Prince of Thighs: Eileen Does Legwork Through Forgotten Realms (and flashes some skin)

Feb 20th, 2005 | By | Category: Columns

Wherein Eileen reads The Prince of Lies and discovers the misuse of Greek mythologies accelerates destruction liketh to the Chaos Hound’s acidic Halitosis.


Forgotten Realms is a series of novels based on a little piece of the massive tumor that is known as Dungeons and Dragons. Dungeons and Dragons being a role-playing game so popular it was decided that there should be a bunch of book versions to better illustrate the life or death struggle of those trying to avoid litigation from JR Tolkien’s Estate (Please note: I am still waiting for Caroll Gardens: The Monopoly Story to populate the bookshelves at Barnes & Nobles).

This series, like many fantasy books allows one to escape the doldrums of life. The novels also feature an added bonus: colorful covers of men who appear furiously enchanted and women who are not just furiously corseted, but powerful mage goddesses who can multitask. For instance there is Mystra, the Goddess of Magic. She has “an intellect capable of performing a hundred different tasks simultaneously” (Prince of Lies 42). Not only does she take note of her faithful people’s vigils, she can also calculate your tax return as well as flip through the latest lingerie catalog for a mink cape that lightly caresses her voluptuous and very mystical—shoulders.

When propositioned with one of these book covers, Editor in Chief Andrew put it thusly: “Buy for the boobs! Read hoping for the boobs! Become dissatisfied three pages in and lock yourself in a closet with the cover!”

Let it be known that Andrew is the master of sophistication. Or maybe the Lion Breweries Beer Master–an award he’s managed to receive twice in a row for his delicious Twizzler Ale Straw.

Forgotten Realms contains such titles as Shadows of Doom (DOOM!), Realms of Infamy (INFAMY!) and Darkwalker on Moonshae (MOON–wait, what the hell is “Moonshae?”). My own personal favorite is Prince of Lies (Lies! LIES!), the sequel to the New York Times Best-Selling Avatar Trilogy.

The book jacket reads as such, “For all his power as God of Strife and Lord of the Dead, Cyric cannot achieve that which he desires most: revenge on the Goddess of Magic.”

This proved to be quite intriguing: a 300 page novel involving a man scorned by a woman? Take a seat Ernest Hemingway!

The quest begins! In Birckenstocks! Evil goddesses need sensible shoes, too, people.

Wherein Eileen questions the mages as to how old James Lowder was when he finally moved out of his mother’s condo.

Despite the promising blurb showcasing author James Lowder’s love for the English language which is as heavy handed as a pimp slap, Lowder could never create any character that would receive as many accolades as R.A. Salvatore’s Drizzt Do’Urden.

Monsieur Do’Urden is one–if not the–most popular character of Forgotten Realms. He is a dark elf or drow, and Salvador follows his tale of triumph as he high tails it with his tail between his legs because he is at the tail end of the hateful city he was born in: Menzoberranzen. This matriarchal society is a “city of evil,” a “cruel environment full of deceit and treachery.” But this has nothing to do with the fact that women are the dominant gender. For the last time, sit down Ernest!

It’s a shame I won’tt be partaking in the adventures of Do’Urden, native of the Underdark. The geography of being “under” the “dark” escapes me. I suppose it’s like below “negative” which is just as improbable and stupid.

In Prince of Lies the reader finds his/herself transported with recently deceased Gwydion the Quick to a world between the living and the dead. It’s called Fugue Plain. I liked it much better when it was known as Limbo or Purgatory or something not named after a musical composition. Next up, Gwydion travels to the Intermezzo Moors!

Actually he doesn’t. While hanging out in Fugue Plain, perhaps practicing his tenor solo for “O Shenandoah.” Gwydion is captured by the Cyric’s henchmen, Af (Code Name: Alf) and Perdix (Code Name: Prefix). Af and Perdix are a team, like Felix and Oscar or Nero and a fiddle.

Note: when working on dialogue between two demon-like creatures in the bowels of a type of Hell in a story that takes place in an age (Age) not related to our own, realize that one demon cannot say, “enough of the civics lesson, (40)” unless said demon received his PHD in Poly Sci from Quisinart U.

