A black hand with an eye in the middle of it. Alexander Salkin

Eye of the Sorceress

You’re not a hero, but a resource to be harvested. Will you ever make it home?


This is not the traditional fantasy adventure you were promised. Play as a misled hero who has been promised great reward and instead received life-threatening peril. Tasked by the great King Varna to subdue a sorceress gone rogue, you and your party of heroes, mercenaries, and redeemed criminals have been transported to her domain—and way behind you is gone, leaving you in the hot, trackless wasteland she rules with an iron fist. 
As you settle into the dry, arid landscape of Tau, you learn that you’re not here to be heroes, but as resources to be harvested. Your new mission? Survive in the Eye of the Sorceress. Befriend local legends and outlanders alike to help you navigate the new and dangerous land. Uncover the secrets of Tau and explore the temples, cultures, and creatures that mark this strange new world. Venture into dangerous terrain filled with ghosts, ghouls, and certain death, should you misstep. Brave monsters and magic in The Valley of Death, where you can take your stand against the sinister sorceress who brought you to this world. Will you ever make it home?

Notable Features

At the core of Eye of the Sorceress is an interdimensional hero’s journey. Explore the meaning of home, friendship, and perseverance as you navigate the betrayal that sent you to the world of Tau.

Enjoy an open world format that allows you to explore the rich environment of Tau. Maybe being a mercenary isn’t your forte… how about being an anthropologist instead?

This game’s choice-based narrative means that your choices matter. You can choose whether to rescue down-on-their-luck wizards from lives of shame, explore ziggurats that are home to great treasures and greater dangers, or face the sorceress herself. 

At the center of Tauis the sorceress herself, a tyrant who defies time and her humble origins. Uncover the mystery of this sinister spell-caster while avoiding her vengeful eye.


The Eye of the Sorceress Logo.

Imagine embarking on a seemingly traditional fantasy adventure where a king sounds out a call and asks you to save his land from a sorceress once under his employ. It is an urgent mission offering a very generous reward of wealth and land, should you succeed in defeating her. You stand alongside other heroes, mercenaries, and even condemned criminals, all looking for a second chance. Venturing to a great, green dome known as the Verdant Grasp in the middle of a forest, you find it is surrounded by a strange field of “static,” which is said to be created by the sorceress, who seeks to expand her reach over the king’s territory. However, as you enter to face the traitor, you find the temperate forest is gone. You stand with your companions in a great, vast desert of smooth sand and rocky, arid features. The way behind you is gone, leaving you standing in a hot, trackless wasteland. Worse yet, you soon learn a terrible truth from a wandering, disillusioned stranger, who arrived long ago from your land—you’re not here as heroes, but as resources to be harvested.


The world within the Verdant Grasp is known as Tau (pronounced “T-ow”). It was not in fact created by the sorceress, but has recorded history going back several hundred years, not counting the myths and legends that precede even that. Various peoples have lived here well before your arrival with no connection to your home. You arrived during the 3rd Age, which is one of three periods of Tau’s history, defined by the unique pantheons of deities that existed during them:

The 1st Age (Ah-Symeritau), whence the records are fewest, was the era of the UrGods. Only vaguely understood now, they are said to be the creations of the earliest people’s burgeoning imaginations, which sought to define the sky and earth in more easily understood forms. No one knows how exactly this age of the world ended.

In The 2nd Age (Ah-Levah) came the physical deities (the Levahsi, for whom the historical period is named), who walked the land as flesh and blood as any mortal. Here, the gods are well-defined and known, having directly helped the beings of the land develop and thrive through their wisdom. The world itself was known to be much greener and more beautiful during this time. Regardless, it ended with a terrible cataclysm from a great volcano that erased much of the recorded life and nature, as well as the deities themselves. The first known records of the sorceress were written during this time, although she does not seem to have been an important player in worldly events. Still, the time frame for this period is at complete odds with her departure from your world. Something is strange…

In the modern 3rd Age (Ah-Philomena), the world is a sprawling desert wasteland. Life still exists, but conditions are difficult for natives and Outlanders alike. The sorceress comes to great prominence during this era through unknown means, effectively ruling the land as a supreme tyrant. Deities still exist, but they are intangible now, so as not to die as the previous generation did. However, they are said to be the descendants of the Levahsi in one form or another. Most notably, adventurers like yourself began to funnel into Tau through the Verdant Grasp, only to find it is not as they were led to believe.


