Simon R. Green's Deathstalker series. We have a situation where the protagonists have to pull a conscientious objector off a death world. On hitting that world, they find that it's inhabited almost solely by toy-centric AIs based on popular fiction in that timeline. There's a civil war, and the "good" side's run by a guy called the Red Man — obviously the objector. When the protagonists finally reach the Red Man, who had seemed to be some sort of massacre artist mixed with a cult figure, he turns out to be literally Santa Claus mixed with Gandhi. And no, he doesn't help them.