Lone Wolf

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You are Lone Wolf. In a devastating attack, the Darklords have destroyed the monastery where you were learning the skills of the Kai Lords. You are the sole survivor.

The Lone Wolf Gamebook series (plural, containing the Kai, Magnakai, Grand Master, and New Order series) were written by Joe Dever; the first book came out in 1984. As the opening quote tells us, the hero is the Last of His Kind Fighter/Monk/Magic Knight Lone Wolf, who escapes the Big Bad's destruction of the monastery where he and the rest of the Kai Order lived. In the course of his many adventures, Lone Wolf has to avenge his fallen brethren, foil the Darklords and other Evil Overlords, try to rebuild the Kai Order, and otherwise save his Sword and Sorcery world Magnamund many, many times.

The books take many RPG elements and incorporate them into playing/reading, such as Hit Points (called Endurance points), "Combat Skill", skills (Kai / Magnakai / Grand Master Disciplines), and an inventory system. Each book can be read as a standalone adventure, but finishing a book allows one to gain an extra Discipline and carry over most (usually) of his inventory. You can cheat, but you can cheat at Solitaire too.

There are 20 books out that follow Lone Wolf himself, then 8 after that following a student of his, with more being written. There's also a four-books World of Lone Wolf Spin-Off that takes place in the same world, with Grey Star the Wizard as the hero. There are also 12 Legends of Lone Wolf novelizations roughly covering the first 8 books, fleshing out characterization and the series mythology, as well as a Magnamund Companion guidebook. There are even two Tabletop RPG versions of the books and a graphic novel spin-off. A computer game is in the works, though it's been stuck in Development Hell for some time.

Kai series

  • Flight from the Dark (1984)
  • Fire on the Water (1984)
  • The Caverns of Kalte (1984)
  • The Chasm of Doom (1985)
  • Shadow on the Sand (1985)

Magnakai series

  • The Kingdoms of Terror (1985)
  • Castle Death (1986)
  • The Jungle of Horrors (1986)
  • The Cauldron of Fear (1986)
  • The Dungeons of Torgar (1987)
  • The Prisoners of Time (1987)
  • The Masters of Darkness (1988)

Grand Master series

  • The Plague Lords of Ruel (1990)
  • The Captives of Kaag (1991)
  • The Darke Crusade (1991)
  • The Legacy of Vashna (1991)
  • The Deathlord of Ixia (1992)
  • Dawn of the Dragons (1992)
  • Wolf's Bane (1993)
  • The Curse of Naar (1993)

New Order series

  • Voyage of the Moonstone (1994)
  • The Buccaneers of Shadaki (1994)
  • Mydnight's Hero (1995)
  • Rune War (1995)
  • Trail of the Wolf (1997)
  • The Fall of Blood Mountain (1997)
  • Vampirium (1998)
  • The Hunger of Sejanoz (1998)

World of Lone Wolf

  • Grey Star the Wizard (1985)
  • The Forbidden City (1986)
  • Beyond the Nightmare Gate (1986)
  • War of the Wizards (1986)

The Final Four[1]

  • The Storms of Chai (2011)
  • Untitled 30 (tba)
  • Untitled 31 (tba)
  • Untitled 32 (tba)

All the gamebooks up to Trail of the Wolf and a few of the others can, with the permission of Dever, be played online at Project Aon.

Also of note is Joe Dever's Freeway Warrior series, which uses similar rules, but exchanges Magnamund for a Mad Max-inspired post-holocaust setting.


