Archlord Gnaag about to confront Lone Wolf in Lone Wolf 12:The Masters of Darkness

Darklord of Tyranny. Gnaag, also known as Darklord Gnaag, is one of the chief villains in the world of Magnamund and one of Lone Wolf's greatest enemies. He arrived in that world, along with the nineteen other Darklords, in the year 3072 after the creation of the Moonstone (MS)

Gnaag was noted by his peers and Carag as being the most intelligent of the Darklords and a master of Darklord politics. Through careful manipulation and the murder of two fellow Darklords, he became Archlord of the Darklands in MS 5058.

After leading a campaign to conquer Magnamund, Gnaag nearly defeated Lone Wolf and the forces of good by attempting to destroy the last three Lorestones of Nyxator, which Lone Wolf was seeking, and then by sending Lone Wolf into the shadow world of the Daziarn. In MS 5070 Gnaag was finally defeated by Lone Wolf in single combat and was condemned by the dark god Naar to an eternity on the Plane of Darkness for his failures.

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Physical and spiritual attributes[edit | edit source]

Gnaag resembled "a monstrous fly," with "gleaming multi-faceted eyes."[1] He was "slight," with an "insectile form." His outer flesh was mostly invisible, revealing green, wet internal organs. Blood oozed in waves from the dome of his bald head, and his narrow feet had claws.[2] His mind was his own, but his intellect and his soul were simply repositories for the infinite evil of the dark god Naar, which was revealed when Vonotar entered the mind of Darklord Zagarna.[3] For sustenance, he sometimes tore apart live Giaks.[2]

War banner with the emblem of Darklord Gnaag

Personality[edit | edit source]

One of the most intelligent of the Darklords, Gnaag was also the most politically astute, making sure to distance himself from Zagarna's failed invasion of Sommerlund in MS 5050.[2] Gnaag had distrusted Zagarna's partner, Vonotar, and he disagreed with Vonotar's status as an equal of the Darklords.[4]

Career[edit | edit source]

Arrival on Magnamund[edit | edit source]

In the year 3072 MS, the Darklords were sent to Magnamund by Naar to conquer the planet for evil. Because of their corrupt and evil nature, the Darklords could not breathe the "sweet air" of Magnamund, and so they destroyed most of northeastern Magnamund, creating a realm known as the Darklands, which had air that "corroded a mortal's lungs."[3] Originally the ruler of the Darklord city of Mozgoar, a Darkland city-fortress to the west of Gazad Helkona, Gnaag was often seen in the capitol Helgedad walking on foot, in contrast to most of the nineteen surviving Darklords, who flew on Zlanbeasts.[2] He was also noted for his "flowery language" and his vast intellect, which was shown by the physical form which Naar chose for him.[4] His gestures were "fey," and his body evoked "fragility," but some considered this a mask of his true strength.[2]

Campaign for Archlordship[edit | edit source]

In the aftermath of Zagarna's death, as the Darklords met to elect a new leader, Gnaag did not contest the Archlordship. He considered Zagarna's plan of raising gigantic armies and hurling them at Sommerlund to be ineffective, and considered the two frontrunners, Haakon and Slutar, to be likely to implement the same plan. He chose to bide his time, intending to make a real bid for the Archlordship Gnaag after whoever won repeated the same mistakes as Zagarna.[5]

In the event, Haakon won the power struggle against Slutar. Haakon attempted a subversive campaign that ended with his death at Lone Wolf's hands at the Tomb of the Majhan.[6][7] In the ensuing contest for Archlordship, Gnaag made his move. As the most intelligent Darklord, he acquired the aid of numerous Nadziranim sorcerers, who saw him as the Darklord most likely to succeed in conquering Sommerlund. With their help, Gnaag manipulated the contest between fellow Darklords Glurch and Unc, ensuring that events would escalate into a civil war. Both Glurch and Unc amassed huge armies, intending to do battle with each other, but just prior to the commencement of the battle, Gnaag destroyed both Darklords in a colossal display of power.[2] This ended five years of civil war and allowing him to assume the position of Archlord.[1]

An earlier interpretation of the Darklord's appearance from the eighth Lone Wolf book, The Jungle of Horrors

Gnaag's war[edit | edit source]

