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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #222: Aahzmandius

Sometimes you just need an Asprin.

The Myth Adventures series, initially written by Robert Aspirin alone and later in collaboration with Jodi Lynn Nye, are the silliest kind of fantasy. The stories are fluffy, whimsical, and pun-riddled, following the mythadventures of a loosely-knit, diverse team of fortune hunters. Skeeve, the raw young apprentice, is learning how to tap into interdimensional forces that appear magical when he is confronted by and subsequently taken under the wing of Aazmandius (Aahz for short), kicking off a partnership that will span a multitude of dimensions and goofy mishaps.

Aahz is a demon (jargon for dimension-traveler) from Perv (which makes him a Pervect, not a Pervert, if you know what's good for you). He's a terrifying muscular lizard-man, short-tempered and toothy and avaricious. Having lost his own magical/dimension-hopping powers, he appropriates Skeeve as an apprentice and whipping boy, and the two slowly build a partnership and a business in the great Bazaar on Deva, swindling the unwary and even helping a few people along the way. The helping is Skeeve's agenda, the swindling is Aahz's. He's a greedy soul, impatient with Skeeve's slowly growing powers and inherent altruism. He likes to eat nasty food and drink nasty drink and play poker and pine over his lost powers and his sad dependence on the whelp of a wizard he's actually coming to like. Aahz is Yoda crossed with Donald Trump, a wise, scaly, green mentor with a rampaging id and unrepentant me-first attitude.

The team grows to include a sultry assassin, a young dragon, a morbidly obese witch, mafioso bodyguards, an erudite troll...a real motley crew from all over. The adventures span the dimensions, inspired by the Crosby-Hope comic road movies, with good (and less good) intentions inevitably gone astray. It's breezy stuff, and like all candy, you can only eat so much before you need a break. But when you're in the mood, it's just right.

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