Tropes used in Lone Wolf include:
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Baga-darooz in Barrakeesh, and a few others.
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: The Shianti are forbidden from interfering in human affairs, even though Wytch-king Shasarak, one of their number, is doing just that. Of course, when a human baby accidentally lands on their island, there Aint No Rule about teaching him to use magic and "allowing" him to go into the world to deal with the threat.
  • All There in the Manual
    • The novelizations introduce several key characters such as Naar or Alyss. (Good luck knowing who or what Alyss is otherwise.)
    • Also the Magnamund Companion; nothing really vital, or that doesn't come up elsewhere, but loads and loads of awesome worldbuilding. As well as a Lone Wolf board game and a short Choose Your Own Adventure with Banedon as protagonist, providing some backdrop to Book 1.
  • Exclusively Evil: The Drakkarim, the Darklords, the Giaks and too many others to count.
    • But not the Szalls, a Giak sub-race who fled enslavement by the Darklords and settled in the Wildlands. There's a spot in Book 2 where Szalls try to warn you not to go near a monster. (Though the little bastards do steal your horse afterwards.)
    • The novelizations feature Carag, a Giak who turned against its masters and joined Lone Wolf. Unfortunately, he is implied to have been killed by the Darklords by the end of The Claws of Helgedad.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different
    • Lone Wolf's star apprentice (you name him) takes over in Book 21, starting over from relative scratch. And if you don't want to name him, you can use a table to combine two words to give him a supposedly cool name. Or more likely, something absurd like "Shield Sword".
    • The World of Lone Wolf books feature Grey Star the Wizard, a young wunderkind trained in magic by the Shianti, beings so good at magic that the gods had to ask -- nicely -- for them to leave human beings alone. He's an orphan marooned on the rocks of their island by a storm, and finding him was serendipitous since they are forbidden to leave their island, yet there's this evil sorcerer taking over the world right outside. So they raise him, train him in their ways and send him off to topple an empire.
  • Animal Assassin: The Plaak in Book 12.
  • Another Dimension: The books The Prisoners of Time and Beyond the Nightmare Gate involve Lone Wolf and Grey Star traveling to the Daziarn plane, outside the normal universe of Magnamund. In the Grand Master series, Lone Wolf makes repeated (and unwelcome) visits to the Plane of Darkness, Naar's home turf.
  • Anticlimax Boss
    • Darklords Zagarna (Book 2) and Gnaag (Book 12) are destroyed without a fight by the power of the Sommerswerd. In gameplay terms an anticlimax, but the satisfying and incredibly badass descriptions of these literal embodiments of evil being annihilated in a blast of holy sunfire makes up for it.
    • Wytch-king Shasarak and Agarash the Damned from the World of Lone Wolf books starring Grey Star end up being these. The former turns out to be a pathetically weak fighter and is easily defeated in battle. Grey Star beats the latter by simply throwing the Moonstone at the gate Agarash is trying to pass through, thus preventing his escape.
  • Arrows on Fire: Kai-alchemy grants this as a spell.
  • Art Evolution: Darklord Gnaag's appearance between Book 8 and Book 12, which is primarily due to the change in illustration artists. The Updated Rerelease changes his appearance further, again, due to a new artist.
  • Artifacts of Death: The Doomstones and Death Staff. If not already undead when starting to use them, you may become one soon.
  • Artifacts of Doom: Many. Doomstones, Darklord weapons, the Death Staff, etc.
    • And in The Skull of Agarash graphic novel, the eponymous demonic cranium.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The funerals of Lors Casis in The Buccaneers of Shadaki, as the Elder Magi is passing over to the Plane of Light, leaving no body behind.
  • The Atoner: The Redeemers, a silent order of healers that helps Lone Wolf from time to time, are atoning not for their own misdeeds, but for the misdeeds of their ancestors, the Patar. The Patar played a key role in the near extinction of their former masters the Elder Magi by plague. Ashamed, they vowed that they and their descendants would dedicate themselves to fighting disease in all its forms.
  • Attack Reflector: The Sommerswerd can sometimes be used to volley a magical attack back at the caster.
    • An example from Shadow on the Sand is the Vordak riding a Zlanbeast and firing on Banedon's skyship with a magic staff, who subsequently gets a taste of his own Fireballs.
  • Back From the Brink: Books 1 and 2 cover this for the country of Sommerlund, which Zagarna made his first target in his war. Books 8 through 12 seem to cover this for the entirety of Northern Magnamund, as it seems Gnaag is saving Sommerlund for last.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Mentioned in some places, particularly as one of the reasons for the Exile of the Shianti.
  • Barbarian Tribe
    • The Ice Barbarians of Kalte, for the bad guys.
    • And, arguably, the Lost Tribe of the Kundi and the Masbate, for the good guys.
  • Battle Aura: Zakhan Kimah has this on steroids with his Orb of Death. The intro to his fight with Lone Wolf in Book 9 has him strolling across the battlefield nonchalantly, with the only normal soldier who dares strike him being instantly disintegrated. This is very likely to happen to Lone Wolf as well.
  • Battle Cry
    • "For Sommerlund and the Kai!" -- Order of the Kai
    • "Shaag Drakkarim!" -- Drakkarim [2]
    • "SHEGGA-ASH-TAAG!" -- Giaks [3]
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Happens a couple times to Lone Wolf and once to Grey Star.
    • When Lone Wolf defeats the Rahkos in Book 7, it will immediately kill him if he turns his back on it.
    • A Double Subversion occurs in Book 11 when Lone Wolf fights the Scarlet Warrior. The subversion occurs if Lone Wolf gets a one-hit KO on the random number table and actually kills him. It's doubly subverted since the incredibly contrived way the enemy dies means that the last Lorestone is stolen anyway.
    • Grey Star's fight against the Kleasa ends up being one of these as well. Even if Grey Star "wins" the fight -- which he might not, considering it's very though -- the Kleasa still kicks his ass. The Love Interest Tanith has to make a Heroic Sacrifice to save Grey Star but she recovers at the end of the second book.
  • Beard of Evil: Prince Lutha
  • Belly Mouth: Darklord Zagarna is described in the novels as having a fanged maw in the belly, which is constantly feeding on Giak or human flesh.
  • The Berserker: Some enemies are described as entering fights in a state of rage, making them immune to basic psychic attacks. This is common with the Drakkarim; they're sometimes seen hacking at lowly soldiers on their side, like Giaks, just to reach their main foe.
  • Big Bad: While Naar, the King of the Darkness, is the ultimate Big Bad of the setting, each series also has its own Big Bad. Darklord Haakon is the Big Bad in the Kai series, though he's not challenged until Book 5 and most of the Kai series sees "the Darklords" as a whole as the threat. Darklord Gnaag emerges as the main villain of the Magnakai series after he claims the title of Archlord in Book 8. Naar himself takes a more direct role in the Grandmaster series. The vampire Sejanoz becomes the Big Bad midway through the New Order Kai series.
  • Big Badass Bird of Prey: Itikars
  • Big Badass Wolf
    • Lone Wolf himself draws on this symbolism with his name.
    • Big Bad Wolves: Doomwolves, Hounds of Death, Taintor Wolves...
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Most of the time, Naar is essentially a Bigger Bad, operating through various minions such as the Darklords, Archdruid Cadak, the Demoness Shamath and Agarash the Damned. They don't usually work together or have anything to do with each other, and some individual villains (Deathlord Ixiataaga as the prime example) act as independent Big Bads of their own books but are only remotely linked to Naar.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Some of the books include messages written in the Giak language, which can give interesting hints if you can read them (with the help of the Magnamund Companion).
  • Black and White Morality
  • Black Magic: Right-handed Magic, the evil counterpart to the Left-handed Magic used by Banedon and the other wizards of the Crystal Star. Used by the Nadziranim for such fun things as demon summoning, transformation, various destructive spells (though to be fair, the Lefties have these too), and necromancy.
  • Black Speech
    • The Giak language, lingua franca of the Darklands and Drakkarim.
    • There is also a "dark tongue" that only the Darklords have been seen using. It is described as a harsh, guttural language, with words and sounds that the mouths of men could never form.
  • Blessed with Suck: Or possibly The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard, though replace "The Computer" with "The Author". The Sommerswerd, mentioned below, makes the next few books in the series much easier, but after that, Dever began compensating by making some fights harder, or taking away non-combat options, if you have it. Perhaps the most egregious example is in Book 11, where having the Sommerswerd forces you into a battle that is almost unwinnable without cheating or massive good luck. And in Book 12, if you try to use it too soon... you just die. Since, if you draw it from its magic scabbard in the Darklands, the release of holy energy will tell the entire forces of darkness where you are. The same goes for Books 17 and 20. Even an Infinity+1 Sword is of little good when you're lit up like a Christmas tree and ripe for every evil creature in an entire realm of evil to converge on your location. On the other hand, if you do bring it along it will vaporize the Big Bad. You know it's bad when there're fan justifications for the hero not to have his Infinity+1 Sword for Book 11, and for continuity's sake Book 10 as well.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points
  • Boisterous Bruiser
    • The mercenary captain in Book 6.
    • Thog the Barbarian in the novels.
  • Bottled Heroic Resolve
    • Adgana herb. The strongest CS-enhancing drug in the series, but with a risk of nasty addiction that can reduce the Endurance score -- permanently.
    • Alether potion, too, with less enhancement but without the side effects. As a result, much more common; you can find a draught about Once per Book.
  • Bow and Sword in Accord: Starting with the Magnakai series, the hero can use a bow alongside melee weapons.
  • But Thou Must!: Since each book has to have 350 entries (except Book 5) and there's only one good ending, it's inevitable that some choices don't actually matter (you'll end up at the same destination page in a couple turns regardless of the choice). The entries are well-written enough (usually) that this doesn't seem like too forced.
  • Canon Immigrant: Alyss, the mischievous demigoddess, originated in the Legends of Lone Wolf novels penned by John Grant, but showed up in the proper adventure starting Book 16.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Book 14 has Lone Wolf storming the fortress city of Kaag. References are made to the Giak-spawning vats used to spawn Giaks as cannon fodder... and as an unlimited source of meat. The other Giaks that handle and cook the meat in the kitchens don't seem to mind handling the flesh of their own kind. It is never stated if the Giaks also eat it, but it's quite likely.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Some spells work by burning Endurance in the adventure where you play Banedon, and sometimes too in the Grandmaster books, with Kai-alchemy and Magi-magic.
  • Celibate Hero: Lone Wolf doesn't appear to have a canonical love interest in the main books, though Legend of Lone Wolf gives him a couple of female companions.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: In the first batch of Kai Disciplines, "disciplines" such as Hunting and Camouflage are listed right alongside powers like Sixth Sense and Mindblast.
  • Chekhov's Gun: As a staple of Gamebooks, any item found by the protagonist (even seemingly useless trinkets) can prove surprisingly useful later in the book -- or sometimes, one or two books further in the series. However, there are also plenty of random items that serve no purpose but to take up space in the backpack, and thus you must choose wisely what you keep. Also, it is quite possible to miss the specific path were any item happens to be used.
    • That Kazim stone Grey Star gets tortured with in Book 1 of his series? Those things become much more significant in Book 4.
    • A negative version of this trope being the Black Crystal Cube from Shadow on the Sand. It's not until later in the book that you learn a) it attracts your enemies to your location, and b) it is going to explode in your hand if you don't throw it away fast enough. A similar one can be found in The Masters of Darkness, and if you keep it too long, it just kills you outright when exploding.
  • The Chessmaster: Darklord Gnaag, as revealed in The Claws of Helgedad and Book 10.
  • The Chosen One: Lone Wolf himself.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The Darklords, as evidenced by Archlord Gnaag's reaction when he walks in on Lone Wolf (in disguise as Darklord Ghanesh's minion) slaying Darklord Taktaal: "Your master would be proud of you!" The fact that Darklord weapons like Helshezag and the Dagger of Vashna give combat bonuses when fighting other Darklords -- and are among the very few things, besides the Sommerswerd, which can kill a Darklord -- is further proof of their treacherous nature.
  • Clean Cut: Can happen with the Sommerswerd due to Cutscene Power to the Max -- especially to The Undead.
  • Clear My Name: In Book 19, Lone Wolf is arrested for the crimes of his Evil Knockoff, Wolf's Bane.
  • Combat Tentacles: Burrowcrawler, Crypt Spawns, Akraa'Neonor, Giant Meresquid, Roctopus, Octagtah, Ictakko, Stragnah, Korozon, Ixian Mhagani....
  • Cool Horse: Wildwind. A gift from Gwynian the Sage, able to go over sixty miles per hour without ever slowing down.
  • Cool Sword: All of the named swords in this series could be considered a Cool Sword:
    • Lone Wolf can make a bunch of these with the new discipline of Kai Weaponcraft once he reach the rank of Kai Supreme Master. In the New Order Kai books, the protagonist receive one of these named weapon (an axe, sword or broadsword). These "Kai-weapons" all offer +5 CS normally and provide bonus CS depending on enemy type, environment, or time of day.
  • Creepy Souvenir: One Vassagonian warrior wears a necklace of shrunken heads.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Nyxator. He created the Lorestones and inspired the Kai Order. He was also a literal dragon.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Paido
  • Deadly Dodging: Rarely comes into play, as most fight sequences are straightforward. There's an example in book 6, however: in the ruins of Castle Taunor, if Lone Wolf flees from the enraged monster waiting in ambush, you can lure it into jumping down a precipice by dodging at the last moment.
  • Deal with the Devil: The malevolent Chaos-master, who grants wishes with the expected Monkey's Paw twists.
  • Death World: The goal of the Darklords is to turn Magnamund into this for everyone but themselves.
  • Dem Bones: Skeletons warriors constitute the main troops of the Ixian Undead.
  • Demonic Invaders: The Agarashi, and to an extent the Darklords and their more inhuman minions.
  • Departure Means Death: The Darklords of Helgedad cannot survive outside the polluted atmosphere of the Darklands without special apparati, which can be magical, but can also include special breathing tanks. Of course, they are attempting to expand the Darklands through conquest.
  • Diagonal Cut: This is the fate of a Vordak in Book 5 if you have the Sommerswerd.

