The back story is set 100 years ago, a long time ago in a land far, far away called Ruddlestone, there was a king whose brother was jealous, and a bit of a dick.
Consumed by his hatred, the king's brother Belgaroth - though for the purposes of humour, I'm going to call him Anakin - turned to the dark side, worshipping the 'Dark Gods of Chaos' and generally trying to overthrow the king so he could rule the galaxy, err I mean Ruddlestone, with an iron fist.
He was defeated though, and not heard of again... until now.
A giant swirling vortex appeared in the sky, a gateway from our world to that of the spirits, allowing evil demons and ghosts and, presumably Zuul, to enter Ruddlestone.
Who they gonna call? ♫ GHOSTBUS... nope. You. Or in this case, me.
I'm a Knights Templar, somehow displaced from medieval Europe into the hilariously-named Ruddlestone, and despite a SKILL of 9, I'm somehow considered one of the best around. I have mean skills in Arcane Lore, Commune, Battle Tactics and Tracking, and a magic sword.
The fact that even with a magic sword my SKILL is only 9 kind of worries me, to be honest. I'm really the best the king has?
I'm not even on my way before a ghost demon thing appears on a horse, and tries to kill the king. I fight him off and kill him - with no help from anyone else in the room, the lazy bastards.
After dispatching the ghost, I get some weapons from the armory, jump on my horse 'Firemane' (isn't that now a nickname for Lindsay Lohan?) and make for the town of Wendeform.
On the way there, I'm accosted by an angry mob wielding pitchforks and torches, as if they're off to lynch a black man or something. They're led by a dude with a skull for a face in a black robe and carrying a scythe - Death, is that you? Leading a half-assed lynch mob, really? There's also a leper and Kate Moss ("... a gaunt woman, her almost skeletal body covered by a tattered cloak. It looks like she has not eaten for weeks." Actually, that could be Amy Winehouse, considering her company.)
They surround me, bitching about how everyone is poor and struggling, whilst us Knight Templars swan about in relative luxury - yep, I'm the 1 percent! I convince them I'm on their side, perhaps leaving out the fact I'm actually working for the king - the 0.0001 percent.
They buy it, and let me on my way. Heh, dumbass peasants.
Time to rest! But I wake up in the night, sensing "all is not well". How the book knows of my real-life insomnia escapes me.
It sure isn't well - there's a disembodied hand carrying a dagger trying to stab me! (This is where real life and the book part ways, don't worry.) I jump on my horse and ride away as fast as I can - there's only so fast a ghost hand can go, apparently.
(Quick aside - there's a fantastic new anti-drink driving advert on TV here in NZ that's gone viral online, largely thanks the to the immortal line, 'You know I can't grab your ghost chips.' Check it out here. Seriously, do. If when you think of NZ you imagine volcanoes, hobbits and rugby, this will put things right.)
The next morning I arrive in Wendeford, pay no heed to the time of day and hit the 'Bristling Bear' bar. The barlady tells me there's this crazy wizard dude Herluin who lives in the forest, so I trek off to meet him.
He's dead, but in his dying struggle he conveniently left a few books out I figure could help me in my quest. One's described as a 'bestiary', and the text only describes one entry - the cockatrice, a cockerel/snake/bat crossbreed thing that sounds perfect for a dark and gritty reboot of The Wuzzles. I wonder if there'll be one later in the adventure, hmmm? No really, I didn't make it that far, so I can only assume. It's not like the book was open to 'evil demon'.
The other book contains a spell for summoning an evil demon, but I don't know this until I've read it out loud, duh.
I hit the undo button, but it knocks the book out of my hand before I'm done, so a fight it is and I'm out of here.
On the way to Havalok, I'm accosted by a band of murderers - I'm not sure how I know they're murderers, since they've not yet murdered me. Is an apprentice, first-time would-be murderer still a murderer? Ironically I dispatch them all - putting an arrow in the back of the one who fled - and pinch the whopping three gold pieces they're carrying between them, which is strangely exactly how many I need to spend at the 'Red Herring' Inn that night in Havalok. Suspicious...
The next day I figure I should put that 'Battle Tactics' skill to good use, and decide to hire some mercenaries. They won't join unless I can defeat their leader in battle, and for someone who's allegedly the king's best soldier, I put in a piss-poor effort. Couldn't even hit their guy once! He's not even wearing a top and I can't get in a scratch.
In fact, I'm so lame at fighting, later that day I'm killed by a group of street performers dressed in a dragon costume.
Most embarrassing. Fighting Fantasy Death. EVER.
The king's #1 dude, entrusted with saving the land of Ruddlestone, killed by goddamn mimes. Or whatever you call a bunch of hippies dressed in a homemade dragon costume made of toilet rolls and crepe paper.
'Mimes of Doom' wouldn't have made a very good book title, though. Or would it...