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Month of the Magnakai

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Confederated Principalities of Salony
With a dense forest that fills its southern half, the tall peaks of the Ceners to its north, and rivers bordering it to the east and west, Salony is home to people as cold and harsh as its long winters. Descended from both Aluvian and Nael stock, they have struggled hard to maintain their independence. Despite the overall inhospitable nature of its citizens, Salony is famous for its trade goods - namely fine timber exported from its many efficient lumber mills, rare minerals from the Ceners and rich Salonese leather prized by craftsmen throughout the Stornlands. These valuable resources are usually sold and transported through the capital city of Rhem, famous for its horseshoe-shaped harbor.
This forested wilderness north of the great Hellswamp became a refuge for bandits and outlaws during the Golden Age of the Shianti. Gradually, they banded together to form a bandit kingdom, and enjoyed great success raiding the territories of Eru and Northern Lencia. When the Drakkarim arrived, the bandit kingdom fled to the sanctuary of the Hammerlands, leaving the city of Kagorst in ruins. The Darklords took later control of Nyvoz and Kagorst was rebuilt as a city-fortress by their Giak slaves.
A violent area with no true settlements and only a thousand or so inhabitants spread out in caverns, hidden houses and dwellings that are blended with the twisted local vegetation, Kaum is one of the most deadly environments on Southern Magnamund and a dangerous place for anyone to travel. Reputedly still a stronghold of the Cener Druids, these mountainous wilderlands have posed a continual threat to the stability and security of neighbouring states. In particular, Halia and Lunarlia have suffered persistent attacks from black-skinned giants who use evil herbcraft to devastating effect. Many human settlers have been kidnapped by these giants, and all retaliation has so far proved fruitless, for the mountains of Kaum are a formidable natural stronghold.
The Isle of Lorn is surrounded by magic winds and illusions to prevent people from coming to the island or even discovering its location. This is because Lorn is the sanctuary for the Shianti, a race of demigods exiled to Lorn by Ishir. Banished because they disrupted the lives of humanity, caused wars and threatened to bring evil to the lives of men through their well-meaning but misguided actions, the Shianti have sworn to keep apart from mankind and not interfere in their affairs again.
The humid rain forest of the Azanam peninsula remained unexplored for many ages due to the natural hostility and inaccessibility of the land, and the ferocity of its original peoples—the cannibalistic Kazan Islanders. Following the destruction of Lara, the Kundi Tribe fled to the Azanam and took refuge here, building their new kingdom in the tops of the massive Giant Azawood trees.
From the earliest settlements of Suhn, its industrious inhabitants have preserved a careful neutrality through skilful diplomacy and the intrigues of its ruling household. However, many of the petty wars which have befallen Suhn‘s neighbours have been caused by the devious manipulations of Suhnese nobles and ambassadors who have profited from these conflicts. Too small to dominate and too influential to be conquered by the other Tianese nations, Suhn remained untouched by war until the coming of the Shadakine. The Suhnese nobles chose to capitulate to the Shadakine invaders in order to remain intact, rather than engage in fruitless resistance to Shasarak‘s rule. The Port of Suhn has become one of the wealthiest cities of the Shadakine Empire ever since.
Formally ruled by the corrupt household of Mesanna, this principality suffered its ruthless leadership for several centuries. The populace grew weaker and poorer as the Lords of Mesanna hoarded the wealth of the jadin-rich Shuri Mountains. They entered into an alliance with the evil forces of the Shadakine Empire, but were betrayed during the War of the Winds. The Shadakine invaded and took control of the Mesanna Palace in Forlu, throwing the former corrupt rulers to the angry citizens. It is now one of the provinces of the Shadakine Empire.
The people of this land have long held a reputation for being tough and indomitable, a reflection of the region that they chose to inhabit. Thebleak marshes and deadland of Karnali attracted Tianese frontiersmen who were prepared to suffer the hardships of this region in order to free the soil of its considerable mineral wealth. Naturally rebellious, Karnali was the last region to fall to Shadakine domination... and might be the first to throw off the yoke of Shadakine oppression thanks to the effort of the clandestine Freedom Guild.
The Dark Forest is a dense, trackless region with so many dangers beneath its shadowed canopy that most travellers willingly accept the extra days spent going around it rather than braving its tangled depths. This large forest was formerly part of Taklakot until the destruction of that kingdom in MS 3280. Fernmost has since been cloaked in mystery for it survived the devastation of the Great Blast, yet its trees changed and mutated in extraordinary ways. It is said that no person who has ever entered Fernmost has returned sane in mind after their experiences there.
In the year MS 3154, the land of Taklakot rose to power following the arrival of the renegade Shianti wizard—Shasarak the Great—who had refused to obey the call to exile of his fellow Shianti brothers. The power of his ‘sun-stone’ accelerated the evolution of the Taklakotians, but by their own ineptness, its power was eventually misused and brought about the total destruction of their land. The heart of the country became known as Desolation Valley, and the only city which remained—Gyanima—was shunned by all outsiders due to the curse of a terrible wasting sickness that befell nearly all who dared enter its environs.
The mainland and islands of Mhytan have long enjoyed the benefits of controlling the narrow straits which give access to the Chai Sea. The citizens are, by nature, seafaring traders. Their merchant fleets are the largest in all of Magnamund and their blue and gold ensign is a common sight in any trading port. Blessed with waters teeming with fish and fertile lands suitable for the growing of many rare spices, Mhytan also has mineral resources that provide all the trade goods the people of this island nation could ever require. Mythenians are also gifted at diplomacy, a skill which has helped them to avoid the many wars that have plagued their neighbours over the last centuries.
