Each Thursday, our copy of ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.
Today’s Tour Topic is… Dark Lord
There is always one of these in the background of every Tour, attempting to ruin everything and take over the world. He will be so sinister that he will be seen by you only once or twice, probably near the end of the Tour. Generally he will attack you through MINIONS….
Probably the easiest topc of the tour, here is what I came up with.
Derk – The Dark Lord of Derkholm – Diana Wynne Jones – The easiest of all to pick, this one comes full circle. Derk is picked by Mr. Chesney’s Pilgrim Parties to be this year’s Dark Lord, with his wife acting as evil entrances. This means he must make his land just a bit more evil to play the part; the tourists visiting this fantasyland expect full realism. This means demons, evil creatures, and plenty of evil encounters before banishing the dark lord.
Of course these tours are devastating to the land they visit, and this run as dark lord is hard on Derk and his family, but it all makes one hell of a profit for Mr. Chesney, so what else really matters?
Darken Rahl – Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind– I have taken part in my fair share of Goodkind mocking, make no mistake. I consider reading the series a youthful transgression and the result of not having a good reading support group around me. When desperate for fantasy it can slip in and seem good. I recommend the series to no one.
But that first book, maybe it isn’t as bad as the rest. And Darken Rahl is a Dark Lord, so let’s add him. He is so evil he bans fire. Yes, fire. Got a spell that affects a single color? Suddenly all red fruit is poison (never trust a big butt and a smile (big props if you get that reference)). Or maybe that was his evil father, I can’t really remember anymore, evil runs in the family. He employs a pedophile as his main thug, slaughters mud people without hesitation, and employs a huge harem of S & M mistresses who like to cause pain. He will rule the world. He is DARK.
Voldemort –Nuff said.
The Lady – The Black Company by Glen Cook– Wife of the Dominator, she buried him beneath the earth and took over to lead the Ten who were Taken. I am not supposed to include a women in this list, as Dark Lady has it’s own entry. But she is the friggin Lady! I love the first Black Company book so much, and anyone who holds sway over Soulstealer and the Limper earns every ounce of my respect.
Like most dark lords her face cannot be seen, but it is because of a magical beauty that normal people can’t perceive. She shows as a light to most, leaving nothing but fear.
Lord Ruler –Mistborn- He is a Lord Ruler. He holds the entire land under his thumb, doesn’t show his face, employs nasty people with iron spikes driven through their eyes, keeps a large percentage of the population in permanent serfdom. Truly a major power, his rule lasts a thousand years and he created almost everything about current society; up to and including the orbit of the planet. Religion is based around his rule as well, though he is not a creator.
For me it is his back story that is the strength of the series. Something others have tried to recreate but I can’t think of anyone who has done it better than Sanderson did here.
Sauron – Included so I don’t get asked why I didn’t include it. In truth, I could care less about him. They should have forged the damn ring into a bar of iron and let the eagles finish it. Not an original idea I know, but there it is.
This one was easy, so next week lets make it a bit tougher. The topic will be…
Fairground- This is like a MARKET, except it is much , much bigger and planted somewhere right in the middle of nowhere so that everyone can get to it. There will be rows and rows of TENTS and BOOTHS…
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