The Masters of Darkness

The Masters of Darkness – Background


I’m going to set this one out a little differently.

Briefly, the ‘Story So Far’ section simply describes the events of the previous books, specifically the chain of events from books 9-11.

Therefore, before describing Magnakai Disciplines / Equipment etc., I’m first going to summarise the first few paragraphs of the book proper, which give the ‘real’ background to this climactic adventure….

In section 1, I again suffer an R10 of psychic wounds as I travel through the Shadow Gate.

Aside : Although I don’t think either Book 11 or 12 specifically say so, I’m going to proceed on the basis that snaffling the Lorestone at the very end of Book 11 restores my Endurance to maximum since, you know, EVERY SINGLE OTHER Lorestone has had this effect.

So my Endurance is restored to 34 before being reduced, by the journey, in the amount of (R10=) 5.

Image result for psychic blast

I emerge from the Shadow Gate into the basement of the Wizards’ Guild of Toran.

Keeping watch for my return, not unlike the Italian dog Fido are Banedon and Lord Rimoah.

Project Aon link – Banedon and Rimoah

I get concerned for a second that Rimoah is going to take Banedon gently by the hand and regretfully inform me that ‘the children have a new daddy now…”

Luckily (or not, as the case may be…) that scenario does not eventuate, but the actual news is far from good.

I am shot (metaphorically) with the following bullet points :

  • In a breathtakingly original storytelling device, I am advised that more than eight years have passed on Magnamund since my fall of several days’ ago into the Shadow Gate (for my favourite employment of this trope, read Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always).
  • Gnaag was quick to proclaim my death and, since my frantic e-mails were getting lost among various pieces of spam relating to diabetes cures and Nigerian fortunes, this propaganda was generally accepted by the friendly nations.
  • Lord Adams was killed, and Torgar was reclaimed by the Darklords.
  • The evil wizards, or Nadziranim, have invented devices which allow the Darklords to survive outside of their home countries for extended periods of time, a task which was previously impossible.
  • The Darklords are, to be blunt, winning the war.  Although Sommerlund has not been conquered, the land is cut off from allies by a naval blockade.
  • Three months ago Rimoah saw in a dream that I was still alive and that I was due to return through the shadow gate.
  • Aside : Three months ago I had a dream that I would be starring in a movie with Julie Delpy and Rose Byrne but, alas, this has not yet come to pass.
  • If I can somehow sneak my way into the enemy capital of Helgedad and defeat Gnaag, I can then destroy the Transfusor, the remote device which gives power and protection to the other Darklords.
  • Because all the Darklords are wreaking havoc around the world, only two of them remain in Helgedad – Gnaag and his second in command, Fluffy Cuddles…..*ahem* I mean Darklord Taktaal.
  • I get a ‘Crystal Explosive’ (or, for those despising excess verbiage, a bomb) to destroy the Tranfusor.
  • Although, to be fair, if you despised excess verbiage, there is no way you would have read this far…..
  • I am to board a caravel, run the blockade, and make my way to Aarnak.  The slavemaster there is an ally, and upon making my identity known to him through the code-phrase ‘Sommerlund is burning’ (!!) he will be able to get me into the correct location in Helgedad.

Project Aon link – Map of Sommerlund and the Darklands

  • Finally, Rimoah notes the Sommerswerd, and warns me in the strongest terms against using it once in the Darklands until I actually reach Darklord Gnaag.  He gives me a korlinium scabbard, which will keep the Sommerswerd concealed until the time is right.

Project Aon link – Sommerswerd with scabbard

Now, back to gameplay considerations!

I have to pick a 9th Magnakai Discipline.

The choice between Animal Control and Curing is not difficult.  Curing will enable me to recover all damage, and not merely combat-inflicted wounds.  Further, the advanced one-off healing (as described below) could come in extremely handy.

The weapons and equipment available aren’t that interesting.

To start, for all the good they’ll do, I snaffle a further 12 Gold Crowns.

I also get special cold-weather clothing and boots, although these aren’t considered Backpack or Special Items.

I restore arrows to my Quiver, taking it up to 6 arrows.

Given the warning about using the Sommerswerd, I also take the Dagger of Vashna, leaving the Obsidian Seal behind.

Finally, I take a Potion of Laumspur and 3 Meals.

