As long as he could remember, Ryker had been braver, stronger, and more
handsome than anybody else. Eventually the time came when he could earn
a good living as a scout. Since he liked traveling as much as he liked
showing off his abilities, Ryker was very content. The rugged featured
man usually was clothed in animal skins. Little is known about his
family, other than his uncle Ozark ran a ferry across the Borphee River.
One of the jobs Ryker has been commissioned to (c. 957-966 GUE) was
guarding the caravan of the merchant Gurthark the Stout, who had been
employed by his brother-in-law, Mirik the Lean to transport a load of
silks to Accardi-by-the-Sea. The beautiful Acia was one of three
passengers, who was headed to the village to visit her ailing
grandmother, Ryker was completely enamored with. The other two were
Frobwit the Fair and his apprentice Dirinthrax.
The first night after picking up Frobwit and Dirinthrax, Ryker detected
someone off the road keeping pace with the caravan. This was Lia, who
had assumed the guise of a boy named Lim. Ryker and the rest of the
companions would not realize Lia was a woman until much later. It was
not until they had pitched camp near Egreth, that Ryker was able to
scout the vicinity. Ryker first apprehended the young Lia with a strong
hold, but then relaxed when he realized it was no more than an
adventurous runaway. He proposed that if she would care for the pack of
animals, they would provide her with food and safe passage. Lia
accepted at once and the deal was struck. Ryker introduced her to the
That night, Ryker startled away and knew that something was lurking
around the campsite. It was a troop of night gaunts which had been sent
by Radnor, the evil magician of Egreth Castle, to abduct Acia (because
of the Amulet of Egreth which she herself had stolen from Lia). Before
Ryker could take action, he was knocked out cold by them.
Ryker awoke to discover that Acia and Dirinthrax were missing
(Dirinthrax had tried to go after Acia in the form of a bird).
Determined to rescue the beautiful maiden, Ryker went with Frobwit and
Gurthark towards Egreth Castle. Lia was commissioned to stay before to
watch the goods and guard the campsite.
On their journey towards the castle, they spied a group of night gaunts
heading straight toward them. Frobwit, intending to transform the slimy
creatures into a clump of bozberry bushes instead transformed himself
along with Ryker and Gurthark into them. As bozberry bushes are the
night gaunts favorite food, the trio was nearly consumed, but the
creatures were drawn away by their orders. Afterward the companions
reverted to their human forms.
The first task of entering Egreth Castle involved crossing the
expansive moat. Ryker fashioned a sturdy oar by severing the branch of
a tree. Frobwit conjured up a boat from the trunk of an old oak tree,
which was little more than a large bucket. They climbed into the
ridiculous boat and crossed the moat to the castle. The trio reached
the embankment safe and sound; no one seemed to have noticed them.
Frobwit attempted to use a levitation spell to reach an upper window,
but ended up floating too high and instead clung to one of the
crenellations. Ryker and Gurthark climbed up to the window using a rope
which Frobwit threw down to them. They left Frobwit to tackle with the
Egreth castle was dark and gloomy, but Ryker loved this sort of
adventure. Searching for a beautiful woman in a dark castle! He
suggested that they split up to search. Gurthark took the lower floors
while Ryker proceeded to check the towers. He actually was fond with
searching alone, free from the encumbrance of Gurthark.
He checked two of the towers with no luck, but in the third he smelt
the odors of burning wood and potions. As Ryker started down the
hallway, a succession of deafening blasts shook the old stones. They
came from a dreadful battle going on between Frobwit and Radnor behind
a massive wooden foor at the end of the hall. Before he could advance
any father, one of Radnor’s spells struck the chamber door—it flew off
its hinges knocking Ryker off his feet.
Time passed in a haze of pain. When he regained consciousness,
Dirinthrax and Lia were looking over him. The three entered just in
time to see Frobwit being turned into a slug. In revenge, Dirinthrax
used the Amulet of Egreth to funnel his rage into a mighty spell which
took Radnor by surprise. The magician’s power was subdued and Frobwit
was restored to health and vigor.
Suddenly, Acia came through the wall trapped inside a bubble. It
popped, landing her in the arms of Ryker. Radnor’s face suddenly
changed to that of a kind and wise old man, which they thought had
happened as a result of Dirin’s spell. Acia snatched the amulet from
Dirin and quickly slipped it on. Radnor placed a crown upon Acia’s
head, which when worn, cursed her into a deep trance. Radnor took the
opportunity to obtain the amulet. Ryker sprang into action, and
snatched the amulet from the magician.
Lia fished the amulet from Ryker with its own magic. At the same time,
her disguise fell away, revealing a womanly figure, and her hair
lengthened. Using the power of the amulet, Lia transformed Radnor into
a puddle of foul-smelling liquid. Frobwit finished the deed by
entrapping the warlock’s essence in a crystal ball, and sent it into
the Egreth treasury. Little did the companions know, but the ignorant
Gurthark took the crystal ball from the treasury, thinking it was but
With Radnor defeated, the spirit of Thorman the Red-beard freed Egreth
Castle from centuries of evil domination, magically restoring it to its
former splendor. Acia recovered from her trance. Ryker and Acia
confessed their love for one another, sharing both a passionate embrace
The small caravan continued on its way from Egreth, leaving behind two
of their number Dirinthrax and Lia, as the new rulers of Egreth.
