Kingdoms of Terror

The Kingdoms of Terror – Background



Well, before anyone asks, I’m working on the assumption that the title is not a reference to the Australian outback.

Aside : Brilliant, yet incredibly disturbing movie.  Check it out with caution.

Returning from my triumph in Vassagonia, I return to the Kai Monastery in search of self-improvement.  Neither hide nor hair is heard from the Darklords in three years, although whether this is due to civil war among the remaining Darklords or simply because of my possession of the Book of the Magnakai, none can say.

It could also be because they’ve realised they’ve got a damn huge kingdom and that every time they try and invade Sommerlund, it ends in humiliation.

But I’m not holding my breath.

Over those three years, through my study I achiev,e mastery of the three Magnakai Disciplines mentioned in the previous post.

There are those who might make the logical (yet flawed) assumption that I achieved proficiency in one Magnakai Discipline per year.

Those who are more familiar with my university study habits will realise that it is far more likely that I spent two years and nine months reading trashy fiction, dating women of dubious repute, staying out too late and writing pretentious poetry.  I then studied round-the-clock in the last three months before barely achieving a passing grade.


My study of the Book of the Magnakai reveals that it is not only a handbook for this supposed study, but also a journal of the adventures of Sun Eagle, the first and, according to legend, greatest Kai Lord.

Aside : I am, if only by default, the greatest Kai Lord in the world at the moment, so you’d think I might even be able to take as many as six useful items with me on my vital quest…No?  Hmm

Anyway, the book would be too easy if Sun Eagle’s writings were clear, so there is simply a fragment directing me to seek the ‘Lorestone of Varetta’.

Needless to say the (ancient) city of Varetta is far to the south, given that Helgedad is to the West, Kalte to the North and Vassagonia to the East.  This southern area is known as the ‘Stornlands’.  I get another beautiful full-colour map in this regard  :

Map of the Stornlands

I also get enough Gold Crowns to take my total back up to 50.

The book does not appear to allow retention of Backpack items, so I bid a fond farewell to such treasures as my Comb and Canteen of Water.  More worryingly, there is an array of possible equipment to take, but I guess that, notwithstanding the fact that I have just been told that there have been three years of plenty, if I take more than five (!) the Monastery will collapse in my absence.

Most importantly, I grab a Bow and Quiver of Arrows.  Never knowing if they will come in handy, I also snaffle a Rope and Tinderbox.  Knowing that my Hunting skill will keep me in good stead, I finally take a fresh Potion of Laumspur (+4E).

No room for meals, but if worst comes to worst I’ll drink the Laumspur instead.  No word on how my Kourshah vines have been going over the last three years, but if I can introduce an alcoholic drink that also cures wounds, my life won’t have been wasted.

With my shiny new equipment, you can now consider me :


Just to quickly summarise my totals :

Combat Skill : 17 + 8 (Sommerswerd) +2 (Shield) +2 (Mindblast) +3 (Weaponmastery) = 32

Endurance : 20 + 4 (Chainmail) +2 (Padded Leather Waistcoat) = 26


Aside : Sorry if this entry is a bit abrupt – I had almost finished my first draft when it got eaten by the computer and I had to start again…


Base Stats : CS : 17, E : 20, GC 50

Final Stats : CS : 32, E : 26

Weapons : Bow, Sommerswerd (+8 CS)

Backpack : Potion of Laumspur (+4E), Rope, Tinderbox

Special Items : Gaoler’s Keys, Jewelled Mace, Copper Key, Map, Crystal Star, Shield (+2 CS), Sommerswerd, Padded Waistcoat (+2 E), Chainmail Waistcoat (+4 E) Blue Stone Triangle Pendant, Diamond, Ornate Silver Key, Dagger of Vashna, Brass Whistle, Quiver (6 arrows)

Magnakai Rank : Kai Master Superior

Magnakai Disciplines : Weaponmastery (+3 CS in Sword, Bow, Mace), Pathmanshipy, Divination

Kai Disciplines : Camouflage, Animal Kinship, Tracking, Hunting, Sixth Sense, Healing, Mind Over Matter, Mindblast (+2CS), Mindshield, Weaponskill (+2 CS in Short Sword)

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11 thoughts on “The Kingdoms of Terror – Background

  1. Whether or not backpack items can be taken from one book to another (or one series to another in this case) seems to be a point of contention. Seventh Sense allows it, for example. But you are correct that by the strict wording of the book, it may not be permissible. From a common-sense standpoint, I don’t see why Lone Wolf would have to sacrifice his backpack items at the end of a book….maybe meals since they are perishable, but there is no logical reason to have to discard other items.

    The rules as dictated in the books were clearly a work in progress as time went on. Eventually Joe started allowing the use of storage between books (beginning with Shadow on the Sand) and then in Jungle of Horrors you begin to have a restriction on how many Special Items you can carry. Both of which are arbitrary additions other than for the fact that Joe just hadn’t thought of them before.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t spot the restriction on carrying across backpack items until I played The Kingdoms of Terror for my blog. Which may retroactively negate my victory from when I played through the series in the nineties, always restarting back in Flight when I failed.

      The thing is, in one of the first 5 books it’s possible to find a potion that adds 4 CS for one battle, and I hoarded that potion up until that fight in book 11 (taking advantage of the storage option to circumvent the unavoidable loss of backpack contents that occurs in a certain Magnakai book). So it came as a bit of a blow to discover, twenty-something years later, that I was supposed to have discarded the potion after Shadow. Would I have survived the fight without that bonus? I’ll never know.

