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Prophecy of the Shadow (Prophecy_of_the_Shadow_Manual.txt)

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PROPHECY OF THE SHADOW

IBM and Compatibles Data Card

System Requirements

To play this game you must have an IBM or compatible computer
with at least 640K of system memory, a hard drive, a floppy
drive capable of reading 5.25" 1.2 megabyte disks or 3.5", 1.4
megabyte disks for the installation process, and a graphics
adapter supporting VGA. Your hard drive must have at least 6
megabytes of available space for the game to install correctly.
It is also highly recommended that your machine be 16 MHz or
faster, and has a mouse installed and a Sound Blaster Pro or
compatible sound card.

This game requires at least 600,000 bytes of available RAM free
to play with sound effects and music. Without sound effects and
music, this game requires at least 580,000 bytes of available
RAM free. A machine with DOS 5.0 and a memory manager such as
QEMM is highly recommended. If you have trouble loading your
game, check your available memory and remove any memory resident
programs. Use the DOS command CHKDSK to find how much available
memory your machine has. See your DOS manual for more information

Installing the Game

This game requires a hard drive to play. To install the game,
place Disk 1 in a floppy drive, access the drive, type INSTALL,
and press the <Enter> key. Follow the on-screen prompts to
determine the proper destination drive.

Begin Play

To begin PROPHECY OF THE SHADOW, boot your computer with DOS
3.3, DOS 4.01*, DOS 5.0, or a compatible DOS such as DR DOS 6.0.
At the DOS prompt, type C: (or the appropriate hard drive) and
press <Enter>. To start the game, first type CD\SSI and press
<Enter,. Now type PROPHECY and press <Enter,. The first time
that you start your game you will be asked which type of sounds
and music you would like to hear. Roland, Adlib, and compatibles
have music, but no other sound effects. Sound Blaster, Sound
Blaster Pro, Pro Audio Spectrum and compatibles have both music
and sound. To answer the copy protection question at the
beginning of the game, type the indicated word from the rule
book and press <Enter>.

Giving Commands

The game is best played through a mouse on a "point and click"
basis. Keyboard commands can also be used; these are explained
in the rule book. Remember, in order to use the keyboard
commands, the CAPSLOCK key must be OFF. If you press Shift-R it
will restore your saved game. The joystick is not supported.

* DOS 4.01 users: Because DOS 4.01 uses more memory than other
versions of DOS, you may not be able to run this game with a
mouse driver loaded. If you experience problems during game play
we recommend that you disable your mouse and play from the
keyboard.

SSI

STRATEGIC SIMULATIONS, INC. (R)

(C)1992 Strategic Simulations, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 523991

--------------------
PROPHECY OF THE SHADOW
RULE BOOK
--------------------

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION............................. 1
WHAT COMES WITH THIS GAME?............... 2
     Before You Begin Playing............ 2
CREATING A CHARACTER..................... 2
     Character Profile................... 3
     Health.............................. 3
     Agility............................. 3
     Magic............................... 3
     Raising Ability Scores.............. 3
WORKING WITH THE INTERFACE............... 4
     Character Profile Window............ 4
     Adventure Window.................... 5
     Text Window......................... 5
     Inventory Window.................... 6
ACTION BUTTONS........................... 6
     Look................................ 6
     Talk................................ 6
     Attack.............................. 6
     Magic............................... 7
     Enter............................... 7
     Drop Item........................... 7
     Search.............................. 7
     Use Item............................ 7
     Rest................................ 7
     Game Options........................ 7
USING A MOUSE............................ 8
     Look................................ 8
     Talk................................ 8
     Attack.............................. 8
     Use Item............................ 8
     Drop Item........................... 8
     Movement............................ 9
USING THE KEYBOARD....................... 9
SPELLS.................................. 10
BESTIARY................................ 12
JOURNAL................................. 16

QUESTIONS OR PROBLEMS? Our main business number is (408)
737-6800. If you encounter disk or system related problems you
can call our Technical Support Staff at (408) 737-6850 between
11 a.m. and 5 p.m., Pacific Time, Monday through Friday,
holidays excluded. NO GAME PLAYING HINTS WILL BE GIVEN THROUGH
THIS NUMBER. If you need hints, call our Hint Line at
1-900-737-HINT. Recorded hints are available 24 hours a day, 7
days a week. If you don't hear the information you need, please
write to us at Hints, Strategic Simulations, Inc., 675 Almanor
Avenue, Suite 201, Sunnyvale, CA 94086 (include a stamped
self-addressed envelope for reply).

