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Characters / Fighting Fantasy Star Pupils

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The three best students of the Great Archmage Vermithrax Moonchaser, the most famous grand master of the Wizarding School of the Forest of Yore, with little doubt the most famous and greatest in all of Titan. They owe their nickname to their prowess, and the fact that they grew into three Living Legends renowned and respected worldwide. Among the Big Goods of the franchise, Yaztromo and Nicodemus stand out as the most recurring.

They can somehow be regarded as the Good Counterpart of the Demonic Three.



    Arakor Nicodemus
Appears in: City of Thieves | Caverns of the Snow Witch (mentioned only) | Midnight Rogue (cameo) | Crypt of the Sorcerer (mentioned only) | The Port of Peril | The Gates of Death | Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World | Advanced Fighting Fantasy: Dungeoneer | Advanced Fighting Fantasy: Blacksand | Advanced Fighting Fantasy: Allansia (mentioned only)

One of the most powerful and famous benevolent wizards to ever dwell Titan, and a former adventurer winning many victories against the forces of evil: Among which preventing the resurrection of three highly powerful necromancers called the Dark Ones. After a lifetime of adventures, he retired to the infamous Port Blacksand, hoping to live his remaining years in peace and tranquillity.

In City of Thieves, you must search for him to learn how to defeat Zanbar Bone, who is revealed All There in the Manual to be his old Archenemy. In Advanced Fighting Fantasy he helps you finding Xortan Throg, and later helps you investigate the mysterious rising threat of the Religion of Evil worshipping Elim. In The Port of Peril he is drugged and thrown to jail by order of Lord Azzur, and you must save him and take him with you to help against a resurrected Zanbar Bone. In The Gates of Death, he helps you after you get stranded in Port Blacksand, carrying potion that can heal the Demon Plague threatening all of Titan.