At the beginning of the Golden Age of the Shianti, the Mythenian Peninsula was home to the fabled Moonstone, which became a beacon for the primitive human peoples of the Southern Void. Attracted by its goodly powers, the Mythenish were the first to settle in Southern Magnamund and were blessed by the Shianti. Their development was accelerated by the Moonstone and they soon migrated to the north and east. Thus were laid the foundations of the Vaduzhan Empire. Sadly, The Great Civil War of MS 1620 was to tear apart the empire. Powerless to stop many Mythenish from following Vampire Lord Sejanoz, the Shianti abandoned Vaduzhan with their Moonstone. The territories south of the Vaduzian Range remained within the Kingdom of Vaduzhan. Border incidents and trade wars are still commonplace with Bhanar, but travel through Vaduzhan is considered safe and enjoyable.
Prior to the coming of the Shadakine, Lara was the realm of the Kundi Tribe who inhabited its lush mountain forests. But in the year MS 4663, the forests were burnt to the ground by order of Shasarak the Wytch-king, in retribution for the guerrilla warfare waged by the Kundi upon his Shadakine armies. Following the destruction of their home, the Kundi disappeared, but later reappeared in the jungles of the Azanam. Lara is now a desolate land, part of the Shadakine Empire, populated by a few settlers from Shadaki who farm its scorched hills.
Korli was one of the most powerful states established by the Tianese people during the Golden Age of the Shianti. It grew wealthy from its command of the Kalamar River and the astute use of its large merchant fleet. However, following the War of the Winds, Korli fell to the invading forces of the Shadakine Empire. It is now one of the wealthiest provinces in the Shadakine Empire thanks to trade and agriculture, not that any of its oppressed commoners ever receive even a Noble of the vast riches Shadaki squeezes from Korli every month in tribute.
This land-locked province was once part of the state of Korli, but its fiercely independent inhabitants broke with Korlian rule following the discovery of mineral wealth in the mountains of the Kashima Range. The fertile lands that border upon the rivers Anduis and Kalamar have since experienced many wars contesting their rightful ownership. Anduin forts sprang up to defend the border, but they proved ineffective in preventing the Shadakine from invading and occupying Andui in MS 4665. It has been a province of the Shadakine Empire ever since.
A wide open land with hundreds of square miles of grassland and fertile plains, Lissan is a horse-breeder’s paradise and supplies its sizeable population with all the food and resources they need to thrive. Long ago it was populated by Mythenish nomadic horse herders who had fled from Vaduzhan. Several great warrior tribes then emerged, such as the mighty Masbaté south and east of River Xasha. The Tent City of Rakholi was established as a neutral place where all the nomads came to horse trade, make alliances and designate the King of the Plainlands. Several wars were fought for the succession, and many times the Masbaté triumphed with honour. The Masbatés were nevertheless decimated almost to a man by the invasion of Shasarak the Wytch-king and his evil host of Zadakar demons in the early months of MS 5044. The other tribes now fear the day when Shasarak will cross River Xasha to conquer them.
Chai is a land of humid fertile plains and dense forests, bathed by the warm turquoise waters of the Chai and Mythenian seas in the souths. Long ago Chai was one of the first lands to be stalked by the creatures of Agarash. When he was destroyed, his creatures scattered into the wilderness of Chai. Many are alive to this day, hiding deep in swamp, burrow, and cave. Their presence did not deter the Mythenish settlers who expanded the Vaduzhan Empire all around the Chai Sea. This immense empire collapsed during the Great Civil War. Several nations emerged, including Chai, which preserved the ancient traditions of the old empire. The rulers of Chai took the old imperial title of Khea-khan and became great builders. The natural defences of Chai —mountains, swamps and dense forests – and its formidable Wall have shielded it from Bhanar for many centuries.
Following the creation of Bhanar during the Great Civil War (MS 1620), the Autarch set about the expansion of his mighty empire. In the north, vast tracts of dense timberland were laid bare and the city of Bakhasa built in his honour. Rumour is rife that the Imperial Autarch has entered into a pact with the demonic creatures of Naaros; it is based on the fact that Autarch Sejanoz has not aged a day since the completion of Bakhasa, a temple-city dedicated to the worship of the Powers of Darkness, over 3000 years ago. Seemingly immortal, Sejanoz has worked hard to increase his military might. Thousands of Bakhasians have been ordered to harvest valuable hardwood from the Forest of Kelderwood and dispatch it downstream via the river Tehda to feed the insatiable needs of the imperial shipyards of Otavai. His purpose for creating such a vast navy has not been revealed but other coastal nations are fearful of what will occur when it finally sets sail.
Formerly a collection of remote city states of Vassa settlers with aspirations of living amid the bays and coastal fishing lands of eastern Magnamund in peace, Shadaki was defeated and subsequently ruled over by the invading nomads of the Sadi Desert led by Shasarak the Wytch-king, an immortal warlord. Its new capital was built to celebrate the unification of the Vassa peoples of southern Magnamund, and to mark the fall of Jazer, the original capital. Shasarak later dedicated himself to the expansion of his empire building a mighty iron-clad fleet in preparation for the War of the Winds. Victory in this war brought the downfall of the neighbouring Tianese states and their occupation by Shadakine armies. Now Shadaki is the largest province in the Shadakine Empire.
Sadi Desert
The largest desert on Magnamund, the Great Sadi Desert is by far the hottest and most hostile natural environment the continent has to offer. Its teeming waves of sun-bleached sand are the burial grounds for countless creatures – sentient or otherwise. The only settlers in the Sadi are the nomadic Sadi Nomads, Vassa tribesmen who move from oasis to oasis scratching out a living amid the barren dunes. These nomads enjoy the reputation of being the most feared and most fearless of all human warriors. The Sadi Nomads were used by the Wytch-king as assault troops during the invasion and occupation of Shadaki and the Tianese nations. But the promise of land and riches that was their reward as part of the alliance pact never materialised, and as a consequence several Sadi tribes waged war on the Shadakine Empire.
