HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
WHAT TO DO FIRST
Find the MAP. It will be there. No Tour of Fantasyland is complete without one. It will be found in the front part of your brochure, quite near the page that says
For Mom and Dad for having me
and for Jeannie (or Jack or Debra or Donnie or …) for
putting up with me so supportively
and for my nine children for not interrupting me
and for my Publisher for not discouraging me
and for my Writers’ Circle for listening to me
and for Barbie and Greta and Albert Einstein and Aunty May
and so on. Ignore this, even if you are wondering if Albert Einstein is Albert Einstein or in fact the dog.
This will be followed by a short piece of prose that says
When the night of the wolf waxes strong in the morning, the wise man is wary of a false dawn.
Ignore this too (or, if really puzzled, look up GNOMIC UTTERANCES in the Toughpick
section). Find the Map.
2. Examine the Map. It will show most of a continent (and sometimes part of another) with a large number of BAYS, OFFSHORE ISLANDS, an INLAND SEA or so and a sprinkle of TOWNS. There will be scribbly snakes that are probably RIVERS, and names made of CAPITAL LETTERS in curved lines that are not quite upside down. By bending your neck sideways you will be able to see that they say things like “Ca’ea Purt’wydyn” and “Om Ce’falos.” These may be names of COUNTRIES, but since most of the Map is bare it is hard to tell.
These empty inland parts will be sporadically peppered with little molehills, invitingly labeled “Megamort Hills,” “Death Mountains, ”Hurt Range” and such, with a whole line of molehills near the top called “Great Northern Barrier.” Above this will be various warnings of danger. The rest of the Map’s space will be sparingly devoted to little tiny feathers called “Wretched Wood” and “Forest of Doom,” except for one space that appears to be growing minute hairs. This will be tersely labeled “Marshes.”
This is mostly it.
No, wait. If you are lucky, the Map will carry an arrow or compass-heading somewhere in the bit labeled “Outer Ocean” and this will show you which way up to hold it. But you will look in vain for INNS, reststops, or VILLAGES, or even ROADS. No – wait another minute – on closer examination, you will find the empty interior crossed by a few bird tracks. If you peer at these you will see they are (somewhere) labeled “Old Trade Road – Disused” and “Imperial Way – Mostly Long Gone.” Some of these routes appear to lead (or have lead) to small edifices enticingly titled “Ruin,” “Tower of Sorcery,” or “Dark Citadel,” but there is no scale of miles and no way of telling how long you might take on the way to see these places.
In short, the Map is useless, but you are advised to keep consulting it, because it is the only one you will get. And, be warned. If you take this Tour, you are going to have to visit every single place on this Map, whether it is marked or not. This is a Rule.
3. Find your STARTING POINT. Let us say it is the town of Gna’ash. You will find it down in one corner on the coast, as far away from anywhere as possible.
4. Having found Gna’ash, you must at once set about finding an INN, Tour COMPANIONS, a meal of STEW, a CHAMBER for the night, and then the necessary TAVERN BRAWL. (If you look all these things up in the Toughpick section, you will know what you are in for.) The following morning, you must locate the MARKET and attempt to acquire CLOTHING (which absolutely must include a CLOAK), a SADDLE ROLL, WAYBREAD, WATERBOTTLES, a DAGGER, a SWORD, a HORSE, and a MERCHANT to take you along in his CARAVAN. You must resign yourself to being cheated over most prices and you are advised to consult a local MAGICIAN about your Sword.
5. You set off. Now you are on your own. You should turn to the Toughpick section of this brochure and select your Tour on a pick-and-mix basis, remembering only that you will have to take in all of it.