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Nicodemus is very knowledgeable about many subjects, but tends to get side-tracked. In City of Thieves, he might be the only one who knows how to destroy Zanbar Bone, but he forgot crucial details until the last moment. To be precise, what ingredients to grind to make the compound that can kill him. He lampshades it, stating that old age is messing with his memory.
    • Totally averted in The Port of Peril, The Gates of Death and the ending of Blacksand, in which he is fully involved in the current crisis, focused and concise.
  • The Ace: He was this in his younger days, being the son of wealthy merchants and a Child Prodigy of immense potential, among the very best students of the best Wizarding School of Allansia, who grew up to be a highly powerful, famous and respected wizard.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: Nicodemus is still powerful enough to lay a nasty smackdown to more than one Big Bad, but won't because he already laid smackdowns on enough Big Bads in his lifetime, thank you very much. Make way for the young as they say. Justified in that despite retaining huge powers, he is too old and weary to run for adventure.
  • All There in the Manual: Much of his background is filled out in Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World.
  • The Aloner: He wants to be left alone, and woe betides anyone who disturbs him without a very good reason, or worse, try to bully or fight him.
  • The Archmage: One of the most powerful, experienced and accomplished wizards Titan ever knew.
  • Badass Beard: Long, white and flowing.
  • Badass in Distress: In The Port of Peril Lord Azzur sends his main agent to kidnap him by drugging his drinking water and sending him in the Governor's palace's jail to be executed. You must sneak into the jail to free him.
  • Badass Long Robe: A given for a wizard in a Fantasy setting.
  • Badass Mustache: A nice-looking one.
  • Badass Teacher: Nicodemus taught King Salamon LVII, the current King of Salamonis, when the latter was a child.
  • Baleful Polymorph: His go-to method to dispose of people dumb enough to attack him is turning them into fishes and throwing them into the heavily polluted Catfish River. (Blacksand even comes with an illustration of him doing this to an adventurer.)
  • Barrier Warrior: He can cast a Ward Spell potent enough to block several crossbow bolts at once.
  • Bash Brothers: With Yaztromo during the Final Battle of The Port of Peril, in which they back you up with spells, mow down Zanbar Bone's skeleton warriors, and Nicodemus even neutralises Bone himself upon advice from Yaztromo.
  • Berserk Button: Nicodemus hates being disturbed for petty grievances or minor troubles he could not care any less about, and hates rudeness even more. He often inflicts minor magical afflictions to those who dare try, but can do much worse.
  • Big Good: Nicodemus might be grumpy and forgetful, but he is nonetheless the mightiest force of Good in City of Thieves, and you cannot win without his guidance.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Big and bushy.
  • Broken Ace: Let's just say that a lifetime of death-defying heroics has taken its toll, making him terse and slightly misanthropic.
  • The Cameo: In Midnight Rogue you can decide to search for the McGuffin in his house. If you know what's good for you, you'd better leave at once. If you feel Too Dumb to Live, try run past him and rush inside. Go ahead. Come on, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
    • In Crypt of the Sorcerer, you meet a scholar that was blinded and tortured in the jails of Port Blacksand, who provides a vital clue to defeat Razaak, who explains that he was freed by intervention of Nicodemus.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Any foolhardy warrior dumb enough to attack him suffers this by Baleful Polymorph. Seriously, unless you are of Snake Demon level, just don't make this guy angry. And even then it's risky. Just ask Zanbar Bone.
  • Dented Iron: All these years of adventuring left a heavy mark, hence his insistence on being left alone.
  • Disintegrator Ray: He can fire a very powerful beam of white light that obliterates the target in a puff of purple smoke.
  • Famed in Story: He is famous throughout Allansia and the world of Titan. A bit disliked due to his harsher approach, yet still highly respected by anyone aside from evil beings.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Good. He is seen smoking a pipe Gandalf-style on the illustration.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: In The Port of Peril you rescue him and bring him to Yaztromo's tower, where he is needed for the Final Battle. Against his old Archenemy no less. He uses powerful spells that save the day several times.
  • Hate at First Sight: Nicodemus and Zanbar Bone despised each other as soon as they crossed paths.
  • Healing Hands: He can heal you in Dungeoneer if needed.
  • Hero of Another Story: His battles against the Dark Ones would have made a fine gamebook setting.
  • Heroic Neutral: He retired to Port Blacksand specifically to avoid requests and craves solitude, but he will help against dire enough threats. Then again, his advanced age prevents him from doing much than providing guidance and the eventual magic bonus. Crypt of the Sorcerer reveals that he sometimes intervenes in favour of the oppressed.
