Gary Gygax (RIP) grandfather of the fantasy roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons, was not only a creator of games, but an author of fiction as well. He wrote this novel “Dance of Demons”, published way back in 1988, as well as many, many more. He is perhaps best known for his Dungeons and Dragons manuals and game system, but don’t let that fool you. This novel, a grand fantasy set in the world of Greyhawk (a fantasy world in which you play Dungeons & Dragohns created by - yup - you guessed it - Gygax), is the final novel in the “Gord The Rogue” series of novels.
And when I say final - I mean final!
Gygax holds no punches in this one. Demigods, Demons, the most powerful entities in the Greyhawk universe and the Abyss duke it out to the cataclysmic, bitter end. Highly entertaining and a fitting end to the whole series, which spans seven novels.
In this final chapter of the series, ‘Gord The Rogue’, imbued with god-like abilities, embarks on a quest to unleash the universe’s most powerful evil in the name of cosmic balance. I found this a novel a treat, most likely because I am familiar with twenty sided dice, armor classes and the abilities of rogues - but this novel goes beyond entertaining those in the know the inner working of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game.
It’s a classic fantasy romp, and the stakes are rarely higher than in this offering. The extra fun comes from recognizing familiar Dungeons and Dragons world trappings and creatures created by Gygax for his world of Greyhawk players - like Orcus, Demogorgon, Infestix and Iuz. Then there is Tenser, Mordenkainen and Bibgby . . . And you now picture me with a bag of dice slapping against my thigh, gathering with bespectacled nerds at night, and role-playing until dawn to save the world from evil . . .
Suffice it to say this series of novels by Gygax is quite entertaining at any level, from gamer to reader. And if you can find them, (a really big “if” here), I recommend them as a fun, fast read. And if you are like me having grown up in the late 70s and early 80s playing ‘the game’, then these particular novels are the “dicing on the cake”. . .
The complete series, in order of publication, is as follows;
1) Saga of Old City (Oct. 1985)
2) Artifact Of Evil (Feb. 1986)
3) Sea Of Death (Jun. 1987)
4) Night Arrant (Sep. 1987)
5) City Of Hawks (Nov. 1987)
6) Come Endless Darkness (Mar. 1988)
7) Dance Of Demons (Nov. 1988)