Long ago in a land far, far away there lived the peaceful people of Merlwood. Merlwood was a small but beautiful country with tall mountain ranges, deep forests, and a large lake filled with fish. The people of Merlwood had all that anyone could want: good food, good friends, and great surroundings. At this time, there were powerful wizards and magicians throughout the land. THe art of magic had been refined until all aspects of life were in some way related to magic. The magicians controlled all of Merlwood's major activities, keeping everything in order, without adversely affecting anyone's lifestyle.
Then the inevitable happened: one of the most powerful magicians decided that he was tired of always helping the people. He figured that with a little help, he could easily rule over them, and become the richest, most powerful wizard in all the known land. His name was Abadon.
Abadon used his power to conjure up all sorts of evil beasts, then he went deep into the eastern mountains and built a massive castle. After this was completed, he sent his evil followers out into the countryside, with their first mission being to destory all of the most powerful wizards of the land. Because Merlwood was such a peaceful land, he accomplished this with unbelieveable ease, destroying all of the most powerful wizards, and converting most of the minor magicians.
While all of this was going on in the east, Paul, a young apprentice Magician from Serenna, a small village on the western border of Merlwood, was preparing to depart on his Magician's trek. In order to become a Magician, an apprentice must first travel to the distant corners of the land to learn all of the secrets from the ancient masters. Just as Paul was preparing to depart on his quest, word of Abadon's treachery came to Serenna. There are no wizards left to fight the evil Abadon. The only hope left seems to lie in you, Paul, a simple teenage Apprentice - out to defeat the most powerful Magician in all Merlwood!
Good luck - your mission will be long and difficult, filled with epic battles and magic spells. Along the way, you will meet many friends who can teach you spells, and give you scrolls. There is only one real hope to defeat Abadon: the ancient Ultimate Potion.
Legends say that if the four vials of the elements can be brought together, the ultimate potion will be formed. This is your only hope, Paul: search out the vials of Earth, Air Fire, and Water, form them into the Ultimate Potion, and confront Abadon!!!
--From the NES Magician instruction manual.