Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. A Ballad Of Times Past
An Advanced Dungeons & Dragons scenario written by Dave Morris and Yve Newnham, first published in the March 1984 issue of White Dwarf magazine. It has since been adapted into a Dragon Warriors scenario, and in 1993 it formed the basis of Dave Morris' sixth Knightmare book, The Dragon’s Lair.

The characters of King Athelred, Prince Osric, Caedmon the sorcerer and Talionis the dragon all appear in the original story, along with the royal advisor (named as Hengist) and a wandering minstrel called Skuli who delivers the prophetic ballad, claiming to have dreamt the words "as though they were whispered to me" while in the grip of a fever. (In The Dragon's Lair, it is the invisible and inaudible Fay who tells William what to recite.) The setting is revealed to be the fictional kingdom of Beorsca, in a land where magic users are very rare due to the need for dragon dust as a component of every spell. There are additional details, scenes and characters not included in the Knightmare book, and even a map of the journey undertaken. At one point in the quest, an undead being called the Vough (disguised as a beautiful woman) rises out of a frozen pond, clearly inspiring the scene where Fay pulls William into her adventure.

The fact that Knightmare elements were grafted onto a pre-existing story explains why several details are inconsistent with the TV show and other books. For example, the newly-hatched 'Smirkenorf' is described as "coppery-coloured" like his mother Talionis, in contrast to the Great Crested Green dragon familiar to watchers of the series. (The young dragon was originally named Protervus.) In The Forbidden Gate, Smirkenorff is described by Treguard as "older than any language", and in Series 5, Pickle implies he has a dragon name that is difficult for them to pronounce - both contradicted in The Dragon's Lair, where Smirky is born in the 8th century and named by Prince Osric. Furthermore, dragon dust does not appear to be an essential ingredient for magic in the Knightmare world, where sorcery is commonly practised. While it is interesting and enlightening to discover the tale's origins, it does raise further doubts as to whether the book can be considered canon by KM fans.

Provided By: Canadanne, 2014-05-06 18:56:45
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