The world of Tau is a dry, arid landscape with deserts consisting of intermixed sand and rocky variations—imagine the deserts of Arizona and the Gobi existing in the same place! The land is dotted with uniquely adapted animals, a plethora of cacti, and the ruins of a bygone era. The sorceress rules through borderline omnipotent magical power, fear, and disseminated propaganda from The Black Pyramid, a deadly location nestled within the treacherous Valley of Death. Villages and oases exist as small refuges of life amidst the brutal terrain. Most curiously of all, if one looks hard enough, one might detect strange beautifully colored flowers standing alone in the desert every few miles. They are considered the last symbolic holdouts of hope in this desiccating world, growing despite unfavorable odds.

Key Locations

The Lesser Aradean Desert: The most common focal point for heroes like yourself to appear in. A jarring environmental shock awaits Outlanders, who must quickly learn to navigate this new land before dehydration sets in.

Salabash: A friendly village of some twenty-five adobe and tent-style homes populated by natives who are kind to Outlanders. Here, camels are raised for transport, milk, and consumption, and one might gain the lay of the land of the Lesser Aradean Desert. Salabash is run by a holy man Outlander named Sage Daniel, who settled here twenty years before your arrival and began to worship Tau's deities and desert culture.

The Western Wastes: A deadly, superheated expanse just west of the Lesser Aradean Desert. It is a grim dooming stretch of arid land, peppered with bones and despair. An Outlander does not choose to go here unless they’ve given up on ever escaping Tau…

Fort Briscoe: An old, Alamo-styled fort now occupied by underachieving raiders and bandits. It is led by a small gnomish Outlander, who is unpopular with his brigands.

The Lost Ziggurat: An intriguing old ruin that resists all entry by bandits and adventurers alike. A powerful iron door stands firm against explorers, bearing an image of a woman holding a basket before her. Words are written adjacent to this entrance, but they come from an older era. What could they possibly mean, and what is inside…?

The Undying Pit: A terrifying aperture in the southern sands marked by headless bodies on pikes. At night, wailful moaning emanates from this pit in the earth, which sometimes releases the dried-out, animated corpses of the fallen.

The Valley of Death: A distant eastern desert of an eternal deep red dusk that houses the legendary Black Pyramid, where the sorceress is said to live. The area is littered with skeletons half-buried in the sand, incredible monsters, and nightmarish ghosts. No one returns from this place.


Philomena: The only name by which the sorceress has ever been called, she was once known to be an exceptionally talented elvish maiden of arcane prowess. King Varna recruited her from another kingdom, and she was tasked with exploring an ancient tomb on the outskirts of his domain. Ultimately, she did not return, and the Verdant Grasp arose from the area where she disappeared.

Said to have arrived during the 2nd Age of Tau, she survived the cataclysm that ended it and took absolute control during the 3rd Age, which bears her name. Although a tyrant, she is popular with some natives, who see her as the one who keeps Tau functioning at all, while others merely seek to appease her mercurial nature. She is extremely mysterious, powerful, and operates under layers of ambiguity.

The Flower Goddess: A very popular deity from the 2nd Age, who was known for her love and kindness to the beings of the land, both great and small. While not the head of her pantheon, she was respected and wise. It is also said that despite her main influence being over unimportant and unrelated things, such as flowers and ruins, she discovered the secret behind the natural order of Tau, which gave her a surprisingly high degree of prominence. In the current age, the occasional flower in the desert that blooms independently of Tau’s strife is a sign of her love, and such blossoms bring their observer good luck.

Harold Withley: An old, down-on-his-luck Outlander wizard, who arrived as an operative of the Hawthorne Company, a respected group of heroes-for-hire from your world. Gradually, his team was wiped out, and during his stay in Tau, he learned some dark truths about the land that ultimately led him down a path of shame and regret. He is the disillusioned passerby your party first encounters, and he plans to march himself towards certain death in the Western Wastes for his deeds. He’s not a bad person, but someone pushed to his limits by despair.

Dane: A legendary, dragon-slaying warrior clad in red garb. Despite his infamy, he is said to be long-faced, sad, and possessed of little charisma. Dane entered the Verdant Grasp at one point, befitting his status as a great hero.

Other Notable Aspects of the World

Shekkels and Economy: Currency from your world does not bear any value to the locals. A small, tiled, layered piece of sandstone and ceramic from the 2nd Age is used commercially in larger settlements, but many would prefer you barter and trade goods with them, as they find this far more practical.

