Zanbar Bone
skill N/A
stamina N/A
Preferred Weapon Touch (see below) or Magic
Homeland Astral Planes
Known associates Lord Varek Azzur
Known relations Quimmel Bone (brother)[1]
Race/Species Greater Undead

later returns as a Demon Prince

Gender male
Alignment Evil
Equipment Scythe

This article needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

"References Needed!" Hamaskis demands it

Zanbar Bone, also known as the Night Prince, is the primary antagonist of the books City of Thieves[2] and The Port of Peril.[3]


Zanbar Bone was born in Fang to two merchants who were secretly members of a cult worshipping the Demon Princes. He attended the Magic School of Yore and subsequently developed a bitter rivalry with Gereth Yaztromo and Arakor Nicodemus of the Star Pupils, seeking to defeat them with the power of dark magic. However, his former mentor, the great archmage Vermithrax Moonchaser severely wounded him in a firestorm battle of magic and reduced him to a barely living skeleton.

Bone was not seen again for decades, finally reappearing as a Skeleton Demon and taking control of a large domain in northern Allansia.[4]

From his Dark Tower, near the infamous wretched hive of Port Blacksand, he used a number of Spirit Stalkers as messengers and lackeys and several Moondogs as hunters and slayers. He had numerous other undead and demonic followers, such as a female Vampire and minor sorcerers and witches, under his command. The Port of Peril also states that Varek Azzur, the loathsome governor of Port Blacksand is his most faithful servant.[5]


Zanbar Bone is described as a green-eyed Skeleton wearing a golden crown and a black robe.[6] (The illustrations from City of Thieves shows him with horns, claws and Cat-like eyes, wearing a robe and a cloak, and a diadem instead of a crown.)[7] By the time of The Port of Peril, his spiked skull was twice its previous size and he had grown bat-like wings and cloven hooves.[8]

Zanbar Bone's true nature remains unknown, as he had common characteristics with a Warlock, a Lich and a Demon. According to his title he was bound to be an highly powerful Evil force. In The Port of Peril, he was described by his victim as "not a man, nor anything resembling a man" and stated to be undead.[9] Also, a book in Yaztromo's Tower described him as a Skeleton Demon.[10]


Zanbar Bone had neither skill nor stamina; fighting him was always a matter of tests and choices. During the day, Zanbar Bone existed on another plane and could only be defeated after sunset. Although his physical form could be damaged through main force, this would not truly harm him and would provide only a temporary respite.[11] Anyone trying to destroy him would first need to break his magic powers to make him vulnerable, which presented its own challenge due to their potency.

Additionally, the Night Prince wields considerable magical powers, and vast mastery of Necromancy and Demon summoning. He was able to see and speak at any location inside his tower, to curse or bewitch objects, to create Skeleton Warriors by throwing his own teeth to the ground[12], and to cast illusions to cloak his presence.[13] His most prominent powers are his hypnotic gaze that can paralyze anyone,[14] his life-draining touch that can kill anyone in seconds (turning his victims into undead under his command),[15] and his ability to destroy his foes with demon fire and magical energy.[16] He also proves to be a talented general who has his armies move in perfect formation and intimidate their foes by making noise rattling their weapons against their shields, and issues orders through intimidating gestures.[17]

Zanbar Bone cannot be truly destroyed, whenever he is killed, he is bound to resurface more evil and more powerful than ever. Indeed he returned and became one of the Demon Princes themselves in The Port of Peril, being described as "evil personified".[18]

Role in the Gamebooks[]

At one point before the beginning of City of Thieves, Bone sent his Spirit Stalkers to Silverton, wanting the townspeople to give him Mirelle Carralif, Mayor Owen Carralif's daughter, for reasons unknown. Infuriated by Carralif's refusal, Bone sent his Moondogs to Silverton each night to kill as many people as possible. Because of this, Carralif hired the hero to kill the Night Prince, in order to save Silverton.[19]

Some time later, the Spirit Stalkers assisted Lord Azzur in returning their master from the Demon Plane, [20] and Nicodemus feared that should he return, the magic which destroyed him before would not be sufficient this time, if he had been elevated to the ranks of the Demon Princes.[21]

Zanbar Bone in The Port of Peril

They kidnapped Luannah Wolff and held her hostage in Lord Azzur's jail, to force her husband, the stonemason Horace Wolff to carve a cursed keystone of black granite, that would resurrect Zanbar Bone when placed atop Yatromo's tower. They also chanelled Zanbar Bone's arcane magic to turn the tower black, for the Night Prince coveted it as his new base of operation.[22]

Zanbar Bone eventually resurrected, raising an army of a thousand of skeleton warriors to besiege the tower, while also summoning a Lesser Demon called Quag-Shugguth.[23] Fortunately, the plan was foiled when the Night Prince's physical form was destroyed again. However, Nicodemus feared that this would not be the last time Titan would hear of him.[24]


In City of Thieves, the hero seeking to destroy Zanbar Bone first needed the Ring of the Golden Eye to survive his trap of illusions. Then, they had to strike him to the heart with a silver arrow,[25] thus paralyzing him and breaking his power for about a minute, and apply a magic powder mixture, made of Hag's hair and Lotus Flowers, on his eyes. A failed shot or a wrong choice of mixture lead to a gruesome demise, having their life drained until they became his undead servants.[26] However, a success would reduce the Night Prince to ashes and rid the world of his blight, unfortunately not for good.

In The Port of Peril, Zanbar Bone conjures millions of flying, venomous insects to destroy the hero and his allies: the ninja woman Hakasan Za, and his old archenemies Yaztromo and Nicodemus. The insects can be kept at bay with a Dragonfly Pendant, otherwise their sting cost 4 stamina and 1 skill, before Yaztromo destroys them with a powerful Volcano Spell. The hero must then fight Quag-Shugguth.[27]

Furious, Zanbar Bone sends his skeletons against his foes. If Nicodemus did not recover his Ring of Burning Snakes, the heroes are overwhelmed and killed by his army. Otherwise, Nicodemus traps the Demon Prince in a magic Ring of White Fire, breaking his power and rendering him vulnerable for a short while.[28] While Hakasan and Yaztromo are keeping the skeletons at bay, the hero must take profit of it to fire a flintlock pistol (winning a test of skill) or a Demon Dagger (winning a dice roll).[29].

If the hero fails, everything is doomed, but if they succeed, they shatter Zanbar Bone's skull, killing him instantly, and he and his skeletons are destroyed. His corpses points his finger at the hero as a last ditch attempt, but Hakasan severs his arm before he can cast a deadly spell and victory is yours![30]

Further Notes[]

  • The life-draining touch, the need of an Anti-Illusions Ring before facing him, and later the summoning of flying insects, are characteristics Zanbar Bone shares with Razaak, who is likewise a Greater Undead and necromancer.
  • The fact that the player "meets" a black Cat at the very beginning of City of Thieves, and that there is a black Cat among the illusions in Zanbar Bone's room may either be a coincidence or means that the Night Prince likes to transform into a black Cat.
  • In The Port of Peril, it is stated that Zanbar Bone summoned the Lesser Demon Quag-Shugguth from the yet unmentioned Plane of Pain. Now that he reached the rank of Demon Prince, it can be speculated that this is the Demonic Plane he has dominion over. The Plane of Pain is mentioned in the 2019 book Rough Guide to the Pit as the realm that the Palace of Agony is located in. [31] The same book suggests Bone may have spent time between his defeats in the Lands of the Dead, located in the Plane of Blood.[31]

See Also[]