Gnaag launched an enormous campaign to conquer Northern Magnamund, sending his massive armies against the free lands therein. He also sent Helghast and other evil creatures to block Lone Wolf from retrieving the Lorestone of Ohrido from the Danarg.[1] Gnaag's Darklord armies conquered the southern Sommerlund province of Ruanon, and thus nearly prevented Lone Wolf from continuing his quest, were it not for Sommerlund's King Ulnar, who requested that he continue.[8] Darklord armies began to converge on Tahou with the help of their ally, the Vassagonian Empire. Lone Wolf raced there to gain the Lorestone before Gnaag's armies arrived, but as he emerged successful, he found the city under siege by the evil armies. Through the main gates came Zakhan Kimah, the ruler of Vassagonia and ally of Gnaag, who engaged Lone Wolf in combat and was defeated. Demoralized, and now surrounded by human reinforcements, the Darklord armies were decimated. Gnaag then appeared before Lone Wolf in Tahou, promising to destroy him and the three remaining Lorestones.[8] It was feared by Lone Wolf and his counselors that with the Nadziranim's help, Gnaag could achieve his goal. Lone Wolf set out for Torgar, the city-fortress revealed to be containing the Lorestones, arriving during a siege by the allied forces of Talestria and Palmyrion. With his help, the allied forces broke into the city, but the siege turned out to be an elaborate trap set by Gnaag. As Lone Wolf climbed the scaffolding of the underground chamber to reach the Lorestones, Gnaag appeared in the room and cried, "Vengeance is mine, Lone Wolf!" He destroyed the scaffolding holding the Lorestones, sending Lone Wolf and the Lorestones into the Daziarn through a Shadow Gate.[9]

Gnaag's final defeat and afterlife[edit | edit source]

After Lone Wolf had fallen through the Daziarn Shadow Gate, Gnaag proclaimed his own invincibility and the death of Lone Wolf. The allied human armies were quickly ejected from Torgar, and the Darklord armies' losses ceased. Using the Tanoz-Tukor, a device that allowed them to survive outside the Darklands, The Darklords personally led their armies into battle to devastating effect. In the next eight years the Darklords succeeded in conquering most of Northern Magnamund and building a huge blockade between Sommerlund and Durenor. With no Durenese reinforcements, it was thought to only be a matter of time before Sommerlund and the rest of the planet would fall to the Darklords.[10] Having returned from his exile in the Daziarn after eight years, Lone Wolf secretly made his way into Helgedad and confronted Darklord Gnaag in the Tower of the Damned. Using the power of the Sommerswerd, he reduced the Darklord to atoms. (If Lone Wolf fights with another magical item, Gnaag's combat skill is 50, and his endurance point total is 70. Gnaag wields Nadazgada, or "Dark Burn", which was forged of black steel in Helgedad and imbued with magical spells by the Nadziranim.[10])

While on the Plane of Darkness, Lone Wolf discovered Gnaag being chased by Tzor, Keeper of Evil Souls, on the Plain of Despair outside Naar's fortress.[11]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dever, Joe (1987). Lone Wolf: The Jungle of Horrors. New York: Berkley Books. ISBN 0-425-10484-2.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "gnaag" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "gnaag" defined multiple times with different content
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Dever, Joe (1993). Legends of Lone Wolf:The Tellings. London: Red Fox. ISBN 0-09-915191-X. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dever, Joe (1989). Legends of Lone Wolf:Eclipse of the Kai. New York: Burkley Books. ISBN 0-425-12314-6.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "kai" defined multiple times with different content
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dever, Joe (1989). Legends of Lone Wolf:The Dark Door Opens. New York: Berkley Books. ISBN 0-425-12439-8. 
  5. Legends of Lone Wolf, The Claws of Helgedad
  6. Lone Wolf #5, Shadow on the Sand
  7. Legends of Lone Wolf: The Book of the Magnakai
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dever, Joe (1987). Lone Wolf: The Cauldron of Fear. New York: Berkley Books. ISBN 0-425-10848-1. 
  9. Dever, Joe (1987). Lone Wolf: The Dungeons of Torgar. New York: Berkley Books. ISBN 0-425-10930-5. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Dever, Joe (1988). Lone Wolf: The Masters of Darkness. New York: Berkley Books. ISBN 0-425-11718-9. 
  11. Dever, Joe (1993). Lone Wolf: The Curse of Naar. New York: Berkley Books. ISBN 0-425-15193-X. 

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