--------------------
Page 1

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the wonderful world of story based computer
adventuring. In this game you will be an active participant in
an unfolding story. You assume the role of a character at a
predetermined starting point and put together the rest of the
story as you go. Like a puzzle, you will have to put the pieces
of the story together to see the big picture. The picture you
see at the end of the game may be like no one else's.

Along your journey you may find magic items and loot. But more
importantly, as you adventure, you acquire information that
helps you find your destiny. Although your survival is essential
to progressing in the story, becoming the most powerful creature
on the planet should not be your mission. Your goal is to find
what your purpose is in this world.

You will be taking the role of a character that is under the
tutelage of Larkin of Bannerwick. The world your character is in
is very different than ours. Here, magic fills the air, but
magicians are hunted by a ruthless tyrant. Survival is an effort
in itself. Only a wise and skilled player can hope to unravel
the mysteries of this strange land.

--------------------
Page 2

WHAT COMES WITH THIS GAME?

You should have the following items in your game box:

   Rule Book
   Disks
   Data Card

This Rule Book shows you how to play this game and it gives you
important background information about the story.

The Disks contain the game in a compressed format. You must
install the game before you can play it.

The Data Card explains, in detail, how to install the game onto
your specific computer system.

Before You Begin Playing

Your PROPHECY OF THE SHADOW game disks have no physical copy
protection. To assure that you have a legitimate copy of this
game you will be asked for a particular word out of this manual
before playing.

CREATING A CHARACTER

At the beginning of the game you must establish the
characteristics of your character. You will do this by selecting
personality traits. The computer generates the character's
attributes based on these personality traits. (Sex is not a
factor in attribute generation.

Play With Thy Friends adds points to health and agility.
Study Thy Books adds points to magic.
Balance Both Pursuits adds points to health, agility, and magic,
but to a lesser degree.

Fight The Bully on Thy Own Terms adds points to health and
agility.
Learn to Avoid the Bully adds points to magic.
Thou Wast the Bully adds many points to health but at the cost
of magic points.

Playest The Game of Baseball adds points to health.
Learnest to Play Chess adds points to magic.
Try Thy Hand at Juggling adds points to health and agility.

--------------------
Page 3

Character Profile

The character profile lists all of the specifics of your
character. It is also where certain items are kept, such as
arrows, food, and silver.

Health

Health can be thought of as a combination of strength, stamina,
fortitude, and vigor. When health reaches zero the character
dies. Resting is a good way to restore lost health. Healthy
characters do more damage and hit enemies more easily than frail
characters

Agility

Agility is your character's ability to successfully attack and
dodge enemy attacks. It is a combination of hand-eye
coordination and overall nimbleness. The higher the agility, the
easier it is to dodge attacks. Agile characters hit enemies more
often than clumsy characters.

Magic

Magic is the amount of energy that your character can call forth
in the form of spells. This is by far the most elusive of the
traits. Many individuals have high magic potential, but never
know it. Without spells and catalysts, it is as useful as a lock
with no key. Although magic points are lost whenever spells are
cast, their loss is only temporary. Stay fed and magic will
gradually return. Resting will help restore lost magic points.
Magic points do not determine how effective spells cast by that
character are, unlike agility and health.

Raising Ability Scores

After the character is generated, practice increases ability
scores. Practice involves using your skills. Each time a weapon
is swung or a spell is cast there is a small chance of an
ability score increasing by one point. A message stating that
your character's skills have improved appears in the text window
when this happens.

--------------------
Page 4

WORKING WITH THE INTERFACE

The interface is the tool that you and the computer use to
communicate with each other. It is divided into five areas. They
are the character profile window, adventure window, text window,
inventory window, and action buttons.

Character Profile Window

Health, Agility, and Magic: Definitions for health, agility, and
magic can be found under "Creating a Character."

Arrows: This refers to the number of arrows your character is
carrying. A good supply will be a great help on your journey.

--------------------
Page 5

Silver: Silver is a universal monetary item in PROPHECY OF THE
SHADOW. It can be used to purchase many of the necessities of
adventuring. Besides finding silver on fallen enemies, it can be
earned by working in some establishments.

Food: Food can be found on fallen foes or bought in several
stores. Without food, health and magic cannot be regained. Even
the most powerful of wizards must eat.