You strike again, curving the golden blade in a great arc. It bites into the Vordak's neck, tearing through its unnatural body, and severing it diagonally from collarbone to hip.

  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?
    • Book 11 has Lone Wolf take on the aforementioned Chaos-master, the equivalent of the Devil in the Daziarn. Even other physical gods are afraid of it. On the other hand, if you brought the Sommerswerd with you on this adventure, it's probably not a fight you'll win.
    • Book 20 has Lone Wolf doing this constantly.
  • Doomed Hometown: The Kai Monastery at the beginning of the series.
  • Doom Magnet: Whatever you do, never board the same ship/boat/ferry as Lone Wolf. You'll either be attacked by pirates, be the victim of sabotage, sunk by an ironclad battleship, attacked by a hungry sea serpent, captured by a giant fish-shaped boat crewed by a horde of Undead, ambushed and dragged to your death by hungry frogmen, have a Necromancer stir up havoc in the taproom, or any combination of the above. Justified to an extent: Lone Wolf is such a powerful force for good that he naturally attracts evil.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Doomwolves; the Doomstones, mentioned above; the Doomlands of Naaros in Southern Magnamund; and of course Book 4: The Chasm of Doom (guest star: Barraka the Doomslayer).
  • The Dragon: Big Bad Naar has had several Dragons in the Backstory and throughout the series. The most notable was Agarash the Damned, described as his most powerful champion of evil. Agarash in turn had his own Dragon, the Deathlord Ixiataaga, the Big Bad of Book 17. Ixiataaga even had his own Dragon, Demonlord Tagazin.
  • Dual-Wielding: Technically not allowed. However, this hasn't stopped some players to homebrew their own rules to gain the bonus of two magic weapons at once.
  • Due to the Dead: Both paths in Book 8 lead to an example.
  • Dungeon Bypass
    • The only way to escape The Maze in Castle Death.
    • Also, at the very end of War of the Wizards, the armies of the Big Bad are winning despite everything Grey Star have done. So what can the hero do? You use your magic to teleport directly to Shasarak and kill him personally.
  • Dwindling Party: In Book 4, the squad you bring with you is slowly killed off, and will be entirely dead by the end regardless of what path you take.
  • Dying Race: The Elder Magi. In the second book of the New Order series, the Grandmaster can attend the funeral/ascension of one of the Magi. It is mentioned that fewer than a hundred Elder Magi remain, and their power is fading with each passing year. The Elder Magi accept their eventual demise, secure in the knowledge that the New Order Kai stand ready to take their place in the fight against evil.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Several enemies Lone Wolf encounters could be considered as such.
    • Darklord Gnaag is essentially the Brundle Fly.
    • The Agtah and their master the horrific Chaos-master of the Daziarn boast twisted misshappen forms.
    • The Ciquali of the Hellswamp bear more than a passing resemblance to Lovecraft's Deep Ones.
    • And then there's the Crypt Spawn....
    • The Kleasa from the World of Lone Wolf series. A Living Shadow from another dimension that eats souls like candy.
  • Elite Mooks: The Drakkarim. Further in the series, the ante is upped with the elite of Drakkarim, the Death Knights.
  • Emergency Energy Tank: Touching a newly-discovered Lorestone instantly heals Lone Wolf fully -- but only this one time. Other circumstances allowing a complete healing can be found in the books, but they are always plot-related and can't be brought along (to be used, for example, during the fight against That One Boss). The one exception is Shamath's potion, but it is found near the end of Lone Wolf's adventures, and it has another use anyway.
  • Empathic Weapon
    • Though no obvious evidence is presented in the books, the actions taken by the Sommerswerd to protect both its wielder and itself may prove that it has a spirit of its own. It will also blast any evil creature who tries to pick it up (as in Book 7) and Book 2 states that it will lose its powers if wielded by one without the Kai gifts.
    • A darker variant is the Darklord sword Helshezag. The sword actually tries to compel Lone Wolf to butcher his enemies, bearing more than a passing resemblance to other cursed swords in fiction, such as Stormbringer -- which Joe Dever states was in fact the direct inspiration for Helshezag.
  • The Empire: The Darklands and the Shadakine Empire. Vassagonia too.
  • Enemy Civil War: The Darklords really needed a system of succession that didn't involve a massive civil war every time someone whacked the current Archlord.
  • Energy Absorption: The blade of the Sommerswerd can harmlessly absorb most offensive spells directed at its wielder. Sometimes, the energy is even used to heal Lone Wolf. However, the protection can rarely be foiled if the attack comes from an artifact at least as powerful as the Sword of the Sun, like with Kimah's Orb of Death or Vonotar's Ring of Power.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Vonotar's ghost fleet in Book 2.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: One rare actual bear he meets in the series (depending on if he has Animal Control or not) will either just leave him alone when he gets attacked by a pack of hungry Akataz, or he'll come to Lone Wolf's aid and curb stomp them. So it's worse for Lone Wolf's enemies, making this a nice change of pace from Everything Trying to Kill You.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The number of death traps, cold-blooded assassins, evil armies, cursed artifacts, hostile fauna, poisonous (and man-eating) flora, malevolent undead, and hidden ancient evils sealed all over the place that Lone Wolf runs into means something is always trying to kill him. Even when he isn't in a war.
    • Book 1: Lone Wolf may barely escapes sinking in a bog that claims his horse, just to be attacked by a very poisonous snake next. Even lampshaded in the text:

It seems that nature and the Darklords have conspired against you, but it does not shake your determination to reach the King.

