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Trial of Champions

YOU become a gladiatorial slave of Lord Carnuss, brother of Baron Sukumvit. Last year some wise guy survived the infamous Deathtrap Dungeon, and Carnuss wants to upstage his brother by having one of his slaves do it again. That’s where you come in. Lord Carnuss has bought 42 slaves, and you’re one of them.

His plan is ingenious. He intends to kill off his slaves one by one until only one survives, then send them on to the newly redesigned and even more lethal Deathtrap Dungeon. And by ingenious, I mean foolish to the point of crazy. Why kill off 41 of his 42 would-be gladiators, when he could send a few with diverse skills? But hey, I just work here!


Review and Opinion

Tedious, not at all fun, and likely impossible.

Just from reading the cover, this one sounds bad. Sukumvit has the infamous Deathtrap Dungeon to be even deadlier and deathtrappier. To me this means even more random unconnected encounters, more collecting random loot in case I need the magic toilet paper roll or whatever, and more required fights that can’t be won without an 11 skill. Sounds horrid.

And it was. For a start, the dungeon doesn’t come up until you’ve survived a bunch of test-luck and test-skill insta-deaths on Blood Island during the “training” section. I guess this weeds out anyone without a 11/24/11 good and early so they don’t get killed later on?

Once you get in, it doesn’t get better. It’s exactly what I hated about DD originally:

– maze of random disconnected stuff with no theme or logic; I do get that that’ the point here, but it’s just uninteresting
– required junk that you would only find by beating a skill 10 opponent earlier, if you happened on that path
– the end goal being to have exactly nine of the gold rings and also the three clues (the non-random junk that forms the real goal)
– maybe 10 points of healing in the whole book

There are much better books in the FF series.


Hints and Tips

When you meet Trialmaster Lexus, it’s time to turn in your gold rings, You need to have exactly 9 of them. You also need to know the “Sets” clues because you’re asked to place the rings in order. Actually, you only need to know Set Three because it doesn’t check that you go through One and Two first.

There is a magic sword, magic boots, and a shield which together add +3 to your combat. Or maybe it’s your skill. It’s that classic philosophical argument in FF books. The sword and shield are just lying around. The boots are behind the coldclaw, who is tough.

There are 3 required items: the witch’s red dust, the iron key from the puzzle room, and the iron file from the storage room right before Noy. Without these you’re just trapped in a hallway until you starve,



On 234 when you avoid the bloodworm’s surprise attack, you still lose 2 stamina each combat round due to blood loss.

With Trialmaster Lexus, the intent is that you will need all three “Set” clues. But if you just get Set Three you’ll accidentally pass the trial anyway.





Written by Ian Livingstone

Illustrated by Brian Williams


Book 21 in the series


Other Playthroughs and Links


Tags to Other Adventures

1986 Allansia Blood Island Brian Williams Fang Ian Livingstone Lord Carnuss Sukumvit Titan

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First published July 18, 2023. Last updated October 19, 2023.