There are some VERY interesting advanced Magnakai Disciplines, what with my ascension to Archmaster  :


In an advance which would have come in VERY handy in the last book, when Psi-Surge is used, I can add 6 points to Combat Skill instead of 4, and need only deduct 1 Endurance per round when I do so.  Further, the lesser skill of Mindblast now adds 3 Combat Skill points instead of 2.  Finally, the cut-off for when Mindblast cannot be used is now 4 or less, rather than 6.


Once per 100 days (which is effectively ‘once per adventure’) I can, upon my Endurance being reduced (in combat) to 6 or less, restore 20 Endurance points.


I basically become Wolverine, with increased hearing, smell and night vision.

I can now withstand extreme heat and cold, while possessing some immunity to harmful elements such as flames, toxic gases and acid.


There’s a little more exposition (of course) but that can wait for the next entry – I’m off to see Spider-Man : Homecoming!

Base Stats : CS : 22, E : 28, GC 22

Final Stats : CS : 39/39, E : 31/34

Weapons : Sword, Dagger

Weapon-Like Special Items : Silver Bow of Duadon (+3), Sommerswerd (+8 CS), Dagger of Vashna

Backpack : Rope, Lantern, Potion of Laumspur (+4E), Meals (3)

Special Items : 1. Sommerswerd (+8 CS) (with Korlinium scabbard) 2. Platinum Amulet, 3. Dagger of Vashna 4. Shield (+2 CS),     5. Padded Waistcoat (+2 E), 6. Chainmail Waistcoat (+4 E) 7. Blue Stone Triangle Pendant, 8. Psychic Ring 9. Quiver (6 arrows), 10. Fireseeds (6), 11. Crystal Explosive 12. Silver Bow of Duadon.

Kai Monastery storage :

  • Backpack Items : Sack of Silver (3)
  • Special Items : Map of Tekaro, Diamonds (2), Boat Ticket, Power Key, Copper Key, Ornate Silver Key, Jewelled Mace, Obsidian Seal, Brass Whistle. Quiver (4 arrows), Pass, Vial of Clear Liquid, Crystal Star Pendant, Receipt, Invitation, Signet Ring

Magnakai Rank : Archmaster

Magnakai Disciplines : Weaponmastery (+4 CS in Sword, Bow, Mace, Dagger, Spear, Quarterstaff, Broadsword, Warhammer, Axe), Pathmanship, Huntmastery, Divination, Invisibility, Nexus, Psi-Screen, Psi-Surge, Curing

Lore-Circles : Fire (+1 CS, +2 E), Solaris (+1 CS, +3 E), Spirit  (+3 CS, +3 E)

Kai Disciplines : Camouflage, Animal Kinship, Tracking, Hunting, Sixth Sense, Healing, Mind Over Matter, Mindblast (+3CS), Mindshield, Weaponskill (+2 CS in Short Sword)

Current paragraph : 282


20 thoughts on “The Masters of Darkness – Background

      1. So I made a dumb mistake myself, should have been “extreme head” (from the Nexus upgrade.

        The other thing was whether you should get +4 with another weapon, but maybe you have all of them by now?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If we’re talking mistakes, isn’t it about time that Mao of Tekaro was released from the Kai monastery so he can start a cultural revolution?

        Liked by 2 people

  1. MHO – The Nexus comment should have been ‘extreme heat’. And I have Weaponmastery in all except Short Sword, so with my luck I’ll probably be reduced to using one in the final confrontation….


  2. “I basically become Wolverine”. Look, we all know you want to be Hugh Jackman. But you don’t have to be Hugh Jackman to impress us or your family. Only Hugh Jackman can be Hugh Jackman.

    “Archmaster”? Will Lone Wolf start dropping catty bon mots like Dorothy Parker or Oscar Wilde?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. With the first few paragraphs been background the different way of starting certainly works. As it would be unintentionally hilariously tragic to die on your flight back to Sommerlund I’d have to agree with your saying your Ep’s were back to normal after getting the Lorestone.

    Fido: You just delight in making us cry with tales of faithful till death dogs whether its in Futureama or Italy don’t you.

    Dreams, have sympathy for Kai. He was forced to use a dream after EVERY email he sent to Rimoah was swamped by junk mail (you know the sort, “I am a Giak in Gnaag’s service, recently I found an unregistered chest with several thousand Lune in it, if you give me etc”. Rimoah’s already bankrupted Dessi falling for those, thats the real reason he’s hiding in a cellar with Banedon). All the best with the fulfilling of your own dream.

