Tales of Telguuth is a Dark Fantasy Anthology Comic series appearing in 2000 AD written by Steve Moore and drawn by a variety of different artists.
Telguuth is "a planet of perverse wonders, lost amid the whirling sun of the Galactic Hub". A High Fantasy Crapsack World where horrors lurk and monsters roam the land, life in this world is often short and brutal.
This comic provides examples of:
- And I Must Scream:
- After a Deal with the Devil gone wrong, Morgath the Mage's soul is trapped inside the demon's necklace, who promises him that he'll murder everyone he has ever loved while he's Forced to Watch.
- Emperor Ygg, another victim of a poorly-worded bargain, ends up with the immortality he desired... but said nothing of pain, dismemberment, or being bricked alive in a small niche to scream in madness for all eternity.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: It's very common for characters hoping to gain access to secret powers or explore hidden wonders to have it backfire on them (often to deadly effect), usually because they fail to take into account that Evil Is Not a Toy.
- Cave Mouth: A brother and sister who are about to be offered as the final sacrifices required to resurrect an evil god run away from the priests and take shelter in a cave in the desert. When the brother climbs out it turns out that the cave was really the mouth of the god, who eats the sister so it can rise from its slumber and lay waste to the world.
- Cruel Twist Ending: While sometimes people who meet an untimely demise in the ending twists are punished for their wicked deeds, just as often these people aren't evil in any way and simply victims of the dark world of Telguuth.
- Deal with the Devil: Pel Morgath the Mage summons the demon Zamprox to make a Faustian deal for more knowledge about the world, heaven, and hell. The demon agrees, but wants Morgath's body after he dies because he already has plenty of souls. Morgath senses that Zamprox might try to "bump up" his death, so he comes to an agreement with the demon that their definition of death will be when Morgath's soul leaves his body naturally and freely. Zamprox then shows Morgath an amulet that shows all the wonders and horrors of the wide fantasy world of Telguuth. Morgath then realizes that his soul is now trapped in the amulet, and since he agreed to enter freely his body is now controlled by the demon. When Morgath protests that he didn't honor their deal, the demon scoffs that he has shown him the world, but since he's a demon he wouldn't be able to show him heaven even if he wanted to. He'll show him hell by murdering everyone he has ever loved while he's forced to watch.
- Deity of Human Origin: In the story "To Become a God", an Evil Sorcerer wishes to become a god after becoming the most powerful wizard on Telguuth. A defeated rival tells him of an island where the natives are rumored to know how to make mortals into gods. The sorcerer makes the trip and forces the natives to make him into a god. The natives agree and hold a feast for him, claiming it is the food of the gods. The food contains a paralytic root that renders the sorcerer helpless as the natives flay him alive. The natives use his skin to fashion a grotesque idol which they worship as a "god".
- Evil Is Not a Toy: A man is blackmailed by a demoness to free her demon husband by finding the tomb where he was locked up by a powerful wizard (which she is barred from entering herself) and removing an enchanted ring from his hand. He tries to remove the ring by cutting off the sleeping demon's finger, finding out that he can control the demon as long as the Ring of Power binding him stays attached to the finger. He forces the demon to kill his own wife because she had planned for the man to be eaten by her husband, then uses him to take over the nearby kingdom. This backfires when the demon refuses any further commands because the ring has slipped off the by-now shrunken finger, and tears apart his would-be master.
- Hot God: Lazalla Zal, mistress of the moons, is a beautiful goddess who was summoned by the ancient wizards of Zalazille so she could become their mistress. In the thousands of years since then, she's aged quite a bit though.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: A king finds a meteorite which contains a scarab-like creature that attaches itself to his head. The creature gives him new tactical insights so that the king can conquer the rest of the world until he finally grows old. On his deathbed, the scarab tells him that it was all a dream and the king has been asleep for days so that it could implant its offspring into him. It's their "children" that will truly conquer the world.
- Man-Eating Plant: A mage's apprentice is sent by his master to ask a neighboring mage for supplies, but on his way there comes across a field of human heads crying for help, which the other mage harvests for food. The apprentice refuses to believe his words that it is a sentient plant that takes on human appearance to lure in victims and tries to free one of the female heads before he gets eaten. His skin is then recycled by the plant to form a new head.
- No Immortal Inertia: When a thief visits a Vanishing Village that exists outside of time, he and the queen manage to defeat the evil sorcerer who is keeping the city tethered in timeless space. However, when she offers him to join them and live in bliss together forever, he grabs her and takes her outside instead, where she instantly decays into dust because she's really 47,000 years old. Then he gets an axe in his skull as well, courtesy of his backstabbing partner.
- To Hell and Back: A Court Mage goes to and returns from the realm of the dead as part of an elaborate ruse hatched by the evil rapist king that he serves to kill the mage's body while his spirit was trapped in the otherworld so that he could take the mage's wife/assistant for himself. The mage is too late to save his own body from the king's soldiers and that of his mistress from the king's lust, but when her soul leaves her body the mage's spirit occupies the vacated body to punish the king for his wicked deeds.
- Unholy Matrimony: One story features two demons who are happily married to each other. A clever human manages to gain control of the male demon thanks to a magic ring and orders him to kill his wife. This of course ends up biting the human in the ass the instant the spell wears off and he becomes demon lunch.