In the mid-tenth century, during the reign of mighty Anatinus, King of
Misty Island, a beautiful
peasant girl named Morning-Star was born, who was blessed with rare and
perfect beauty. The legend of her beauty spread all throughout the
kingdom, even to the court of King Anatinus. There beside the throne
sat the heavy-hearted Queen Alexis. For her own newborn daughter,
caused by by fate and prophecy, was sightless. She was unwilling to
look upon her blind child’s face. And the baby Morning-Star, more
beautiful and perfect, made her jealous.
Envy breeds evil. And thus Queen Alexis caused the simple
peasant home of Morning-Star to burn. The sleeping family
perished, all but Morning-Star, who, being rescued by the Queen's
design, became her daughter, whom she claimed had her sight restored by
prayer. The one true princess, who had been left behind to fill the
vacant cradle, perished too, and never saw her mother. She was then
raised as the Princess of Misty Island.
years were kind to Morning-Star. Her beauty blossomed like the fragrant
water-lily into full, abundant maidenhood. Many knights already sought
her fair hand in marriage. On her seventeenth birthday, Anatinus made
it known that whosoever might desire to win the hand of Morning-Star,
should now come forth to claim it. According to the custom of the
kingdom, the groom had to prove his worth by fulfilling a love-quest of
the Queen's own choosing.
Many were the eager knights who
journeyed to the royal palace, hoping there to win the love of Princess
Morning-Star. Alexis, dark with envy, watched the lusty swains descend
like vultures around her daughter, and vowed in secret not to let them
From the knights assembled, six were chosen, and
stood before the heartless queen for testing. But the crafty Alexis
devised impossible love-quests for the suitors.
first brave knight, a lad of twenty-one years, was sent across the sea
to beg Lord Nimbus, God of Rain, to quench the thirsting Fields of
Frotzen. But that pseudo-god, not sympathetic, smote his vessel with a
bolt of lightning.
The second knight, a
weapons-bearer, strong of limb and spirit, scaled the mountain peak of
Matter-Horn, to seek Advice from spirits. The hopes of Princess
Morning-Star fell with him.
A third knight
ventured forth to try the fabled Wings of Icarus, and learn the secret
method of their Flight, to please Alexis. But whilst soaring home to
claim the princess, the joyful knight flew into the open maw of
Thermofax, a dragon.
Alexis sent the fourth
knight deep into the Mines of Mendon to slay a grue, and drag the
carcass up where all might see it. But Darkness overcame the hapless
knight, who, lost without a lamp, was soon devoured.
knight, the fifth, directed by the Queen to steal the Coconut of
Quendor, chanced upon a lair of hungry Implementors, and did not
Foresee his peril.
Lastly stood before the
Queen a gentle boy, no older than the Princess. Morning-Star liked well
his beardless smile, and begged her mother not to test his Luck too
harshly. But Alexis caused the youth to spend an evening amidst an
unclean cemetery, from where he never returned; for eldritch vapors
carried him away, and gave no reason.
Queen Alexis cried, “Is no man in the kingdom fit to wed my only
daughter? Methinks she must remain unmarried, then, and a virgin all
her days.” So it was Written.
Morning-Star hoped death might
grant her Freedom from the edict of Alexis, by her mother's timely
passing. But the Reaper (busy elsewhere with a plague) heard not her
praying; so Alexis lived, and laughed, and watched her daughter's
beauty fade away, and all her wishes dwindle in her bosom until her
Over the years, her body decayed into dust, except her
heart, which, hard and shrunken to a pebble in the grave, shining
brightly with the stifled wishes of her lifetime (rain, advice, flight,
darkness, foresight, luck, freedom). This was the origin of
Wishbringer, the Magic Stone of Dreams. Eventually, the whole incident
would fade into legend, the reign of Antainus forgotten, and the names
of Morning-Star and Queen Alexis lost in time.
before 1063 GUE, the return of magic brought startling changes
over the world, even reaching to Antharia and the Misty Island near
Festeron. An unknown scholar exploring the island, amid the
crumbling tombs of monarchs, chanced upon the mortal relic of Princess
Morning-Star. Thus the magic stone, Wishbringer, was discovered. For
the next few years, this stone passed through several hands in that
region, even prompting Violet Voss, the Festeronian librarian, to
publish a book entitled “The Legend of Wishbringer” (circa 1063 GUE).
When the book was authored, she was uncertain if the legend was about
humans or platypuses, but it was later confirmed to be about the
second; thus many of the book’s illustrations depict a mixture of the
At one time Wishbringer came into possession of an unknown
resident nearby Festeron who used the magic stone to wish for rain to
put out his barn fire and to wish for luck to find his stolen wallet
and catch the Mad Arsonist of Festeron.
the stone came into possession of the proprietor
of Festeron's magic shop at the start of the Second Age of Magic. She
had found it upon the hillside where the Magick Shoppe was situated.
