Oblivion: Dave Duncan got robbed

Anyone else read Duncan’s King’s Blades series? Excellent books about the Blades: an elite service of warriors bound in service to the King. When a Blade is made, he receives a sword that he carries with him through his career. When a Blade dies, his sword is returned to the headquarters of the Blades, where it joins the “Sky of Swords”–a collection of all the swords of past Blades, hanging by chains from the ceiling of the dining hall. When the wind blows in the windows, they shift and clank against each other. Guests rarely stay long in that room.

As I’ve been playing Oblivion, I’ve been constantly reminded of the books. Elite service called the Blades? Check. In service to the ruler? Check. Operating outside the usual chain of command? Check. Swords are returned to headquarters when they die? Check.

And now I arrive at Cloud Ruler Temple, walk into the great hall, look up, and…swords. Nowhere as cool as the Sky of Swords; these are just attached to the woodwork. But still. Someone’s been reading their Duncan.

Is there a credit for him somewhere that I missed?

Oh, and Bethesda: if you’re going to rip him…err, pay homage to him, you should have done the full Sky of Swords, with swords softly swaying on physics-enabled chains.

The whole fantasy genre is incestuous in both games and books. I went on a binge and read three fantasy books from three different series in a row and had trouble keeping track of which plot element came from which series since there was so much overlap.

The Blades in Oblivion do have to sleep, though… and I don’t think they’re killed during initiation. I wasn’t, anyway!

Speaking of the temple, are there free repair hammers anywhere? Or are the Blades all going to town whenever they break a weapon?

The temple also gave me the memorable scene of staring at the screen-filling back of an iron helmet while Brother Boromir was delivering his ten-minute “Thank you” speech. You see, I was standing in front of him and a Blade was just about to pass between us when he started rambling and froze the game time…

Also, is it just me or did Martin get the worst facial model in the game? He looks simultaneously deformed and retarded. Couldn’t they just have digitized Sean Bean’s face?

When were these published? The Blades go back at least to Morrowind, and possibly to the first two Elder Scrolls games.

Heck, they’re both just ripping off Dumas anyway :P

I just got a shock when somebody described Nibenay “lush and beautiful”, I was expecting a Templar patrol any second after that.

It’s just you, or you haven’t met Kalthar yet, in the depths of a fortress,
with the darker dungeons mod active, night-eye off and no torch. Brrr.

(I also know someone who looks like Kalthar, so I should have been prepared!)

Ohh is he the unibrow guy from one of the Mage’s Guild quests?


Duncan was hardly original in his concept of an elite fighting force pledged to the ruler, where swords are involved.

Hell, Duncan was hardly original with anything, including the apparently strange concept of tying a plot together with anything meaningful and readible.

Sure, elite fighting force called the “Blades” with swords, that’s a coincidence. It’s the swords hanging from the rafters of the stronghold that makes me think that there’s a deliberate reference to Duncan there.

The first King’s Blades book was published in 1998. I’d forgotten that the Blades show up in Morrowind, though; they didn’t remind me as much of Duncan there. Wikipedia claims that their name is a reference to a British soccer team, so I’ll guess that someone at Bethesda noticed the similarities between their Blades and Duncan’s and added the swords to Cloud Ruler Temple in homage.

Oh, and mystery: You’re on crack. What’s wrong with Duncan’s plots?

Pretty sure that Terry Goodkind is unique insofar as his elements of S&M and rape. Not to say that’s necessarily something that’s a good thing, given how prone he is to belabor it unnecessarily. Don’t get me wrong, I watch Law & Order: SVU because I think that its dark subject matter is worth talking about but it isn’t something I would ever want glorified or overindulged in.

Read Gilded Chain. You will be fine. Read the Sequel. Your head will explode.

Read Gilded Chain. You will be fine. Read the Sequel. Your head will explode.

Damn it, I really enjoyed Gilded Chain and was hoping to find more Blade goodness. You are saying that the later books suck? There are about 10 or so… all of them?

Damn it…

I’ve read all of the Blades books, so far as I know, and thought they were all excellent. Which sequel are you talking about (Lord of the Fire Lands?), and what didn’t you like about it?

Yes that one.

Mainly continuity. It was a couple years ago, but the ending was just mindboggling, in a bad way. No manner of time-traveling and retconning would bring me to read the next book.

Ah. I liked the ending–having read the first book, I know what’s going to happen, right? And then everything goes wrong, and I’m left wondering what the hell just happened.

The third book ties the first two together and explains what’s going on.