Lamp Oil and Torches: Lamp oil and torches provide an adventurer
with the necessary fuels to perpetuate light underground.
Because most adventurers find that they must explore underground
at one time or another, and few are mages with the ability to
cast spells for light, it is wise to keep a supply at hand.
Lamps are usually favored over torches since they tend to last
longer.

Item in Use: Only one item at a time may be used. If an item is
in use, its name is found in the character profile under "Item
in Use:". Unless an item is necessary to perform a task, such as
using a key to open a door, it is wise to keep a weapon as the
item in use. Usually, only items that may be used more than once
have to be placed in use. For example, drinking a potion does
not require that the potion first be in use.

Adventure Window

The adventure window shows your character's immediate
surroundings. Your character is always in the center of the
adventure window. You will be required to travel extensively to
complete the game. By wandering around, you can gain valuable
information about the world.

Text Window

The text window prints what the effects of the environment are
on your character. By reading the text window you can find out
the specifics of a combat, when healing has occurred, and the
name of other creatures. For example, it prints the effects of
the character's and enemy's attacks, be they weapon or spell.

--------------------
Page 6

Inventory Window

The inventory window displays icons of all the items in your
possession. You can access items either with the mouse, by
clicking on them with the left mouse button, or by selecting the
"Use Item" action button and the item that you wish to use. Only
15 items may be kept at one time.

ACTION BUTTONS

Action buttons allow you to do a specific task based on what
button you select. Thoroughly familiarize yourself with what
these buttons do before going very far into the game. Some
actions must be done in specific locations in order to trigger
an event. For instance, treasure may not be shown on the
adventure window until you "Search" at the area.

Look

This button allows you to take a closer look at the surroundings
in the graphics window. After selecting this button, select the
specific area in question on the adventure window and a line of
text will tell you more about that area.

Talk

This button allows your character to attempt communication with
anyone you're standing near. Keep in mind though, some people or
things will not want to speak with you. This is also the gateway
into the use of vocabulary. See "Using Vocabulary" for more
details on talking.

Attack

This button allows you to attack enemies. Anything can be used
to attack enemies that are adjacent to the main character.
Missile weapons can be used to attack enemies further away. If
the item in use is anything but a weapon, you will make only
feeble attacks. See "Attacking" for more details.

Weapons

     MELEE WEAPONS     DAMAGE

     Hand               1- 2
     Dirk               2- 6
     Rapier             4-14
     Long Sword         8-20
     Great Sword       10-30

     MISSILE WEAPONS   DAMAGE

     Sling              2- 8
     Composite Bow      4-16
     Great Bow          5-25

"Action Buttons" continues...

--------------------
Page 7

Magic

If the item in use is a catalyst and you have learned some
spells, you may use this button to cast spells. For a
description of spell effects, see "Spells." After selecting the
spell you wish to cast, its effects determine if you need to do
anything else. For example, if you cast incindiere, you will
need to target it. This is similar to attacking.

Enter

Use the door button whenever you want to exit the area you are
in and enter a new one. If there is no way to exit the area you
are in, you are told that. Examples are when you wish to enter
buildings, climb stairs, and descend into mines. You may need a
specific item or group of items before entering some areas.

Drop Item

This button allows you to drop items. After selecting this
button, you are asked to specify which item you wish to drop,
and then where you wish to drop it.

Search

This button allows your character to search the immediate
vicinity. You may only inspect adjacent squares. When you
"Search," it is assumed that all adjacent squares are searched.

Use Item

Select this button when you want to use an item in your
inventory. Only one item may be in use at one time. However, the
lantern may be lit and the flint and steel may be used without
actually making them the item in use.

If you are talking to an NPC, you may "Give" them an item by
selecting this button.

Rest

This button allows you to rest if you are in a safe place.
Sleeping will restore a limited amount of lost health and magic.
Sleep whenever you can so that you are at your best at all
times. Note that you may not rest unless your character is
tired. Only by attempting to sleep do you know if you can.

Game Options

This allows you to: access game options, save your game, restore
a previous game, exit the game, and find out about PROPHECY OF
THE SHADOW.

--------------------
Page 8

USING A MOUSE

Using a mouse makes playing PROPHECY OF THE SHADOW much easier.
A mouse provides quicker access to the action buttons and makes
movement in the graphics window easier. The mouse pointer has
several different shapes depending on the actions you perform.
If a mouse is active on your computer, a yellow cross appears in
the adventure window.