Though “the Legend of Wishbringer” told that the stone was the heart of
Morning-Star, Y'Gael dismissed it as bullhooey. In her opinion, the
stone came from outer space. Regardless of its origin, the stone was
one of the main sources of magic for the islands. And while many sought
to gain the Stone of Dreams, Y’Gael spent many years fighting to
conceal it from The Evil One and others like her. Much was forfeited to
ensure its protection. Perhaps that is where this tale should begin,
with The Evil One.
Evil One discovered that whoever possessed the Wishbringer stone would
be instilled with incredible magic and that it was in the care of her
sister Y’Gael. She had wanted the stone for years for her own foul
purposes; mainly, the conquest of the islands, then of the world
beyond. Gladys had always thought big. If Gladys was to get her way,
she would not stop with Festeron, but would take over all the
neighboring countries, and then their neighbors in turn, until she
controlled everything upon the surface of Zork! But this could only be
done if she could take Wishbringer, and, at the precise stroke of
midnight place it in the forehead of the statue of Chaos, her power
would increase a thousandfold, and she would become virtually
unstoppable. Thus Gladys planned to place an entire curse upon
Festeron, making it become Witchville (she was never very good with
Thus starting in 1157 GUE, and contining perhaps through
the entire course of the Second Age of Magic until its closure with the
Great Diffusion of 1247, Gladys tried many times to turn Festeron into
Witchville in order to capture the stone. And each time, a Festeron
postal employee succeeded in defeating her by placing the stone into
the forehead of stone statue, which magically altered Wishbringer into
the facet of a mysterious cat known as Chaos.Y'Gael told that this was
Wishbringer's finest magic.
POWERS OF WISHBRINGER
looked quite ordinary, little more than a smooth-sided overgrown
pebble. Holding the wishing-stone, one was able to wield its magic.
Seven was the number of wishes bound into the stone, and once a wish
was spoken, that wish was spent and lost forever for that person,
althought a successive user would be able to invoke it. But
to make the wishes work properly, one was required to use all
extra props and devices; a different one for each wish. And only one
wish could be invoked at a time. When held, the small stone would begin
to glow with an eerie violet.white radiance. This glowing would cease
once the stone was dropped.
The following excerpt has been taken from the Legend of Wishbringer:
- RAIN falls for only the bearer of the Stone who standeth
under an Umbrella.
- ADVICE may bring wise counsel to the bearer of the Stone
who listeneth to Sea-Shells.
- FLIGHT shall bear the Magick-wielder swiftly home, if ye be
sitting on a Broom-Stick.
- DARKNESS, blacker than the Night, shall fall across the
land if Milk of Grue thou drinkest.
- FORESIGHT lifts the veil of Time, and shows the Future, but
prepare thy eyes with Glasses.
- LUCK will bring good Fortune, if ye hold a Horseshoe and
the Stone in thy possession.
- FREEDOM springs the dreamer from confinement, but mark well
that ye first hath eaten Candy.
Legend of Wishbringer also warned against using wishes carelessly, and
not to forget that Princess Morning-Star, who threw away her youth in
easy wishing, died in vain. Her fate was to be a warnig.
to wish for rain, one needed to be holding an open umbrella and the
stone. But the wish would not work indoors. When the wish was invoked,
a searing bolt of lightning would shatter the sky, striking the glowing
stone of dreams, and then fracturing the sky into a billion raindrops.
Everyting around was soaked in a brief but savage downpour.
wish for advice, one needed both Wisbringer and a sea shell. As long as
one was holding both, they would continue to receive advice
periodically. The invoking of the wish would cause the stone to emit a
violet flash of magic, followed by a faint buzzing sound, like an
overheard telephone, coming from the conch shell. It was by listening
to this shell that advice would be received.
To wish for flight, one was needed to sit upon a broomstick while
holding the stone.
wish for darkness, one needed to drink grue's milk and hold the stone.
Darkness had to be wished for soon after drinking the milk, otherwise
the wish would not come true. As this wish is spoken, the night air
became very still. Then all at once, a terrifying shadow would sweep
across the face of the full moon, plunging the landscope into total
darkness. Lasting only momentarily, the light of the moon would return
as suddenly as it had faded.
To wish for foresight,
one needed to hold the stone while wearing a pair of glasses. The wish
would not come true if the glasses were simply held.
wish for luck, one needed to be holding both the stone and a horseshoe.
The wisher's luck would be broken whenever they dropped either the
horseshoe or the stone, but would come back whenever they were picked
up again. To know that the wish had effect, the edges of the horseshoe
would twinkle continuously with luck.
To wish for
freedom, one needed to hold the stone and east candy. Like darkness,
the wish had to be made soon after eating the candy, otherwise the wish
would not come true. The magic stone would shine brightly as the wish
was spoken, befor ebeing followed by a momentary dizziness, then a
breath of fresh air as the wisher was released from whatever
imprisonment they were bound up in.