The Eyeless Lord: According to legend, this being is possibly some kind of Ur-God, or he was simply there “from the beginning.” A wandering horror, the Eyeless Lord “subsumes life,” not engaging in necromancy per se, but becoming other people. He can be many people at once, it is said, including an entire village. His motives are unclear, but sages describe him as a horrible entity that played an important role during the 2nd Age.

Flora and Fauna

Many animals from your world, particularly reptiles, live in the deserts and wastes of Tau. Butterflies and beetles flutter from cactus to cactus. However, most of Tau’s recognizable animals are uniquely adapted to the wastes, often being energy/water efficient and lurking under the sands. For example, crocodiles hide in the dry sands without any hint of water around, revealing only their beige snouts above the grit as they await the small vibrations of their wandering prey. Tortoises with thick, bluntly spiked carapaces trudge about, using their own shells as shade. Crabs hide in wetter, cooler sands, deep beneath the surface of the desert. Perhaps most surprisingly, dinosaurs walk the land, traveling from one oasis to another.

Unusually, many of Tau’s animals have serpentine qualities, or are serpents with peculiar features. Wolf-like animals with the heads of cobras wander the wastes, while duck-billed asps hide under cacti and empty turtle shells for cover. This peculiarity is believed to be the result of a 3rd generation deity’s meddling.

Systems of Government

Many villages are run independently, giving only lip service and the occasional tax to the sorceress’ immediate guards and collectors as needed. Bigger cities draw her eye faster and tend to be very loyal to her whims and forces.

Plot Lines

1. The Broken Metronome: Harold Withley is a despondent old man who is walking to his death out of guilt. Left alone, he’ll do just that. If pushed by a careless or unsympathetic person, Harold snaps and violently turns on them, screaming about “not giving the sorceress another one,” whatever that means. But if treated kindly and given a purpose to try and do better for others again, Harold can step away from the brink and regain his sanity. If he joins the adventurers, Harold is a font of local information, and develops a focus of protecting others with his magic.

He’ll even tell you about one of the great strange secrets of Tau – every Outlander that arrives has a native spiritual duplicate who lives somewhere in the world, who has led their own life and has technically nothing in common with them… unless the Outlander dies, in which case the Outlander takes over the consciousness of their spiritual counterpart, merging their memories together while becoming the dominant personality. It is said that one in this situation is also that much closer to where the sorceress wants them to be… One can then realize what exactly Harold did in the past that led him to go temporarily mad.

2. The Sealed Ziggurat: To enter, one must be able to read the inscription on this building. This can be done magically or by entreating a wandering Culchuran pilgrim (a spiritually inclined crab/turtle man), who has a scroll copy that translates the old world writing to what an Outlander would understand. This reveals the inscription to be a clue centered around collecting the right colored flowers to deposit in the basket upon the door of the ziggurat.

Inside, one finds a stone complex filled with the skeletal remains of dozens of humanoids and decayed plants, as well as several traps against the greedy. However, if one is clever, the hazards can be overcome, and fascinating truth can be found—including a large seed resembling an old man’s head that sits on a pedestal with eyes stitched shut. He is Antiguar, the Chancellor of the Flower Goddess, and he relates some of his knowledge of what happened during the 2nd Age before he entered torpor to you. Antiguar has three counterparts in the desert, who also acted as the goddess’ advisors. If taken along, Antiguar can speak any language with another sapient being, acting as a translator.

3. The Joy of Learning: Maybe adventuring just isn’t worth doing in the mercenary sense… what about being a traveler and simply exploring this strange new world instead? One might write about the many locations, unusual creatures, and culture of Tau. After all, if the King wasn’t being honest concerning why you’re here and facing the sorceress is certain death, maybe it would be wiser to adapt and try to enjoy this curious land for what it is? You could focus on being an explorer, an archaeologist, an anthropologist, a zoologist, or any combination of these ideas. Being a sage might pay less, but some would argue you’ll see so much more in life than a simple blade-wielding mercenary.

The Goddess of Ruins. She is the representation of the Flower Goddess mentioned in this submission.The Goddess of Ruins. She is the representation of the Flower Goddess.

Your vote is important

Not only does each vote increase the winners' prizes, they entitle you to exclusive perks down the line.

Cast your ballot and become a Founding Member of the LiveTale Community.

Play the winning Tales for free Exclusive in-game content First access to new features