Friday 5 May 2023

God Save the King!

It probably hasn't escaped your notice that tomorrow is the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

Royalty has long been a staple of fantasy stories, and that includes adventure gamebooks. So, today we thought we would count down some of Fighting Fantasy's baddest and best monarchs. But be warned, spoilers abound!

#5 - King Salamon LVII - The Gates of Death

The highly respected current ruler of Salamonis first appeared in Steve Jackson's Fighting Fantasy novel, The Trolltooth Wars, and then in Dungeoner, the first book in the Advanced Fighting Fantasy series.

However, when he was next encountered in Charlie Higson's The Gates of Death, he had become infected by a terrible demon plague and... wasn't quite himself.

#4 - King Gillibran - The Forest of Doom

King Gillibran Ironhelm III is the ruler of the Dwarves of Stonebridge. It is he who you are trying to aid by recovering his fabled warhammer in Sir Ian Livingstone's The Forest of Doom, so that he can continue to defend the town against the predations of the Hill Trolls that live to the east in the Moonstone Hills.

#3 - The Serpent Queen - City of Thieves

The Serpent Queen is under the protection of Lord Azzur and can be encountered in Sir Ian Livingstone's City of Thieves.

She is a woman with the head of a giant serpent, the result of terrible experiments performed by Caarth sorcerer-priests in the Desert of Skulls, and her bite is most definitely worse than her bark!

#2 - King Salamon LVII - Secrets of Salamonis

Having not appeared in a Fighting Fantasy gamebook until 2018, only four years later King Salamon returned in 2022, in Steve Jackson's Secrets of Salamonis. The reason for his second appearance on the list is because the previous listing was for his evil demonic self, while in Secrets of Salamonis he is as noble, wise and generous as you might have previously been led to believe.

#1 - The Lizard King - Island of the Lizard King

There is only one monarch whose name appears in the title of a Fighting Fantasy gamebook and that is the Lizard King of Fire Island. Armed with a lethal sword and protected by his pet Black Lion, he is a truly formidable foe. And you have to battle your way past his entire army before you can even face him in single combat!

Bubbling under: the Liche Queens of Trial of Champions and Night of the Necromancer, the Pharaoh Akharis the Accursed from Curse of the Mummy, and Queen Zyteea of the Usai tribe who appears in Bloodbones.

So, who is your favourite Fighting Fantasy monarch? Let us know in the comments below?

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