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Saturday, August 7, 2021

War of Deities

Hi gamebookers! 

I've been feeling a bit nostalgic recently, plus, my first gamebook has been converted to play online, so I thought I would write about that.

I wrote my first gamebook back in the summer of 2008. It was a 400 section dungeon crawl. I wanted to keep the scenario simple so that I didn't create any problems for myself and so it made me more likely to finish it.

The gamebook was called War of Deities: Part 1

You can play it online here: War of Deities | Fighting Fantasy .Net

You can download the Word document here (look for Stuart Lloyd): Fighting Fantasy Project - Downloads (ffproject.com)

I wanted to write about the name, because if you play it, there's nothing really in there about deities having a war and I haven't written any other parts besides part 1. 

I can't really remember why I didn't, but I guess life got in the way and I started writing gamebooks for the Windhammer Competition. Then, in an attempt to get better at gamebook writing, I wrote Ten short Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and one long one. Then I wrote Shadowcaster (also on ffproject - Fighting Fantasy Project - Downloads (ffproject.com)).

So, I thought I'd let you know about the story.

Why War of Deities?

This was supposed to be a book series about the war between the primal deities of Titan - Ashra, Vuh and Elim. Ashra is the deity of light, Vuh is the deity of life and Elim is the deity of darkness, and the bad one. The deities don't get any coverage that I can remember in the regular gamebook series, but they get a mention in Titan and they make up a large part of the Advanced Fighting Fantasy 1st edition adventures. In Dungeoneer!, the adventurers use The Crystal of Power to restore a ghost called Sargon to life. Sargon was around during the siege of Caresepolis and tells the heroes how to use the crystal to defeat the bad guy, Xorton Throg, and save Allansia from his army of skeleton warriors. But who's side was Sargon really on?

In Blacksand, the adventure involves stopping a cult that wants to animate a brass golem to destroy Port Blacksand. You defeat them, but find out that they are a cult to Elim and that the high priest of the cult was receiving instructions from...duh duh duh! Sargon. Turns out he was a bigwig priest for Elim.

In Allansia, Sargon has an army and is trying to destroy Kaad because back in his time, it was a powerful town that opposed him. The heroes manage to stop the army with their own and they use the Staff of Ashra - a magic staff with a crystal on it to (almost?) kill Sargon.

Well, War of Deities was going to follow the end of the Allansia! story.

What were the other parts going to be about?

War of Deities was going to be a 4 part series.

Part 2: Book 1 ends with you having escaped the dungeon, but your annoying rival, Thraccus has stolen the silver orb from you after you did all the work to get it. Also, there are 5 wyverns circling around you. 

Yaztromo turns up to save you from the wyvern and tells you what's going on. The silver orb actually contains the essence of Elim, the primal deity of darkness. If someone knew how to unlock its power, they could get the power of Elim and become a physical god on Titan. Not good. Yaztromo tells you that there are similar magic items that contain the essences of Ashra and Vuh. He tells you that Thraccus is on his way to Port Blacksand and that you should go to Port Blacksand to get the silver orb back from Thraccus. Yaztromo gives you some help and you head back to his tower, but then Vradna the night demon turns up and attacks you! You have no way of fighting it, but Yaztromo creates a magic spell that creates an orb of light. When the light fades, they are both gone. Oh no!

You go to Blacksand and try to find Thraccus. You wander round the crazy place a bit and realise that Thraccus is in the sewers. You go in via the inn that lets people into the sewers and find the fish people temple from Allansia. If you have the correct items/spells, you find a secret compartment with a large glowing gem, which you take. You find Thraccus, but you are too late! He has become the avatar of Elim and beats you to a pulp, before leaving you to die in a flooding sewer. If you have the glowing gem, you feel something carry you away from the tunnel and you wake up in Nicodemus's room. End of book 2.


Part 3: Book 3 opens with Nicodemus telling you what happened. The glowing gem was the essence of Vuh and it saved you. He knows that Thraccus is not the avatar of Elim. He also knows what he wants to do. He has left Blacksand to find the sleeping remnants of the army of chaos from the last battle, which he will raise and march on Port Blacksand, which he sees as the city that caused his downfall. Nicodemus tells you that the way of defeating him is in a swamp near Kaad.

You head off, but as soon as you leave the hut, you are attacked by an assassin. Whether you win or not, they poison you. The poison is normally fatal, but the essence of Vuh keeps you alive, so you have some time to hopefully find a cure and/or complete your mission.

You head across Allansia. If you go to a swamp, you find the village from Allansia! which has the staff of Ashra. The combined power of both essences can cure your poison, but before anyone can help, some wyverns arrive and attack the village. In the confusion, some wyvern riders steal the staff and head north. 

You head north, and, after a load of adventures, you come to the monastery from Allansia! which you enter. The adventure ends with you in a large room where you see the night demon Vradna talking to Sargon. The essence of Ashra is nearby. Then they both spot that you are there.

Part 4: The adventure starts with you trying to dodge Vradna's fire bolts and Sargon's magic to get the staff of Ashra. Normally, these would kill you, but then Yaztromo shows up and protects you. You manage to get the staff of Ashra, and the combined powers of Ashra and Vuh cure your poison and give you many abilities - you get +6 Skill, +12 Stamina and +6 Luck, you can only be harmed by magic weapons, your weapon becomes magical and deals +2 damage and the spells you've learnt along the way become uber powerful. You fight Vradna and, once he is banished, you face Sargon. 

Sargon has fallen foul of Elim and turned to the new demons. Sargon does not want Elim's avatar on Titan because Elim will probably want to kill him, so on Yaztromo's advice, you and Sargon team up to go back to Blacksand and stop him. On the way, you have to fight some of Elim's champions. I can't remember all of them, but one was a warrior, who, when wounded, makes the wound appear on you instead. You get around it by using ranged weapons. There was also a mechanical dragon. Sargon would help you with his magic.

At Blacksand, you and Sargon take on the army and find Thraccus/Elim. You fight him and if you beat him, you banish Elim, leaving you to finally get your revenge on Thraccus for all the pain he's caused you.

With Elim banished, the army retreats. Sargon flees before anyone can do anything about him and Lord Azzur rewards you by banishing you from Blacksand because he does not want to give credibility to the story that Blacksand was weak enough to fall foul of an ancient army. I guess you can't win them all.

So there you go. Maybe one day, I will write it all. Maybe I will write it as an AFF2 scenario?

You can play War of Deities (and many other great Fighting Fantasy books) here: War of Deities | Fighting Fantasy .Net

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