    • Book 6: Though it requires a series of choices you'd have to be a complete idiot to actually make, Lone Wolf can get killed by an evil taxidermist.
    • Book 7: Castle Death is probably the worst about this trope. It's possible to run into magical cobwebs that try to kill Lone Wolf.
    • There are three rules to live by in all the books: Someone offering you hospitality and food? That's poisoned. Someone offering to help you? Is going to try and kill you in your sleep. Someone desperately begging for your help? Of course he's a Helghast, how many times are you going to fall for that trick?
    • Remember this is the series in which you can die fighting a door. Not even a magic/sentient/evil/cursed door, but die trying to open a boring, rusted, ordinary door. Well, it's a door that you're trying to force open after failing the mandatory puzzle lock, while caught in a torrent of acid rain, so it's the rain that's damaging you rather than the door itself. Which doesn't take anything away from the fact that yes, there is an honest to god combat sequence with a door, complete with Endurance and Combat Score, and you will die if you lose.
    • Grey Star the Wizard has these too. The first book alone has: a room so evil just standing in it can kill you, prehensile swamp plants trying to eat you, man-sized frog with poison skin that can fly(!!), a soul-eating Kleasa demon, a valley full of poison mist, and worst of all, a hive of thousands of giant acid-spitting preying mantises that you inevitably piss off and have to escape by climbing out of their lair -- from the bottom up.
  • Evil Knockoff
    • In Book 19, Lone Wolf's evil clone comes after him.
    • A similar predicament happens to Grey Star in Book 3 of his own series.
  • Evil Old Folks: Lord Zahda; Archdruid Cadak
  • Evil Overlords: The Darklords and Wytch-King Shasarak have this trope written all over them.
  • Evil Sorcerers: Vonotar the Traitor; Lord Zahda; the Nadziranim; the Cener Druids...
  • Expanded Universe: The Magnamund Companion, the Tabletop RPG, the Legends of Lone Wolf novels...
  • Face Heel Turn: Shasarak the Wytch-King was once a Shianti wizard, a member of the very group that sent Grey Star on his quest.
  • Faceless Eye: In the bonus story of the reprint of Book 7, Tavig faces down a creature called the All-Seeing One, a roughly humanoid creature whose head is just one big eye.
  • Faceless Goons: The Drakkarim. To the point it can take a while for a newcomer to the series to even realize they're supposedly humans.
  • Fangs Are Evil
  • Fiction 500: High-Mayor Cordas. Said to be the wealthiest man in Magnamund and able to order the construction of a skyship to be finished within a month for the sole purpose of helping Lone Wolf travel home more quickly.
  • Fictionary: The Giak language, which has some fun grammar.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: "Let us say that the wisdom of the Kai and the lore of the Magicians' Guild can surpass the limitations of even time itself." Loi-Kymar seems to think that "We got here so fast because we teleported." is too easy.
    • The Italian translation of that passage (which appeared at the end of the 3rd book) was even more heavy-handed, sounded something like this: "A Kai knight and a Guild magician have little patience for the constraints of such weak barriers like space and time!"
  • Fingore: An ugly dwarf servant of Zahda gets his fingers blasted from daring to pick the Sommerswerd.
  • Fish People: Bhakish, Ciquali, Xlorg...
  • Flaming Sword
    • The Sommerswerd has holy sunfire on its edge when it faces particularly evil foes.
    • The Darklord blades, like Helshezag or the Dagger of Vashna, are surrounded by black flames when used.
    • And in the Grand Master series, if Lone Wolf is a Sun Lord with Grand Weaponmastery, he can set any normal weapon's edge aflame for extra damage in battle.
  • Forced Prize Fight: In book 21, the New Order Kai Grandmaster must fight Dromodon the Invincible, the champion gladiator, after accidentally killing his intended opponent due to drinking from the wrong fountain. While the Grandmaster is initially sorry to have to kill the man to earn his freedom, he "looks into his eyes" and somehow realizes that Dromodon is a worshipper of Naar, meaning it's okay to kill him. A fairly transparent attempt to keep the Grandmaster from appearing too morally grey.
  • Forged by the Gods: More specifically "a race that men would now call gods" for the Sommerswerd.
  • Gaiden Game
    • The World of Lone Wolf books serve as this, following the wizard Grey Star who lives at the very southern tip of Magnamund, whereas Lone Wolf hangs out mainly in Northern Magnamund.
    • Also, most of the newly re-published old books have a new short adventure at the end where you take the role of one of the characters you have met during the course of the main adventure, each having their own unique gameplay style.
  • Gamebook Cruelty Punishment: Over the course of the series there are times Lone Wolf can do things that are... morally grey at best. The penalties for such decisions take the form of difficult battles, losing out on valuable items, or dying horribly. Lone Wolf is canonically The Messiah, he should act like it.
    • Averted in Book 2; when one of your travelling companions (you don't know which) tries to have you poisoned, you're better off killing the merchant than the one who actually did it. But played straight if you pick anyone else. The mercenary woman is bad enough, but if you pick one of the Knights of the White Mountain, he and his brother team up and become the hardest fight in the Kai books. They're even tougher to beat than Darklord Haakon! And this takes place before you get the Sommerswerd. Aside from cheating or being very lucky, there's no real way to win this fight.
  • Gargle Blaster: Bor-brew ale can put even a Kai Master in a coma.
  • Genre Savvy: After 20 books, Lone Wolf realizes that Naar and his minions are obsessed with him. He knew that if he tried to take the Moonstone back to the Shianti, then every servant of Naar would be trying to kill him before the week was up. So Lone Wolf passes the job to someone else, thinking that Naar's followers would be focused on himself instead. It works. Most of the threats the New Order Grandmaster encounters in Book 21 are coincidences; he only meets one Naar worshipper, and that is by accident.
  • Giant Flyers: Zlanbeast, Kraan, Itikar, Lavas... and a few dragons.
  • Giant Mook: Gourgaz
  • Global Airship: Banedon's skyship, Sky Rider. After it gets shot down in Book 18, Lone Wolf gives Banedon the ship he got in the book, Cloud Dancer.
  • Global Currency Exception
    • The various currencies can usually be spent interchangeably... but woe betide you if you try using the wrong currency as a bribe. Kika, the currency of the Darklands, takes this a step further: you can't spend it at all (except as a bribe in said Darklands). Basically, its purpose is to take up space in your Belt Pouch and to convince the naysayers at the Kai Monastery that, yes, these fiends do have an economy.
    • One tavern in the New Order series will only accept Gold Crowns or Silver Lune. The felt currency your companion carries is useless and the tavernkeeper will kick you out if you offer Ren from the Autocracy of Bhanar since Bhanarese soldiers killed the tavernkeeper's son.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: Helghasts
  • God of Evil: Naar
  • Going Native: Lone Wolf's infiltrating the Darklands while disguised as a Drakkar and (later) Darklord Ghanesh's servant in Book 12.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: The Kai Discipline of Healing is a favored choice amongst most players, and for good reason. There are so many ways for Lone Wolf to get sliced and diced, stabbed, concussed, burnt, frozen, poisoned, contaminated, mind-fried, life-drained or just generally hurt, to make it a very good thing he can heal.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Books 6-11 involve searching for the seven lost Lorestones one by one.
  • Grand Masters Who Actually Do Something: After the Magnakai series, nobody would blame Lone Wolf for wanting to sit back and train his acolytes in peace and let someone else handle the brushfires. But whenever a crisis emerges, he's always the first to step up to the plate to take care of business. It isn't until the New Order Kai series and his ascension to Supreme Mastery that he starts delegating the crisis du jour to his lieutenant.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: In the beginning of Book 20, the Elder Magi give Lone Wolf what is essentially a travel guide to the Plane of Darkness. It's pretty much the only reason Lone Wolf has even a snowball's chance in (literally) Hell of succeeding.
