Friday, December 6, 2013

Sword and Sorcery Movie Inspiration ~ The Sword and The Sorcerer 1982

File:Sword and the sorcererposter.jpg

 Tucked nice and neatly on my dvd shelf right next to Excalibur and Conan is The Sword and the Sorcerer. This is another sword and sorcery title that I've taken a rash of stuff for liking. So let me quickly address those very quickly. This is a movie and its entertainment with lots of extra cheese. I do mean a mountain of it.
Yet I do adore this film. 

The Plot according to Wiki: 
The film opens as King Cromwell (Richard Lynch) and his men land ashore of Tomb Island in search of Xusia of Delos (Richard Moll), a long-dead sorcerer who may be the key to overthrowing his rival King Richard, whose land of Ehdan is the richest in the world. Using one of Xusia's worshipers to awaken him, Cromwell convinces Xusia to join his cause. With the sorcerer's black magic at his command, Cromwell easily lays waste to Richard's formidable army.
Eventually, Cromwell becomes eager to be rid of Xusia. Fearing that the sorcerer could very well turn against him, he attempts to kill Xusia by stabbing him in the chest and chasing him off a cliff. [1]
With only one army left to defend the city, King Richard prepares to lead the charge against his rival in a last-ditch effort to save Ehdan. He orders his family to evacuate to the river, and entrusts his youngest son Talon with his magnificent triple-bladed projectile sword, instructing the boy to avenge his death should it occur.
When Richard fails to return home afterwards, Talon goes to find him. While searching the corpse-littered battlefield, he comes across Mogullen (Russ Marin), his father's closest adviser. Gravely wounded, the old soldier confirms that the battle is lost. At that very moment, Talon spies his father in the distance, just seconds before his execution.
Enraged, Talon starts off to claim his revenge, but Mogullen holds him fast. Knowing that Cromwell will be heading to the river in search of the queen, he implores the boy to save the rest of his family. Talon desperately races to the river on horseback, but once again, he is too late. Horrified, he watches as his mother is put to death at Cromwell's hands.
With Cromwell's men now in pursuit of him, Talon has no choice but to flee. After narrowly surviving an ambush, the boy manages to evade capture and disappear from the kingdom.
Eleven years later, Prince Talon (Lee Horsley), now a seasoned warrior, leads a small group of mercenaries back into his homeland, seeking to fulfill the promise he made long ago. At the same time, in a cavern far beneath the Earth's surface, the sinister Xusia—still very much alive—vows to repay Cromwell for his treachery.
In the city of Ehdan, a rebellion has begun under Prince Mikah (Simon MacCorkindale), who many believe to be the rightful heir to the throne. After confirming the final plans with Machelli (George Maharis), Cromwell's war chancellor (who is secretly a double agent), Mikah relays the news to his sister Alana (Kathleen Beller), but Cromwell suddenly bursts into their hideout and a battle ensues. Although Mikah is captured, Alana flees through the city streets, but eventually finds herself cornered by Cromwell's men. She is then rescued by Talon, who easily dispatches her assailants.
At a nearby tavern, Alana learns of her brother's imprisonment and asks Talon to rescue him, along with a faction of rebels who have been recently trapped by Cromwell's forces. Unable to bribe the mercenary with gold, Alana reluctantly offers herself to him for one night. Satisfied, Talon departs on his mission, but Cromwell's men arrive shortly thereafter and capture Alana as well.
Successful in freeing the rebels, Talon infiltrates the castle through the sewers and is able to rescue Mikah, but is subsequently detected and captured by Cromwell. After forcing Alana into marriage, Cromwell invites the four neighboring kings to their wedding feast, where he intends to assassinate them with Talon crucified in the dining hall. Before the plot can be carried out, however, Talon amazingly summons the strength to pull himself free of the crucifix, just seconds before the rebels, led by Mikah, storm into the dining hall and overpower Cromwell's soldiers.
Cromwell attempts to flee the castle with Alana in tow, but Talon intercepts them. In the resulting skirmish, Machelli takes custody of Alana and brings her to the catacombs beneath the castle, where he reveals his true identity as Xusia. Although Cromwell tries to intercede, he proves to be no match for the sorcerer, but Talon is somehow able to resist Xusia's power long enough to strike him down with his projectile sword. He then engages Cromwell in combat, finally vanquishing the evil king. Afterwards, Talon saves Alana from a giant constrictor snake, but Xusia suddenly rises again, prompting Talon to finish off the sorcerer with a blade concealed in his gauntlet.
In the end, Talon yields the crown of Ehdan to Mikah, and Alana honors her commitment to spend one night with her brother's savior. As the film closes, Talon and the mercenaries prepare to leave Ehdan for another adventure.

Using The Sword and The Sorcerer For Your Old School Adventures 
Forget trying to identifying anything resembling our world in this film or the paperback that followed it. Seriously your going to do your head in. As near as I can figure Xusia is a degenerate snakeman hybrid ala Howard's Worm's Of The Earth.  As far as I can figure he might well be the most notorius one of his kind but I will bet you that there are others just waiting with tombs to be plundered and artifacts. 

There lots of other things that are lurking in the background.
Talon's company is a pretty damn good template for creating a mercenery band especially in a game like AS&SH. Displaced soldiers and adventurers taking up with Talon's scum and moving across the world.
The fact that the kingdom of Adan seems slide into the deep end of fairy tale like scum and villainy almost seems well Ravenloft like.
About ten percent of the action and recruitment  takes place in a brothel. Forget the old tavern bit there have been numerous times I've used the common room of a brothel for gentlemen (or ladies) of adventure to get to know one another over a drink as they wait for the attentions of a lady or man of the evening.
This film isn't for the kids! There is a lot of T&A for a film though brief and its not PC at all. Yet another reason to love it.
Then of course there are the Witches of Tomb Island. We see one at the begining of the film and then others in the background serving Xusia of Delos in a few scenes. What's there story and surly their not going to take the defeat and destruction of thier master lightly!
 For that matter where did Cromwell get his magic items? The sword, bladed staff, and others surly there are adventures there. For that matter will the death of Cromwell create death and destruction for the regions that he controlled? Someitmes an iron hand holds back as much evil as the staff of a saint!
 I've had to burst the bubble of a great many players about the 'Tri Blade'. The blade was once the symbol of the Fallen kingdom of Adan. It was created for the king and its not going to leave Talon's hand ever and most likely will be pasted onto his kin. So your going to have to win your own kingdom or find one if you want one!
 After all there's kingdoms that need saving! 


  1. Fantastic!! It sounds absolutely WONDERFUL! ;)
    I can't wait to watch this one.

    I do remember that triple-bladed sword and worse still I remember all the games I played in High School where someone thought it was the coolest thing ever.

  2. I have soft spot for this film and yeah back in high school this was one of the cooler magic items to come out of Hollywood at the time.
    More coming up and again thanks for the shout out!