Formerly the seat of power of the most evil being who ever ruled Magnamund, Agarash the Damned, Naaros is now no more than a desolate wasteland of blackened ash, criss-crossed by barren dry river beds. At its centre there once stood Agarash’s mighty fortress-city of Naaros; now all that remains is a titanic chasm of molten lava and heat-fused rock. Ten millennia ago, the gods Ishir and Kai sent forth the Elder Magi for a war that lasted a thousand years and culminated in the destruction of Agarash and his accursed empire. An unknown number of Agarashi still thrive in this desolation, and periodically launch vengeful assaults on the neighbouring human nations.
The Kelderwastes are an immense wild territory, isolated from Southern Magnamund by great mountain ranges. The region hosts the greatest timberland of Magnamund, a primal forest so vast that its central region has never been explored by humankind. It is rumoured to contain myriad volcanic chasms. This dense, wet jungle is populated with creatures of Agarashi descent, including semi-intelligent reptiles. The isle of Sheasu is the only human settlement in the Kelderwastes, consisting almost entirely of refugees who would rather risk their lives in this unforgiving land than return to their homelands.
The result of base betrayal, Telchos stands as a monument to the folly of those who believe they can cheat the gods and live to tell the tale. Telchos was once a beautiful land with a great future ahead of it, crippled by rulers who constantly wanted more than they had. This greed ruined the country and condemned most of the Telchoi to a painful death in the wastes of their shattered homeland. Now Telchos is mostly an unforgiving country of sand and misery, populated by some of the fiercest and most determined survivors on the planet. The land barriers that surround Telchos deterred outsiders from prying into their affairs, and so enabled their culture to develop in isolation from the rest of Magnamund. They are a society dominated and administered by females, who uphold a strict social law that is founded on their religious beliefs and their devotion to the Goddess Ishir.
The Kingdom of Siyen is one of the vastest and richest countries of Magnamund. It has grown strong from its command over the Tentarias and from the wise use of its rich natural resources. It is also one of Sommerlund’s oldest allies. Siyen was founded by the Nael peoples during their early migration and conquests across Central Magnamund during the Golden Age of the Shianti. Following the Great Plains War, Siyen was cut off from its parent land of Klarnos by the Union of Lunarlia. Of all the neighbouring states, only the Nael kingdom of Rezovia is friendly. But rumours abound that the military alliance with Rezovia to defend mutual interests in the Central Tentarias was orchestrated by the Darklords to weaken the Freelands over time and eventually set Central Magnamund ablaze in a resurgence of Nael imperialism.
In MS 1234, the Great Union was founded on many smaller Aluvian states that shared the fertile plains of central Magnamund. Barbaric attacks by the creatures of Kaum, Naaros and the Kelderwastes plagued these states for over a century before the Great Union of Lunarlia established a standing army large enough and strong enough to defend the plains. With the arrival of the war-like Nael, Lunarlia was plunged into the Great Plain Wars, but emerged victorious at the defensive Battle of Kaylar Flat (MS 1366). Not content to simply survive in the current time of turmoil and lingering strife, Lunarlia is now using its strong economy and abundant resources to build defences and outfit its armies for whatever might lie ahead.
Klarnos was the first territory to be settled by the Nael peoples in MS 1309. They claimed the land by force from the kingdom of Cincoria, and secured for themselves the gold-rich Klann Mountains of the north. Further Nael expansion led to the Great Plains War with Lunarlia in which they were defeated at the Battle of Kaylar Flat. Mountains and desert sandstorms have prevented any contact with Telchos, and the continued hostility of Cincoria and Lunarlia has forced Klarnos to rely heavily on sea trade with the Mythenish nations.
The Kingdom of Rezovia was established by Nael migrants who chose to settle and farm the lush plains bordering the Tentarias between the Avalar and Dwerlir rivers. Conflicts with neighbouring Lunarlia have resulted in the gradual loss of territories between the Ioma and Avalar rivers and in the following emergence of bloodthirsty pirates in the Central Tentarias. Rezovia has later formed a military alliance with Siyen and become more peaceful. The treaty makes passage through the waters of the Tentarias safer for the moment, though many merchants still feel a certain, unshakeable dread sailing past what had been called the Rezovian Blood Reefs because of the hundreds of ships that sank there during the nation’s presumably forgotten days of piracy.
The home of the Herbalish, healers in direct opposition to the Cener Druids, the Plenary of Bautar is a lush, fertile country with some of the rarest herbs and medicines on the face of Magnamund. Bautar was once a much larger territory that encompassed the tropical jungles of Valerion and the plains of Lourden, but it was reduced long before the founding of these nations by vengeful Cenerese wars of attrition after the Herbalish created the cure for the Great Plague and shattered their empire. Housing the Grand Grove where all Herbwardens are inducted and altars dedicated to Primary Nature Spirits, the Plenary of Bautar is a druidic land where the Herbalish Order controls every aspect of nature and climate. It is also home to industrious humans who produce quality timber, ships and metal goods which are exported from the great port of Talon. Visitors to Bautar are welcome so long as they have no ties to the Cenerese or any touch of Darkspawn taint. Both are known to be shot on sight by the Herbwarden Hunters.
Chaman is the only nation besides Bor to have more than 10,000 of any surviving Drodarin race. The Kloon, a learned and hard-working strain of the Drodarin Dwarven bloodline, live all along the Tentarias and the Stornlands, but they all consider the Freestate of Chaman to be their homeland. Many visitors to Chaman come there for the sage advice of the Kloon because of the Great Library at Gleesh, a seven-story tower filled with texts both old and new on a variety of different subjects. The precious metals trade is also thriving there, due in no small part to massive bronin and copper deposits beneath the city of Gleesh itself.