  • Great Gazoo: Alyss
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Although even smart guards would have a hard time against a psychic hero specialized in infiltration and camouflage, some over the series display the typical incompetence associated with this trope.
    • For example, in Shadow on the Sand, two Vassagonian gaolers believe their prisoner has escaped when they can't see him through the peephole, just because Lone Wolf is sitting against the door. And he isn't even doing it on purpose, but still gets the opportunity to ambush them when they open the cell.
    • In Dawn of the Dragons, the Eldenorian guards capturing Lone Wolf and bringing him before Prince Lutha take his gold, backpack and weapons... but not the weapon-like special items. Including the Sommerswerd! This one was so glaring that the French version actually changed the scene by adding an Eldenorian traitor who brings back his special items to Lone Wolf.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Completely averted in this series. Anytime an enemy has one of the "primitive" Bor Muskets, Lone Wolf will either die instantly or face a random number roll that could still result in instant death. Apparently, wielding awesome Psychic Powers granted by the Sun God doesn't count for much against guns.
  • Healing Factor: The various Healing disciplines.
  • Healing Hands: The various Healing disciplines, again.
  • Healing Potion: A staple of the game; the most common kind is the Laumspur potion, brewed from the Laumspur herb you can find over most of Magnamund. There are other varieties, more or less efficient, like Rendalim's elixir, Lanurma, Oxydine, Oede herb, etc. Very useful even with the Healing discipline, since it's quite easy to get mangled beyond what your Healing Factor can quickly repair.
  • Heel Face Turn: The Slavemaster of Aarnak in Book 12, who has had enough of the Darklords and their destructive ways. Later becomes the first president of Magador under his birth name, Kadharian.
  • Hell Hound: Pretty much every dog in this series could count. Especially Demonlord Tagazin, a huge sabretoothed jackal, and one of the strongest foes in the series. Joe Dever really doesn't like dogs.
  • Helping Hands
    • The Rakhos in Castle Death.
    • The novelization of Fire on the Water also describes the severed limbs of the zombies from Vonotar's ghost fleet still moving on their own until hacked to pieces.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: While there are other types of magic weapons, a few of which are even halfway decent, the best magic weapons are swords.
  • Hero of Another Story: Banedon is implied to be on his own adventures when he's offscreen, such as winning an airship staffed by gun-toting dwarves. You find that one out when he rescues Lone Wolf in Shadow on the Sand. He starts out, like Silent Wolf, as a slacker student, and eventually becomes Guildmaster of the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star.
  • Hero Stole My Horse: Repeatedly. As with Hero Stole My Flying Mount.
  • High Fantasy
  • Hit Points: Or Endurance Points, as they're known here.
  • Holy Hand Grenade
    • The Sommerswerd. Uses the blessed power of light... to obliterate the enemies of the Kai.
    • The Moonstone too. In The Buccaneers of Shadaki, just showing the artefact to an undead immediately destroys it.
  • Hook Hand: In Book 5, during the palace prison escape path, you can meet "Hammerfist the Armourer", a huge weaponsmith with a hand replaced by a warhammer for both fighting and metalworking.
  • Impersonating the Evil Twin: Lone Wolf taking the place of Wolf's Bane at the end of Book 19.
  • Idiot Ball: This being a Choose Your Own Adventure type of series, the player can make Lone Wolf hold it if he's faced with a situation where some of the choices are clearly dumber than the others. Some examples:
    • Book 1: If you fall into a tomb in a graveyard known for being the home to ancient horrors... why yes, do open the sarcophagus please, what could go wrong?
    • Book 2: If a zombie captain (that you've known when he was alive) asks you to put down the Sommerswerd so his soul could be freed... of course you can trust him and discard your magic weapon while on a ship full of undead.
    • Book 3: If you find a pretty golden bracelet on the body of an obviously mind-controlled Ice Barbarian, when it is known his people lacks metal and never fancied any jewelry, you can safely put it on your own wrist... Vonotar would just love to have a word with you.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Joe Dever loves this trope, as is evident from such titles as The Chasm of Doom, The Kingdoms of Terror, Castle Death and The Jungle of Horrors.
  • I'm a Humanitarian
    • The cannibal wretches of the Forbidden City.
    • The ghouls in Tahou's "Cauldron".
  • I'm Melting: Many living deads (like the Vordaks and Helghasts or the Ixian boss undead) dissolves into foul-smelling liquids when destroyed.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The Sommerswerd, acquired in the second book. The most powerful sword in the series, it's somewhat of a Game Breaker until later books give enemies power-ups to counter it. It's still an incentive for people to read from the beginning. In that book, the Sommerswerd is in fact the Sword of Plot Advancement; as an Old Save Bonus it acts as the Infinity+1 Sword in later books.
  • Instant Sedation
    • Tranquillizer Darts are used by Maouk in Shadow on the Sand. In the same book, Lone Wolf can use a blowpipe and dart on a guard; the effects are instantenous.
    • Knockout Gas in Castle Death, filling some trapped rooms or delivered by an ugly dwarf blowing it in your face through a brass tube.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle
  • Joker Jury: Lone Wolf gets one such mock-trial in Book 7, Castle Death. The sentence? "The Maze!"
  • Large and In Charge: Gourgaz
  • Laser Blade: Darklord Haakon summons one from his magic stone to fight Lone Wolf.
  • Last of His Kind: Lone Wolf is the only survivor of the Kai Lords, until he rebuild the Kai Order in the Grand Master books.
  • Letter Motif: If it has a double A in it (whether "it" is a creature, character or place) then it's trouble.
    • Characters: Gnaag, Haakon, Ixiataaga, Kekataag the Avenger, Kraagenskûl, Magnaarn, Naar, the Shog'aash, Taktaal.
    • Creatures: Akraa'Neonor, Dentaag, Dholdaarg, Dhorgaan, Kraan, Muntaag, Plaak, Taan-spider.
    • Places: Aarnak, Dejkaata, Kaag, Haagadar, Maaken (Maakengorge, Maakenmire), Naaros, Xaagon, Zaaryx.
      • Possibly justified if one assumes that the only language in Magnamund that contains the "double A" phoneme is the one used by all of Naar's minions. If all the really evil stuff is being named by the really evil people using words in their evil language, the similarity makes a lot more sense.
  • Load-Bearing Boss
    • Lord Zahda and his Doomstone with Kazan-Oud.
    • Deathlord Ixiataaga with Xaagon.
  • Long Running Book Series
  • Loyal Phlebotinum: The Sommerswerd can only be used to its full potential by a Kai Lord. If wielded in combat by anyone else, it is said that its power will fade and be lost forever. Furthermore, if a truly evil creature makes the mistake of holding the sword -- as an ugly dwarf servant of Lord Zahda painfully discovers in Castle Death -- it will cost him a few fingers.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Pick a number from the Random Number Table. If it is 6 or less, "Your life and your quest end here." Anybody who tells you they read the books all the way through without cheating is lying. Well... that, or their OCD makes them insane enough create a new character each and every single time the Random Number God frowns on them.
  • MacGuffin Guardian
    • Lord Haakon himself, and the monsters he summons, must be vanquished to retrieve the Book of the Magnakai at the end of book 5, Shadow on the Sand.
    • The monstruous Dakomyd guards the first Lorestone in book 6, The Kingdoms of Terror.
    • The Crocaryx and the Zadragon in book 9, The Cauldron of Fear.
    • Book 20, The Curse of Naar, can be said to be mostly a series of MacGuffin Guardians, as several Demon Lords must be beaten to retrieve each time a new Plot Coupon.
  • Mad Artist: Chanda the Taxidermist
  • Mad Scientist: The Cener Druids are the medieval equivalent of Mad Scientists. They specialize in experiments that surpass Josef Mengele in sadism and really love biological warfare. In the Backstory they nearly wiped out the mighty Elder Magi with a plague and in Book 13 they plan to do the same to everybody else.
