The Stone of Zoral - Kevin J. Herbst
Malthus Kierin always dreamed of adventuring, of making his mark upon the world of Kalan. After he earns his robe and staff, rewards for passing the tests required to become a wizard, the door to his dreams stands open. But he finds a nightmare on the other side, a black-hearted wizard who, along with his vile undead minions, systematically assassinates all of Kalan's heroes, then hunts Malthus down. Malthus and his small band of companions survive many trials, including imprisonment deep in an enchanted wood, and meet a loremaster who claims an artifact, a sphere of stone created by the immortal Zoral, can repel the undead that hunt them, and turn back the tide of evil. But can they survive long enough to find the stone? Or will Kalan fall into an age of darkness?