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Gereth Yaztromo

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For other uses of Yaztromo, see Yaztromo

Spoiler Warning!!!: Plot and/or ending details of a Fighting Fantasy publication follow. Please DO NOT read this article if you do not want foreknowledge of this publication. Although the article below is based on canon, some of its content is considered extrapolation because it assumes a certain course of events through an adventure that has many possible routes.

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Yaztromo from Temple of Terror

Gareth Yaztromo is arguably the most famous wizard of Allansia due to his part in a number of the most well known sagas of that region from the third century AC. He is also known as one of the three Star Pupils of the Grand Wizard of Yore.

HistoryEdit

Early LifeEdit

Gereth was born on the 2nd of Unlocking, the holy day of Hamaskis, god of learning and sorcery, probably in or around 214AC,[1] in the city of Salamonis and was the son of a priest from that city. His obvious potential for the magical arts led him to the door of the Grand Wizard of Yore, Vermithrax Moonchaser in around 228AC. His contemporaries at that famed school of magic in the Forest of Yore were Arakor Nicodemus and Pen Ty Kora and together they became known as the Star Pupils, not only due to their prodigious talent but also due to the fact that all three of them never waivered from the path of humility unlike others introduced to the powerful world of magic.

Life After YoreEdit

Like his fellow Star Pupils, Yaztromo began a period of traveling following his time in the school of the Grand Wizard. His wanderings took him across the majority of Old Allansia, from the Chiang Mai Kaypong border to the south of the Southern Plains, from Oyster Bay and the ruins of Balkash in the south-west to Trolltooth Pass and the edge of the Western Flatlands.[2] These travels opened his eyes to the realities of the troubles that beset his homeland, and his chief fight became against the despair he felt at ever being able to achieve anything significant in the struggle against evil. However, his sense of purpose was restored by his experiences in Darkwood Forest.

On the 31st of Watching, 258AC, the wizard Yaztromo and the Hamakei mystic Vulpa Heartsfire banished the Demon Rivel.[3]

Darkwood’s KeeperEdit

Darkwood Forest, a vast remnant of the One Forest south of Stonebridge, was where Yaztromo chanced upon a Dark Elf raiding party that was assailing a number of Wood Elf huts. Yaztromo was quick to end the assault utilizing his magical skills, slaughtering eight Dark Elves in the process. The Wood Elves of Darkwood were jubilant and he remained with them for a while, learning all he could of the forest. Despite its reputation, Darkwood reminded Yaztromo of the Forest of Yore in many ways and he at one point planned to set up a magic school within it. However, its reputation was not unfounded and it occurred to the wizard that he could be the one to provide guardianship of the forest for the better of its inhabitants.

With the aid of King Gillibran Ironhelm III and the Dwarfs of Stonebridge, he built his tall white stone tower on the south side of the forest which is where he now resides.

Life Within the TowerEdit

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Yaztromo's Tower

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Yaztromo with Vermithrax in the midst of battle

Yaztromo rarely leaves the tower he loves, seated in his oak armchair, surrounded by his books, manuscripts and other ephemera as well as artefacts, animals and birds. His knowledge of the affairs of Old Allansia is undiminished however for he has eyes and ears in the shape of the fauna of the forest. In particular, his pet crow, Vermithrax, named after his mentor, carries messages to and from the Dwarfs and Elves of the region and he has much contact with Nicodemus, his old friend.

On rare occasions Yaztromo has ventured away from home on important business - most notably when he accompanied the famous Salamonian knight Chadda Darkmane.[4]

Yaztromo is known to have been instrumental in the eleventh-hour destruction of the Dark Elves' ally Malbordus. He has grown old now, but Yaztromo is still a valuable stabilising influence on the region and is a significant encroachment on the ambition of that malevolent race.[5]

Magical Items VendorEdit

As an aside, Yaztromo sells magical items and trinkets, and with the money he gleans from this he satisfies his sweet tooth by indulging in sugared cakes, of which chocolate ones has been said to be his favourite flavor.

Roles in the Fighting Fantasy BooksEdit

Yaztromo appeared in more Fighting Fantasy gamebooks than any other character (in fact, the series had very few recurring characters). He also appeared in the last two books of the Chadda Darkmane trilogy (namely Demonstealer and Shadowmaster), where he takes a more active role in events, and the Zagor Chronicles episode Skullcrag. He also has a cameo appearance in the introductionary part of Legend of Zagor, although there he is is only called by his first name, Gereth.

Yaztromo first appeared in the The Forest of Doom at its very opening where he provided potions and other items. The player had the option of attacking him, only to be turned into a frog.[6] In Temple of Terror he provided magical spells as well. Later, he became more intrinsic to the adventure like in Return to Firetop Mountain, where he provided the crucial information to destroying the reincarnated Zagor, but did not help the player throughout the adventure.[7] In a few books, Yaztromo plays a major role for example in Crypt of the Sorcerer - he is important throughout the book, beginning the adventure and helping to end it.[8]

Other MediaEdit

For an unknown reason the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, in the "Fighting Fantasy Collection" section, lists a Yaztromo as having been made by Clarecraft, despite a model of the wizard Yaztromo having never been part of the series of ornaments. Interestingly the book does not list two ornaments that were made (the Doragar and Hell Demon).

Further NotesEdit

  • Ian Livingstone named his favourite character from the Fighting Fantasy books as Yaztromo, his own creation who first appeared in The Forest of Doom.[9]
  • Yaztromo is sometimes given the title "Spellsinger"[10].

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Fighting Fantasy 10th Anniversary Yearbook states he was born just three months before Arakor Nicodemus (p. 107), and tentatively gives their year of birth as "214? AC" (pp. 62, 118), but elsewhere says that Yaztromo "was born well over seventy years ago – he won't reveal his true age to anyone!" (p. 56); the book was said to have been written in 285AC (p. 12), only 71 years after 214.
  2. Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World - ???
  3. The Fighting Fantasy 10th Anniversary Yearbook - 156
  4. Richard Wood (Dave Holt ed.), "Yaztromo" from Fighting Fantasy: The Lexicon of Titan, 2006
  5. Temple of Terror - ???
  6. The Forest of Doom - ???
  7. Return to Firetop Mountain - ???
  8. Crypt of the Sorcerer - ???
  9. 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - 224
  10. Shadowmaster - 78

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