Trials of the First Moon is a martial arts-meets-fantasy genre role-playing gamebook complete with illustrations. The 250 page, 91,000 word adventure includes character sheets, random number table, combat results table, bestiary, glossary, FAQs, 500 numbered sections and excellent replay potential. Trials of the First Moon is the first of a lengthy saga planned by the author. Introduction . . . You are Tsai (prounced /tsaI/ and rhyming with sky ), a promising young Shinte warrior preparing for your black-sash examinations. You are anxious about undertaking these trials, but kw the time is right-these trials are scheduled only once each spring by your Shinte elders for those students, deemed ready to meet the challenge. To miss this opportunity means waiting ather year and losing out on thirteen moons' time training in more advanced and exciting-though challenging-Shinte curriculum. The First Moon is w waxing over the monasteries clustered in the rth of Escrinn, the young and growing kingdom situated in the southeast of the world of Shaong in which you were born and reared. It is the dawn of springtime in this realm, and the icy frost peacefully blanketing the courtyards, monuments, gardens, and outdoor training grounds of these reclusive sanctuaries thins daily with each rising sun. Your mornings begin early and the days of training are long and grueling at the monasteries where you study. Here, students nurture and hone their abilities to tap into their internal and ever-flowing dao. Simply defined, dao is kwn as the spiritual energy existing within all living things. Through due diligence, instruction, and time, Shinte practitioners both cultivate increased dao while learning how to harness it. In all, there are two dozen of these monastic guilds, laid out symmetrically across the countryside of Escrinn with a crisscross of roads connecting them all. Each institution is a place of learning and devotion, specializing in a different Shinte animal and weapon fighting art. While students are initially encouraged to try their hands at any discipline that interests them, they must eventually commit to mastering specific ones. Furthermore, each student's mentor weighs in on the decision, guiding younger pupils toward styles which complement their temperament, athleticism, and other, more subtle qualities. The choice of which animal and weapon fighting styles to study comes easily to some while others remain reluctant to commit themselves for some time. Each individual's choice of which disciplines to study is taken very seriously, though some would argue that the issue is something of a moot point. After all, in the pursuit of becoming a master, a Shinte practitioner will learn them all in due time. At the age of seventeen, you have chosen and have become proficient in five of these art forms. This is the requisite number before becoming eligible to participate in the challenging black-sash trials. Dawn comes too early for your weary eyes as the sun shines through your window onto your still sleeping face. Yet it is t long before you are tying your brown-sash around your waist and splashing your face with refreshingly cool valley water in attempt to rally yourself for this morning's exercises. Your muscles protest the thought of the hours of work ahead of you, sore as they are from the rigors of yesterday. Yet it is a routine you kw all too well and t a lifestyle you would readily trade. There is something intrinsically rewarding in it all, a thought you pause to consider as you close the door to the student dormitory behind you. Your mentor, already up, is awaiting your arrival . . .
Born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1981, Michael G. Perrin became interested in the fantasy genre at a young age. By eleven, he had discovered the Lone Wolf series-his all-time favorite book series, which is still proudly displayed on his bookshelves. A year later, he was participating in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons with middle school friends. From thirteen years of age, and ever since, Michael has served intermittently as both player and Dungeon Master, creating fantasy worlds for his players to explore. Dr. Perrin's love for role-playing games and fantasy-based worlds continued throughout the next two decades of his life, during which time he studied and earned several advanced degrees in varying educational disciplines, including special education, school counseling, and school psychology. Dr. Perrin specializes in the field of emotional and behavioral disorders. He graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, in 2012 with a Ph.D. in Counseling & Educational Psychology. Now, Dr. Perrin lives in Reno, Nevada with his wife, Robyn Christine, and new-born daughter, Scarlett Christine. He is now an award-winning special education teacher in Northern Nevada working with adolescents struggling with various mental health, social, emotional, and behavioral problems during the school year and with students of all ages diagnosed with autism during the summers. Michael's second passion, the Chinese martial arts, began at the age of fourteen when he began studying Shaolin kung fu and Tai chi chuan. After sixteen years of study, he reached the rank of 4th degree black belt in these arts and continues to practice today. Yet, having never out-grown his interest in role-playing games, Dr. Perrin decided to tie these two interests together with his love for writing and began authoring books set in Shanoong (the fantasy world he has been creating intermittently since high school) and featuring a heroic martial arts warrior as protagonist. He sincerely hopes his work will touch and inspire the lives of his readers in much the same way as have the creators and contributors to both Dungeons & Dragons and Joe Dever's Lone Wolf series.