOWER is the energy source for your Magical Powers and your Wizard’s Staff. A WILLPOWER score of zero or below will leave you weak and vulnerable to attack, unable to offer effective resistance.
Follow the path of wisdom, Wizard Grey Star. The way of fools is the road to destruction.