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Authors: Joe Dever

Tags: #Fiction, #Fantasy, #Lone Wolf, #Magnamund

The Cauldron of Fear

BOOK: The Cauldron of Fear
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The Cauldron of Fear

You are Lone Wolf — the last Kai Master of Sommerlund. The shadow of war sweeps across the continent of Magnamund as your mortal enemies, the Darklords of Helgedad, redouble their efforts to defeat your Magnakai quest. You dare not delay. Already their armoured legions are converging on a city beneath whose streets lies hidden the object of your quest: the Lorestone of Tahou.

In
The Cauldron of Fear
, you must stay one step ahead of your foes as you search for the Lorestone in a fantastic metropolis built during the dawn of Magnamund.

Joe Dever
, the creator of the bestselling Lone Wolf adventure books and novels, has achieved world-wide recognition in three creative fields — as an award-winning author of international renown, as an acclaimed musician and composer, and as a games designer specialising in role-playing games.

On graduating from college in 1974, Joe Dever became a professional musician, and for several years, he worked in the music industry in Europe and the United States.

While working in Los Angeles in 1977 he discovered a then little-known game called ‘Dungeons & Dragons’. Although the game was in its infancy, Joe at once realised its huge potential and began designing his own role-playing games along similar conceptual lines. These first games were to form the basis of a fantasy world called Magnamund, which later became the setting for the Lone Wolf books.

Five years later, in 1982 at the Origins Game Fair, Joe won the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons World Championships in Baltimore, an event held before 16,000 people. Inspired and encouraged by his success at Origins, Joe decided to quit the music business and devote his time to writing and games design.

In 1983, after a brief spell at Games Workshop in London, he wrote
Flight from the Dark
 — the first Lone Wolf interactive gamebook. His manuscript immediately attracted a frenzy of interest from three major London publishing companies, all of whom bid for world rights. Joe accepted an offer of publication from Hutchinson's (later to become Century Hutchinson Ltd; now Random House UK) and
Flight from the Dark
was first published in 1984.

This first book sold more than 100,000 copies within its first month of publication, and overseas rights were snapped up by twelve countries (including the United States, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Sweden). The success of Joe's first book laid the foundations for the future of the Lone Wolf series, which has sold millions of copies around the world.

The Lone Wolf series ended after 28 books and 14 years. Joe has continued to work in the games industry as script writer and games design consultant.

Brian Williams
was first noticed by Joe Dever for his work in
White Dwarf
magazine (circa issue 50) and the
Real Life Gamebooks
series by Jon Sutherland and Simon Farrell. Brian Williams was Joe's first choice of illustrators to replace Gary Chalk. Jon, being an old friend of Joe's, introduced the two. Brian was excited to work with Joe on the
Lone Wolf
series. He illustrated
The Cauldron of Fear
and almost every book about Magnamund since that time.

Internet Edition published by
Project Aon
. This edition is intended to reflect the complete text of the original version. Where we have made minor corrections, they will be noted in the
Errata
.

Publication Date: 28 October 2012

Text copyright © 1987 Joe Dever.
Illustrations copyright © 1987 Brian Williams.
Distribution of this Internet Edition is restricted under the terms of the
Project Aon License
.

Dedication

To Spencer and Louise

Acknowledgements

‘I would be especially pleased if my granting of the rights to distribute my books in this way was seen as my “millennium gift” to all those devoted readers who have kept the Kai flag flying high, through all the good times, and the not-so-good. It would make me very proud indeed if this enterprise laid the foundations of a lasting legacy, securing the longevity of Lone Wolf by making my creation freely and readily accessible to current and future online generations. For them, for us, for Sommerlund and the Kai. … ’
Joe Dever

Project Aon would first like to thank Joe Dever for making this generous offering of the books that we have all loved from the beginning. We are also grateful for the generosity of Rob Adams, Paul Bonner, Gary Chalk, Melvyn Grant, Richard Hook, Peter Andrew Jones, Cyril Julien, Peter Lyon, Ian Page, Graham Round, and Brian Williams for contributing their portions of the world of Magnamund to Project Aon. We would also like to acknowledge the following members of Project Aon for their diligent work:

Credits
Transcription
Matthew Reynolds
Illustration Transcription
Jonathan Blake
Paul Haskell
Daniel Strong
XML
Jonathan Blake
Simon Osborne
Alternate Illustrations
JC Alvarez (Action Charts)
Jonathan Blake (Extramatter Charts and Tables)
Proofreading
Andrew Gable (Sections 71–105, 141–175, and 246–280)
Simon Osborne (Frontmatter and Sections 176–210)
Matthew Reynolds (Sections 1–70, 106–140, 211–245, and 281–350)
Editing
Mike Feldman
Ingo Klöcker
Alex Hambly
Mark Laird
LeRoy McSwain
Simon Osborne
Timothy Pederick
Thomas Wolmer
PDF Layout
Jonathan Blake
Ingo Klöcker
Coordination
Jonathan Blake
Special Thanks
Jan Charvát, Benjamin Krefetz, David Kubecka, Neil McGrory, Dewi Morgan, Sam Seaver, Brian Thompson, Denis Vald, Robert Wellock
The Story So Far …

You are the warrior, Lone Wolf, last of the Kai Masters of Sommerlund and sole survivor of the massacre that destroyed your kinsmen during a bitter war with your age-old enemies — the Darklords of Helgedad.

Many centuries have passed since Sun Eagle, the first of your kind, established the Order of the Kai. Aided by the magicians of Dessi, he completed a perilous quest to find seven crystals of power, known as the Lorestones of Nyxator, and upon their discovery he unlocked a wisdom and strength that lay within both the Lorestones and himself. He recorded the nature of his discoveries and his experiences in a great tome entitled
The Book of the Magnakai
. You have discovered this lost Kai treasure and have given a solemn pledge to restore the Kai to their former glory, thereby ensuring the security of your land in the years to come. However, your diligent study of this ancient book has enabled you to master only three of the ten Magnakai Disciplines. To fulfil your pledge, you must complete the quest first undertaken by Sun Eagle over one thousand years ago. By doing so successfully, you, too, will acquire the power and wisdom of the Magnakai, which is held within the Lorestones' crystal forms.

Already your quest has taken you far from your northern homeland. Following in the footsteps of the first Kai Grand Master, you journeyed to Dessi and sought the help of the Elder Magi, the magicians that aided Sun Eagle on his quest long ago. There you learned that one of the seven Lorestones was still present in their land, hidden deep inside an island stronghold known as Kazan-Oud, or Castle Death. You survived the perils of Castle Death and emerged triumphant, having achieved what the Elder Magi had believed to be impossible. During the victory celebrations held in your honour, you learned that for centuries the Elder Magi had been expecting your coming. An ancient Dessi legend tells of the birth and rise to greatness of two
koura-tas-kai
, which means ‘sons of the sun’. One was named
Ikar
, which means ‘eagle’, and the other was named
Skarn
, which means ‘wolf’. A prophecy foretold that the
koura-tas-kai
would both come from the north to seek the council of the Elder Magi in order that they might fulfil a great quest. Although separated by several centuries, they would share one spirit, one purpose, and one destiny — to triumph over the champions of darkness in an age of great peril. Your victory at Kazan-Oud proved that you were
Skarn
 — the wolf of Dessi legend — and in keeping with their ancient vows the Elder Magi promised to help you complete the Magnakai quest.