  • Holographic Disguise: He uses a magical variant when he needs to venture into town, wearing a bewitched cloak that gives him the aspect of a humanoid monster with red eyes and green skin, whom people would avoid. He uses it to seek you out in The Gates of Death and gives it to you for you to escape the city without troubles.
  • It May Help You on Your Quest: In The Gates of Death, he gives you four powerful potions that can help you against a specific threat each, stating that when the time comes You Will Know What to Do.
  • It's Personal: With Zanbar Bone. The backstory explains that they knew each other from their days in the Wizarding School, and staunchly hated each other. One night, he witnessed Bone murder a female elven student named Ellanor, and was nearly killed in the ensuing Wizard Duel, only owing his life to Vermithrax Moonchaser. They are implied to have faced off for the following decades until City and Thieves when you came along. They settle their score in an epic fashion in the Final Battle of The Port of Peril.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Unapproachable rather than outright unpleasant, but he still qualifies. He does not take kindly to strangers and snaps at disturbances. But he is a noble and caring man at heart, still willing to do the right thing.
  • Light Is Good: In The Gates of Death he is clad entirely in pure white and is a major ally, helping you evade the guards and providing you useful potion and a disguise to exit Port Blacksand undetected.
  • Living MacGuffin: In both City of Thieves and The Port of Peril. For the exact same reason in both, as only him can help defeat Zanbar Bone.
  • Living Legend: Legendary all across Allansia and possibly Titan.
  • MacGuffin Guardian: He can becomes this at the end of Dungeoneer, offering to keep watch of the Crystal of Power that was instrumental to kill Xortan Throg. At the end of Blacksand, he insists that you give him the Tome of Eldritch Lore you took from the Elimists for it is much too dangerous.
  • Magic Knight: In his prime, he was a fearsome warrior in addition to his huge mastery of magic.
  • Magic Staff: Nicodemus is seen with one on the illustration, but the narration never mentions it.
  • Magical Accessory: Averted. He wears a fancy medallion (same colour as his robes on the picture) that screams the part, but it is just that, a fancy trinket.
  • Master Swordsman: Back in his adventuring days.
  • Mercy Kill: As soon as Brother Tobyn succumbs to the Demon Plague and turns into a bloodthirsty monster, Nicodemus obliterates him with a Disintegrator Ray, knowing that even if you cured him, the wound that infected him would have killed him painfully anyway.
  • Neutral No Longer: Nicodemus is thrown headfirst into the conflict in The Port of Peril, as the Big Bad is directly targeting him, and actively seeks out the hero in The Gates of Death, as The Virus has reached Port Blacksand.
  • Old Master: Like his fellow Star Pupils, he might be well past his prime but he's still an immensely powerful and knowledgeable wizard. Even in such a Wretched Hive like Port Blacksand, no scoundrel from the corrupt City Guard to the Thieves' Guild would dare getting on his bad side. Considering that other wizards are tortured to powerlessness by Lord Azzur's agents, that's saying something. Until Lord Azzur is Neutral No Longer that is. And even he, who is The Dreaded, avoids direct confrontation.
  • Playing with Fire: He seems adept in fire magic, casting a flurry of Fireballs in his backstory, and casting powerful Fire Spells against the Big Bad in The Port of Peril.
  • Retired Badass: Was once a great adventurer, but has left that life behind. He agrees to assist the main character of City of Thieves because they're working for his old adventuring partner Owen Caraliff. In Dungeoneer, he is requested by the King of Salamonis whom he used to teach. In later cases, the threat either targets him directly or is too big to ignore, forcing him into the fray.
  • Ring of Fire: The most powerful spell he can cast is the Ring of the White Flame, that traps powerful evil beings, breaks their dark powers and leaves them vulnerable to common weapons. It is so powerful that it works on Demon Lords and Archdevils, and is your only way to stand a chance against Zanbar Bone in The Port of Peril.
  • Ring of Power: The Ring of Burning Snakes, the McGuffin of The Port of Peril used to belong to him. It is a very potent power-amplifier that Nicodemus needs to cast his mightiest magic. He must have it for the Final Battle, or else you are doomed.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: See Wizard Classic below.
  • Shout-Out: Hard to say if it is intentional or not, but the picture just screams Gandalf the Grey, complete with the smoking pipe and ornate staff.
  • Signature Move: Aside from his first appearance, you are always offered the option of him inflicting Non Standard Game Over via Baleful Polymorph to anyone dumb enough to attack him.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Very similar to Yaztromo, if a good deal less approachable.
  • Telepathy: Blacksand reveals that he is good at mind-reading. Don't try to keep secrets from him.
  • Technicolor Fire: His Ring of White Fire is both a Ring of Fire, this, and a Power Nullifier.
  • Time Stands Still: Nicodemus uses the highly powerful Time Stop spell to freeze all guards in a temporal stasis for about a minute, enabling you to escape Lord Azzur's jail.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He is nothing but polite and helpful in The Port of Peril. Justified since you saved his life and are about to fight his old Archenemy.