They sweep Gwydion away to the City of Strife (Hades) outlined by the gurgling evil that is the River of Slith (River of Styx). There, “hemmed in by defensive walls newly built of the purest diamonds (21),” Gwydion “looks upon the terror that is Bone Castle” (Castle Grayskull).

Wherein Eileen ponders on whether or not the kingdom of Azoun IV is compatible with her Sega Genesis. Sonic the Hedgehog anyone?

James Lowder then treats the reader to pages and pages of Gwydion getting his ass wupped, soon proving that Prince of Lies is riddled with more torture scenes then the outtakes from Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ. Gwydion is “sweep kicked (15)”, “spiked (17)”, punched so hard all his teeth fall out like “marbles from a torn bag (19)” and enclosed behind a wall a la “Cask of Amontillado” (77). In one of the last chapters Gwydion is lucky enough by page 192 to have lost all sense of pain due to the fact that, “the workmen had stripped each and every muscle out of his back.” Here’s hoping Gwyd has a good health care plan back at his village.

But now to the main event! The Prince of Lies a.k.a. Lord of the Dead, a.k.a. God of Strife, a.k.a. Cyric, a.k.a. Skeletor. A man so evil he sits on a throne constructed of worshippers’ bones. Yet as Cyric is the Prince of “Lies” mayhap he’s told a little white one. I suspect in actuality the throne is from the bones of the Elephant Man–or from some other origin of shoddy material–perhaps IKEA. These possibilities would explain Cyric’s bad mood. How can the Lord of the Dead feel jovial if he’s suffering from chronic “death tunic” wedgie?

To make a long story short, Cyric is a bastard. He is also a bastard that has a goal. Mr. Hemingway if you don’t remain in your seat you’re staying after class!

Cyric (Code Name Cobra Commander, fanatical lunatic leader of Cobra
who is obsessed with ruling the world! Prepare to be squashed on Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. GI Joe!) has a simple goal:

Original Version: To show the world the joys of reading.

French Translation: To force the world to read his boring book or face eons of torture. Didn’t Tom Clancy do that once?

Cyric’s book is a gospel of his life, called the Cyrinishad. Author James Lowder was nice enough to include excerpts of this “tome.” I can assure you that it is so boring it more then makes up for such a lame title. This dull gospel is said to be so powerful it causes any reader’s mind to erase, causing them to forget all gods except Cyric. A bottle of Goldshlogger would have created the same effect. You just wasted a lot of time and money Mr. God of Strife!

As the novel speeds to a climax Mystra faked many times while she dated Cyric, the reader finds that the Lord of the Dead will stop at nothing to destroy and conquer the other gods. There is Mask (God of Illusion, not God of the Putty Face, Jim Carrey) and Torm the True (T is for “Tautological” boys and girls). But the most important is Mystra, goddess of Midnight. As the novel progresses the reader follows The Goddess of Midnight as she dashes to find the deities of the Circle in order to beg for their help in the battle against Cyric, “Nine identical Mystras raced across the planes, speeding to the courts of the other Greater Powers (144).”

Did I just mistakenly read a promo for a car commercial? Mystra. The journey continues in this affordable and roomy four door sedan!

Wherein Eileen amasses the limit of her limitations and wishes for the simpler days of Transformers and existentialist fiction

Then there is a paragraph mentioning Hades and Elysium, which proves that James Lowder is dumb enough to create amazing parallels between his creatures and the creations of JR Tolkien, but smart enough to avoid a confrontation with Zeus, who is one stickler when it comes to copyright infringement.

Mystra finds herself, “in the plane known as Concordant (144)” she is seeking, “Oghma the Binder.” What, was Bluebeard the Trapper Keeper at lunch? What do you mean by “plane known as Concordant?” Is that adjacent or congruent to Tetrahedron?

Okay, that’s it. Cyric can have the damn world. I’ll read my own Cyrinishad if it’ll get that entire dribble out of my head. Ernest, can you hand me The Sun Also Rises? Thanks sweet cheeks.

Nerd Edited (C) by Andrew


Frequent target of fallen angels, Eileen hides from their seductive wrath in the hallowed confines of Defenestration HQ, where she hopes to erect a wall of words between herself and the forces of evil.

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