In Elzian, the capital of Dessi, you were tutored in the histories of Magnamund and received lessons in lore that you would have learned from Kai Masters if only they, like you, had survived the murderous Darklord attack on the Kai Monastery eleven years ago. You were eager to learn all that your tutor, Lord Rimoah, could teach you in preparation for the next stage of your quest, but grim news from the Darklands cut short your tuition. In the Darklord city of Helgedad a civil war had erupted, following your defeat of Haakon, Archlord of the Black City. After five years, the battle for the throne of Helgedad had finally been won by a Darklord called Gnaag. The other Darklords, now united behind this new leader, were ordered to amass huge armies in preparation for the conquest of Magnamund. So swiftly did their Giak legions grow in numbers that the Elder Magi ceased their counselling and arranged for you to begin at once the search for the third Lorestone. Guided by Lord Paido, a warrior-magician of Dessi, you set off on a perilous journey across the Freelands of Talestria on your way to the jungle-swamps of the Danarg. There, in an ancient temple that was once the Elder Magi's most sacred place of worship, you succeeded in discovering the object of your quest. However, during your escape from the Danarg, your guide, Lord Paido, was captured by Darklord agents, and upon your return to Elzian you learned the fearful news that the Darklords were now waging open war throughout Magnamund. Several lands, after brief but futile resistance, had been overrun completely by Darkland armies; others had surrendered without fighting in the face of their determined might, and sadly there were others who chose to betray former friends and allies by joining the Darklord cause, in the misguided hope that they would share in the spoils of victory, following the triumph of Darklord Gnaag. One such land was Vassagonia, a powerful desert realm to the north of Dessi. Already her armies had invaded the neighbouring territories of Casiorn and Cloeasia, and were preparing to march through the Republic of Anari in order to join Gnaag's horde now advancing across the plain of Slovia. The thought of such an eventuality filled the Elder Magi with dread, for the Lorestone you must find next lies deep below the streets of Tahou, the capital of Anari, in an ancient city built during the dawn of Magnamund. If Tahou were to fall before your arrival the chances of you completing your quest successfully would be slim indeed, even for a warrior of your renowned skill and daring.

Whilst preparations were being made for your journey you learned that the Darklords had attacked and captured Ruanon, the southernmost province of your homeland of Sommerlund. The news of this calamity shook your resolve and filled you with the desire to forego the journey to Tahou and return home without delay. The Elder Magi implored you not to abandon your quest and you faced a difficult and crucial decision. Which should you honour: your vow to complete the Magnakai quest or your oath of loyalty to your King, an oath which pledged your service in the defence of the sun-realm? Fortunately, the surprise arrival of an old friend was to decide the matter for you. Magemaster Banedon, envoy of the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star — the Magicians' Guild of Sommerlund — landed unexpectedly at Elzian aboard his flying ship Skyrider. He and his dwarven crew were warmly greeted, for Banedon, a frequent and favoured visitor to Dessi, was highly respected by the Elder Magi for his mastery of new magic. Six years had passed since last you met and there was much you wished to discuss and reminisce about, but there was an urgent matter of duty to perform first. Banedon had been sent by King Ulnar of Sommerlund to deliver into your hand a royal missive concerning your quest. The scroll, written and sealed by the King himself, ordered you to pursue the Magnakai quest above all other duties. It ended with the words: ‘Sommerlund has suffered a grievous defeat at Ruanon, but the will of the people is undaunted and the strength of our army undiminished. Boldly we will resist our enemies so long as there is hope of the rebirth of the Kai.’

Banedon informed you that the King had ordered that he and his skyship be placed under your command. He also delivered the news that the King had bestowed upon you the rank of Warmarshall of the Royal Estates. Proudly you accepted from Banedon two platinum badges, each crafted in the shape of a blazing sun, and affixed them to the collar of your Kai tunic. They signified that you were now a general of the Sommlending army, the youngest general there had ever been. The honour bestowed upon you lifted your spirits, and the news that Banedon would be joining your quest helped greatly to allay your fear of the dangers that lay ahead. For two years Banedon had lived in Tahou as Journeymaster to his guild; his knowledge of the city and of the Tahou Cauldron, the entrance to the ancient metropolis, which lies buried deep beneath the city streets, would be especially useful.

On the eve of your journey to Tahou, the Elder Magi convened a meeting of the High Council. A golden torch was lit and placed in the centre of their great cylindrical council chamber as a symbol of their hopes and prayers for your success.

‘This torch shall burn so long as you, Lone Wolf, pursue your destiny along the path of the Magnakai,’ said Lord Rimoah, speaker for the High Council. Before the gathering of Elders you reaffirmed your vow to restore the Kai and, as if kindled by a sudden gust of wind, the torch flared brightly, bathing the chamber in its vivid golden glow. As one, the Elders rose from their seats and intoned their blessing: ‘May the Gods Ishir and Kai protect you on your journey into darkness,
Kor-Skarn
.’

BOOK: The Cauldron of Fear
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