Millenniums ago, Duke Saldor the Recanter rebelled against the League of the Sword of Ilion and exiled himself to the forested hills of Halia. Many disgruntled knights followed him into exile and pledged themselves to his cause. The outlawed Dukedom of Halia became a sanctuary for those seeking escape from the austerity of Ilion, and for refugees and criminals from many other countries. Halia has since become a surprisingly peaceful country where trouble only occurs if people bring it in with them, a place for trading illegal goods and hiring unscrupulous mercenaries. Governed with a very strong ‘live and let live’ policy, the people of Halia are hardly allied with the Light but they want nothing to do with the forces of Darkness either.
Established after the War of Recension as a religious refuge from persecution by the Grand Duchy of Kasland, the breakaway Aluvian state of Cincoria prospered under the leadership of Margrave Vactor I and his Recensionist followers. A forested country with traditions of excellence in carpentry, shipbuilding and woodcarving, Cincoria encompasses the former Kaslander territories located south and east of the River Brem and the Kurdas Mountains. Cincoria is now a smaller realm than when it was first established. The warlike Nael people seized much of southern Cincoria by force, including its gold-rich Klann Mountains. These conquered territories were renamed Klarnos. Were it not for the unexpected aid of Kasland, Cincoria would have suffered a total defeat. The border with Klarnos was established along the River Lause, and ironically Cincoria became a protectorate under Kasland’s military supervision.
The Magiocracy of Dessi is a remote mountainous jungle realm. It was first settled during the Age of the Old Kingdoms by the Vakeros tribesmen, who were joined by the few Elder Magi that survived the Great Plague, the race of beings from whom all good magical power stems on Magnamund. Together they faced and overcame a period of great upheaval when the fathomless Chasm of Gorgoron and Dessi Trench opened and tore their land asunder. The Elder Magi taught the Vakeros their battle-magic so that they could better defend Dessi against the creatures of Gorgoron and the aggressive Vassagonian empire on their northern border.
Surrounded by mountain ranges, Kakush is a sizable, diverse land. It encompasses the lush Kirsha Forest in the north, the barren Sour Hills, and the fertile Kakush Plains of the south. In MS 3501, a nomadic Vassa tribe called the Kakushi broke with nomadic tradition and established the permanent settlement of Nikesa in south-western Vassagonia. The Vassagonian Zakhan granted their former kinsmen autonomy, albeit in name only, for they always maintained a strong covert domination over the Emirs of Kakush and crushed all attempts by separatist groups to break free from their dominance. The Kakushians, a pragmatic people, forged strong links of trade and friendship with Dessi, Anari and Firalond, which keep the Emirate from definitely falling back under the sway of the Zakhan.
During the Golden Age of the Shianti, the Holy Fathers of the Truth became the most proselytizing of the Ishiri religions, to the irritation of their neighbours. They were driven from out of Siyen, Northern Shadaki, Vassagonia, and Firalond, and were forced to settle in a remote territory on the common fringes of these countries. Here they established the Theocracy of Valerion as a retreat and a sanctuary for their order, and constructed wondrous temple-cities like Kelis, which is now their holiest of shrines. Valerion is either a pleasant nation with a warm and open people or a hostile, unwelcoming land better avoided than entered. The difference between these attitudes is the religious preference of the visitor…Though the people of Valerion are not generally violent, even to ‘heathens’, they are not overly concerned with the affairs of those that do not acknowledge the Great Truth and the ascendancy of their leaders.
The cotton-rich plains of Firalond are famed for the high quality of cloth and textiles that originate there. Firina — « the Linen City » — has a long tradition of freedom that has attracted merchants and exiles from less tolerant nations. Strong links with Kakush and Anari have made them enemies of Vassagonia, and agents of the Zakhan have attempted the assassination of Firalonding Grandars many times during the last two hundred years. However, many kings and princes in Northern Magnamund have their finest clothes made from the fabrics that come out of Firalond. As such, it is well protected by its trading partners, much to the irritation of the Empire.
A strong and fiercely independent state, Lourden has managed to resist becoming involved in the conflicts that have caused the demise of her less-fortunate neighbours. The democratically elected Senate of Arlcor is considered by many to have attained an ideal; a wisely elected government and a fair system of justice in a region that has seen many wars and other unnatural disasters. A source of inspiration to the neighbouring states, their careful leadership has guided Lourden through centuries of continuous peace.
Enclosed between the Skardos Mountains and the River Storn, the Free State of Caron is renowned for its crystal mines. It is home to a Drodarin race of blue-skinned creatures called Ogrons, nearly ten feet tall and extremely strong, that suffered near extinction when the Great Plague ravaged Northern Magnamund. There is also a sizable community of Dwarves from Bor and Boden in Caron, overseeing the mining operations. Helpless to prevent Cenerese infiltration, the Ogrons struggle to control the eastern half of their country, most notably the Rootstrangle Swamp and the Blighted Plain.
The Leaguelands of Ilion is a strong human nation bordering the Tentarias, which controls the lush rolling plains and shadowy forests that surround River Thon. Ilion was once part of Lencia until the Vaderian Knights of the Sword were granted independence millenniums ago. The fertile grasslands that surround the capital Feravan are well known for the wild white horses that live there. They are long-lived and intelligent creatures, much prized by the League for their ability to understand the languages of men. A strong alliance exists between Ilion and Talestria.
The vast hill ranges of Starn were once a great population centre of the Drodarin race, where Dwarves and Giants thrived in harmony in great cities until they were decimated by the Great Plague. Only those who took refuge in the surrounding mountains survived. While the Droda Dwarves fled to the Borden Range, the Giants withdrew deep into the halls they had excavated in Mount Vost, at the heart of the Starns, and have since become an insular race who shun contact with humans. While they do not keep their borders shut or guarded, the immense mountains that ring their home make it almost impossible to enter their capital.