    I once dreamt there was a Zombie Apocalypse going on but, belonging to a peaceful organisation, I wasn’t allowed to kill any of them. It was explained to me that some of the Zombies were still my brothers and sisters who needed help (this was while I was holding back one that was trying to eat me) and whats more, “if the Zombies are gone we’ll just have another problem and we don’t think we’ll enjoy what replaces the Zombies”. At this point I woke up to discover my (younger than now) son had crawled into bed to sleep beside me and then pee’d. So the dream was right, I DIDN’T like what replaced the Zombies.

    So, do you recommend the new Spidey movie?

    Roll on with your ocean voyage.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If you disliked the exposition in the last book, it doesn’t get any better in this one. I think Joe realized “oh shoot, I’ve only got two books left and so much more world building to do, better cram it all in!”. There was no guarantee at the time that the series would continue beyond book 12. That being said, I do like this one quite a bit. It’s suitably epic in many respects given the stakes.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I could’ve sworn it was written somewhere that your Endurance is always restored in full at the beginning of each book. Maybe it was in one of the newsletters. Storywise it pretty much always makes sense for it to, since you’ve either had a good long rest between books or just touched a Lorestone at the end of the last one in the case of Prisoners of Time and Masters of Darkness.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. If the 3 days you spent in Daziarn equated 8 years in Magnamund, and you threw Vonotar into Daziarn at the end of book 3, how long did HE spend in Daziarn time to get to the position to ambush you? It’s very possible he only arrived two days ago: 3 years pass between the Kai quest and the Magnakai, but despite that, you don’t delay a lot:

    Chasm of Doom : a week-ish
    Vassagonia : 2 month given the time to get there and back by boat.
    (3 years interlude)
    The Kingdom of Terror: a week?
    Castle Death: a single day (I don’t remember LW sleeping)
    The Jungle of Horror : a month? You get to navigate the Tantarias all the way to the stornland in paragraph 1
    The Cauldron of Fear gives us a new timepoint: Gnaag rose to power in Helgedad 5 years after the death of Haakon (end of book five).
    In the Dungeon of Torgar, you leave immediately after the victory in Tahou, it takes roughly a week to get to Torgar and then to Daziarn.

    So basically, Vonotar arrived 5/8 of the time you actually spend in Daziarn before you.

    And in Prisonner of Time, you spend :

    one night in the Plateau, after the sandstorm
    at most one day (with what must be two quick naps since you don’t need to eat…) before reaching Yanis (and having lunch on Yaocor food)
    dinner time with serrocca
    late night second meal with Ironheart, no opportunity to sleep, LW goes marching on…
    let’s say the battle with Meledorian takes the following morning…
    100 hours through the plain of Guakor (4 days, 6 days so far)
    Let’s say a day at most to infiltrate the final city through the sewer.

    So globally Vonotar arrived 11 days ago in Daziarn.

    “Long have I waited for the chance to enact my revenge on you, Lone Wolf”

    How so? I mean, he was cast in an unknown place from Toran’s Shadowgate and he must have spend at least a few days getting to know the land, then securing control of the Shadowgate, going to the local job placement office to recruit 5 villains of Magnamund as bodyguard, locate the lorestone at their arrival and send the scarlet warrior to get them and he still had time to “wait long for the chance to enact revange”. My, this guy has no patience!

    BTW, you could have let him go through the door, since you had two lorestones with you anyway to open the door. Vonotar would have arrived diminished to face banedon and rimoah, whose fighting prowess could have been put to the test.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. “My, this guy has no patience!”

    Well, he IS evil. But also
    1) We don’t know that there’s a specific correlation between time spent in the Daziarn versus time spent in Aon. In the Greystar books the time difference isn’t that great.
    2) Vonotar would have really wanted revenge since you beat his fleet in Fire on the Water. Then later you captured him in Ikaya and sailed him back to Sommerlund. So that’s could be up to two years real time.

    “you could have let him go through the door,”

    You know … that would have been very funny 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your second point is spot on, but the Daziarn excursion of Lone Wolf equated a seven year time in Aon, according to the Shianti wizard in the beginning of the War of Wizards (for a slightly shorter stay in Daziarn).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. (Fenrir frantically flips through webpages, then slaps his forehead).

      DOH! (Or Annoyed Grunt for purists).

      You’re right of course. Last time I played Grey Star there was a 1 in front of the year. My bad. Ok, I’ll just have to go with point two.

      Liked by 1 person

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