    Gereth Yaztromo
Click here to see him partying with King Gillibran (on the right) 
Appears in: The Forest of Doom | Temple of Terror | Crypt of the Sorcerer | Phantoms of Fear |The Trolltooth Wars | Demonstealer | Shadowmaster | Return to Firetop Mountain | Legend of Zagor | The Zagor Chronicles | Allansia | The Port of Peril | Eye of the Dragon (cameo)

A crotchety old wizard who lives in a tower close to Darkwood Forest and makes a living selling magical trinkets. Behind his Grumpy Old Man persona, he is a tireless foe of evil. You will meet him in many gamebooks, either as a Cameo or playing a significant role, but always a reliable source of help and wisdom.

He is a major characters in the novels Trolltooth Wars, Demonstealer and Shadowmaster, being close friends with The Hero Chadda Darkmane. He even personally takes part in the quest instead of being the Big Good like he usually does.

  • 100% Adoration Rating: He is known and highly respected pretty much worldwide for his wisdom, his generosity, his kindness and his vast knowledge and power.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: Like Nicodemus, he is still powerful enough to destroy many Big Bads, but he is content sending heroes after them and doing Mission Control. Justified once again in that despite his power, he is too old to go adventuring.
  • All There in the Manual: Much of his background is filled out in Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World.
  • Animal Espionage: Animals all around inform him of all that happens around. He does not magically compels them though, he is just a Friend to All Living Things who Speaks Fluent Animal.
  • The Archmage: He is one of the most powerful and accomplished wizards Titan ever knew.
  • Astral Projection: Yaztromo appears this way in Legend of Zagor, projecting himself across dimensions to Titan's brother world of Amarilla.
  • Badass Beard: Long, white and flowing.
  • Badass Boast: In The Port of Peril, upon learning that Zanbar Bone is after him, wanting to take over his tower, his only answer is basically "Just let him try and see who gets the last laugh!", complete with insults and without the slightest trace of fear.
    Yaztromo: Zanbar Bone. I should have known. If that piece of skeletal detritus thinks he is going to take over my tower, then he has another think coming!
  • Badass in Distress: In Crypt of the Sorcerer he gets captured by a demon summoned by Razaak and you save him from being sacrificed. Ironically, his foe was very weak but immune to spells and normal weapons, rendering him helpless despite his superior fire-power.
  • Badass Longcoat: He wears a nice, ornate one over his Badass Longrobe.
  • Badass Longrobe: Part of the Wizard Classic attire.
  • Badass Mustache: Long, white and flowing. To the point that it melds seamlessly into his Badass Beard.
  • Badass Teacher: He teaches you spells at the beginning of Temple of Terror.
    • Better yet, Eye of the Dragon mentions in passing that he has become the Grand Master of the Wizarding School of the Forest of Yore, where he himself learnt magic many decades ago.
  • Baleful Polymorph: He turns would-be thieves and attackers into animals. He does seem a little more forgiving than Nicodemus however; in The Forest of Doom you encounter a man whom he turned into a crow, who not only retains his intelligence and ability to speak, but says that Yatztromo will turn him back into a human if he can come up with thirty gold pieces.
  • Bash Brothers: With Nicodemus during the Final Battle of The Port of Peril, in which they back you up with spells, and mow down Zanbar Bone's skeleton warriors. He even advises Nicodemus on how to neutralize Bone himself.
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: By virtue of selling all sorts of potions, trinkets, talismans and bewitched thingies, Yaztromo' shop is This. You can find all sort of things for all sorts of purpose there.
  • Big Damn Heroes: At the end of Crypt of the Sorcerer, he saves you from Razaak's curse that would turn you into The Undead.
    • He saves your life with a Volcano Spell during the Final Battle of The Port of Peril, destroying the millions of flying insects summoned by Zanbar Bone.
  • Big Good: Yaztromo plays this role in many gamebooks:
    • In Temple of Terror, he sends you on your quest and gives you everything you need, including very useful spells, and having the Dwarf King Gillibran lend you his Magic Warhammer to smash the Artifact of Doom that would resist anything else.
    • In Crypt of the Sorcerer you play one of his old friends who seeks his advice on the current crisis. He sends you on your quest, monitors your progress and directs you to useful allies throughout the story, sends you messengers with vital info, And saves you from the curse of the Evil Weapon you had to wield to slay Razaak at the end of the game. Though there is an instance in which you must save him.