A vast, verdant territory with a complex history, the Grand Duchy was the first of the countries established by the Aluvian peoples in Southern Magnamund. It became the base for further expansion across the Tentarias and the spiritual home of their culture and religion. The leaders of Kasland are an erratic lot and while they have great resources, they are almost obsessive about adding more riches to their possession. Blessed with several small ports and one very large one – Port Venal – Kasland has become quite a naval power. However, the most recent of the conflicts between Kasland and Lencia has cut off the Grand Duchy from Utulio, its major port on the Tentarias. This loss asphyxiated Kasland’s economy and in growing desperation, Kasland seized the Bodenian city of Coredis in order to keep access to the Tentarias…
A country with ever-changing borders, usually through conquest, the rich and powerful Empire of Vassagonia controls almost the entirety of the immense sea of dunes of the Dry Main desert. Vassagonia was once a more temperate and peaceful land, ruled over by the god-like Majhan who took the Vassa people under their wing and nurtured them. After the exodus of the Majhan and the northern expansion of the Dry Main, the chiefs of the Vassa clans elected their own rulers and named them Zakhan. The current empire gained its wealth and status by ruthless imperialism, instigated by the exceptionally long-lived Black Zakhan, a brutal warlord and dictator. By his order, Vassagonian armies captured vast swathes of land in Cloeasia, Kakush, and Anari. While few nations of Magnamund trust Vassagonia or appreciate its tyrannical government, the land has enough trade wealth and military power that none can simply ignore its existence. Rich beyond imagination and larger than any territory but the Darklands in Northern Magnamund, Vassagonia is a major power in the world.
A once-larger nation settled by Vassa horsemen seeking escape from the growing violence of Vassagonia, the Republic of Anari is a collective of former nomads living in the sheltering shadow of the Chah Mountains. Though the Republic has a nominal President, most decisions on a citizen level are still handled by family elders and only token obedience is given to any central authority. This dates back to the formation of Anari and the fact that fewer than 50% of the elder males of the Vassa tribes even voted to elect a leader at all.
The fertile plains of Slovia are divided into many principalities that are (weakly) united under Prince Ormond’s throne. The Slovians are almost always threatened by wars because they have hostile neighbours to the north, east and west. A great standing army, mainly consisting of mercenaries and knights, defends the country and Slovia’s close ally, Anari.
A small forested realm to the south of the Stornlands, Ruel is the retreat of the Cener Druids, the descendants of the Cenerese who rose to power during the Age of the Old Kingdoms and released the Great Plague that decimated the Elder Magi and the Drodarin. They have made its dark forest and fetid mountains virtually impregnable to invasion through the use of evil herbcraft and the enslavement of many Agarashi.
The surviving Dwarves of southern Magnamund, known in some lands as the Droda, settled in the Boden Peaks following the destruction of their kin during the Great Plague. Unlike their cousins in Bor, they chose to build castle-fortresses in the steep-sided mountain valleys of their kingdom, rather than mining and tunnelling underground. Occasional volcanic activity disrupted their expansion, yet this became a blessing. The valley floors below their castles were turned into lush garden basins, periodically renewed by volcanic ashes, and has become fertile and productive enough to sustain their population. A strong alliance exists with the giants of Starn, and the Droda have grown very rich from trade along the Tentarias after they established the great city-ports of Anarin, Drodan and Coredis.
In a region of Magnamund plagued by civil strife and petty power struggles, the Republic of Palmyrion stands like a beacon to justice and sanity. Her strong, elected government and her massive regular army guarantees the defence of her borders and the continued support of her ally – Talestria. In many ways, Palmyrion is much like Sommerlund. It is a defiant nation with the strength to resist the dangers of the Darklands and the will to fight for what is right in the world. Self-sufficient and powerful, Palmyrion is a model nation and an inspiration to its neighbours.
The lovely nation of Eldenora is a classic example of a country being far more beautiful than its people. A land steeped in distrust and jealousy, most visitors to Eldenora come for its rich supply of lumber and silver and leave as soon as they have what they desire. The people of Eldenora are not pleasant and their company has been compared to the manners of a Giak. While this is not literally true, the Eldenan are a rude and spiteful folk that most tolerate only as long as they must.
The river valleys of Talestria were wrested from the Agarashi during the Wars of Restitution. Under the banner of King Varnos II, the Talestrians pushed the creatures of darkness back into the stagnant swamps of the Danarg and built border forts to defend their new realm. Strong alliances with Bor and Palmyrion ensured peace, but with the coming of the Drakkarim this peace was shattered. Persistent raids and incursions from Ogia have decimated the once-fertile northland, and the Talestrians are now hard pressed to defend their homeland from the Ogian aggressors.
An isolated kingdom kept both apart and safe from the rest of Magnamund by a ring of high mountains and numerous well-built stone fortresses, Bor is famed for its Dwarven inhabitants and the many explosive inventions that its people use to keep themselves safe. This industry also ensures the Borese maintain a lucrative, if dangerous, place in the mercenary forces of the world. Bor Gunners are some of the most widely sought after soldiers in all of Magnamund, though many would-be employers are unprepared for the high upkeep their specialized weapons require.
The kingdom of Delden has been at war with its neighbours for centuries, ever since the construction of Luyen. The city, built on contested ground in the middle of occupied land between several nations, has been the source of contention between Delden and its neighbours ever since. Entering Delden is not difficult, especially for anyone claiming to be a merchant but travellers must be prepared to endure martial law as soon as they cross the border, including armed searches and confiscation of whatever the crown currently considers ‘contraband’. This definition tends to change, depending on what the military or nobility of Delden need most at the time.