Look

To look at specific features in the adventure window, hold the
right mouse button down, move the mouse pointer to the area that
you wish to look at, and release the button. This is useful to
familiarize yourself with the vocabulary used to describe
various areas and items in PROPHECY OF THE SHADOW. The mouse
pointer takes the shape of an eye when the right mouse button is
held down.

Talk

To initiate a conversation, hold the right mouse button down and
move the pointer over the person that you wish to speak with.
The mouse pointer will be in the shape of an eye, but will
change into a mouth once over the person you wish to speak with.
Releasing the mouse button initiates the conversation

Attack

To attack an enemy, hold the right mouse button down and move
the mouse pointer over the enemy that you wish to attack. The
mouse pointer takes the shape of a sword when held over an
enemy. Releasing the mouse button initiates combat and the
computer continues to attack for you until either your character
or the enemy is dead, or you initiate some other action.

Use Item

Any time the mouse pointer is not in the graphics window it
takes the shape of a sword. When the pointer is over items in
the inventory window, the name of the item that it is over will
appear at the top of the inventory window. By pressing the left
mouse button, the item named will become the item in use. Items
that have a particular effect do not become the "Item in Use."
See the "Item in Use" section for more details.

Drop Item

Dropping an item is similar to using an item except the right
mouse button is pressed instead of the left. When the right
mouse button is pressed a gray square appears in the graphics
window. Move the pointer to an area in the graphics window where
you wish to drop the item previously selected. Press the right
mouse button again to drop the item.

"Using a Mouse" continues...

--------------------
Page 9

Movement

To move, hold the left mouse button down and move the mouse
pointer toward the edge of the adventure window in the direction
that you wish to move. While moving, the mouse pointer takes the
shape of an arrow pointing in the direction that your character
is moving.

USING THE KEYBOARD

PROPHECY OF THE SHADOW can be played solely with the keyboard.
You should familiarize yourself with the keyboard commands,
especially how to attack, before you get too far into the game.

Keyboard Commands

       KEY  COMMAND

       TAB  This places a cursor around an action button. The cursor
            may be moved to different action buttons. Press return when
            the desired action button is highlighted to activate it.
       ESC  Lets you escape out of a window.
         L  Activates the "Look" action button.
         T  Activates the "Talk" action button.
         A  Activates the "Attack" action button.
         M  Activates the "Magic" action button.
         E  Activates the "Enter" action button.
         D  Activates the "Drop Item" action button.
         S  Activates the "Search" action button.
         U  Activates the "Use Item" action button.
         G  Allows you to give an item to the person you are talking to.
         R  Activates the "Rest" action button.
   SHIFT G  Activates the "Game Options" action button.
   SHIFT R  Restores a saved game.
   SHIFT S  Activates the "Save" option.
ARROW KEYS  Allows a cursor to be moved in the direction of the arrow.

--------------------
Page 10

SPELLS

Spells are arguably the most powerful force that your character
possesses. Spells use the force of chaos to change the
environment. The catalyst used in the process of casting a spell
determines how much area is affected by the spell. Lead used as
a catalyst allows the user to cast only the most basic of
spells. More powerful spells require more powerful catalysts.
These catalysts have been forgotten due to their disappearance,
and may never be known again.

Note. You can cast a spell when out of magic points. However
doing so will borrow from your health. Should your health reach
0, you will perish.

Cremare Magnus

A mage casting this spell briefly causes the effects of a small
erupting volcano to come into being at a predetermined site.
Nine squares in the adventure window are affected. A wise
magician does not target the ground beneath him or pass through
such a site.

Curare

This spell is used by mages to heal themselves. It heals health
with each casting.

Incendiere

This spell causes a sphere of fire to appear in the caster's
hand and may be thrown at one target. All creatures visible in
the graphics window are within range.

Inlustare

This spell causes light to spring forth from the very air
itself. An entire level is affected by inlustare. If the mage
leaves the level that the spell is in effect on, the spell wears
off. The absence of the mage causes the forces of Law to once
again take control of the area. The duration of this spell is
four times that of a torch.

Lamia

The lamia spell allows the mage to take a little of the life
force of another living creature and use it to heal himself.

Memoria

This spell is used by a mage to bring chaos to the area around
him so that later, he can sense it and teleport back to the
location of the chaos. The location this spell is cast at is
remembered by the mage until it is cast at a different place.

