From the introduction:
The world is coming to an end. Concepts are vanishing and places are turning to brittle stone and glass. A field of wheat may exist now but if farm lands were to vanish the crops would become rock-like crumbly stalks. This is the way the world ends in The Never Ending Story and only you can do anything about it.
You must go to the civilisations and the wilds and collect ingredients that have absorbed the essence of the location. To harvest essence ingredients you must travel somewhere and collect the ingredient with the correct blade.
Give your druid a name and choose a single blade of Gold, Silver or Iron.
Players assume the role of a druid and select a color. Players subsequently take turns in rounds. Each player moves to a location, has an encounter there, and (possibly) gains an advantage. A player's turn also may change another player's situation or advantage. The rules allow considerable latitude in player decisions. During the game players construct a shared narrative to explain what is happening in the world.
During play, the print-and-play rulebook is altered by removing pages (rules) from the document. The page removal mechanism acts as the countdown process for the game - when the last page is removed, the game enters a final round of play. The conclusion is determined by a shared process. The game does not select a "winner" or "loser" - all players complete the game.