    • As soon as you meet him in The Port of Peril, to warn him that Zanbar Bone targets him, he takes matters in hand. He starts monitoring your quest, providing you shelter, intel, gold, power boosts of your choosing, direction, and even his stallion Stormheart; sending you to Port Blacksand while he heals your travelling partner. He even plays a vital role during the Final Battle, healing you, fending off Zanbar Bone's Mooks, even saving your life and playing a vital role after that.
    • In the Advanced Fighting Fantasy roleplay book Allansia, he gets wind of the threat of the Revived Church of Elim and once again directs your party to gather allies and destroy Sargon's army.
  • The Cameo: Most of his appearances have him show up at the beginning to fill you in about the Big Bad (and maybe sell you something while he's at it.)
  • Characterization Marches On: In his first appearance in Forest of Doom, he is described as wearing tattered rags, easily tired by merely climbing the stairs of his tower, and apparently lacking money. He is not even that grumpy! He would gain the traits he is most known for in latter books, in which he is described wearing lavish robes, being well-off enough to give you handfuls of gold coins without second thoughts, quite fit for his age, grouchy and loving cakes, and no longer selling you magic trinkets. Though it is said he still does, when not busy helping save the world.
  • Cool Old Guy: Grumpy Bear tendencies aside, he is pretty chill to hang out with. He is a gracious host who enjoys a nice party, mostly why he gets along so well with the dwarves.
  • Cool Pet: He has two, his raven Vermithrax, who is also his Familiar, and his stallion Stormheart.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Barring the high-tiers of the Fighting Fantasy universe (and even then) anyone picking a fight with this guy is sure to suffer a humiliating defeat and spend some time as an animal, if he feels generous... This includes you.
    • His fame reached its height when he saved a troop of wood elves against dark elves, single-handedly turning the tide of the battle and slaughtering eight dark elves in a single spell. You don't mess with the Spellsinger...
    • Ironically, he suffers a painful one in turn in Crypt of the Sorcerer, and to add insult to injury against a pathetically weak skill 6 stamina 6 foe. Albeit a pathetically weak foe impervious to magic, meaning he was subjected to Worf Had the Flu, to save his honour.
    • Millions of venomous insects magically summoned? Volcano Spell to make them all explode, bitch!
  • Dimensional Traveler: In Legend of Zagor, Yaztromo uses an Astral Projection to follow Zagor to the world of Amarillia, and manages to warn the Boy King Irian of the upcoming threat. His knowledge of Amarillia's history implies that he already knew about the parallel world beforehand.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: If you draw your sword at him, he calmly warns you not to play the fool before you regret it, and you'd be wise to follow his advice. or else...
  • Dream Walker: He can enter the Dreamtime to reach someone's dreams, even someone as far as in Khul hundreds of miles away, though the farther he reaches, the harder it gets and the shorter he can stay.
  • Dungeon Shop: Darkwood Forest is a natural dungeon in all but name, and he sells trinkets that help you survive there. Very useful ones at that.
  • Famed in Story: He is famous throughout Allansia, and the world of Titan.
  • Familiar: His aforementioned raven Vermithrax, who can talk and serves as his messenger.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Yaztromo is a defender of the forest, in excellent terms with the elves and the dwarves all around. He is widely liked by birds and animals all over, who keep him informed of everything that happens in Allansia.
  • Grumpy Bear: Yaztromo's grouchy attitude is such a consistent part of him that it's actually a plot point in Return to Firetop Mountain where his appearance as a kindly old man is a clue you are dealing with an impostor. That said, he is still more personable than Nicodemus.
  • Grumpy Old Man: When spoken to, his first reflex is to grumble and loudly complain about the ruckus you cause, or anything else he can grumble about... Only later will he listen to what you have to say and lend a hand.
  • Healing Hands: He is not as good as his friend Pen Ty Kora, aptly titled The Healer, but he ended a plague caused by Zagor in Return to Firetop Mountain and Sargon in Advanced Fighting Fantasy, gives you a useful Healing Potion in Crypt of the Sorcerer., heals Hakasan Za's broken ankle in just a day in The Port of Peril, Among other feats...
