Some astute readers have certainly noticed relationships between Tournament of Death and several other of my stories. Crimson is the most obvious example, but I thought I’d give a brief run-down of the connections between this story and my other Blue Kingdoms work. Sometimes, Iike Robert E. Howard before me, I feel like I’m tapping into a vast reservoir of stories from a world as real as our own, and I just have to wait for the right time for them to reveal themselves to me. This project, written on the fly from very few notes, felt that way a lot.
BRAK – The basilisk (lizard-man) warrior appears in “The Blood Red Isle” in Zombies, Werewolves, & Unicorns (which appears in shorter/adapted form in “Court of the Blood Red Queen” in Blue Kingdoms: Shades & Specters).
CRIMSON – The main character in “Forever Crimson,” a short story collected in Martian Knights & Other Tales. Crimson also appears in an unreleased short story (I’m shopping it around), where she meets Captain Ali al Shahar, another of my ongoing BK characters (see Martian Knights & Other Tales and Blue Kingdoms: Buxom Buccaneers).
BARONESS LINDY GRIFFENHOLT – And the Golden Order appear in my unpublished novel A Reliable Dragon. The Golden Order has also been mentioned in BK stories by other authors.
CAPTAIN HAMMACK – Is named for my old friend & game designer, Alan Hammack. Al wrote “The Ghost Tower of Inverness,” the first D&D module I edited (and wrote some of the background for). With the tower setting for this story, I thought it would be a nice tip of the hat to mention him. “Ghost Tower of Inverness” is mentioned in the 2nd D&D movie — Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God — which is a good film, much better than the first D&D movie. He hasn’t appeared before, but I wanted to give him props here.
MIDKNIGHTS – Uldred & Erisa are the latest in a string of Midknights (amoral, mercenary knights) to appear in my stories. There’s a trio of Midknights in “Shipmates,” in Pirates of the Blue Kingdoms, and two more in “The Blood Red Isle” in Zombies, Werewolves, & Unicorns (which appears in shorter/adapted form in “Court of the Blood Red Queen” in Blue Kingdoms: Shades & Specters).
REX REGUS – Is original to this story, but Al Kabar have appeared in stories by Lorelei Shannon (who really nailed her portrayal of the race I envisioned) in Pirates of the Blue Kingdoms and Blue Kingdoms: Buxom Buccaneers. I think there might even be an Al Kabar in Robert E. Vardeman’s tale, and perhaps some others, in Blue Kingdoms: Shades & Specters.
VALARD GOLDENWING – Is original for this story, but sirens have appeared in other stories, including “The Gift of the Dragons” in Martian Knights & Other Tales.
SIR WILLIAM OF AVALAND – Though Sir William hasn’t appeared before, his “boss” Lord Avalard appears in the story “The Girl in the Mirror” from the upcoming Lilith anthology from Popcorn Press.