The Story of Asheron's Call
The legendary magician Asheron has summoned many to Dereth; only the bravest have answered the call. Here, warriors will battle creatures of awesome might, magicians will discover magical items and create new spells, and treasure hunters will seek out precious relics. Quests will impel adventurers to uncover the wealth and lore of legend. Adventurers will form allegiances and fellowships, for often many can accomplish what one alone cannot.
In ancient times a powerful race—the Empyrean—flourished across the island of Dereth. Their empire fell into ruin when the Empyrean magician Asheron accidentally opened a portal to another world, ushering in hordes of vicious monsters known as Olthoi. Asheron sent the Empyrean into hiding in a dimension between worlds, and stayed behind to try to find a way to defeat the Olthoi.
The Empyrean's flight opened more portals that summoned other creatures to Dereth, among them humans from the world of Ispar. Asheron quickly saw the humans' potential as allies, and concentrated on summoning more to Dereth. For many years the humans lived as Olthoi slaves, but a band of rebels—led by the noblewoman Elysa Strathelar and the warrior Thorsten Cragstone—chose to fight. Aided by Asheron's magic, they slew the Olthoi queen and won freedom, though the fight cost Thorsten his life. Now, ten years later, Elysa has vanished and Asheron's whereabouts are unknown.
Ispar: The World That Was
Ispar is home to many different cultures, including the warlike Aluvians, the scholarly Gharu'ndim, and the disciplined Sho. Recently, portals began to appear there. They seemed to exert a mystical pull upon those who saw them, almost as though someone were beckoning from the other side.
The most adventurous answered the call and were transported to Dereth with no way to return. At first the portals appeared only in the land of Aluvia, but in recent years they have spread to the Gharu'n and Sho realms. Their spread may well continue into other lands.
Where Did Portals Come From?
The portals found on Dereth are a remnant of the Empyrean civilization. Asheron himself created the first one, and soon after their use spread across Dereth, allowing instantaneous travel all over the island—and to the catacombs beneath it—through the flow of portal space.
Asheron also experimented with portals for travel to and from other worlds until one experiment unleashed the Olthoi upon Dereth. When the Empyrean fled the world through portals Asheron created to save them, their departure produced a disruption in portal space. This caused many new portals to appear in Dereth from other worlds— including Ispar, the human homeworld.
Dereth: The World That Is
When humans first arrived in Dereth, it was a world in ruins, overrun with ferocious creatures. Faced with the prospect that they might never return to Ispar, humans have made the island their new home. They have built towns and carved out small pockets of safety in a perilous world.
Though the Empyrean have vanished, some of what they wrought remains: magic flows through the land; mystical portals carry travelers many miles in a heartbeat; enchanted Lifestones bind the spirits of those who use them, allowing the dead to be resurrected. Those who come back to life find that some of their life force has been drained away—some say to power Asheron's magic. Even more ancient secrets may lie amid the crumbled remnants of Empyrean society.
Many challenges await newcomers to Dereth. Exploring the island is both dangerous and rewarding: monsters lurk everywhere, especially in the hostile Direlands, and wondrous sights, both natural and crafted by the Empyrean, await the adventurous. Scores of dungeons—some built by the Empyrean for arcane purposes, others dug by the Olthoi or other creatures as lairs—riddle the earth. Somewhere among these is the stronghold of Asheron himself, its location lost with Elysa Strathelar and waiting to be found again.
The island of Dereth is strange, beautiful, and perilous. Power and riches are here for the taking. Many mysteries wait to be explored and solved, not the least of which is the whereabouts of the lost Empyrean race. And, it is said, there is a deep and ancient darkness at the heart of things, striving to reawaken. These quests are not for the faint of heart—brave adventurers are needed to explore the dangerous wilds, probe the deepest catacombs, and rise as rulers in this new world.
Installing Software for the MSN Gaming Zone
If you already have the Zone software installed, skip to "Installing Software for Asheron's Call."
1 Start Microsoft® Windows® 95 or later.
2 Insert the Microsoft Asheron's Call CD into the CD-ROM drive.
If you have not already installed software for the Zone, you will be prompted to install it.
3 Follow the instructions to complete installation of the Zone software.
Installing Software for Asheron's Call
The following procedure assumes that you have installed software for the MSN Gaming Zone on your computer.
1 On the Asheron's Call console, click Install to install Asheron's Call.
2 Follow the instructions to complete the installation.
After you complete the installation, you'll return to the Asheron's Call console.
