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Voivoid, The Waster, is the greatest evil and final enemy of the Fighting Fantasy gamebook Legend of the Shadow Warriors. He is an extremely powerful demonic demi-god of War, Chaos and Demise and an avatar of Death itself. He once invaded and devastated the entire world of Titan, until he was imprisoned by the Gods. The playable hero must stop him once and for all as he is about to be freed by his fearsome generals, the Shadow Warriors.

Appearance

Voivod is only represented at the end of the gamebook, when the hero succeeds in freeing his former self (or his host it remains unclear), with one half demonic and one half human, but he is seen tall, threatening and formidable. He wears a spiked armour darker than shadow itself, with clawed gauntlets and a diabolical-looking horned helmet, and the narration states that merely looking at him is a shattering experience.

Characteristics

Voivod, also called the Waster, is a demonic embodiment of Death, War and Chaos. Him becoming human again after his evil is broken indicates that he was once a (normal or demi-god) mortal, either corrupted beyond return or used as a vessel by the Gods of Evil to create the evil entity he is now. He might even be an ethereal being who must incarnate in a host so as to interact with the world.

Voivod is unspeakably cruel, both to the livings he slaughters and the deads he enslaves by the thousands. He is ruthless and hateful, revelling in warfare and violence. He never speaks to foes, probably deeming it futile, but displays a no-nonsense mindset, always going straight for the kill, letting no blunder pass, and fighting to the fullest.

Voivod is second only to the gods themselves, for only them could seal him. He is said to spread devastation by his mere presence, and his leaking power is enough to blight the country. However, he seems vastly weakened by captivity. He is a formidable warrior and strategist, who felled mighty strongholds and fights with his armed gauntlets. (He is depicted in-universe with a weapon in each hand.)

As the Master of Death, he can absorb the life-force his foes lose under his blows and can animate and control undeads at will. Even worse, he cannot truly be felled in a regular battle. Should a warrior brave and skilled enough perform such a feat, they would die a gruesome death and would likely serve as the Waster’s new host.

To beat Voivod for good, one must first banish the Shadow Warriors who protect him into Limbo. Indeed, he is linked to his five generals and cannot be defeated as long as they walk the Earthly Planes. Should the hero prevail in such battles, Voivod can only be defeated by infusing him with life-force, given that weapons crafted to bring death only fuel his evil.

An in-universe depiction of Voivod.

Background

Voivod and the Night Dragon number among the most powerful evil forces to ever plague the world of Titan, surpassing even the Demon Princes themselves. Voivod was one of (if not the) most prominent, servant of Death (the eldest of the Gods of Evil Death, Disease and Decay, named after what humanity deems the worst scourges in existence). He is always surrounded by the Shadow Warriors, who serve as his generals and his bodyguards.

Voivod is mentioned in the Tale of the First Battle (which opposed the Gods of Good and the Gods of Evil and ended when the Gods of Evil were cast into the Void), during which he fought as one of the Demon Gods’ most dreadful champions. When the war was over, he managed to escape banishment and disappeared for eons.

Around two thousand years before the start of the gamebook, Voivod invaded the entire world of Titan. He took down all resistance and animated as undeads anyone who fell against his forces to increase his ranks, depriving the departed of the fair rest they deserved. Wherever he went, grass and vegetation were not to grow again.

One day, the God King Titan and the Earth Goddess Throff fought and defeated him, though unable to kill an avatar of death they sealed him into a jail known as the Zarrikiz Shrine. The Shadow Warriors disappeared never to be seen for ages, but they were not imprisoned and would one day resurface to set their lord free.

Legend of the Shadow Warriors

Be warned! Violence can never be the final answer. Evil must be left to consume itself. Your duty is to help, not to beget further chaos.
~ Jack-in the-Green, the spirit of nature, telling you how to end Voivod's evil.

The story begins five years after the gruesome War of the Four Kingdoms, during which the kingdoms of Brice, Femphrey and Lendleland waged war against the prosperous kingdom of Gallantaria: the former centre of the continent of the Old World, whose king was killed during the war. Peace has returned but xenophobic conspirators remain, plotting to take down the newly created alliance and restart the war. Much worse, the War was violent enough to trigger the upcoming freedom of Voivod.

the attack of the Shadow Warriors.

The Shadow Warriors have resurfaced and started attacking the village of Karnstein, looking for their liege's prison. With no one believing in them, being only remembered as mere bogey men from nursery-rhymes, the people of Karnstein's pleas for help was met with nothing but laughter.

The playable character is a famous Gallantarian veteran and mercenary, who agrees to investigate for Karnstein villagers (believing the threat to be simply disguised bandits). The game begins in Royal Lendle, the capital of Gallantaria. After exiting the city, the hero is attacked by the Shadow Warriors who slaughter the villagers. They barely escape and start travelling to Karnstein humiliated, swearing to avenge the innocents they failed to protect.

During their quest, they encounter the Gods themselves, who chose them as their champion against Voivod. They tell them to find the Astrakkan Numeris, a book written by the blind numerologist Parcleasus (or to find Parcleasus himself) in order to learn where Voivod can be found when the time comes. The hero will also need to learn everything about Voivod, and not waste any time. Later the Gods grant them the mighty Spear of Doom, the holy weapon that they forged, which gives life to what is dead and death to what lives.

