Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. Fortress of Assassins
 [Related Image] A book, more fully titled as 'Knightmare 3: Fortress of Assassins', marking it out as the third Knightmare book.

The first half of the book is a story, set in the Thirteenth Century. Treguard learns from a dying knight that Richard the Lionheart had a child during the Crusades who is still alive in the Holy Land, and sets off to find the heir, in the hope that England's corrupt King John can be usurped. His travelling companions are a teenage knight named Dugald, a troublesome dwarf called Elshander, and a merchant named Abraham. The quest takes them into a citadel filled with assassins, hence the title.

The second half of the book, 'The Knightmare Challenge', is an adventure gamebook, in which the player is tasked with retrieving a crystal key from the Dungeon. Familiar characters within the adventure include Pickle (whose character differs slightly from that seen on screen), Mellisandre, Hordriss (spelt Hordris), Granitas, Motley and Malice. There are original characters such as Sister Lucienne. Various encounters are inspired by Norse mythology, with Odin, Thor (see: quiche) and Tyr present as characters. In a departure from KM episodes' ogres, the ogres in the gamebook (including the gloriously named Scumbore) speak. There is a particularly wide range of ordinary yet useful clue objects available, such as salt, a chisel, a mousetrap and a crucifix, and some less standard choices like winged sandals and waters from the 'fountains of the World Tree'. Spells include SHIELD and RUST (see spells from the books for a full list). Overall, Fortress of Assassins is one of the most satisfying of the gamebooks, for although it has plenty of options leading to success, it manages not to be boring, with characters old and new, riddles and varied dangers. There's even something for Keith Richards fans.

Dave Morris has credited Oliver Johnson as a co-writer of Fortress of Assassins' novella section. He has also revealed that 'When my dad saw the cover [by Knightmare illustrator David Rowe], he turned it upside down and said, "See how much more threatening it looks?" He was right; try it for yourself and see. (Dad was an electrical engineer, incidentally, not an artist.)'
 [Related Image] The final chapter of Esperata's 2008 fanfic There Is No Turning Back appears to plagiarise large amounts of text from the Fortress of Assassins' gamebook section.

Fortress of Assassins was promoted immediately after various episodes of Knightmare Series 4 on Children's ITV.

The 23/02/1991 issue of Look-in magazine included a Fortress of Assassins and Knightmare sweatshirt give-away.

 [Related Image]

Previous: The Labyrinths of Fear
Next: The Sorcerer’s Isle

[Earlier version: 2006-08-20 17:04:34

Look-in magazine cutting courtesy of Jamie Hall]

Provided By: David, 2015-10-04 16:15:02
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2. Fortress of Assassins
From TES issue 12 (November 2001)