3 To begin playing Asheron's Call on the Zone, click Play. Creating a Zone ID to Play on the Zone
The following procedure assumes that you have installed software for the Zone and for Asheron's Call. A Zone ID is required to play Asheron's Call. If you already have a Zone ID, skip to "Subscribing to Asheron's Call."
1 On the Zone welcome page for Asheron's Call, click Free Sign Up. This will take you to a Web page where you will create a Zone ID.
2 Follow the instructions to create a Zone ID.
The MSN Gaming Zone
The MSN Gaming Zone is an online gaming service that allows you to play fun, exciting, and challenging games on the Internet. At the Zone, you can compete against some of the world's best players or just meet new people over a casual game. Get the latest game tips and news about Asheron's Call and other Zone Premium Games. You can also play in free Zone game rooms, such as Hearts, Spades, and Backgammon.
Subscribing to Asheron's Call
The following procedure assumes that you have installed software for the Zone and for Asheron's Call, and that you have created a Zone ID.
1 In the retail box is a coupon number that you must enter for your free 30-day subscription. Make sure you have this number handy.
2 On the Zone welcome page for Asheron's Call, click Subscribe.
This will take you to a Web page where you will enter your coupon number for a free 30-day subscription.
You will need a valid credit card number to activate your free trial subscription, and to pay for your subscription renewal when the free trial is over. When it's time to renew your subscription, you will see a prompt when you log on to the Zone.
Playing Asheron's Call on the MSN Gaming Zone
The following procedure assumes that you have installed software for Asheron's Call and for the Zone, you have created a Zone ID, and you have subscribed to play Asheron's Call on the Zone.
Double-click the Asheron's Call shortcut that was installed on your desktop.
If you chose not to install a shortcut, on the Start menu, point to Programs, then to Microsoft Games, then to Asheron's Call, and then click Asheron's Call.
On the Asheron's Call console, click Play to go to the Asheron's Call Play page on the MSN Gaming Zone. On the Asheron's Call Play page, click the name of the game world you want to enter.
Choose a chat room from which to launch the game.
When you first play Asheron's Call, you'll see a dialog box asking you if you want to enable your 3D card's settings. To keep the dialog box from reappearing, select the Don't show this dialog again check box.
To change 3D settings after initial setup
1 On the Start menu, point to Programs, then to Microsoft Games, and then to Asheron's Call.
2 Click Settings.
Exiting Asheron's Call
1 To exit Asheron's Call, click the Exit button in the upper-right corner of the game screen, or click the Options button, and then on the Options tab click Leave World.
2 Click Exit on the main menu.
Vninstalling Asheron's Call
1 On the Start menu, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
2 Double-click Add/Remove Programs.
3 Click Microsoft Asheron's Call in the list of programs, and then click Add/ Remove. This will bring up the Asheron's Call console.
4 In the console, click Remove, and then click Continue at the bottom of the console.
You will see a message telling you that Asheron's Call has been successfully removed.
AutoPlay should start shortly after you insert your Asheron's Call CD, displaying the Asheron's Call console. If this does not happen, double-click My Computer on your desktop, double-click your CD drive icon, and then double-click the file Setup.exe. Refer to the Readme file for known issues affecting installation.
1 On the Zone home page (http://www.zone.com), click Help.
2 Under Technical Help, click Zone FAQ.
3 Read "Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on Connecting to the Zone."
Setting Game Options
You can change options for the game, your character, sound, and graphics. You can modify keyboard settings and screen resolution, for example.
1 Click the Options button, and then click the tab with the settings you want to change.
2 To apply character, sound, or graphic settings, click Apply.
Finding In-Game Help
• Click the question mark button to see the in-game Help file.
You might also be able to find an advocate on duty in one of the advocate towers. Player advocates are player characters who are there to help you and answer questions. They wield glowing shields in the game. Advocate towers are the buildings with four tall spires near the portals to the training halls in the starting outpost locations.
Finding Asheron's Call Gaming Tips on the Zone
The Asheron's Call Handbook contains articles on many aspects of gameplay, including allegiance, fellowship, magic, and combat.
1 On the Zone home page (http://www.zone.com/), under Premium Games, click Asheron's Call.
2 On the Asheron's Call start page, click Handbook or Game Help. Finding Help About the Zone
On the Zone home page, you can also find links to topics concerning Zone rules, Zone FAQs, ZoneFriends, terms of service, technical support, billing, and items of interest to new Zone users.
1 On the Zone home page (http://www.zone.com/), click Help.
2 If you can't find the help you want on this page, under Welcome to Help! click Technical Support or Sysop Chat Room.
Zone sysops and technical representatives will be staffing these areas during the posted support hours.
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