|skill||10 (see below)|
|Preferred Weapon||Scimitar, dagger, spells|
|Known associates||Lady Lucretia|
|Equipment||Scimitar, Dagger, Ring of Swordsmanship|
- For other uses of Dire, see Dire
Balthus Dire was the third in a line of Sorcerer-Warlords ruling over the Black Tower and the Kingdom of Craggen Rock. He lived his early years in the Black Tower, a remote citadel built in the Craggen Heights by his grandfather Gandor Dire. The Craggen Heights, a mountain range south of Salamonis, was a region that had long been infested with evil creatures, as an aftermath of the War of the Wizards. Many of these foul denizens of the inhospitable peaks found employment or refuge in the Tower. It was in this corrupting environment and under the influence of his evil father Craggen Dire, that Balthus began to manifest his malevolence. Having absorbed everything his father could instruct him about dark sorcery and the military arts, he coerced Craggen into enrolling him at Volgera Darkstorm's school of black magic at the age of fourteen.
At Volga Darkstorm's base in the Flatlands of Allansia Balthus Dire met Zagor and Zharradan Marr and the three of them excelled under Darkstorm's expert tuition. Such was their prowess that they became known as the "Demonic Three". However, along with Zagor and Marr, Dire's greed for knowledge fuelled his thirst for power and Darkstorm began to fear the consequences of their ambition. Despising their tutor's attempt to exert a calming influence, they turned on him and slew him with a carefully disguised Rain of Knives spell.
Return to the Black Tower and DeathEditDire returned to the Black Tower to apply the skills that he had learned towards his ultimate goal, the dominion over Allansia. Even as his father tearfully embraced him in welcome, Balthus Dire stabbed him to death with a poisoned blade and the Craggen Heights were his. He subsequenty married the dark sorceress Lady Lucretia, and for eight years Dire ruled his mountain and he increased the Black Tower's small guard into a notable army. He was a major protagonist in the Trolltooth Wars (where he attempted to steal a supply of the rare herb Cunnelwort) and posed a continuing threat to Salamonis.
Dire eventually amassed an army of chaotic monsters in order to conquer the Vale of Willows. However, through a loyal spy King Salamon learned of this looming threat, and eventually a young apprentice to the Grand Wizard of Yore was sent to Cragge Rock to assassinate Dire before his plans could come into fruition. After overcoming many obstacles, the wizard penetrated Dire's inner sanctum and killed him.
Special AbilitiesEditBalthus Dire was known to have been a formidable opponent, not just as an accomplished sorcerer but also possessed of great strength and skills in swordplay. The exact extend of his sorcerous powers are unknown, but he is too formidable to be defeated in spell combat only and can easily incapacitate or kill an incautious opponent with his magic powers alone.
- ↑ Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World - pp.??/237-238; The Citadel of Chaos - ???; The Trolltooth Wars - p.??
- ↑ Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World - pp.??/237-238
- ↑ Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World - p.??/238
- ↑ The Trolltooth Wars pgs. 15, 33, 68
- ↑ The Citadel of Chaos - p.??
- ↑ The Citadel of Chaos - 374, 400
- ↑ The Citadel of Chaos - 46, 157, 187, 199, 324, 335, 342, 349, 369
- ↑ The Citadel of Chaos - 337
- ↑ The Citadel of Chaos - 18, 124
- ↑ 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - p.224