The Aethra Chronicles: Volume One - Celystra's Bane DOS front cover

The Aethra Chronicles: Volume One – Celystra’s Bane

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A fantasy roleplaying game developed by Michael Lawrence and released as shareware.

The Aethra Chronicles: Volume One – Celystra’s Bane or The Aethra Chronicles (also known as Aethra for short) is a classic 1994 MS-DOS shareware computer role playing game. The game was based on the Rolemaster game system, a Pencil & Paper role playing game. It was developed mostly as a one-man project by Michael Lawrence with some help from others for the graphics and sound/music. Play The Aethra Chronicles: Volume One – Celystra’s Bane online!

The Aethra Chronicles: Volume One – Celystra’s Bane game description

The small kingdom of Celystra was prosperous under it’s old king, “Korros the Wise”. The prince, Lythare has ascended to the throne and his wife given birth to a child on his coronation day. However two days later this newborn infant disappeared, presumed kidnapped. Lythare blames the kingdom’s Champion Knight-Paladin, as well as several members of the court for failing to protect the child, and imprisons them in the dungeon. The Champion’s son, knowing that his father must not have deserved imprisonment sets out on a quest to find the baby with his two companions. However not much is known of the fate of the child, so perhaps other quests and objectives will need to be accomplished first.

The Aethra Chronicles: Volume One: Celystra’s Bane is a shareware medieval role-playing game in the tradition of SSI’s Dungeons & Dragons licensed Gold Box RPGs. Taking it’s inspiration from that, the game uses a similar system based on die rolls against stats/skill combinations. Players begin by creating three characters, choosing their class and stats in various stats such as Strength, Agility, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Presence, Memory, and Reason. The player then assigns skill proficiencies in a variety of abilities dependent on those stats (such as Spell Lists, Pick Lock, Woods Lore, etc.). Combat between characters and monsters is turn-based and the player can recruit an additional three characters for a total of six.

As with most shareware games, the first episode (The Book of Prophecy) can be freely distributed, while the other two (Gems of Power and Demon’s Might) available only to registered users.

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