The Shadow of Yserbius

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The Shadow of Yserbius
Ribbon: TSoY.png
Server: Role Play Inn, Mace Manor, Evil Way
Server Type: PvE
Alignment: N/A
Dates Occupied: 1992 - 1996
Previous Servers: Sword Swamp, Lance Lair
Realm Leader: See description
Branch Leader: See description

Branch Closed

The Shadow of Yserbius, originally published by Sierra On-Line and developed by Joe Ybarra of Ybarra Productions, was the first of three graphical MUDs for the online community. The game was followed by two sequels entitled The Fates of Twinion (1993) and The Ruins of Cawdor (1995). Until recently, only The Shadow of Yserbius and The Fates of Twinion were playable in offline mode.

The Shadow of Yserbius, along with its successors, remained online until 1996, when America Online purchased the rights from then-owner AT&T for an undisclosed price (rumored to be $40 million). AOL soon pulled the plug on The Shadow of Yserbius, which was a competitor to its existing online RPG Neverwinter Nights.

Branch History

This was the mother branch of the guild. It began with a guild called the NoMaDs, but several members of that guild broke off to form OutRiders in 1991. There was an apparent dispute among the members of that guild about the use of macro files or hack programs to cheat the game. Those who wished to forgo the use of such programs broke off again and added New to the name of their guild in January of 1992.

So called guilds on TSoY were ephemeral things. No guild tool as we understand it today existed at all. In fact, the players of INN likely coined the term guild itself. NOR at the time was no different than any other guild of its day. Members came and went at will, belonged to multiple guilds under different names and participated in the primary source of entertainment available: social drama.

It was so replete there were so-called "tavernites" who had been playing TSoY since the beginning, but languished at relatively low levels. These players simply never played the actual game, they spent all of their time interacting with the other players.

NOR occupied as many as five of the available servers at a given time. The original server is believed to be Mace Manor, and it maintained a consistent presence on Role Play Inn and Evil Way, but also made forays into Sword Swamp and Lance Lair.

At its height, INN had 30,000 subscribers. At one point NOR boasted of 500 members, which is probably an exaggeration but there is some evidence to suggest it was nearly 300. In any event, there were complaints from other guilds and players that they could not log in to their server of choice, typically RPI, because it full to capacity with members of NOR. Each server had a capacity of 100 players. In any event, NOR seems to have commanded as much as 1% of the total population of the entire service. In today's terms, that would like having over 100,000 members on WoW.

The 'cano.

Mace Manor

Role Play Inn

Evil Way


Starting only a few years after it was closed by AT&T numerous private attempts have been made to resurrect either the entire INN gaming community or specific games, in particular, The Shadow of Yserbius.

Installation & Play

In late 2007, the ImagiNation Revival Project succeeded in resurrecting the long-dormant ImagiNation Network by using the original client software coupled with DOSBox. The Shadow of Yserbius is now once again available for online play with all features, graphics, sounds, and such fully intact and functional. Macros are fully supported and compatibility with old character and map files is enabled for TSN/INN versions 2.4 and higher.

See also