  • Magic Antidote: Oede Herb
  • Magic Knight
    • The Vakeros Order, servants of Mages that Lone Wolf eventually befriends.
    • In the Grandmaster series, Lone Wolf can choose one of two styles of magic as a skill set to go along with his others. The Kai Lords themselves can be considered psionic knights.
  • Magitek: Present in some places. Most notably, the skyships like Banedon's Skyrider and Cloud-Dancer, and several of Naar's minions in Book 19.
  • The Man Behind the Man
    • Naar, King of the Darkness is the real Big Bad of the entire series, and the one who created the Darklords. Possibly subverted; though he's not mentioned in the first twelve books, being a god of evil, his existence was probably widely known already. He is heavily mentioned in the novelizations.
    • A better example of this trope exists in the World of Lone Wolf books starring Grey Star. Sealed Evil in a Can Agarash the Damned is The Man Behind the Man to Wytch-King Shasarak.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Especially in the earlier books that read more like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. The sheer number of non-combat-related ways Lone Wolf can die in the series rivals Shadowgate.
  • Mauve Shirt: Don't get too attached to any of the named characters who get characterization and accompany Lone Wolf on any of his adventures. If they stick around for more than a few page turns, chances are they're going to die horribly. Depending on the path taken, examples of ill-fated Mauve Shirts can be found in Books 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, and 18. In other words, practically the entire series. The guy's called "Lone Wolf" for a reason. There are exceptions, however, notably Vakeros Warrior Paido, Guildmaster Banedon and Captain Prarg. If one of them happens to die while they accompany Lone Wolf, the hero meets his end shortly thereafter (making these books somewhat Escort Missions). The three of them get captured by the enemy at some point, but are later rescued by Lone Wolf. Sadly, Paido isn't an exception to the end. He was killed off-screen by Gnaag at the end of Book 10. Lone Wolf learns this in Book 20 when he finds Paido's soul being tortured in the Plane of Darkness. Ouch.
  • The Maze: Lone Wolf faces this scenario in Book 7, after being caught by yet another evil overlord, stripped of his weapons, and sentenced to a maze. The maze isn't actually that big, but it's certainly riddled with lethal monsters. It is tricky in the sense that actually reaching the center kills you. To continue with the story, Lone Wolf has to cheat.
  • Meaningful Name: Magnamund is almost Latin for "big world".
  • Medieval European Fantasy: For the most part, although differently-themed civilisations are visited, and some parts of the world are heavily (and evilly) Steampunk.
  • Medieval Stasis: Right from the Word of God, as Dever has stated that Magnamund does not have a "technological" future. The idea was hinted at in one of the deuterocanonical Legends novels, and was Fanon Discontinuity among most fans even before Dever confirmed it.
    • This doesn't stop a mecha wolf, a time bomb, and power-armored warriors wielding laser spears from appearing in Book 19, among other things. Of course, this all takes place on the moon of a different planet.
  • Mind Over Matter
  • Mineral MacGuffins: The Moonstone, Lorestones and Doomstones.
  • Mirror Match: Lone Wolf vs. Wolf's Bane, and Grey Star vs. the Jahksa.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Several beasts of Magnamund are these, like the Anarian Sky-snake or the Ixian Mhagani. Also, the Cener Druids' creations are often a mixture of various creatures. However, it is even more prominent with beings of chaos, like the Daziarn's Agtah or the Plane of Darkness' Chaos-horde and Demons. The Chaos-master is a mix and match of many animals, all of which keep changing shape all the time.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Vordaks
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: Some of the puzzles are not solvable solely from the information given, such as one puzzle where the answer is 0. You have to realize that sometimes, 0 means 10 instead of 0, as often when picking from the Random Number Chart in the books themselves.
  • Money for Nothing: Though it never becomes completely useless, money does become less useful in the later books. Justified since some of them are set in places that have little use for currency, such as an icy wasteland populated by The Undead, a jungle moon orbiting another planet, and the Plane of Darkness (the series' equivalent to Hell).
  • Mordor: A few examples in the series, most especially the Darklands.
  • Mugged for Disguise: It is not rare for Lone Wolf to kill some Evil Minions for clothes before sneaking into enemy strongholds. This can happen in Book 5 to a Vassagonian messenger, in Book 12 to a Drakkar horseman, in Book 13 to a Cener Druid or in Book 16 with a Disciple of Vashna.
  • Mugging the Monster: Various rogues (robbers, thieves, bandits, pirates, backstabbers, grave diggers, pickpockets, brigands...) regularly try to mug Lone Wolf or his disciple in their travels. More often than not, it's the hero who ends up richer (and the cutthroats dead). Later in the series, the book may not even involve the player in such encounters. You get an off-hand paragraph that you're set upon by bandits, demanding gold but instead "receiving a harsh lesson in the powers of a Kai Master".
  • Mushroom Samba
    • The calacene mushrooms in Book 4.
    • And possibly, Bor-brew ale in Book 8.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast
    • Maybe a mild example here, but most people probably wouldn't be too eager to meet beings named "Kraagenskûl" or "Haakon", even if they weren't Darklords. (On the other hand, Haakon was/is a fairly popular name for Norwegian royalty for more than 1000 years.)
    • Another example is the eponymous "Castle Death" from Book 7, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Book 7 is one of the harder books in the series; the castle is full of monsters and traps, and that's before Lone Wolf gets to the Maze...
    • Then there's the Deathlord of Ixia. Even the Darklords feared this guy. So will you.
  • The Necrocracy (Type I): Ixia
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Destroying the Rune that controls the Soultaker in Rune War also left it stranded in Magnamund. As if having a pissed-off demon trapped on your world wasn't bad enough, said demon kidnaps Lone Wolf at the end of the book.
  • Nintendo Hard
    • Book 11 concludes with three boss-level fights in close succession (one of which is virtually impossible if you have the Infinity+1 Sword) with hardly any chance to heal between the last two.
    • Book 17 is pretty bad too. Nearly every enemy encounter verges on Demonic Spiders territory, and the battles against the Big Bad and his Dragon are some of the hardest in the series. And just like the battles in Book 11, there is almost no chance to heal in between the boss fights. And in this case you might actually need the Infinity+1 Sword to beat the boss. Man, screw the Power Spike.
  • No Body Left Behind: Among others, the Darklords and Nadziranim fade into nothingness when killed. See also I'm Melting.
  • No-Gear Level: This can happen to the hero every couple of books. Notably in Book 2, after you get shipwrecked; in Book 5 and Book 9, if Lone Wolf has to get out of jail; and unavoidably in Book 7, Castle Death, when thrown into The Maze.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: If you inadvertently put the fortress of Ikaya on alert in Book 3, you get an ending where you escape back home without dying OR completing your mission to capture Vonotar -- the only place in the whole series where you can fail your mission without dying.
  • Not So Harmless: When Roark first shows up in Book 6, Lone Wolf takes him down a peg or two with no effort. Later he turns out to be a demon worshipper who sicks undead on Lone Wolf's ass. Then if you meet him in Book 10, he actually manages to summon Demonlord Tagazin back to Magnamund. Finally, Lone Wolf meets Roark again in Book 18, where he shows up as a ghost. A ghost with powerful telekinetic abilities who has a surprisingly high Combat Skill. Not bad for someone who isn't originally a supernatural being or sorcerer.
  • Oh Crap: These are the words (or the Magnamund equivalent at least) that probably go through the minds of all the villains when Lone Wolf inevitably shows up to hand them their asses, and it shows. Book 12 has some good examples.
    • The best one is probably from Vonotar the Traitor in Book 3:

"Who dares disturb me?" he hisses, rising from the Brumalmarc throne, his eyes searching for an intruder. Upon seeing you, he emits a horrified gasp and fumbles for his black staff. He has the look of a criminal who has been discovered in the act of some dreadful crime.

    • Each time Lone Wolf meets the Crypt Spawns, the text makes it clear that this is his reaction.
  • Old Save Bonus: Each book read about the same character gives bonuses to "rank", equipment, and one skill for each book. Except for whatever doesn't carry over, presumably for game balance. Although everything can be carried over until Book 13.
  • Ominous Floating Castle (Type 3): Lone Wolf chases Wolf's Bane into one in Book 19.
  • Omniscient Morality License: Turns out the Crocaryx in Book 9 were created by Kai for the sole purpose of guarding a Lorestone. Once said Lorestone is no longer in their possession, the narration announces that this is the beginning of the demise of their race. Makes one wonder when humans will outlive their usefulness.
  • Once Per Episode: Starting with Book 16, The Legacy of Vashna, a dive through a Shadow Gate and a visit to the Plane of Darkness is mandatory for Lone Wolf in every book.
  • One Riot, One Ranger: Lampshaded in book 4: "Your presence here is worth a hundred men."
  • One-Winged Angel: The Nadziranim ("dark sorcerors") always adopt a more appropriate combat form before entering a fight; their favorite is that of an Ice Dragon (sometimes wielding a Flaming Sword in addition to the deadly cold Breath Weapon).
  • Only Known by His Nickname: "Lone Wolf" is not his birth name, nor even the name he was given when he first joined the monastery. It was "Silent Wolf" before he changed his name due to being the Last of His Kind. Lone Wolf's birth name is never mentioned. (At least, not in the gamebooks themselves.)
  • Only Smart People May Pass: Constantly. Sometimes the series gets cheeky by giving you a riddle with a numerical answer and asking you to turn to the page with that number.
  • Order Reborn: Lone Wolf eventually rebuilds the Kai Monastery and trains several apprentices.
  • Orphaned Etymology: In Book 4, a demonic enemy was briefly described as "satanic", even though Magnamund is a world totally unrelated to Earth and Christian tropes. The term is never used again.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The extinct Sun Dragons from the Backstory, the Lavas in the Grand Master books (which bear a passing resemblance to D&D Draconians), and in the appropriately-titled Book 18 Dawn of the Dragons, the dragons Naar intends to unleash on Magnamund to kill everything.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Although Magnamund lacks most classical fantasy races (elves, gnomes, halflings...), the dwarves form the mountain kingdom of Bor are pretty much standard fare.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Giaks
  • Phantasy Spelling: The Sommerswerd -- not sword. It's Danish, or a derivative of some nordic tongue. The Sommlending (people of Sommerlund, the "Summer Land") tend to have nordic-derived names for places and objects, as well as being clearly nordic racially as well. A vowel shift appears to have occurred since they sailed across the ocean from their original native islands on their mission from Kai.
  • Plaguemasters: The Cener Druids
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Lake of Blood in Helgedad, the capital city of the Darklands. A sea of supernatural flames fed by the pain of those thrown into it. Even worse, the victims aren't able to die and remain trapped in a state of undying agony. Fortunately, Lone Wolf blows up Helgedad and the Lake at the end of Book 12.
  • Power-Up Letdown: In book 12 Lone Wolf can gain a chainmail jacket made from a special metal, and it can even be carried over into the Grandmaster series. It actually improves his health less than the regular chainmail he could get in the early books.
    • Averted: the page on which you obtain it states "Because it is so light, it can be worn beneath any padded or metallic body armour you may possess." You can stack the Magic Chain, Magic Vest, and the padded armor that is obtainable semi-regularly. The only time you cannot stack armor is the Bronin Vest & Chainmail Waistcoat, and only with each other.
  • Print Long Runners: 28 volumes, soon to be the intended 32.
  • Psychic Block Defense: The Mindshield, Psi-screen, and Kai-screen disciplines.
  • Psychic Powers: Many of the Kai/Magnakai/Grand Master disciplines.
  • Puzzle Boss: Some enemies have no standard battle, or are better off avoided by using certain items or tactics. Two of the four Grey Star books have boss fights that require you to think, for example.
  • Rage Helm: The Drakkarim always wear metal helmets with skull-shaped facemasks in battle. To the point this is often the main feature used to describe them.
  • Rangers: The Sommlending Border Rangers.
  • Railroading: There's usually more than one direct path to victory, but all books begin and end the same way, and if any major character dies as part of the plot, there's no way to save him. Sometimes the books draw out your attempts to save the doomed character, though.
  • Red Shirt: Lone Wolf shouldn't get too attached to any unnamed characters that travel with him either. For examples, see Book 17 and...
  • Redshirt Army: Book 4. By Kai and Ishir, Book 4.
  • Religion of Evil: The Cener Druids and the Acolytes of Vashna.
  • Rightful King Returns: The New Order Grandmaster's mission in book 23 Mydnight's Hero is to return the exiled Prince Karvas to his country of Siyen so that he can be sworn in as king.
  • Rich Bastard: Roark, as the Lord of Amory, acts this way. Only eviler, crossing the Moral Event Horizon on his very first appearance.
  • Ring of Power
    • The Psychic Ring in Book 9; if you lack any magic weapon, it gives the only other fighting chance against Zakhan Kimah.
    • Vonotar the Traitor (in Book 11) and Prince Lutha (in Book 18) also have evil Rings of Power, which they try to kill Lone Wolf with.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Briefly in Book 6; one of Lone Wolf's many enemies happens to be an evil knight in a suit of armor, and upon death, we see that she's a woman muffling her voice.
  • Scary Black Man: Samu, who manages to be almost more badass than Grey Star without needing magical powers.
  • Schizo-Tech: Magnamund may not have a technological future, but it's sure got a lot of technology in places. The Darklands are heavily industrialized, while the good guys' lands are locked in Medieval Stasis.
  • Science Is Bad: The bad guys use a lot of technology; the Darklords use ironclad steamships and mechanical foundries, which have the double effect of fueling their war machine and polluting the environment for them (since they're weakened in clean, pristine environments). Science-fiction technology is also used on other worlds controlled by Naar. But Magnamund itself is kept in Medieval Stasis if the Kai win, and Lone Wolf never uses any technological weaponry or devices except for a very few examples of Magitek, such as Skyrider and the Crystal Explosive.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Quite a few of these appear as major and minor foes in the series. Two notable examples in the Backstory are Agarash the Damned, a powerful demon created by Naar that killed Nyxator and was sealed in another dimension by the Elder Magi, and Darklord Vashna, the mightiest of the Darklords and the first to be defeated by the Sommerswerd. The remains of Vashna and his army, along with their vengeful spirits, were sealed in the Maakengorge (a.k.a. the Chasm of Doom). These two examples subvert the usual path of this trope since, canonically they never escape. Yes, they stay sealed, thanks to Lone Wolf and Grey Star.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Not quite a true example since they weren't actually sealed away, but the goodly gods Kai and Ishir are relegated to their own dimensions and can only provide aid to Magnamund indirectly. It is revealed in Book 19 that their Evil Counterpart Naar can bypass the same limitation by using the Moonstone to open Shadowgates, allowing his minions to constantly harass Magnamund and Lone Wolf in particular.
  • Second Person Narration
  • Sequential Boss: In Book 14, you face a fire-breathing demonic monkey, whose corpse turns into a swarm of man-eating insects. After you deal with them, they come together and form an ice dragon.
  • Situational Sword: The Sommerswerd, devastating against Undead, and deadly even for the Darklords, especially if you can get a ray of sun. It is stated later it could be lethal even against Naar.
  • Skunk Stripe: Grey Star is named so for the white forelock in his otherwise black hair. (And the "Star" part is because a star represents hope.)
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Kalte (Book 3); Ixia (Book 17)
  • Snake People: Darklord Taktaal
  • Spider Sense
    • The Sixth Sense tree of disciplines, which often allow for Kai Lords to sense danger before it's too late.
    • Grey Star gets his "Prophecy" spell, too, and also a "Psychomancy" spell that lets him examine objects by laying his hands on it. All of these abilities help remove forks in the road when you're at a crossroads in the books.
  • Spin-Off: The World of Lone Wolf series starring Grey Star would be a textbook example of this.
  • Squishy Wizard: Grey Star. He doesn't get armor, the only weapon he's any good with is his staff, and once he runs out of Willpower points he's pretty much boned. He also does not get Lone Wolf's regenerating health skills; apparently Shianti magic just doesn't cover healing.
  • So Last Season
    • Both played straight and subverted. The Kai and Magnakai skills of Books 1-12 are rendered almost obsolete by the new Grand Master Disciplines. Noncombat related Magnakai skills don't cut it against the new threats in the Grand Master books. Subverted since the gameplay bonuses from the Magnakai skills are still relevant such as the Healing Factor from Curing and the bonuses from Psi-Surge and Weaponmastery (though Weaponmastery is replaced by Grand Weaponmastery for balance issues). Many powers that you can select as Magnakai or Grand Master are simply improvements over existing powers. Yet there's no reason offered why you can't use Hunting in lieu of Huntmastery. In fact, even some of the gameplay benefits of discipline you should have disapear when improved versions of these powers become available. (Why do you still need to carry meals around when when you don't have huntmastery? You should still have Hunting which also allows you to get your own food.) The Project Aon versions have clarified that you should get the benefits of hunting as an Old Save Bonus -- but Hunting doesn't work in wastelands (remember Book 2) so won't work in Book 8 at least.
    • Grey Star's fourth and final book does provide him with a whole bunch of new magical powers that, surprisingly, do not replace his old ones, but act as new applications to the old abilities. Options to use the older powers still exist and sometimes you're better off with the weaker versions since they often burn less willpower points.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: The defeat of the Darklords has the unfortunate side effect of angering their god Naar, who starts giving his remaining agents on Magnamund more direct support. When that fails, Naar's personal armies attack Magnamund directly.