This vast swamp lays in the ruined and treacherous cauldron of a volcanic crater, filled with brackish water, dense overgrowth. Terrible monsters roam the blighted wastes, corrupted by their exposure to the foul poisons leaked into the mire by the rotting carcasses of Darkspawn for more than two thousand years. The stench of the Danarg is enough to keep most from ever coming here and those who do brave its befouled terrain are well-advised to bring their own food. Surviving off the land is impossible for any mortal creature without the taint of evil in their blood.
The Hammerlands
The Hammerlands served a vital role in the current Darklord plan of stealth and misdirection. While none of the Free Nations of Northern Magnamund believed the Darklands were in any way recovered from the defeat of Vashna, the Hammerlands remained a recognised threat and a source of Drakkarim raids and violent activity. This was exactly as the Darklords wished things to be. The Hammerlands were the visible threat that drew attention away from their other forces. While the Free Nations fought to contain the ‘terror of the Hammerlands’, the Second Black Muster occurred in secret and in the shadows, away from the distracted eyes of the world. Now, after the destruction of the Kai, the Hammerlands remain a risk to all free folk in addition to the overt hostility of the Darklands.
Proof that humanity can thrive even in the most inhospitable of places on Magnamund, Eru is a collective of small mining and farming communities in the midst of a vast and dangerous swamp. Were it not for the richness of Eru’s mines and harvests, the settlers that founded its towns would surely have moved on to a more pleasant part of the continent. The swamp itself is the least of Eru’s troubles. Drakkarim and other Darkspawn are thick in the area, making travel and trade very costly in terms of lives and lost goods.
This rich land was the first to be settled by the Vaderish peoples millenniums ago. Migration continued rapidly into other provinces, but the elder Vaderish settled in the fertile plains of Lencia. They constructed many beautiful ports along both sides of the Tentarias, and the most wondrous of all was Gamir. They explored the Dragonsteeth Mountains and discovered the gigantic fjord of the Helmreach where they built their impregnable city of Helmstorm. The Kingdom of Lencia was renowned for the splendour of its culture and became the chosen home for gifted artists and craftsmen. Lencians prospered from their command of the western Tentarias until the arrival of the Drakkarim. Nyras, formerly Northern Lencia, was lost to them during the Darkdawn War and, in spite of many Lencian crusades, it has remained under their control ever since.
The Hellswamp
This shifting morass of quaking mires and fathomless pools is home to many giant reptilians and humanoid amphibians. It harbours myriad carnivorous insects and poisonous barbed plants that often ensnare any warm-blooded creature unfortunate or unwise enough to enter its murky channels. Its eastern border with Eru and the Hammerlands is markedly less hostile than the eastern and central regions and access to inland territories is often attempted by smaller boats.
The Maakenmire
The geography of the Lastlands underwent dramatic change during the formation of the Maakengorge in MS 3055. Formerly an expanse of rolling grassland, the Maakenmire Swamp was created when a vast bowl of land sank below sea level as the tremors of the shifting land spread eastwards. Fearsome semi-intelligent reptiles, notably Kwaraz and Gourgaz, emerged from the Maakengorge and inhabited the newly-formed marshes. The island stronghold of V’Ka is rumoured to contain many thousands of these hostile abominations.
The Zultanate of Cloeasia is a small but wealthy nation of the Lastlands bordering the Kuri Sea with a long tradition of free trade, coveted by the Empire of Vassagonia. A state formed long ago by Vassa exiles that rejected the rule of the Majhan, Cloeasia lost much of its former territory to the Wildlands, Vassagonia, Maakenmire and Casiorn due to geological and political upheavals. Maintaining a shaky independence, it relies on its wealth to continue to arm its troops and to fund mercenaries, and on its alliance with the Freelands.
Casiorn, the city of merchants, was initially constructed as a fortified city-state after the collapse of Cloeasia. Its merchants have grown exceedingly rich from trade between the Lastlands and Central Magnamund, yet their influence has spread no further than the immediate environs of their city. Their leader, High-Mayor Kordas, is reputedly one of the richest men in Northern Magnamund.
The Wildlands
Once the northern half of Cloeasia, this area was laid waste to during the formation of the Maakengorge and the geological upheavals that followed. The Wildlands is now a lawless tract of land with civilisation existing only in a thin crescent along the northern coast of the country, the city-state of Ragadorn being the only major settlement. The rest of the country is completely untamed and considered dangerous to enter, with ruins of ancient Cloeasian cities only inhabited by Szalls and bandits. A long and dangerous highway from Sommerlund to the peninsula of Durenor traverses the north of the country. The Grey Road, as it is often called by the people of the North, is used for mercantile and passenger coach traffic between Sommerlund and Durenor.
Kalte is effectively two countries – the trading post of Ljuk and everything else in the icy, barren wilderness of the vast northern continent of Magnamund. Constructed entirely of stone and timber imported by traders from Sommerlund and Durenor, Ljuk forms an important link for the people of Kalte, though most of them do not appreciate the alliance it represents with southern powers. The majority of Kalte’s population is made up of Ice Barbarians, a hardy nomad people with little love for outsiders and a hostile disposition towards each other. Kalte is a violent place ruled by a warrior-chieftain (the Brumalmarc in their tongue) and visitors are advised to never travel farther north than Ljuk itself. Only the southern coastal region of Kalte has been mapped successfully by Lastland cartographers. The majority of the continent remains unexplored and is known simply as the Uncharted Void.
Founded by the Ulnarians when they came up through Northern Magnamund, Durenor is one of the richest and most widely self-sufficient nations on the continent. These riches are not measured in gold as much as they are in the balance and quality of life and safety enjoyed by its citizens. Durenor is a strong country, able to fend for itself against any threat and – with the aid of its ally Sommerlund – forms the backbone of the Freeland Alliance.
The dangerous waters of the Lakuri Isles are home to some of the fiercest aquatic predators in the oceans of Magnamund, but they pale in comparison with the real threat plying the waves in that area – Lakuri pirates. Easily as fearsome and bloodthirsty as the Buccaneers of Shadaki, these savages make travel through the ocean around their islands very difficult. The Lakuri never show a sailing vessel mercy and no one on the losing end of an engagement with their pirate fleet is ever left alive.