Unknown to the caravan, the crystal ball Gurthark took as a souvenir of
Egreth was not what it seemed. The sphere was the very one in which
Frobwit had imprisoned Radnor’s evil essence. The sorcerer’s malevolent
force, concentrated in this small sphere, would burst out in fits of
rage, wreaking havoc upon those around him. There was a series of seven
evils which had been prophesied to emit from the orb.
The witch Moog, who was seeking to have Radnor’s crystal ball in her
possession, desired to lead the caravan towards Pheebor. Incanting a
road sign changing spell, she altered the nearest sign to read
“Borphee” instead of “Pheebor.” Although Ryker suspected the sign was
incorrect, they were deceived into trekking the road towards Pheebor.
Later that day, the first peril commenced—an eerie light emanated from
the ball, fabricating a flock of giant corbies from nowhere. One
snatched Frobwit out of the wagon, carrying him far away. Ryker bravely
fought off the winged aggressors with his long bow. They searched for
Frobwit but were unable to determine his whereabouts.
The caravan resumed its journey, travelling through the night and into
the next morning, when the second peril of the crystal ball caused Acia
to suddenly grow desperately ill. Her conscious quickly slipped away.
Ryker had seen the strange pallor before and knew that some deadly
magic had caused the illness. The only thing that could save her was
the magical gumpwort fungus. He left for the nearby mesa where he knew
it was located.
Ryker’s stallion carried him swiftly toward the mountains. It was no
easy take to ford the swiftly-running river at the base of the mesa,
and more difficult still to scale the steep slope. But for Ryker, no
difficulty was insurmountable. Guarding the mushrooms was a giant lum
ox. A mythical creature with ivory horns, the lum ox was fiercely
protective of the mushrooms. Ryker had come across such creatures
before. They did not intimidate him. Ryker allured the ox by holding
out his billowing cape. The ox recklessly charged toward it, plunging
headlong over the edge of the mesa! The beast met his end in the
swiftly-running river. With the lum ox out of the way, it was an easy
job to pick the gumpwort.
When Ryker returned to the campsite where Gurthark and Acia were, the
gumpwort fungi swiftly did its work and Acia was brought back to
consciousness. Once she was better the caravan departed. As dawn
broken, they turned down an overgrown path heading southeast. By
mid-morning the travelers had reached the shore of the great Borphee
River. The ferryman was Ryker’s uncle, Ozark. They set sail on his boat
Gurthark relaxed in the warm sunshine by doing a little fishing, when a
sea serpent caught hold of his line, pulling him into the dark waters
of the river. Ryker dove in and searched the murky waters, but could
find no trace of their companion. Ryker and Acia mourned the loss of
their friend. They would find him many seasons later after his
expedition within the Kingdom of the Elves. The two lovers spent a
romantic evening together.
The next day, the long difficult journey reached its end as the boat
docked at Accardi-by-the-Sea. Ozark bid them a final farewell. A
festive air pervaded the little town, which was gaily decorated for the
Enchanters’ Convention. A pleasant lane led out of town to where Acia’s
grandmother lived on a knoll overlooking the harbor. They reached the
house by nightfall. Ryker left her to return to Accardi to drop off
Gurthark’s quilts to Mirik’s shop. Before leaving, he handed Acia
Gurthark’s sack containing the crystal ball, but not before it
emanated—this was the fifth burst of evil, one which would transform
Ryker into a hideous beast of mammoth strength when he reached town. He
began to feel his inside writhe in pain.
At Mirik’s in Accard-by-the-Sea, the pain kept getting worse to the
point that he was even hard to speak. He tried to explain to the
proprietor what had happened to Gurthark, but was beset with guttural
speech. Ryker showed him the wagon, but all that remained were two
quilts and a pile of ashes. Ryker felt a foreign rage
building inside him and made the pain worse as he transformed into a
hideous monster. Unable to contain his outburst, he pushed the
shopkeeper in the face. He rallied together a large band of villagers
who began to pursue the fleeing Ryker.
As the monster blindly ran through the dark streets of Accardi, he
slammed into Acia’s grandmother Althea, who, along with her
granddaughter had been affected by yet another burst of the crystal’s
evil--Althea had regained the beauty of her youth, while Acia had aged
terribly. Unable to communicate with Althea, and fearing the multitude
of angered villagers, Ryker fled for Althea’s house, hoping to reunite
with Acia. He easily outran the villagers.
No one was in sight we he reached the house. The locked door was no
match for his monstrous strength, which he pounded through, storming
through the house, desperately seeking the only one who could comfort
him. Acia was terrified with Ryker burst through the door into the
bedroom. It took her only a moment to realize that it was him. Ryker
gave Acia a bite of the last half of the gumpwort fungus, before he
devoured the rest. The two of them were restored to their unblemished
states. It was then that they realized that they were destined to be
It was then that the seventh curse of the crystal ball broke out.
Ryker, seeking to rid them of its presence, grasped the crystal. As he
did so, the spirit of Radnor fought its way out of the crystal ball. It
darted straight at Ryker and leapt into him. Then Ryker’s spirit
floated out of his own body and into the crystal. Ryker’s body now
belonged to Radnor. As he moved towards Acia to take her as his queen,
he suddenly disappeared (he had been summoned by Moog as part of the
As the reign of the Triax dawned, Acia tenderly reached for the crystal
ball and cradled it in her arms. Outside the cottage, an eerie
thunderclap shattered the stillness of the night as dark forces cast
their evil shadow over the Kingdom of Quendor. And it is with much
disappointment that all records of the time of the Triax have been lost
to us, and the fate of Ryker is unknown.