  • Stab the Sky: With the Sommerswerd at the very end of Book 2, just before blasting Darklord Zagarna with a ray of holy sunfire.
  • Steampunk: The Drakkar ironclads in Book 12, as well as the "Lajakeka" juggernaut.
  • Summon Magic
    • The Darklords and evil sorcerer types love to summon nasty things in a pinch.
    • For the good guys, extra help can come from Shianti Elementalism magic. Which elemental shows up is a bit random, and sometimes they hurt more than they help. Earth Elementals are notoriously stupid and slow.
  • Swarm of Rats: One of the many niceties welcoming you in Castle Death.
  • Sword Beam: That's how the Sommerswerd blasts any Darklord if it can get a ray of sun. Or just from the energy accumulated by not using it for most of Book 12 until the end.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: There are very few weapons that can kill Helghast-level undead, and even less for Darklords or worse. (In the remake, it's commented that the Sommerswerd is the only Good weapon that can kill a Darklord.) If you don't have the Sommerswerd, there's almost always some way to use the villains' own magic weapons against them.
    • Especially apparent with the Helghast attacking the king in the updated remake of the first book. If he hadn't nonchalantly thrown a magic dagger at some poor sod, there would have been no way to stop it.
  • A Tankard of Moose Urine
    • "Ferina Nog" in The Jungle of Horrors, at least according to Paido. Lone Wolf finds it weak but doesn't have a problem with it.
    • In the first book of the New Order series, some ale is described as having "a peculiar smell that makes you think of greasy animal hides."
  • Taxidermy Is Creepy: Why you shouldn't trust Chanda the Taxidermist.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: Happens once, when Lone Wolf discovers the Grand Master disciplines previously unknown to even exist (which even Sun Eagle couldn't do).
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Eshnar in Book 4. The moment you visit the town, you can tell there's something wrong. By then, it's too late.
  • Trapped in Another World
    • Lone Wolf's predicament in the Daziarn Plane in Book 11.
    • The Big Bad of Book 17 tries the same thing, only he sends Lone Wolf to the Plane of Darkness, a place with Everything Trying to Kill You on steroids.
  • Trial and Error Gameplay: As with most gamebooks, this series has its share of moments where making the wrong choice will kill you without warning.
  • Trickster Archetype: Alyss
  • Turncoat
    • Vonotar the Traitor, who gets his comeuppance twice in the series.
    • For the good guys' side, on the other hand, there's the Slavemaster of Aarnak.
    • The Backstory mentions the Patar, the servants of the Elder Magi, who allowed the Cener Druids access to the Elder Magi's knowledge, which they used to engineer a plague to almost wipe them out, ending the Age of the Old Kingdoms.
  • Ultimate Evil
    • Naar the King of the Darkness is never seen in his true form for most of the series. Being one of the Powers That Be (an evil one), he might not have a true form. His preferred form, described in Book 19, is pretty damn creepy especially if the reader hates spiders.
    • Another example from Book 1 is the timeless evil in the Graveyard of the Ancients. Which is revealed to be Naar itself in the rewrite.
  • The Undead: Very common henchmen among Lone Wolf's various enemies. Book 17 in particular is rife with them.
  • Unwinnable
    • In Book 2, you can miss getting the Magic Spear, and even if you do get it, choosing to do the right thing and give it to an ally to let him survive guarding a tunnel means that you will die about 5 page turns later. Thankfully fixed in the project Aon version (if you have Animal Kinship -- otherwise, you're still screwed and will die).
    • Book 8 has you fight a timed battle against two Vordaks, with individual Combat Skill and Endurance scores (meaning, overkill won't help you for the other guy). For players starting with that book, you absolutely need a completely massive string of luck for both your Combat Skill that you rolled at the beginning and all four rounds you had to fight -- and all the CS-increasing items you could obtain during the journey -- and the Weaponmastery ability for the weapon you use against the enemies. Roll a 3 for your CS or get anything below an 8 during battle, you're screwed.
    • In Book 17, The Deathlord of Ixia, it is more or less impossible to win if you do not have the Sommerswerd from book 2, since you have two fights against opponents with much higher Combat Skill than you and far more Endurance, and you have to fight them in a row with no healing, having already gone through the demonlord before the 2-round survival battle. This is particularly fun as the Sommerswerd will make several other books much harder.
  • Updated Rerelease: To go with getting a new publisher, all previously released books are being rereleased with new art, fixed typos, and a bonus adventure tacked on to the end. In the case of the first book, this also involves heavy re-writting in many areas -- notably having Lone Wolf participate in the doomed defense of the Kai Monastery rather than sitting it out due to an errant tree branch.
  • Upgrade Artifact: The Lorestones.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Grey Star's Prophecy and Psychomancy are pretty good at eliminating variables when faced with a choice -- sometimes. Psychomancy can just give you a warped riddle that may or may not be right, and Prophecy sometimes completely fails to illustrate the nature of your impending doom. Use it when you're in a valley of poison gas, it just goes "GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT" without saying which way to go.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Book 7's Big Bad Zahda has a good one.
  • Villain Pedigree: The Drakkarim, fierce evil warriors wearing death masks, are more or less the same power level throughout the series, but Lone Wolf keeps getting better and they become less and less able to oppose him. In the "Kai" books, a single Drakkar can put up a good fight. In the "Magnakai" series, Drakkarim are only a real challenge if they attack in a group. In the "Grand Master series", they're completely out of their league: the only Drakkar that can still put up a fight against Lone Wolf is their War God in Book 20, and Lone Wolf can still kick his ass and throw him into a lava pit.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: Madelon in The Chasm of Doom.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting
    • The Helghasts, who are capable of mimicking human form, and are immune to non-magical weapons. Considering that their preferred form of attack is choking victims with their skeletal hands, it's probably best that Lone Wolf never invokes the Shapeshifting Squick trope.
    • Also the Nadziranim, who are fond of adopting a combat form before a fight through their Black Magic, since in their natural state they're basically formless specters. The result ain't pretty.
    • The Deathstalker and its mate, introduced in the New Order Kai series, went on a killing spree in a city and used its shapeshifting abilities to evade detection. Its natural form is some sort of horrible ape-like thing. Hunting down a supernatural shapeshifting murderer in the dead of night in the middle of a small city is hands-down one of the best parts of Book 21.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Darklords are severely weakened in clean and pristine environments. Since Magnamund is a world in Medieval Stasis (no huge polluting industries)... In Book 12, they create a device that negates this weakness, allowing the Darklords to curb stomp most of Magnamund. Lone Wolf's goal is to get rid of this device.
  • We Meet Again: Archdruid Cadak to Lone Wolf, in book 14.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Here it's more like "Why did it have to be flying flesh-eating tentacled brain monsters?" The Crypt Spawns are one of the few enemies that Lone Wolf actually fears throughout the series.
  • Wizard Beard: Lord Rimoah
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: "You must now eat a meal or lose 3 EN."
  • The World Is Always Doomed: Sort of a justification, as after the first twelve books the Big Bad Lone Wolf fought before is now dead and the other factions fight amongst themselves. However, the rest of the country has more than enough new ones to make up for it.
  • Wretched Hive
    • Ragadorn, main city of the Wildlands.
    • Vakovar, in Magador, even more so.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The difference between your Combat Skill and the enemy's is called the "combat ratio". It's not a ratio.
  • Xanatos Gambit: These appear several times in the series; the plot of the Big Bad in Book 10 is a great example. Gnaag knew Lone Wolf would try to retrieve the last three Lorestones at Torgar and was lying in wait the entire time. If Lone Wolf didn't make it in time, Gnaag would have succeeded in destroying the Lorestones. If Lone Wolf DID make it in time (which, canonically, he does) Gnaag would have a chance to send all of them into the Daziarn (which segues into Book 11). While this gambit fails to kill Lone Wolf, it does buy the Darklords eight years to undo all of the progress Lone Wolf made against them. By the time Lone Wolf escapes the Daziarn, the Darklords have all but conquered the world, leading into Book 12.
  • The X of Y: About two-third of the book titles.
  • X-Ray Sparks: The lethal kind for this soldier when disintegrated by Zakhan Kimah's Orb of Death.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Both Lone Wolf and Grey Star spends only a few days in the Astral Plane of Daziarn, but to find out upon their return that years have gone by on Magnamund.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb
    • Zahda uses a Doomstone and a Lorestone.
    • Lone Wolf himself can use the Sommerswerd and Darklord weapons like the Dagger of Vashna and Helshezag.
  • You Are Not Ready: The goddess Ishir sending the powerful Shianti away in ancient times, fearing that they were interfering too much with the destiny of mere mortals, even though they meant no harm. Well, most of them meant no harm -- Wytch King Shasarak is a rogue Shianti. Maybe Ishir was onto something...
  • You Have Failed Me...
    • We learn in Book 12 that Darklord Kraagenskûl likes to whip out his Agony Beam when his servants disappoint him.
    • Demoness Shamath, Archdruid Cadak, and Darklord Gnaag in Book 20 are good examples of what happens when you let down Naar. In the cases of Gnaag and Cadak, Naar wasn't satisfied with death; only eternal torment was enough to express his disappointment. And it turns out that this happens to everyone who worships Naar if they fail him and die.

You are dead. Your life and your quest end here.

  1. Lone Wolf Books 29-32, presumably a continuation of the New Order
  2. "Shaag" = "Charge"
  3. literally "Hunt and Kill!"