You’ll find out…now!
Prologue: How We Got Here
Llylgamyn. A land ruled by the Mad Overlord. He wasn’t always mad, no. Indeed, Trebor had been democratically elected by the people of Llylgamyn. But, while he wasn’t always mad, he was always power hungry. And he found a mysterious Amulet as a way to increase his power.
Unfortunately for Trebor, he wasn’t the only person searching for that Amulet. Mere hours after he had claimed it, another person went to where the Amulet had been originally. That person was the evil Wizard, Werdna. And Werdna would not stand for having this Amulet in the hands of another. So, one night, while Trebor and his Elite Guard conferred, Werdna simply marched in and cast a spell, paralyzing everyone in the room with terror!
When the spell wore off, Trebor found that he was no longer in possession of the Amulet. Worse, Werdna had used its power to construct a 10-level labyrinth right beneath Llylgamyn, and had summoned monsters to come up toward the city! Werdna himself hid at the lower-most level, trying to divine the secrets of the Amulet. Trying to get his Amulet back drove Trebor to madness. Fighting hard, he managed to reclaim the top four levels of the labyrinth. Adventurers would return from venturing any deeper as mad as Trebor—if they returned at all…
Trebor decided to take advantage of the situation as best he could. The first four levels of the dungeon, he decreed, would be his Proving Grounds. Those who survived these levels would be allowed to go deeper, to defeat Werdna and recover the Amulet.
It was this challenge that our band of heroes stepped into. Their leader was Emptyeye, a Neutral Gnome Samurai and the only non-Evil-aligned adventurer in the crew. Joining him on the front lines would be Nyperold and mahel042, both Dwarven Fighters. Providing magic would be Xanatos the Gnomish Cleric and Zudak the Elven Mage. Rounding out the group was Rocky, a Hobbit Thief.
(LIVEBLOG NOTE: The “default” party a fresh copy of the game provides you with is 2 Fighters, a Cleric, a Thief, and 2 Mages. I’ve always preferred 3 physical characters [Fighters or Samurai, depending on how patient I am with rolling characters]/Cleric/Mage/Thief with a Wizard for backup/identifying stuff hanging out in the Tavern most of the time.)
But these heroes were young, with Emptyeye and Xanatos, the oldest, being only 16, and Nyperold, the youngest, a scant 14 years of age. And they were untested, with no practical combat experience to their names. More pressingly, though, they were all naked.
After meeting at the Tavern, the bartender discretely suggested that the party get some armor on.
(LIVEBLOG NOTE: Gilgamesh’s Tavern—no, not that Gilgamesh—is where you recruit characters, remove them from your party, and generally check them out. You can also divide your gold evenly here.)
The party made their way to Boltac’s Trading Post, where they encountered their first snag.
Emptyeye: “Okay, so…25 for a Long Sword, 40 for a Large Shield….um, guys, I seem to be a little short here. Someone wanna spot me some cash?”
Zudak: “Are you serious? What happened to the money you saved to go on this quest in the first place?”
Emptyeye: “Had a bad run at the poker tables last night.”
The rest of the party conferred.
Rocky: “Fine, but only after we’ve all bought what we need.”
Emptyeye: “Fair enough.”
The party bought their equipment. Long Swords, Large Shields, and Chain Mail for the Fighters, an Annointed Mace, Large Shield and Chain Mail for Xanatos, a Short Sword, Leather Armor and a Small Shield for Rocky, and a Staff and Robes for Zudak later, fortune smiled upon Emptyeye. Pooling the party’s leftover gold, he realized he had enough for not only the Chain Mail he had coveted, but a Helm as well. Overall, the equipment was basic, but the party hoped it would serve them well in the Proving Grounds. It would have to…
Next time: Meaningful gameplay!
Amazing Bonus Commentary!
I had two basic goals here:
- Tell the story of Wizardry I without outright plagiarizing it from elsewhere on the Internet
- As much as possible, give the characters in the party some personality that doesn’t exist in the game itself
I think I did a pretty good job of the first, but you can judge that for yourself here, or, for the story in Werdna’s words, here. As for the second goal, I decided to focus on the character named after me here, as he’s the defacto leader (And, abilities-wise, something of a Mary Sue–Samurai eventually gain the ability to cast Mage spells in Wizardry, in addition to being great fighters. The drawback is that long-term, they tend to be outclassed in the HP department by the “pure” Fighter class.) of the group. We see here that he has something of a gambling problem (A somewhat exaggerated variant on my own love of poker), and Zudak is the guy who will call him out on his lack of financial discipline. If you’re curious, in reality, I just got screwed by the Random Number Generator–upon creating a character in Wizardry, they start out naked, with a small amount of gold to their name (The “stock” characters get a set of starter equipment in lieu of any gold). Just how much gold is random, but it can be from approximately 100-200. I forget exactly how much Emptyeye started with, but I’m pretty sure it was under 110, which was barely enough for the Chain Mail, let alone the rest of the equipment. Luckily, the other five characters combined had enough gold left over that it didn’t matter.
Other stuff to note:
-The various LIVEBLOG NOTEs were something I took from Ace of Scarabs’s Pokemon Soul Silver Liveblog, although the actual “LIVEBLOG NOTE” comes from another liveblog that I apparently can’t place right now. These are basically for when I want to impart information, but can’t really do it “in-narrative” as it were–for instance, exactly what Gilgamesh’s Tavern is for.
-I screwed up the “You All Meet In an Inn” link hidden in “meeting at the Tavern” in the original post, calling it “You All Meet At An Inn”, which doesn’t lead anywhere.
-Speaking of the original post, “You’ll find out…now!” was in response to a question regarding the names of some of the party.
-Speaking of the names of the party, they’re named after various Tropers who requested that they be added to my merry band of adventurers.