WEFOUNDSwords and Deviltry: The Adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser


I recently finished up reading  Swords Against Death , the second collection of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories.

If you’re not familiar with them, they’re a pair of adventuring rogues who’ve contributed a great deal to the Sword and Sorcery genre. They’ve also got an entry in the secretly famous Appendix N . Essentially they’re a couple of dude-bro friends, a barbarian and a more traditional (smaller) acrobatic thief type, who seek out riches and debauchery all over the world.

The characters themselves, while not as iconic as Howard’s Conan, have many SFF-nerd-fans among the older crowd. As one would expect of the Greatest Swordsmen in the Universe (TM). At times I was reminded of Drizzt, actually, and I’m sure there’s a seed here in Fritz’s duo.

Autobots quake in fear when Overlord (オーバーロード Ōbārōdo , aka Gigatron ) thunders on to the battlefield. This towering warrior is an amalgamation of the deadliest Decepticon weaponry known, armed with laser blasters and grenade launchers in his stomach, and the terrifying ability to prevent the wounds he inflicts upon his opponents from healing. He is even equipped with an internal arms factory. Overlord is formed from two individual vehicles, a tank and a jet, which combine together to form his colossal robot mode , a heavily-armed advance base, or a larger jet capable of space flight.

The story of the Overlord begins with the mysterious alien energy-being and self-styled Decepticon god, Devil Z , who schemed to create the ultimate lifeform by merging Transformers and humans into one. Devil Z stole a collection of Transformer Transtectors from the G Nebula and brought them to Earth. Devil Z recruited two human beings, husband and wife Giga and Mega , and charged them with creating an army for him. Mega and Giga were both bonded to the largest Transtector, and together, they became the terrifying Overlord, serving as Devil Z's "Ambassador of Destruction" on Earth.

In this continuity, each of Overlord's two components are piloted by Giga and Mega, and are hence known as the Gigatank and the Megajet . As deadly as his "Chōkon Daemon Blast" lasers and "Chōkon Bolt Masher" grenade launcher are, Overlord has little need for projectile weapons: as a Godmaster , he is capable of manipulating Chōkon Power , and can even employ it to inhibit the regenerative abilities of other Godmasters.

I recently finished up reading  Swords Against Death , the second collection of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories.

If you’re not familiar with them, they’re a pair of adventuring rogues who’ve contributed a great deal to the Sword and Sorcery genre. They’ve also got an entry in the secretly famous Appendix N . Essentially they’re a couple of dude-bro friends, a barbarian and a more traditional (smaller) acrobatic thief type, who seek out riches and debauchery all over the world.

The characters themselves, while not as iconic as Howard’s Conan, have many SFF-nerd-fans among the older crowd. As one would expect of the Greatest Swordsmen in the Universe (TM). At times I was reminded of Drizzt, actually, and I’m sure there’s a seed here in Fritz’s duo.

I recently finished up reading  Swords Against Death , the second collection of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories.

If you’re not familiar with them, they’re a pair of adventuring rogues who’ve contributed a great deal to the Sword and Sorcery genre. They’ve also got an entry in the secretly famous Appendix N . Essentially they’re a couple of dude-bro friends, a barbarian and a more traditional (smaller) acrobatic thief type, who seek out riches and debauchery all over the world.

The characters themselves, while not as iconic as Howard’s Conan, have many SFF-nerd-fans among the older crowd. As one would expect of the Greatest Swordsmen in the Universe (TM). At times I was reminded of Drizzt, actually, and I’m sure there’s a seed here in Fritz’s duo.

Autobots quake in fear when Overlord (オーバーロード Ōbārōdo , aka Gigatron ) thunders on to the battlefield. This towering warrior is an amalgamation of the deadliest Decepticon weaponry known, armed with laser blasters and grenade launchers in his stomach, and the terrifying ability to prevent the wounds he inflicts upon his opponents from healing. He is even equipped with an internal arms factory. Overlord is formed from two individual vehicles, a tank and a jet, which combine together to form his colossal robot mode , a heavily-armed advance base, or a larger jet capable of space flight.

The story of the Overlord begins with the mysterious alien energy-being and self-styled Decepticon god, Devil Z , who schemed to create the ultimate lifeform by merging Transformers and humans into one. Devil Z stole a collection of Transformer Transtectors from the G Nebula and brought them to Earth. Devil Z recruited two human beings, husband and wife Giga and Mega , and charged them with creating an army for him. Mega and Giga were both bonded to the largest Transtector, and together, they became the terrifying Overlord, serving as Devil Z's "Ambassador of Destruction" on Earth.

In this continuity, each of Overlord's two components are piloted by Giga and Mega, and are hence known as the Gigatank and the Megajet . As deadly as his "Chōkon Daemon Blast" lasers and "Chōkon Bolt Masher" grenade launcher are, Overlord has little need for projectile weapons: as a Godmaster , he is capable of manipulating Chōkon Power , and can even employ it to inhibit the regenerative abilities of other Godmasters.

Bill Ward and I  are re-reading a book from Fritz Leiber’s famous Lankhmar series,  Swords Against Death . We hope you’ll pick up a copy and join us. This week we tackled the second tale in the volume, “The Jewels in the Forest.”

Howard : Coming upon “The Jewels in the Forest” for the first time in a quarter century was like sitting down at a warm campfire to hear a favorite tale. I recalled the gist of the events, but it didn’t keep me from enjoying the story all the way through. I was soon swept up into the adventure. It didn’t matter that I recalled the bones of the plot; the mystery beguiled me. 

Even in this embryonic stage of his career Leiber was already displaying masterful touches, and it was wonderful to see. I paid especially close attention to the able way he did something today’s writers are told is taboo: he shifted between viewpoints whenever he damned well pleased, without chapter or section breaks of any kind. He usually accomplished this by showing us the character through the other’s eyes before the shift, like a director changing camera angles.


51Xd7jrqgQL