Depending on the path chosen, the hero will have to face many evil creatures brought forth by the evil energies spread by Voivod's imminent return. Among such evils, are the Mandrakes, plant-like monsters who use the cover of the Circus of Dreams to visit towns where they impersonate people and take their places. (The Mandrakes are based on the Pod People from Invasion of the Body Snatchers.) There is also the vampire-witch Urtha and her army of Haggworts (powerful scarecrow-like chaotic monsters), the mad doctor Kauderwelsh (a female scientist who built a dangerous Frankenstein-like monster), a dark elf temple full of dangerous monsters, a Gorgon in a cave, and finally a warmongering orc who is manipulating war veterans.

Upon finally reaching Karnstein, exiting the dangerous mountains of the Witchtooth Line, it is already too late. The Shadow Warriors have freed Voivod and if they cannot be found, the earth swallows the hero and Titan is doomed.

Facing Voivod

Voivod struck by the Spear of Doom becomes human again.

Voivod went to an ancient battlefield, where ten thousand men were hastily buried. He plans to raise them as skeleton-warriors, to invade Titan once more and take it over. The hero can test their skill to either destroy the cursed bell used to raise the dead with a withering substance, or tackle Voivod away from it, but a failure results in the Waster destroying them in a single strike.

The Warlord of the Apocalypse is surrounded by the skeletons he already raised, who strike the hero if they attack. The hero must battle every Shadow Warriors they could not banish. Without the Spear of Doom or the ring of Rabbam, it proves challenging.

Voivod himself is a powerful and dangerous enemy. He has 10 in skill (level of power) and 10 in stamina (life points) and he gains the stamina points lost under his blows. Worse, defeating the fearsome Master of Death in a normal battle only leads to a game over, as Voivod is death itself and death cannot be killed.

Voivod must be struck with the Spear of Doom without regard for his stats. Missing depletes the Spear's power, making the next attempt riskier, and it vanishes when fully depleted, leaving no choice but an unwinnable normal battle. As such, the hero must carefully keep the Spear's power as close to its peak as possible. If they never used it, they should be able to destroy Voivod without major trouble.

The spear shatters Voivod's evil, leaving his human self finally free to live again… As he marvelling at the sweetness of nature he had long forgotten and weeping from the "simple joy of being alive", the gods congratulate the hero's victory.

Trivia

  • "Voivoid" is a slavic term that means "warlord" or "army leader" and was used in all central and eastern Europe during the Middle-Age. A fitting name for the Demon of War.
  • He is alternatively referred to as "Voivod" like a name, or "The Voivod" like a title, but the former is prevalent, establishing it as his name proper.
  • Given how powerful Voivod is, his stats could have been expected higher, as he is 2 points below the maximum level of skill. (Several powerful villains exceed this maximum.) However, his life-devouring ability would make him nearly invincible with 12 in skill or higher. In fact, the author, Stephen Hand, deliberately made the fight anti-climactic, as the point is to redeem him instead of destroying him, contrasting the violent final battles prevalent in such tgames.
  • Voivod shares similarities with two other Fighting Fantasy villains Mortis of Balthor and Belgaroth, who are also powerful dark knights defeated long ago, who return and need a magical spear to be destroyed. Belgaroth is more similar, as he is also a Chaos Lord who commands a formidable group of warriors, whose return causes the rise of many evil creatures. Although Voivod is the most demonic, the most influential and the most powerful of the three, he is the medium hardest to defeat and the weakest in terms of skill and stamina.

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           Fighting-Fantasy-logo.png Villains

Dark Gods
Elim | High Lords of Evil and Chaos (Death | Disease & Decay) | Bythos

Demon Princes of Titan
Snake Demons
Sith | Myurr | Ishtra

Night Demons
Relem | Vradna | Kalin | Shakor

Others
The Kurakil | Shadow King | Ulrakaah | Zanbar Bone

Allansia
Demonic Three
Balthus Dire | Oldoran Zagor | Zharradan Marr

Others
Akharis | Bythos | Dark Elf Sorcerer | Lord Carnuss Charavask | Lord Varek Azzur | Relem | Sith | Snow Witch | Zanbar Bone | Agglax | Razaak | Ulrakaah | Xortan Throg | Zeverin | Bone Stalker Mage | High Priestess of Sithera | Sargon the Black | Night Dragon

Khul
Ishtra | Mortis of Balthor | Xakhaz | Feior | Ikiru | Morgana | Senyakhaz

Old World
Archmage of Mampang | Count Reiner Heydrich | Count Varcolac Wulfen | Countess Isolde of Maun | Myurr | Shadow King | Belgaroth | Karam Gruul | Mordraneth | Nazek | Voivod | Necromancer | Captain Cinnabar | Katarina Heydrich | The Kurakil | Shadow Warriors | Magrand

Others
Morpheus | Gingrich Yurr | Lord Kelnor of Drumer | Cyrus | Hawkana

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