KNIGHTMARE: Fortress of Assassins
Published by Corgi in 1990.
Written by Dave Morris.
Plot: As a small procession of tradesmen's caravans speed hurriedly across the desert, a lone female warrior prepares to relieve them of their most prized treasure: the sword of Richard the Lionheart. Meanwhile, Treguard is travelling through Europe to try and find allies who will help him in his rebellion against the tyranny of King John of England. One such knight is Edmund of Blaye, who directs him St. Severine's Abbey. Along with his newly-acquired travelling companion, Dugald of St. Julien, Treguard here receives an exciting and important quest: to recover the child of Richard the Lionheart, held prisoner at the Fortress of Death in the Holy Land, home of the assassins, and take him back to England as the true king. The quest is long and arduous, taking Treguard and Dugald across frozen mountains, storm-swept seas and baking deserts. They encounter two allies on the way, Elshander the dwarf and Abraham the merchant. Can the four of them together stand up against the Fortress of Death and its inhabitants, namely the assassin hordes, an evil wizard, the powerful Old Man of the Mountains, and the notorious warrior Queen Hel? Can you?
Quest section: This quest is all about proving your worth as a chivalrous knight. It begins with one of several encounters, either with a hungry warrior, a vile old man, Pickle and his imp market, or an old woman and a group of ogres [SEE: Scumbore]. There are several ways through. On the way down to level two, there is the chance to capture a boggart and gain some useful information. But watch out or he'll steal everything you've got. Level two begins with having to prove to Hordris [sic] that you are not a goblin in disguise, before choosing one of two ways through to level three. The first involves listening to Motley for a while before trying to avoid a vampire. The second is longer and more profitable; as long as you can answer Granitas's question, free Mellisandre from an evil witch and avoid the Wight's tomb, you can gain useful information for level three. Before you descend to this level, Treguard tells you that your quest is to recover a crystal key. In level three, you must defeat an evil devil-knight [SEE: Keith Richards]. If you have pleased Hordris or Mellisandre appropriately, you will know how to summon and defeat him. If you haven't got this information, you have to work it out for yourself. If you're unlucky, you then have to run past a group of blood-sucking bats; watch out! Finally you meet Malice. She guards the crystal key, but has also imprisoned Pickle. A choice has to be made that will make or break your quest: the key or Pickle's freedom.
Characters from the main story.
Giacommo: He is one of the party transporting the Lionheart's sword, and the sole survivor of Queen Hel's attack.
Santino: Giacommo's brother is prepared to give his life to try and prevent the sword from being recaptured by the assassins. And he does just that.
Queen Hel: She is a formidable warrior and one of the assassins. But she is also much more than that, as Treguard later finds out, to his horror and dismay.
Treguard: He gets more than he bargained for in his crusade against King John. The quest for the Lionheart's heir, he believes, is the perfect opportunity to oust John from the English throne.
Sir Edmund of Blaye: He is reluctant to join Treguard's cause at first, but soon changes his mind. He helps Treguard to find the Abbey, where the quest begins.
Dugald of St. Julien: The young knight insists on joining Treguard, and proves his worth in a fight against a dryad. It is later revealed that he is the son of the late Brian of Gascony, whom Treguard met in the first book.
Abbot Gregory: The leader of the monks at St. Severine's. He tells Treguard and Dugald of a dying Knight Templar who has foretold their coming.
Hubert of Lindfield: The Templar in question. He tells Treguard and Dugald the story of how the Lionheart's heir ended up in the assassins' clutches.
Elshander: This Alpine dwarf joins Treguard and Dugald in their search. He is chiefly on the look-out for elephant meat in the Asian markets, but soon becomes dedicated to finding the heir, despite being very mischievous. The cloak of invisibility that he wears aids this unfortunate trait.
Abraham ben-Levi: The Jewish merchant arranges a ship for the questers' voyage to the Holy Land. He is also forced to join the band as Elshander spooks the local townsfolk by appearing from his cloak, and they burn Abraham's house because they think he is a devil-worshipper.
Theodore of Tarsus: He is a friend of Abraham and agrees to take the group to the Holy Land on his ship. He is none too pleased when Elshander accidentally sinks it as they are about to dock.
Rashid: The evil sorcerer from the Fortress of Death. He disguises himself as Philip the Presbyter to gain the group's trust, then returns to his master at the fortress to report the intruders' impending arrival.
Reginald of Chatillon: The leading Knight Hospitaller gives the group sanctuary on their holy quest.
Hasan: The Old Man of the Mountains is in charge of the Fortress of Death. When the battle between Treguard, Dugald, Elshander and Abraham, and Rashid, Queen Hel and the assassins, is over, he is the sole survivor of the inhabitants of the Fortress of Assassins. And it is he who reveals the truth about the Lionheart's heir.

[Previous book: The Labyrinths of Fear
Next book: The Sorcerer’s Isle]

Provided By: Eyeshield, 2007-01-26 19:35:37
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3. Fortress of Assassins
Third of the series of seven (Knightmare) books. Written by Dave Morris. First published in 1990 at bargain price of £2.50.
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Provided By: Robin, 2004-10-28 02:42:43
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