Villains by Necessity
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With the banishment of Evil from the realms, the final victory of Good is assured-unless a few stalwart antiheroes can save the world from a serious and potentially fatal imbalance. First novelist Forward explores the complications that arise from a surfeit of "goodness" in the world. The result is a skewed version of the epic fantasy that features an assassin, a thief, an evil sorceress, a dark knight, and an implacable druid as the villains-turned-heroes who must restore the delicate balance of opposing forces before their world disappears in a blinding flash of Goodness and Light. Fans of role-playing games will recognize many familiar conventions in this seriocomic fantasy adventure. A candidate for fantasy collections in large libraries.
finally slip into death in their own darkness." She righted the bowl, set it wobbling again. "This did not happen. The Victory saved us from the evil... but something just as bad has happened. Light conquered, and drove the darkness away, far, too far away." Her fingers pushed slowly harder down on the other side of the bowl with each turn of her fingers. Its wobbling slowed, grew unsteady, began tilting under the gradual pressure. "This is what happens now. We are unbalanced. Nature is affected;
hair?" asked Fenwick, who had been looking over the mage's shoulder. He was a sharp-jawed young man, skilled at the hunt and the duties of heroes, with handsome features and brave eyes, and a prince in his own right. His great-grandfather had been one of the Heroes, the Forest Lord Fen-Alaran, and had ruled Trois, the southernmost of the Six Lands, graciously until his peaceful death before Fenwick was born. Fenwick was a man known for his defeat of the Trollish Legions at Halfast and the
was strong and proud. "All right then, you've won! Kill me now, as I would have killed you! You'll die in the end yourselves when the Light overflows." Kaylana spoke. "We will not kill you." She looked at Sam and Arcie as she said this, and somehow they had a feeling it would be as she said. "To do so is to build our own coffin. The Light threatens us all equally. The rest of us will not kill a one ... but nor will one of us rule the rest. Bear that in mind, Sorceress." She glanced over at
mind constantly aflood with that which no one mind was meant to know. He was banished to the heavy surface of the material world, to wander forever in mad semi-immortality. Insane, he sought relief from the torment that plagued him, and went to end his life. He fashioned a cord of dragon's breath and built a gallows above the burning light of a chasm that led to the fires at the center of the world. But as he stepped from the platform, feeling the noose jerk tight about his neck, he saw his
it on the floor. "Citrine stone, huhm?" he mused. "I wonder if that's one of them magical treasures? Well, best start off then." It was the work of a moment to locate the secret door hidden in the panel before him and slip through. He stepped out into a dim passageway and heard footsteps. He ducked back into the shadows, hiding in the small recess of the doorway. The passageways he had come into were of dark granite, rough-hewn into tunnels and bolstered by wood supports--a welcome relief from