Fighting Fantasy Gamebook
Location: Gallantaria, Old World, Titan
References: 400
Publication Details
Author(s): Stephen Hand

Illustrator(s): Martin McKenna
FF44 Dragon Spine.jpg
Cover illustrator: Terry Oakes
First published: March 18 1991
Number 44
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-034272-9
Previous Book: The Keep of the Lich-Lord
Next Book: Spectral Stalkers
Wizard (Series 1)
Wizard (Series 2)

For other uses of Legend of the Shadow Warriors, see Legend of the Shadow Warriors

Legend of the Shadow Warriors is a single-player role-playing gamebook written by Stephen Hand, illustrated by Martin McKenna and originally published in 1991 by Puffin Books. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It is the 44th in the series in the original Puffin series (ISBN 0-14-034272-9). There are currently no announced plans to republish this book as part of the Scholastic series.


After much hard work, Dead of Night was finished. Jim and I were pleased to be immediately invited to write another book. Jim decided not to write another, so I worked on Legend Of The Shadow Warriors alone. It was a blast. Now I had no reason, other than my own failings, not to go way over the top. I tried to create a world that I as a kid would love to have visited (albeit with armed guards) - a total Hammer Horror reality with real history and personalities. I tried to create a quest that no one had done before, and I tried to take up some serious issues. At the end of the book, you don't kill the bad guy, you forgive him and help him. This to me seemed a stronger and more courageous ending than the usual easy death and explosions routine - who murders the murderers? I also started to build up characters and themes that I wanted to develop over time.

Interview with Stephen Hand at the Internet Archive record of Advancedfightingfantasy.com - Retrieved 2019-10-26


A legend has come to life!

A strange madness is abroad in Gallantaria. Villagers are being put to the sword by five ghostly figures. The Shadow Warriors are mysterious beings from an ancient legend who have somehow returned to life. But are they all that they seem?

YOU are the battle-scarred veteran hired to solve the mystery. But even YOU have never faced a challenge like the Shadow Warriors, for the whole of the Old World is threatened by their terrible secret!

Part story, part game, this is a book in which YOU become the hero! Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need. YOU decide which routes to take, which dangers to risk and which foes to fight.

Legend of the Shadow Warriors - Back Cover ("Dragon" Edition)

The book is set in the usual fantasy setting of Titan, however it is set in a different time period to the rest of the books - it is set in an historical period just after the War of the Four Kingdoms in the Old World. The player takes the role of a veteran of the war now living as a mercenary, who is called on by the villagers of Karnstein to protect them from the titular Shadow Warriors. The player is drawn into a battle with the Shadow Warriors and their master Voivod, the personification of death and decay.

How to Fight the Creatures of the Old World[]

The book in general follows the original rules set down in The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (see Game System).

Unique Rules[]

  • The player is limited to carrying only one weapon at any given time and this weapon must be recorded in the weapon box.[1]
  • The player begins the adventure with no provisions[2] or armour.[3]
  • The amount of Gold Pieces the player begins with is determined by a 2d6 plus 12 roll.[1]
  • Any armour that is acquired must be recorded in the armour box and as with weapons only one can be carried at any time.[3]

Equipment List[1][]

  • Sword
  • Backpack
  • Pouch (for Gold Pieces)

Cover and Illustrations[]

Main article: Legend of the Shadow Warriors (illustrations)


The original cover of the book was designed and illustrated by Terry Oakes.

Legend of the Shadow Warriors Cover Variants
1991 1993
FF44 Dragon Spine.jpg
Dragon ver.III Dragon ver.IV
£3.501 £3.502

  1. Price of 1st~2nd Impressions
  2. Price of 3rd Impression. Map printed in black and white and not on inside front cover.


The interior illustrations were by Martin McKenna. There were 30 full page illustrations and 6 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: 1, 16, 35, 49, 63, 77, 80, 90, 105, 118, 145, 158, 172, 186, 199, 213, 227, 240, 254, 268, 282, 295, 308, 321, 335, 349, 362, 375, 387 and 400.

The colour map on the inside front cover was by Leo Hartas.

Intertextual References[]


Some of the themes and story-lines, such as the Frankenstein-like Doktor Kauderwelsch and the parasitic Mandrakes, are continued in the later book Moonrunner, a follow-up of Legend of the Shadow Warriors. Stephen Hand has written that he envisioned a third book, Blood of the Mandrake, which would tie together and conclude several outstanding plot lines begun in Legend of the Shadow Warriors and Moonrunner although the trilogy was never completed due to the Fighting Fantasy series being discontinued in 1995.[4]

Other Media[]

Main Characters[]

YOU: Hero of Legend of the Shadow Warriors



Further Notes[]

  • Legend of the Shadow Warriors takes place five years after the War of the Four Kingdoms (but see errors below), after The Tasks of Tantalon.[5] It occurs before the events described in Moonrunner, as is indicated by the Kauderwelsch storyline.


  • (17) lists nine enemies, when at least three of them must perish before the battle begins.
  • Legend of the Shaow Warriors is set five years after the War of the Four Kingdoms (which ended in 177 or 178AC).[6] The archaeologist Guignol claims to be from the city of Chalannabrad, but the city was only called this after Chalanna the Reformer came to the throne, in the middle of the 3rd century AC.[7]
  • In the fight against Urtha, it is possible using a vial of metal rot to destroy her iron band and later on, after Utrha is defeated, you can find it, pick it up and take it away with you even if you previously destroyed it.[8]


To Josef Hawel whose great kindness
showed me that there are at least
two sides to every big story.[9]

See Also[]


External Links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Legend of the Shadow Warriors - pg.15
  2. Legend of the Shadow Warriors - pg.14
  3. 3.0 3.1 Legend of the Shadow Warriors - pg.16
  4. Letter from Stephen Hand at the Internet Archive record of the old Fightingfantasy.com - Retrieved 2019-10-26
  5. Legend of the Shadow Warriors - p.22
  6. The Tasks of Tantalon - pg.4; Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World - pg.44/88; The Fighting Fantasy 10th Anniversary Yearbook - 196
  7. Titan - The Fighting Fantasy World - p.44/88; Legend of the Shadow Warriors - 80
  8. Legend of the Shadow Warriors - 49, 83, 331
  9. Legend of the Shadow Warriors - pg.4