Read The Curse of Naar Online

Authors: Joe Dever

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

The Curse of Naar

The Curse of Naar

You are the warrior Lone Wolf — Kai Grand Master of Sommerlund. Fresh from your victory over your evil alter-ego, Wolf's Bane, reluctantly you are forced to return to the Plane of Darkness. For there you glimpsed the fabled Moonstone and you have sworn to save this gem of mystical power from the clutches of Naar, the King of Ultimate Darkness.

In
The Curse of Naar
, you must venture once more through the Shadow Gate and confront the Dark God. Only by finding and retrieving the Moonstone can you hope to save your world from invasion by Naar's armies of night. In this ultimate Grand Master challenge, your life and the future of your entire world are at stake!

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 © 1993 Joe Dever.
Illustrations copyright © 1993 Brian Williams.
Distribution of this Internet Edition is restricted under the terms of the
Project Aon License
.

Dedication

For Piet Snyman

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
Jason Smith
Illustration Transcription
Jonathan Blake
XML
Jonathan Blake
Jeff Dougan
Ingo Klöcker
Simon Osborne
Action Charts
JC Alvarez
Jonathan Blake
Proofreading
James Chown (Sections 141–210 and 281–350)
Patrick Kalinauskas (Sections 211–280)
Tom McGill (Sections 1–140)
Charles Porter (Sections 281–350)
Editing
Ingo Klöcker
LeRoy McSwain
Simon Osborne
Coordination
Jonathan Blake
Special Thanks
Jan Charvát, Christopher Turner
The Story So Far …

You are Grand Master Lone Wolf, the sole survivor of a massacre that wiped out the First Order of the Kai — the warrior élite of Sommerlund. It is the year MS 5081, thirty-one years since your brave kinsmen perished at the hands of the Darklords of Helgedad. These champions of evil, who were sent forth by Naar, the King of the Darkness, to destroy the fertile world of Magnamund, have themselves since been destroyed. You vowed to avenge the murder of the Kai and you kept your pledge, for it was you who brought about their downfall when alone you infiltrated their foul domain — the Darklands — and destroyed the base of their power that was the infernal city of Helgedad. In the wake of their destruction, chaos befell the Darkland armies that had been poised to conquer all of Magnamund. Their disorder escalated into a mutinous civil war which allowed the Freeland armies of Magnamund time in which to recover and launch a successful counter-offensive. Against the odds, a swift and total victory was secured over the feuding enemy armies.

For more than ten years now, peace has reigned in Sommerlund. Under your direction the once-ruined Monastery of the Kai has been rebuilt and restored to its former glory, and the task of teaching a New Order of Kai warriors the skills and proud traditions of your ancestors has been reestablished. The new generation of Kai recruits, all of whom were born during the era of war against the Darklords, possess strong latent Kai skills and all show exceptional promise. These skills will be nurtured and honed to perfection during their time at the monastery so that they may teach and inspire future generations, thereby ensuring the continued security of your homeland in future years.

Your attainment of the rank of Kai Grand Master brought with it great rewards. Some, such as the restoration of the Kai and the undying gratitude of your fellow Sommlending, could have been anticipated. Yet there have also been rewards which you could not possibly have foreseen. The discovery that within you lay the potential to develop Kai Disciplines beyond those of the Magnakai (which were once thought to be the ultimate that a Kai Master could aspire to) was truly a revelation. This discovery has inspired you to search for the wisdom and power that no Kai Lord before you has ever possessed. In the name of your creator, the God Kai, and for the greater glory of Sommerlund and the Goddess Ishir, you have vowed to scale the very pinnacle of Kai perfection — to attain all of the Grand Master Disciplines and become the first Kai Supreme Master.

With diligence and determination you set about the restoration of the Kai Monastery and the training of the New Order recruits. Your efforts were swiftly rewarded for within the space of two short years the first raw recruits had graduated to become a cadre of gifted Kai Masters who, in turn, were able to commence the teaching of their skills to subsequent intakes of Kai novices. Readily the Kai Masters rose to their newfound responsibilities, leaving you free to devote more of your time to the pursuit and perfection of the Grand Master Disciplines. During this period you also received expert tutelage in the ways of magic from two of your most trusted friends and advisors: Guildmaster Banedon, leader of the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star, and Lord Rimoah, speaker for the High Council of the Elder Magi.

