Description: “One night in your sleep you are granted (plagued with?) a vision:
“In your vision a vague hooded figure, wreathed in ethereal vapours, beckons to you from the western kingdom of Agimen. Its voice is familiar, yet chilling and distant at once. It whispers:
“'Our city has fallen under the influence of an undead warlock- this evil being was returned from the beyond when its remains were unearthed, the seal of its tomb broken during recent excavations...
“With these last words the figure is lost in the clouds of your dream, leaving you with a dread urgency for action...
“The following day sees your hurried departure for Agimen, your belongings hastily thrown together with the sun's cold rise... On the approach you see that a visibly grimy red sky hangs over the city like a pall. Your footsteps are the only sounds as you near the overwhelming and dark structures that form the rotting skeleton of the once great city...”
Review: This adventure is no less ambitious than Wade Clarke's earlier The Prism of Shadows; an underlying mythology seems to present itself at every turn. The story and mood are consistently spooky and dire, and dozens of special effects and secrets await. A number of potential companions can be found, each of which is granted special dialogue at important moments in the adventure, providing either important advice concerning future traps or dialogue enhancing the overall mood.
A wide variety of locations, each quite detailed, keep the adventure exciting, and a few hidden rooms force the player to remain alert for anomalies in the room descriptions. The puzzles and magic items that further open the map to new areas are typically intuitive; on those occasions in which the solutions are not so intuitive, the player can (in theory) rely on his or her companions to offer the necessary insight.
The only thing that makes this a less satisfactory adventure than The Prism of Shadows is the overwhelming difficulty of the enemies (the attributes of which I was forced to downgrade upon converting the adventure). Part of the charm of the adventure follows from holding onto the companions, whose words add to the setting, but even with a souped-up character, there are a number of occasions upon which the player may have to watch his or her charges die at the hands of the undead enemies. A number of turns thus become de facto “death traps,” in turn depriving the player of information needed to avoid the de jure traps. There should be no shame in “POKE”-ing one's companions back from the dead.
The story is tight and intriguing, dispensed to the player through readable books and companions' comments, and the number and variety of areas ensures that the exploring never becomes dull. For one looking at the MAIN PGM, one will also recognize that the programming is extremely well-done. If one is willing to cheat a bit here and there, defeating the titular warlock ensures a satisfying and dramatic conclusion to the adventure.
Used with Matthew Clark's kind permition.
Original review available at Eamon Adventurer's Guild Online website.