"Spells" continues...

--------------------
Page 11

Oculorum

By means of this spell, the mage is able to project his powers
of sight directly above himself. This allows a greater area to
be seen in the graphics window. This spell only works outside.

Repetere

This spell allows the mage to teleport back to the location
where a memoria spell was cast. This spell only works if a
memoria spell was cast prior to repetere.

Nictare

The nictare spell allows the caster to be transported to any
location on the adventure window. This is particularly useful
for traveling between one room and another when troublesome
walls block your path.

Tempestas

This powerful spell allows the mage casting it to operate
outside the normal parameter of time. Others are not aware of
the caster's actions until the spell's duration has passed.
Simply put, time stops for everyone but the mage.

Terrae Motus

The casting of this spell causes a minor earthquake. All
creatures, including the caster, are damaged by the effects of
the earthquake.

Umbra

This spell causes the caster to become but a shadow in others'
eyes, effectively rendering the mage invisible.

--------------------
Page 12

BESTIARY

Feral Rat

Feral rats are aberrations of their smaller cousins. They attack
anything they encounter. Feral rats make their homes in
subterranean locations. However, they can also be found in
deserted buildings and the like.

Dire Wolves

These beasts are an evil form of wolves. Being somewhat larger
and smarter than their cousins makes dire wolves extremely
dangerous. They waste no time in attacking humans for food. Some
say that they actually have a fancy for fresh human meat

Giant Spiders

Giant spiders are a quite lethal variety of normal spiders.
Giant spiders inhabit all regions and climes. Luckily, there
aren't too many of these creatures, but their numbers do seem to
be slowly increasing.

Gnomes

Gnomes are nefarious little creatures that inhabit the world.
The evil in their nature seems to be quite instinctual, for
every attempt to purge the evil has been in vain. Some subjects
have shown brief periods of improvement but a relapse is
inevitable. Their origins are unknown. In the past, some cities
have offered bounties for extermination of gnomes. However,
since Cam Tethe has come to power there have been no bounties
allowed and the gnomish population is on the rise

Morgoth

Morgoths survive by utilizing their speed, winged mobility, and
poison in predacious endeavors. In this age, an encounter with
man quickly results with the morgoth falling into the role of
the hunter and man falling into the role of the hunted. Escape
is the best man can usually hope to achieve.

"Bestiary" continues...

--------------------
Page 13-14

Map of PROPHECY OF THE SHADOW

--------------------
Page 15

Creeping Ooze

Creeping ooze is the term applied to the various amoeba-like
slimes, oozes, and jellies that have grown to gargantuan size.
Some have been known to acquire a sentient intelligence with
their growth but this is very rare. Their only concern is
acquiring a new source of sustenance

Torloks

These creatures are the only known successful (?) experiment of
a late wizard. They appear to be a cross between a human and
some beast of unknown origin. Apparently this wizard wanted to
make a low maintenance machine of war that was able to reproduce
itself. Torloks were his answer. Once the wizard was dead, these
abominations developed a will of their own and have resisted all
attempts to eradicate them. They have even developed a crude
culture based on hunting and gathering. It should be noted that
a torlok hunts anything that moves and gathers anything that
doesn't.

Wild Gazers

Wild gazers are quite independent and lethal. Their ability to
throw spheres of fire usually results in death for all who
encounter these beasts. Due to their lack of interaction with
man, it is not known if these creatures have a culture, or an
intelligence for that matter. They do seem to have quite an
appetite, though. Their ichor is prized by magicians for its
magical properties.

Zombie

This term applies to life that has died and been reanimated
through the use of magic. Unfortunately, the organism brought
back has only instinctual thoughts and no memory of any sort. A
human brought back from death will be quite stupid and remain
that way. This means that a fully functional human zombie will
try to feed its hungry stomach. Research into this kind of magic
is strictly forbidden by the council of magicians. Some say,
however, that work is indeed being done in this field and there
may be some advances in this field since this writing.

--------------------
Page 16

JOURNAL

This journal was written by your character while being raised by
Larkin of Bannerwick. It reflects the attitudes of the character
as well as the prevailing attitudes of the people. It provides
insight into the past and clues as to what the future holds.

I'm writing this journal so that the people of the future will
know something of what life was like in this age. From here on
out I will write as if I were speaking directly to you. Since
this is the story of me life, you might as well feel as if I'm
telling it to you first hand.

