Fisher King
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Basic Information

The Fisher King is a ruler of a nation whose health, character, and even mood is directly reflected by the land itself - "the king and the land are one". A good ruler will preside over a healthy and prosperous nation, while a blackguard on the throne will soon result in the land looking like Mordor.

The name comes from a figure in Arthurian Legend, a king who is the guardian of the Holy Grail but who has suffered a grievous wound in his leg and/or groin. (In some versions, the wound was inflicted by the Spear of Longinus, thus accounting for its cursed nature). His wound has caused the land to suffer as well, and the incapacitated king must rely on fishing from a nearby stream to feed himself. In some versions of the tale there are two kings; a Wounded King, and his son or grandson who does the actual fishing. In the Grail legends, Sir Galahad brings the missing Grail back to the King and heals him.

See Also


Game and Story Use

  • In a world where Fisher Kings really do exist, the PCs have a great incentive for making sure that "the right person" ascends to the throne.
  • It's even more fun when the PCs themselves are the rulers - can they stay true to their moral principles and thus make the land happy, but balance this against the numerous compromises rulers inevitably have to make?
  • Monarchies can possibly be nice places to live if this is inverted. Making sure that the land is prosperous is in the King's direct interest, because otherwise he sickens.
  • A more modern take might extend this to other powerful figures. The President and the land, or the CEO and his company, or the high priest and the faith…
    • Especially the president … what happens if the Kingdom of the Fisher becomes a republic? Subversively, perhaps the land doesn't care and is still linked to the old ruling family… or perhaps the people now have to chose very wisely indeed…
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