A lovely, prosperous kingdom, Lyris has suffered greatly through its history and though it is still considered a rich nation, its population is not half what it once was. Lyris can be a violent place and those without the strength to defend themselves or pressing business in Lyris’ large city markets are best advised to find an alternate route through central Northern Magnamund. The trade roads in Lyris are the only roads of any quality in any case; the rival princes of the kingdom can never work together long enough to maintain anything else.
Magador is a mountainous country with dozens of small mines throughout its territory and hundreds of small fortified homes loosely assembled into large villages united only by a common name and fairly heavy taxation. The roads between these towns are excellent, laid by some of the best stonemasons in Magnamund. They show the constant wear of ore wagons bearing the nation’s primary exports from village to village on their way to be smelted, alloyed and cast into any number of useful items or military gear.
A wasteland with little agricultural value or native livestock, Ogia is a blight on the face of Magnamund that exists only as a capital city and a few outlying settlements. Totally devoted to the capture of slaves, the brutal taskmasters of Ogia force them to work the many unsafe mines that riddle the Ogian countryside. Though it is well known among the Warlords of Ogia that their mines will one day collapse most of the country, they remain unconcerned. The only thing they believe they will lose is a generation of slaves.
For many centuries, disparate colonies of Agarashi multiplied unchecked in the tunnels that honeycomb the hills of the Dark Realm of Skaror, until they were enslaved by invading Drakkarim. When the Drakkarim allied themselves to the Darklords, Skaror was partitioned. Northern Skaror was consumed by the Darklands and Southern Skaror remained in Drakkarim hands although ruled by Darklord Kraagenskûl. clearing the country’s once lush forests to feed the smelting furnaces of Cragmantle.
The barren lands of Ghatan hold only two things of interest and then only to those who either work evil or must confront it. Ghatan’s only city is the terrible tower-realm of Torgar, built for the single purpose of tormenting enemies of the Darklords. The other thing of ‘interest’ is the Hellswamp, a fen so evil and twisted that no other place on the surface of Magnamund is home to so many species of poisonous snakes, insects or foul plants.
The timbered wastes and heaths of Nyras were once Northern Lencia, until they were lost to the invading Drakkarim during the Darkdawn War to become their main Homeland. The Lencians mounted a series of campaigns and crusades to recapture their territory, but they all proved costly and fruitless. The Drakkarim built a mighty fortress on the ruins of Gamir, the former Lencian capital, and named it Nagamir after their victory. Later Nyras allied itself to the Darklords of Helgedad, and Nagamir was renamed Darke in their honour.
A strong nation devoted to the power of the Darklords and part of their scheme to grow in power and rise again from the ashes of their defeat at Moytura Pass, Zaldir is an important Darklands ally. The forges of Zaldir burn constantly – consuming the wood of its dwindling forests and turning out weapons and shields for its Drakkarim army. The port of Shpydar is also the main harbour for the Drakkarim Navy; a more hostile port does not exist in all Magnamund.
Tadatizaga (The Hardlands)
For millennia, the Hardlands have been a terrible, forbidding place. Rumours persist that a death curse strikes down anyone who travels within its broken borders. It is certainly true that those who venture into the ruined Hardlands are never seen again, but this is far more likely the work of the ravenous monsters and savage warriors that dwell under the watchful eye of their immortal tyrant-master than the result of any killing magic.
A dark peninsula frozen in eternal ice and blanketed by constant electrical storms that occasionally shatter the glacial ranges north of Ixia and shower the land in an ever-increasing field of razor-sharp shards of frigid crystal, Ixia is as forbidding as it is damned. There is no life in Ixia, only the teeming masses of undead cursed by Ixiataaga, the realm’s Deathlord, to serve him for all time. Bleak and barren, nothing lives in Ixia and nothing living that travels to Ixia remains alive for very long. Death is only a few frozen heartbeats away in this land of eternal unlife.
Sommerlund (Nation)
Arguably the brightest and most powerful free nation on the face of Magnamund, Sommerlund is the leader of the Freeland Alliance and the first line of defence against the coming of the Darklands. As its brave and powerful warriors have done for centuries, Sommlending forces stand ready to turn aside the vile machinations of Naar’s dark generals whenever they show themselves in the light. Sommerlund’s steel, engineering, and tactics of war are all the most advanced in the world, made possible by the support of its many allies.
The Darklands
A vast and foetid region where only vicious and poisonous things can grow and prosper, the creatures of the Darklands are all tainted and twisted in some measure by the power of Naar. The heart of the Darklands is dominated by the Black City of Helgedad, the capital fortress of the Darklords perched upon an island of granite at the centre of a huge volcanic chasm called the ‘Nengud-kor-Adez’. A bridge of twisted steel spans the fiery chasm joining Helgedad to the desolate plain of the Naogizaga, where craters of molten rock belch forth a black gas that keeps the city forever in shadow.
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Massacre of the Kai
The Massacre of the Kai in the year MS 5050 is the central event in the Lone Wolf series. It was followed by the successful invasion of Sommerlund which was only repulsed by Lone Wolf in the Holmgulf using the Sommerswerd to destroy Dark Lord Zagarna.
Kai Monastery
Kai Monastery is the spiritual home and training ground of the Order of the Kai. The Tower of the Sun is the tallest tower in the Monastery. It contains the Lore Halls, the Kai Master's Hall and the Grandmaster's Hall. The Kai Masters' Hall is a chamber in the Tower of the Sun, positioned above the Lore Hall of the Spirit and below the Grandmaster's Hall. It contains a plain, wooden throne, and green pillars. The Grandmaster's Hall is located in the topmost part of the Tower of the Sun.
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What is a gamebook?
How does it work?