I'm not writing this so much because I feel that my life is of
significant note, nor that it will be. I'll be honest, I'm
writing this mostly because I want to make use of me ability to
write. My Master spent many hours teaching me and I spent many
more practicing. It would be a waste for me not to use my
talents - few as they may be. My Master says that he keeps a
journal simply to aid him in remembering what he has done. He
says that you can have an accurate understanding of the present
only if you have a clear understanding of the past. I think he
writes in his journal just so I'll write in mine. His is
probably filled with doodles.

--------------------
Page 17

I really don't know where to begin. I think I'll begin with a
description of my Master and go on from there.

My Master, Larkin of Bannerwick, is a man that is neither rich
nor powerful. As the island's healer, he enjoys a certain amount
of impunity, but that's about it. It is probably because of this
alone that the town tolerates my presence. My Master has a small
garden and a few animals with which we put food on the table. In
fact, I put the majority of the food on the table, for my Master
spends most of his time roaming the island looking for rare
herbs and other ingredients for his healing potions and
concoctions. When I'm caught up on my work, studies included, I
like accompanying my Master on long walks. We search for the
rarities that the island holds and have long discussions about
everything.

It is on these walks where I receive most of my education. It
is, by far, where the best discussions we have are held. You
see, my Master is a very intelligent man and his thoughts are
not clouded by the superstition that fogs most of the

--------------------
Page 18

island's inhabitants. I often wonder why we have to be walking
before my Master will introduce a particularly juicy topic for
discussion. The house has all the amenities for a good education
and none of the distractions of the outdoors. My Master says
that my "amenities" stop at the four walls, where my education
does not. He says that the house acts as a container which
limits the growth of the mind. Only by placing the mind in an
uncontained environment may it grow in any and all directions,
with only its perceived limits stopping it.

I don't know if I believe this. I sometimes think that the
reason we go outside is so that the sun can warm up my Master's
old and tired body, and that the walks are to shake the
arthritis from his bones. There are a few places on the island
that I haven't been to. My Master forbids me to go to them. He
says that no ingredients can be found in these areas and that
they hold only undesirables such as bandits. The town is also
one of these areas and I don't know why. Surely there aren't any
bandits there? In any case, he is The Master and I am not.

--------------------
Page 19

Our relationship with people is peculiar. Most people will avoid
him if they can. My Master is viewed by most to be someone as
close to magic as one can be without actually being a magician.
In these times, even the mere mention of magic draws a strict
penalty. Magicians are relentlessly persecuted by Cam Tethe.
He's the ruler of the land, but more about him later. My Master
says that he doesn't know any magicians, but I don't believe
him. He knows too many people not to have an idea where one is.
Anyhow, people avoid him. I guess it's because they fear that
one day Cam Tethe's men will someday come for him and don't want
to be around when they do.

I will tell you this, though. When one of their children is
sick, or like last week, when Mrs. Grovesner fell from the hay
loft, the whole town rushes to get him. He always comes, and my
Master does whatever he can to help them. He was too late for
Mrs. Grovesner. When he's done, the people thank him and I think
they're sincere. The next day it's as if the dark clouds of fear
return and things are back to the way they were.

--------------------
Page 20

My Master doesn't seem to mind and I have not asked why. He says
that he doesn't, and that I should not either. He says the
reward should come from the act of helping people. I understand
all that, but what really makes me cynical is that they treat
him like a leper when they don't need him and when they do,
we're their best friends. My Master says that this is not the
way the people want to be. They avoid him during the good times
because the chains of fear hold them back. Only in times of need
may the people break their chains and come to him. When the time
of need has passed, the chains return and life goes on. My
Master says that this is Cam Tethe's doing and there are only a
few left that aren't securely chained by Cam Tethe.

As you can see, my Master is indeed a brilliant man. I only hope
that when he's gone, I'll be able to heal the people as well as
he does. He tells me not to worry about that - that I'll do
fine. In any case, I hope he doesn't die anytime soon.

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Magic - now that's a topic that I hope you hold to be as
interesting as I do. Whenever I can I try to twist the
discussions toward the topic of magic. I think my Master can
sense this and often tells me that if I put as much effort into
the garden as I do into learning about magic, we'd eat like
kings. The mere fact that I may hold any talks about magic with
my Master tells you something about him.

