Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. The Dragon’s Lair
From TES issue 15 (May 2002)

KNIGHTMARE: The Dragon's Lair
Published by Yearling in 1993.
Written by Dave Morris.
Plot: Thirteen-year-old William is worried because his mother is in hospital, about to give birth. Not that he is concerned for her health, mind you. He is worried that his parents will neglect him in favour of the baby. Taking a walk around the snowy countryside to try and dispel these thoughts, William sees one of his neighbours, Mr. Treguard, whose vase he once broke. Hoping to avoid an encounter, he changes direction and finds himself at Wish Water, a local pond. Beneath the water's icy surface he is astonished to see a girl whom he recognises from school: Fay, Mr. Treguard's niece. Fearing that she is drowning, he tries to pull her out. Instead, it is he who is pulled in. He finds that he has been taken back in time to the reign of King Athelred.
Fay explains that she was supposed to come back to this time to help her uncle, Treguard, by ensuring the safe hatching of a dragon that he needs as an ally in the future. By trying to pull her out of the pond, William has ended up in her place. And so the bemused and confused William must undertake the quest meant for Fay, with her acting as his guide, as only he can see and hear her. The quest involves entering the king’s court as a bard and persuading Athelred, through seemingly prophetic verse, that he should send a group of warriors to protect his old ally Talionis the dragon. Her unhatched egg has been cited as a source of great power by the malignant wizard, Caedmon, who is also an old acquaintance of the king. And so the party, headed by Prince Osric and containing William and Fay, sets off for Talionis's lair, there to stop Caedmon from destroying the egg of the unhatched dragon. Deep in the caves, can William aid the warriors and the dragon to stop the determined Caedmon from reaching the egg?
Quest section [The Future King]: This quest is to recover the future king of England. As a helpless child, he is in a castle in the middle of the Lake of Wisps. In this adventure, the Helmet of Justice counts as a possession, so you can lose it during the adventure. This also applies to the other two objects that Treguard gives you before you begin: the Lance of Truth and the Shield of Honour. Take care of these because they will protect you from the perils that await you at the castle where the baby is being held.
If you hold all three of these objects when you get there, you will lose no life force. If you hold two of them, you will lose one life force grade. If you hold only one of them, you will lose two life force grades. If you have neither the Helmet of Justice, the Lance of Truth nor the Shield of Honour, you will lose three life force grades, which means that you will certainly die. Before this, though, you must reach the Lake of Wisps. This involves travelling through a wood, where you can help some small faerie knights to cure their ailing queen and raid a troll's cottage, if you are clever enough. There are many useful items and spells to be had here.
Next you enter a town, where you can buy a horse, talk to some characters in a tavern, and have your horse shod at the blacksmith's. If you want to do all three, you must do them in that order. If you do not buy a horse and have it shod, you will not have a lucky horseshoe and may regret it later. As for the tavern, Gwendoline will offer some useful advice and Hordriss will give you a spell if you work out his puzzle. If you also agree to find a lost relic for Brother Mace, you will eventually be well protected when you reach the castle.
After the town, you come to a stone cross where you must decide whether to go left or right. Only one is correct, and if you do choose the wrong one then you may well die at the hands of a large army or a pesky leprechaun. If you survive this, you will be sent back to the cross and told to go the other way. Once on the right track, you pass a pond and a wood before reaching the Lake of Wisps. The phantom gypsies live in the woods, and they have Mace's relic. However, they won't just give it to you! At the lake, you must either pay the ferryman to punt you across or use a FREEZE spell to skate across the moat. Watch out if you don't have this spell by the time you leave the pond, because all your money might get stolen by sprites in the wood if you're unlucky.
Once across the moat, you must enter the castle. You must either know or guess the password to get past the Gatemaster, but you only have one chance to venture the right word. You can get a clue from a disgruntled sentry by either bribing him or charming him with magic. Once inside the castle, if you pass the archers and the supernaturally-animated wolf skin, you should reach the sleeping baby who will one day become King Arthur of Britain.
Characters from the main story
William: He's astonished and indignant when Fay tells him what he's stumbled into. He's also very jealous of his unborn sibling, but his adventures soon make him realise how important all offspring are to their parents as he sees Talionis welcome her child into the world.
Treguard: He has engineered the plan to help the unborn dragon, and has created gateways in and out of Athelred's time for Fay. He is grateful to William for adopting the quest after he stumbles upon them.
Fay: She is apparently Treguard's niece, although I don't know how as we know that all his family were killed by Vestan in the first book. In her ghost-like state, she guides William through his somewhat daunting task.
King Athelred: He sends his best ten warriors to protect his old ally Talionis from his other old ally and new foe Caedmon. So concerned is he by this, he tasks his own son with leading the expedition.
Prince Osric: A fair and likeable leader, Osric thinks William is gifted with a second sight and frequently asks his advice on the quest. Later, he is given the honour of naming the baby dragon.
Caedmon: He uses the dust from unhatched dragons' eggs for his spells, and has come to steal Talionis's. He casts an anti-fire spell to protect himself from her fiery breath.
Talionis: The great dragon is glad to see William, Osric and the others arrive to help her. She is a friendly dragon who loves her son dearly, and thinks highly of Athelred and Osric.
Alcuin: This warrior is the real hero of the piece. He knocks the dust that powers Caedmon's anti-fire spell from his hand, allowing Talionis to fry the evil wizard. Unfortunately, Alcuin also gets caught in the blast.
Smirkenorff: The baby dragon, named by Osric, who is destined to help Treguard in the future.
William's father: Having been at the hospital, he tells William that he now has a baby brother. And William finds that, despite his earlier fears, he is immensely pleased.

[Previous book: The Forbidden Gate/The Quest For The Dragon’s Egg
Next book: Lord Fear’s Domain]

Provided By: Eyeshield, 2007-01-21 20:35:02
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2. The Dragon’s Lair
The penultimate Knightmare book. Like its five predecessors, The Dragon's Lair was part-story, part-adventure gamebook.

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The story centres around William, a boy in the present day. On his way home, he sees a local man known as 'Mr. Treguard', and then notices the man's niece, Fay, alive in a frozen pond. William's attempt to rescue her leads to him being pulled into the pond and transported with Fay to the Eighth Century. It turns out that this is a mission set by Treguard: William and Fay must help a prince named Osric to protect a dragon from Caedmon, a corrupt former friend of Osric's father and agent of Queen Aesandre of Winteria, as Caedmon wants to use the dragon's egg to increase his magic powers.

The Dragon's Lair is aimed at a younger audience than Dave Morris' first four Knightmare stories, and as such is not as gritty, as chilling or as intricate. The story's plot appears to draw heavily upon Dave Morris' earlier work A Ballad Of Times Past. It seems derivative in other ways too, with two previous KM stories and one previous gamebook having featured a dragon-related quest, and it arguably bears similarities to the contemporary sci-fi series Quantum Leap. However, it does have the distinction of depicting the earliest events of the Knightmare book chronology.

The gamebook that follows the story is entitled The Future King.

Previous: The Forbidden Gate
Next: Lord Fear’s Domain

[Earlier version: 2006-05-21 18:32:40]

Provided By: David, 2014-03-07 17:54:49
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3. The Dragon’s Lair
Sixth of the series of seven Knightmare books. Written by Dave Morris. First published in 1993 at bargain price of £2.99.
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Provided By: Robin, 2004-10-28 03:05:29
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