  • Guest-Star Party Member: In The Port of Peril, right for the Final Battle.
  • Hero of Another Story: He lived many unspecified adventures in his prime, that were doubtless as perilous as yours.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: His friendship with you in Crypt of the Sorcerer and with Chadda Darkmane, The Hero of the novels and canonical hero of Crypt, who could be his grandsons.
  • The Lancer: He plays this role to Chadda Darkmane in the novels. Especially in Demonstealer, in which he takes part in banishing the Demon Lord Rivel, a being on par with the Demon Princes themselves, as the Big Bad attempts to bring him back to the Earthly Planes.
    • He plays a major role in the third as well.
  • Living Legend: He has reached this level, and he does not disappoint.
  • Mage Tower: He lives in one, that becomes a central plot point in The Port of Peril. As the Big Bad aims to take it over.
  • Magical Accessory: He makes and sells them for a living.
  • Magma Man: He masters the very powerful Volcano Spell, causing burning devastation in a wide Area of Effect.
  • Mission Control: In both Crypt of the Sorcerer and The Port of Peril. He is not in permanent contact with you, but you turn back to him between missions.
  • Mr. Exposition: He is an endless barrel of exposition! If there is a poster guy for the trope in the franchise, it's Gereth Yaztromo.
  • Odd Friendship: Even when he is friend with The Hero, Yaztromo grumbles and directs Mission Control as he does with other heroes, albeit more affectionately.
  • Old Master: He might be well past his prime, but he remains an immensely powerful and skilled wizard who masters devastating spells. It is quite telling that even now, he can casually stroll through the highly dangerous Darkwood Forest with zero trouble. Even in a place where Everything Is Trying to Kill You, monsters, beasts and thieves of all sorts know better than getting on his bad side.
  • Quest Giver: His biggest role, aside Mr. Exposition.
  • The Red Baron: The Spellsinger. Awesome McCoolname ahoy!
  • Red Is Heroic: He wears lavish red robes and is one of the mightiest forces of Good to ever dwell Titan.
  • The Red Mage: In addition to the obvious, he is equally adept as a support for you with Healing Magic and power boosts, as he is in battle, decimating the enemy's ranks with his deadly spells.
  • Retired Badass: A great and powerful adventurer in his day, and still formidable if the need calls for it.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Yaztromo lacks the hat, but his robes just scream, wise Fantasy sorcerer.
  • Seers: He is quite proficient with Future Sighting spells.
  • Simple Staff: He carries one but its just that, a walking aid for his old bones. He can spellcast just fine on his own.
  • Specs of Awesome: He wears half-moon spectacles and is a grade A Cool Old Guy.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Animals all over the land report anything unusual to him and he can converse with them freely. Justified in that there are spells that can make you do just that.
  • Sweet Tooth: He's known to be particularly fond of cakes, especially chocolate-flavoured.
  • Wizard Beard: Reaching farther than his navel.
  • Wizard Classic: An elderly, wise, bearded old man, who lives in an isolated tower. The only thing missing is the hat.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Faced with the demon who No Sells his magic, he gets captured and nearly sacrificed.



    Pen Ty Kora
Picture from the computer game. That's the most you'll see of him. And you meet him in person.
Appears in: Caverns of the Snow Witch

  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Subverted, he saved Nicodemus from an extremely powerful deathspell, but as to the magic he utilized to do so demands a sacrifice for such a great feat, his body was forever misshapen.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The masks he uses takes a heavy toll on the wearer.
  • The Hermit: Pen Ty Kora willingly lives alone in the Moonstone Hills and turns most people away, including old friends. But he’s still willing to heal others if the circumstances are dire enough.
  • Mask of Power: Pen Ty Kora’s particular style of healing magic is heavily dependent on magical masks, but their use comes at a price dependent on the ailment healed.
  • The Medic: Famous for his healing magic, performing such feats as healing Nicodemus from a deathspell, though it cost him dearly. Pen Ty Kora is so skilled that his epithet is simply "The Healer".

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