The History & Legacy of Lone Wolf
Lone Wolf is the life's work of Joe Dever. Since 1984, Lone Wolf has sold more than 12 million copies, been translated into 18 languages, and won multiple international awards. A major contribution to 1980’s fantasy culture, Lone Wolf helped popularize choose-your-own-adventure style gaming books.
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When Joe passed away in 2016, he handed his notes to his son Ben with the task of bringing the saga to its conclusion. The world of Lone Wolf lives on, but to discover the origins of Magnamund - the fictional world in which the

Lone Wolf adventures take place - we must first go back to 1977, when Dever, then aged 21, created it as a setting for his ongoing Dungeons & Dragons campaign.

An avid gamer, in 1982, Dever won the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Championship of America and developed his own rules, created a parallel universe populated with all manner of gods and monsters, and then proceeded to document his gaming group’s adventures within that world. It was this that provided the background for what would become Lone Wolf - a way of sharing his love of the game with players all around the world.

Photo of Joe Dever, we probably want some more copy here

Unlike a Role Playing Game, Lone Wolf can be played alone, any time, anywhere, without dice, tools, or paper. In place of a die, the books provide a random number chart, plus handy character sheets for tracking abilities and equipment.

If you have a pencil, you can be Lone Wolf.

Lone Wolf, set in the fantasy world of Magnamund, follows the adventures of the lone survivor of an ancient caste of warrior monks - the Kai Lords, sworn protectors of the realm of Sommerlund and masters of many natural & supernatural abilities.

This campaign of adventure is comprised of five ‘series’. And each series contains a complete storyline.

The Kai Series

The first five books chart Lone Wolf’s efforts to thwart the invasion of his homeland and bring Vonotar, the traitor responsible for the death of the Kai Order, to justice.

THE MAGNAKAI SERIES

Books 6-12 cover several years of high adventure. The young Lone Wolf becomes a Kai Master but struggles to understand & control his abilities. To train a new order he must follow the path of Sun Eagle, the first of all the Kai Lords, creator of the Book of the Magnakai on a quest for seven divine artefacts - the Lorestones of Nyxator - hidden in terrible places like the hellish Danarg Swamp and the sunken city of Zaaryx. His quest is hindered by the rise of a new Archlord of the Darklands.

THE GRAND MASTER SERIES

Lone Wolf begins to train the first initiates of the rebuilt Kai Monastery while struggling to deal with the rise of even greater evils. With the destruction of the Darklords, the Dark God Naar dispatches agents with clandestine plots. Horrors of the past - the Great Plague of the Cener Druids, the Doomstone of Agarash, Darklord Vashna and Deathlord Ixiataaga - threaten to return, culminating in a clash against the power of Naar, the God of Darkness himself!

The Curse of Naar, published in 1993, marked Lone Wolf’s twentieth book and the conclusion of its third series. While Joe Dever had a great deal more planned for the Kai Grand Master and his students, there were exciting developments elsewhere in the saga.

In addition to the Lone Wolf books, a new adventure series featuring Grey Star the Wizard was published. Written by Ian Page and edited by Joe Dever, the Grey Star books offered readers a magical new character with which to explore Magnamund.

GreyStar Books burb about this here

Joe Dever also expanded Lone Wolf into other forms of media at this time. There were four video games produced for the ZX Spectrum computer and later for the Commodore 64. These titles ranged from recreations of the first two books, Flight from the Dark and Fire on the Water, to an entirely new scenario - The Mirror of Death.

Here is some images of the computer stuff

There were also two interactive telephone PhoneQuest games, playable by calling a special line and making decisions through dialing numbers at specific times. The Forbidden Tower and the Fortress of Doom were extremely popular at the time of their release in 1989 and 1991.

Lone Wolf was conceived and defined as interactive books, but the saga was expanded in a series of twelve novelizations - the Legends of Lone Wolf. These novels, written by John Grant, built upon the stories in the gamebooks while also introducing new characters, new details, and new plotlines.

While these projects were expanding the world of Lone Wolf, Joe Dever began the New Order Series with the publication of Voyage of the Moonstone in 1994. This fourth set of books was intended to be comprised of twelve volumes and to chart the conclusion of Lone Wolf’s story. Sadly, as the gamebook craze ended, the series was canceled in 1998 by its publisher Red Fox after only eight books.

Despite the decline of gamebooks, several new projects kept the saga thriving. The computer game - Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf: Blood on the Snow - expands upon the Kai Series timeline and surpassed 2.5 million downloads. And graphic novels, apps, audiobooks, atlases, sourcebooks, collectible art cards, board games, and RPGs all further expanded the setting.

A collection of different books

This revival of interest in Lone Wolf eventually saw the rights return to Dever, who set up Holmgard Press to complete the publication of the epic 32-book saga. 

Fresh hope for the series came when, in 2016, Joe Dever provided the first news Lone Wolf book in nearly two decades - Book 29: The Storms of Chai, which concluded many of the plotlines left open by the New Order books.

Here is some images of the computer stuff

Tragically, on 29 November 2016, Joe Dever passed away at the age of 61, but his legacy lives on. In the week before he died, he outlined his plans for the final three books in the Lone Wolf series to his son, and long-time fan and collaborator Vincent Lazzari.

The first posthumous Lone Wolf book, Dead In The Deep, was completed in early 2019 and won the LGL award for Best International Gamebook.

Dead in the Deep was followed in 2020 by The Dusk of Eternal Night.

In preparation for the very last Lone Wolf adventure - Light of the Kai - Holmgard Press has embarked on the ambitious task of bringing the entire 32-book series back into print.

The ‘Definitive Edition’ project is the first time Joe Dever's epic 32-book saga has been produced in a single consistent format, made available in hardback, paperback, and e-book.

Drawing on the best artwork from across the years, with edited text and rebalanced gameplay using a dedicated team of Lone Wolf scholars at Scriptarium and Project Aon, and with new supplementary material compiled by authors August Hahn, Vincent Lazzari, and Joe's son Ben Devere - they are an authoritative lasting testament to the world of Lone Wolf.

With the publication of the final book - Light of the Kai - in 2024, the saga comes to its epic conclusion, 40 years since fans began their journey.

Here is some images of the computer stuff