Before computer games - there were Gamebooks. A gamebook is an interactive novel - allowing the reader to participate in a story where you are the hero. 

The story branches along different paths using numbered paragraphs called sections. At the end of each section, you are given a choice. For example -

‘If you wish to fight, turn to section X’. 

‘If you wish to flee, turn instead to section XX’. 

Your choices determine the tale. Each book can be played multiple times, and new paths charted. 

What makes the Lone Wolf gamebooks so special?

Lone Wolf provided something unheard of in interactive fiction at the time – the entire series, book after book, was all set in the same world, part of the same epic saga, the lore expanding further and further with each new adventure - building your character, your skills, your weaponry - in one continuous epic narrative! 

So why are they coming back?

Because they’re awesome!

Interest in Lone Wolf is at a new high, and until now, the books have been difficult to track down - sometimes traded for hundreds of dollars online. They have passed through many publishers, in varying designs and styles, and never in a single consistent format. 

What happened?!

In the 1990s, with the rise of computer gaming, the gamebook craze was over - but the Lone Wolf stories were not! Joe Dever never had a chance to complete his series. Fans were unable to finish their adventure!

Then came the internet, and the Lone Wolf community gathered online. An explosion of activity led to new Lone Wolf roleplaying and video games, reprints of the books, and a renaissance of Lone Wolf publications abroad - notably in France and Italy. With Lone Wolf back in a big way, Joe got back to work. 

In 2016, the first brand new Lone Wolf adventure since 1998 was printed by Holmgard Press. Unfortunately, it was during this time that news came of Joe’s struggle with cancer. Joe passed away in November 2016. He handed his notes for the final three books to his son Ben, along with the task of bringing the series to its conclusion. 

Ben and co-author Vincent Lazzari are now working on the final book - Light of the Kai - in time for the 40th Anniversary of the series in 2024, and expanding the world of Magnamund into new formats for a new generation. Part of that task is bringing the entire series back into print.

Learn more about the legacy of Lone Wolf

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