My Master says that there was a time, long ago, when magic was
as abundant as tax collectors are today. Now, he says, magic is
as rare as some of the herbs we find but once a year.

I once asked him if he was a magician, but he avoided answering
me. He only said that some people though he was and others
thought he wasn't. I don't think that he is really a magician,
but I have seen him heal some people that might as well been
fungus food. To this my Master simply says that magic is not
something that grows in the ground, but rather grows in the
individual. That

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magic does have the capability to heal people and a great deal
more. Remarkable recoveries made by some people are due to
magic, yes, but it came from them, not him. It was their will
that called the magic and my Master's potions that channeled
them. It is true, however, that the people don't and won't
believe this, preferring to believe that it is purely my
Master's doing.

I do know that real magicians carry what is called a catalyst.
This catalyst reduces the energy required to channel magic
through the magician by channeling it though the catalyst. The
energy required to channel magic would completely consume the
magician if it were not for the catalyst.

Some catalysts work better than others. This is why my Master
gives different potions to patients for different needs. Since
the ingredients are so rare, he only gives patients the minimum
amount of catalyst according to their need.

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My Master says that real magicians use heavy metals for
catalyst. They are supposed to be the best catalysts. However,
of all of the heavy metals, only lead is left. The others have
been used in the previous ages and are now nothing but memories.
Since the ingestion of lead results in the death of the patient,
none can be used, even if my Master had any. Often, when we are
scouring the island for ingredients, I keep my eye open for a
trace of lead. I think that my Master knows this and is amused
by it. Someday, when I find some, I'll have my laugh.

In fact, my Master says that many of the ingredients of his
potions are becoming rarer. He doesn't know why these organic
catalysts are in decline, but it is a matter of great concern
with him. He is certain that it is somehow intertwined with the
Withering. I'll fill you in later about the Withering. Now,
about Cam Tethe, he rules as regent in the princess Elspeth's
place. Princess Elspeth is the sole heir of the throne.
Recently, the princess disappeared. Cam Tethe will continue to
rule in her place until she returns. He blames the rumored
council of magicians. My Master says

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Page 24

that if there is a council of magician, they would have to keep
their identities secret in order to protect themselves and their
loved ones. He doesn't believe that the council had anything to
do with the disappearance and neither do I. Cam Tethe spends
more resources searching for the council than he does the
princess. He says that once the kidnappers are brought to
justice, the princess will turn up. With each new death, Cam
Tethe says that he is closer to the princess. I don't think he
understands that if the council didn't kidnap the princess, he
will have wasted his time and killed the wrong men in the
process. Surely he must know the risk he's taking.

Not too long ago, one of Cam Tethe's agents burned the ferry to
the mainland in order to keep a suspect from escaping. It was
all quite exciting at the time, but now there's no ferry and no
way to trade with the mainland.

My Master gets infuriated at Cam Tethe's lack of foresight. He
wonders how much this lack of foresight is responsible for the
Withering. That's right, I haven't written of the Withering have
I? Then I will do so now.

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The Withering is the term people use to describe the decaying of
the land. Older farmers are always complaining about how small
their crops are now compared to how big they used to be. My
Master thinks that the land is dying because of the diminished
presence of catalysts. He thinks that with the extinction of
catalysts, the world Withers and dies. He describes it like
this. If life on this world is like the heat of a light candle,
then when the wick run's low, the candle will slowly cool and
finally with the end of the wick reached, the candle goes out -
never to be lit again.

As for myself, my Master tells me that the town found me as a
babe, half-drowned, washed up on the shore. My Master took me
into his house to see to my quick return to health. He had no
initial intent to keep me. However, upon my return to health, he
found that the town had come to think of me as sort of a curse.
They didn't know how a babe could have survived the ravishes of
the ocean long enough to wash ashore. And after seeing the shape
I had been in, the town believed that

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only through the use of magic was my Master able to save me. The
town felt that my Master was best suited to raise an orphan
child. This is probably the reason that I'm not allowed to visit
the town. My Master worries that the townsfolk will persecute me
if they can. I think he worries too much. In times of anger he
doesn't forget to let me know what kind of burden I've been to
him, but deep down I don't think he'd have had it any other way.

Well, that's about it for now. I hope I've caught you up a
little bit. I'll write more tomorrow night. Tomorrow, my Master
and I are traveling to Bannerwick, me for the first time, to buy
some supplies. It usually doesn't take him too long, but with
this being my first time I suspect that it might take awhile.


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