Tough Travels – High Priests


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.

This week’s topic is HIGH PRIESTS

HIGH PRIEST is nearly always evil, either on his own account or on behalf of the dark lord.

I stretched this one a bit. Not everyone has a title of high priest, some just are high up in the church. I know when I start looking at other peoples lists I will kick myself over and over for those that I missed. Still, a list was made, a list shall be presented.

Deacon VorbisSmall Gods by Terry Prachtett – Om is the only God and Vorbis will have quite a lot to say if anyone thinks otherwise. Or not, actions do speak louder than words after all, especially if said actions involve turning the right screws or lighting the right fire. Tall, bald, and certain to be the next prophet of Om. After all if a person is hearing voices that give instructions who could it be other than your god?

Not a nice man at all. This guy once made a sailor shoot a dolphin. Have you ever seen a dolphin? How could anyone look at one and then order it dead? It defies logic. And how the hell does he shave his head without a mirror (which are a mark of vanity and therefore forbidden).

Obsidian and BloodAcatl Obsidian and Blood by Aliette de Bodard- High Priest of the Dead in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. Not evil, in fact he is responsible for some pretty heroic stuff during his time. And as cool as High Priest of the Dead sounds poor Acatl actually finds himself pretty low on the high priest hierarchy; he is at the table but not always taken seriously.

Who would want this job? Almost every spell requires blood and Acatl’s ear lobe has been cut for that purpose so many times it is surprising any blood is left. Half of his time is spent playing politics with the other priests, and inevitably he is forced to save the world every so often- a job that involves going directly against some of the gods in most places. Yikes.

Claude FrolloThe Hunchback of Notre Dame – I admit that I have not read the book. My French translations are limited to Madame Bovery (awesome) and The Three Musketeers (meh). I had to check out a plot summery to see if the Disney movie followed the book in any way shape or form. It kinda did, up to the point where you would assume Disney would change things up. But the whole devil woman is making me sinful thing? Strait from the text.

Really what I want to do here is mention that Hellfire is one of my top five Disney songs of all time. Most of the rest of list belong to villains as well.

The Darkness that Comes BeforeMaithanetThe Darkness that Comes Before by R Scott Bakker – More of a pope like figure than a high priest but I think I am going to count it. Maithanet is the Shriah of the Thousand Temples, church of the Inrithism faith.   He calls for a holy war to clear infidels and even makes a deal with the Scarlet Spires, a sorcerous group that goes against the teachings of the church.

Confused? Friend, you have not yet begun to be confused. But I have said it before, one hell of a series to bite into. One of the smartest (and yes, at times pretentious) series in fantasy; and THE best imagery for battle scenes I have ever read.


Join us next week as we look at DRUGS

DRUGS- Driver of all the underground economies. At times glorified, at times responsible for all the world’s evil, but just as common in Fantasyland as our own. A big thanks to Tammy for the suggestion as this is not from the Tough Guide.

If you have a topic you want to see us cover, or if you have an entry for next week’s post but don’t have your own blog to put it on, please head over to the main Tough Traveling page and fill out the form at the bottom.

As always thanks for joining, feel free to join along at any time, and please check out my fellow travelers!

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