      Quick warning based on personal experience: at this stage of the saga, it’s easy to forget that you no longer have the majority of the Disciplines. So when you hit a Discipline check, take a moment to remind yourself whether it’s one you picked, or if you only have the Kai variant.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The whole backpack / picking ‘only’ five items is my least favourite game mechanic. Given you’ve already got the ‘eight item’ restriction, you should be allowed to take as many of the ‘initial’ items as you can carry.

        I take your point on Discipline checks. I was impressed with the Project Aon explanations of how Kai Disciplines ‘stack’ (or don’t) with their Magnakai equivalents.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree with you. I didn’t have to make any hard decisions here, as my only Backpack items were ‘plot tokens’ that obviously wouldn’t be applicable for the books to come. As Ed states below, its a lot more difficult when you are looking at Combat Skill and Endurance enhancers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, unfortunately you missed the distilled Alether that he refers to in Caverns of Kalte. The Silver Helmet from the Caverns would’ve come in handy, as well. (+2 Combat Skill and can be taken into the Grand Master series).

        When I play in Seventh Sense, I take advantage of their interpretation to be able to keep backpack items and likewise save the distilled Alether for you know who in book 11.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, given that in one of the newsletters Joe Dever said that safe keeping became available starting in book 5, I always kept the distilled Alether in safe keeping until I needed to pull it out in preparation for book 11. I believe the flavor text in book three says that the room the potion was in hadn’t been disturbed for thousands of years, so it seemed to me like the probs aren’t going to go bad in the way that a meal might have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to play Devil’s Advocate here but the potion’s kept for thousands of years in a very controlled (i.e. constantly cold) environment. Once taken to the fluctuating seasons of Sommerlund it could go of quite quickly (try thawing and refreezing some meat a few times and see how you like it). That said, I just ignored the backpack rule but this site is an “honest” play through.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Is the potion magical or just laced with awesome ingredients? Magic on Sommerlund obviously doesn’t fade with time, or the Sommerswerd would be useless. If its benefit is due to ingredients, well…..I don’t know if it fades, since I don’t think anyone is alleging it is being ‘refrozen’, but simply toted around temperate climates (and through a multi-dimensional door, but that’s a question for another time).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ouch. Sorry about the computer malfunction. Been there, done the screaming.

    “I then studied round-the-clock in the last three months before barely achieving a passing grade”
    As mentioned before I work in an off-licence just up the road from one of the country’s biggest universities (UCD or University College Dublin) so I fully believe this.

    “Needless to say the (ancient) city of Varetta is far to the south, given that Helgedad is to the West, Kalte to the North and Vassagonia to the East.”
    Um, ah, Geography Nerd Alert!!! The Wasteland and then Durenor are to the east. Vassagonia is actually to the South-East. I speak as someone who used to be very good at reading maps but now can’t find the way to the toilet without Google Maps.

    “notwithstanding the fact that I have just been told that there have been three years of plenty, if I take more than five (!) the Monastery will collapse in my absence.”
    Re the Sommerlund economy collapsing if you take more than 5 items (plus your gold, weapons and special items) out of the country. While its true that the text says it was 3 years of “peace and prosperity” unfortunately King Ulnar IV decided that this was the perfect opportunity to upgrade the country’s aging infrastructure (which never really recovered from the Darkdawn war) and decided to finance this via massive loans. The result is that the national debt now stands at several thousands of crowns per citizen and everyone is having to endure austerity. All government services are suffering massive cutbacks (which ironically seems to be making the situation worse, who’d have thought) and the only reason there isn’t wholesale starvation in the Kai Monastery is because the initiate’s can still hunt for food in the surrounding forest. Oh, and your old backpack items had to be sold to try and raise funds, strangely enough, despite the widespread economic chaos some sectors of society are doing very well, as economics has yet to be developed its a mystery how this is happening.

    ” No word on how my Kourshah vines have been going”
    You can grow wine grapes in colder climates as seen by Austria and Germany, but I’m not sure you can grow a Desert Grape like Kourshah in the chilly climate of Sommerlund. Actually, if you could you’d be making as great a contribution to the world of agriculture (and specifically viticulture) as you were to medicine. And while we’re on that subject do you get Buckfast Tonic Wine in Australia? You’re following a fine tradition there and I’d be delighted to stock Kai Koursh in my off-licence.

    Btw, as admitted to Barefoot Jimmy I always just blurred over the no backpack keeping rule and did a more sort-of common sense approach (e.g. meals will have gone off, Kourshah will have been drunk and silver combs will have been bent out of shape in Lone Wolf’s tangled locks), but as you’re playing this “honestly” you have to be a rules lawyer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My university career was more ‘keep good school habits for first year, while dating a nice Catholic girl, go nuts for three years in a burst of drunken existential angst, study hard in fifth year when once again in a long-term relationship’.

      Your attempt to justify the item limit would get a ‘No-Prize’ if sent to Marvel comics.

      And why did you put ‘honestly’ in scare quotes. For all my faults, I am actually trying to be a stickler for the rules this time round.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. First sincere apologies, this is the problem of putting things in writing so tone of voice is missed. The quotes were because I was quoting you at the top “Watch as I … “, it was NOT intended as sarcasm. I have noticed you’ve had a harder time at points because of playing honestly.

        If my justification for the item limit rule was sent in to Marvel Comics it should get me BANNED from all publishers for life, and thats if they were being nice to me.

        More seriously, as mentioned before I work with someone two years into her Law course, as well as having watched many using a shop job while doing university, I know that people take all sorts of life trips through uni, but hard work is still required one way or another to finally pass. Out of curiosity, were you ever a fan of the tv series The Paper Chase? And if so did you find it realistic?

        Liked by 1 person

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