In the deepest subterranean level of the monastery, one hundred feet below the Tower of the Sun, you ordered the excavation and construction of a special vault. In this magnificent chamber wrought of granite and gold, you placed the Lorestones of Nyxator — seven gems of Kai power which you had recovered during an earlier quest for Kai knowledge. In this vault, bathed in the golden light of the radiant gems, you spent countless hours in pursuit of perfection. Sometimes alone, sometimes in the company of your two able advisors — Banedon and Rimoah — you worked hard to develop your innate Grand Master Disciplines and grasp the fundamental secrets of Brotherhood and Old Kingdom magic. During this time you noticed many remarkable changes taking place within your body: you became physically and mentally stronger, your five primary senses sharpened far beyond all that you had experienced before, and, perhaps most remarkably, your body began to age at a much slower rate. Now, for every five years that elapse you age but one year.

In the years since your victory over the Darklords, peace has reigned victorious and the peoples of the Free Kingdoms have rejoiced in the knowledge that the evil which once threatened to destroy them has been banished from the face of Magnamund. Readily men have exchanged their swords for hoes and their shields for ploughs, and now the only marching they do is along the ruts of their freshly furrowed fields. Few are the watchful eyes that scan the distant horizon in fear of what may appear, although there are still some who maintain their vigilance, for the agents of the Dark God Naar come in many guises and there are those upon Magnamund who wait quietly in the shadows for the chance to do his evil bidding.

Already your newfound skills have been tested against Naar's agents and you have, on each occasion, acquitted yourself admirably. Yet your continuing victories have enraged the Dark God and inflamed his lust for vengeance. From the depths of his stronghold upon the Plane of Darkness he created and sent to Sommerlund an evil champion called ‘Wolf's Bane’ who was the very image of yourself. While you were engaged upon a quest overseas, this impostor terrorized your homeland and sought to destroy your reputation and the honour of the Kai. And he would have succeeded had it not been for your courage and determination. You returned home and pursued your enemy to an ancient necropolis in the city of Tyso. Here, in a deep subterranean crypt, you and your evil alter-ego were drawn through a Shadow Gate, an astral corridor which connects your home world of Magnamund to several other planes of existence. You both emerged upon the remote planet of Avaros where a deadly duel ensued. With the unexpected help of an enigmatic elemental called Alyss you vanquished your foe, but before you could find your way back to your home world, you and Alyss were both sucked through a second Shadow Gate which led to the Plane of Darkness, the fell domain of Naar himself.

In the throne hall of Naar a titanic struggle took place as you and Alyss fought desperately to escape from the Dark God and his court of powerful minions. During this battle you discovered that Naar had in his possession the fabled Moonstone of the Shianti, a wondrous artefact created many thousands of years ago by the god-like Shianti whose presence upon Magnamund had heralded the dawn of humanity. This stone of power contains the combined might of all their magic and wisdom, the sum of all their knowledge. So significant was the creation of this stone that all time on Magnamund is measured from the date of its creation. It had long been held that the Moonstone's location was a secret known only to the remnants of the Shianti, who dwell upon the Isle of Lorn in remotest Southern Magnamund, yet the evidence of your eyes told you that this mystical artefact had somehow fallen into the hands of the Dark God.

Suddenly the significance of the Moonstone became crystal clear. Naar had been using its legendary powers to generate Shadow Gates within the world of Magnamund, at locations and times of his own choosing. Such power had enabled him to send his loathsome champions to your home world, while the goodly forces of Kai and Ishir had been held at bay, helpless to counter them. Only you and your Kai brethren have stood in the way of the onslaught of Naar's agents since the demise of the Darklords.

During the battle, thanks to Alyss's selfless courage, you were able to escape from Naar's throne hall by leaping into the Shadow Gate. As you entered its whirling maw, the last image that burned itself into your memory was that of Alyss slowly succumbing to the relentless attacks of Naar's minions. Successfully you had defeated Wolf's Bane and thwarted Naar's sinister plan to destroy the honour of the Kai, but as you returned through the Shadow Gate to the land of your birth, you knew that the fight against Evil was not yet won. You realized that if you are to prevent the Dark God from sending more of his dread creations into Magnamund, you would have to return to the Plane of Darkness and retrieve the fabled Moonstone. Only by doing so would Magnamund truly be safe from the ravages of Naar's armies of darkness.

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