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skill 11 (13 with a Ring of Swordsmanship)
stamina 16
Attacks 1
Weapon Used Staff of Rulership, sword
Habitat Ruins
Number Encountered 1 (unique)
Type Human/Wizard
Reaction Friendly/Hostile (depending on his opinion of his foes)
Intelligence high

Shanzikuul, also known as the Master of Chaos, the Cheater of Deaths, or the Master of the Undead[1], is a very powerful and evil wizard who serves as the main villain of the gamebook Master of Chaos.


Shanzikuul was described as a slim young man swathed in silver and black robes[2]. He wore a magic amulet that could teleport him wherever he wanted around his neck[3], and a strange ring of platinum with gems inset, in fact a Ring of Swordsmanship, on his left hand[4].

Shanzikuul is a highly powerful wizard, expert in Dark Magic and demon conjuring, skilled enough to summon and fully control an Astral Slayer. He is also able to induce awful mutations on his servants and to create many mutant monsters such as the fearsome Zoalinth. Also, like Balthus Dire, Mordraneth, Malbordus and Zeverin, he numbers among the very few wizards skilled enough in swordsmanship to hold their own against the finest warriors[5]. He was stated to be one of the very few people powerful and evil enough to use the Staff of Rulership's power to its fullest extent[6], and demonstrated his abilties by creating himself a lavish subterranean palace in the ruins of Kabesh, along with female, half-human half-animal slaves[7].

Although cruel, ruthless, ambitious and power-hungry, Shanzikuul displays surprizing politeness to those he deems worthy, welcoming them warmly[8] and being willing to offer everything they desire to potential enemies should they swear loyalty to him[9]. He greatly enjoys luxury and even seems lecherous, but it is quite clear to those he speaks to that he is unhealthily exhalted and even unbalanced[10].


Prior to the Great War against Chaos, Shanzikuul allied himself with the Dark Elves and fought for the side of Evil. Following the victory of the forces of Good, he and his warped Elven followers were captured and slain by a huge band of wildmen who flayed and quartered the wizard and then watched as the vultures picked his bones clean[11].

In Master of ChaosEdit


Shanzikuul was mysteriously resurrected some three hundred years later in 284AC. Given that when the player succeeds in slaying him, a demon appears to take his soul to The Pit[12], it can be guessed that demons, perhaps the Demon Princes themselves, were involved, though nothing can be really sure.

Shanzikuul summoned an Astral Slayer and sent it to steal the Staff of Rulership[13], which would grant him the unlimited power he needs to take over Khul, if not Titan as a whole[14]. The powerful demon murdered the Great Wizard of Analand in spite of his protections, before stealing the Staff and bringing it to its summoner[15].

The conclave of Wizards of the Old World despatched a great hero to recover the Staff of Power stolen by Shanzikuul, since a warrior would evade him more easily than a wizard[16].

The quest in itselfEdit

Most of the gamebook is spent travelling from the Old World to Khul; then preparing a trip towards the ruins of Kabesh where Shanzikuul based himself; then the trip in itself, and finally the raiding of the wizard's lair. Shanzikuul has many agents working for him all over Khul, and might be the one who sent assassins and thugs after those who sought the Staff of Rulership; like the ones who captured the Dark Elf Naas[17]. There are also the evil Necromancer Vardrath and the evil priest Kanestin, who know full well about Shanzikuul and the Staff[18][19], but seem to avoid direct confrontation.

The hero eventually rescued Naas and started an uneasy alliance with him[20]. Then, he discovered the entrance to the wizard's lair and successfully reached him, slew him for good and returned the Staff of Rulership to the Conclave.

Confronting ShanzikuulEdit

Spoiler Warning!!!: Plot and/or ending details of a Fighting Fantasy publication follow. Please DO NOT read this article if you do not want foreknowledge of this publication. Although the article below is based on canon, some of its content is considered extrapolation because it assumes a certain course of events through an adventure that has many possible routes.


Shanzikuul greets you warmly and welcomes you at his feast[21]. Should you attack him outright, he uses the Staff to conjure a wall of bones on which you collide, costing you 4 stamina points[22]. Then he uses the Staff to conjure tentacles, forcing you to test your luck to avoid them or lose 3 stamina points[23]. After that, Shanzikuul must be fought.

If you dine with Shanzikuul, you regain 4 stamina points through the food on the table[24]. Shanzikuul offers to make you his second-in-command and grant your every wish. Should you accept, the game ends in your failure[25].

  • You can try to pry the Staff of Rulership from Shanzikuul by successfully testing your skill[26]. If you succeed, he attacks you in a rage, otherwise, he teleports away with his amulet and uses the Staff to conjure a wall of bones and tentacles before fighting.
  • In the same way, you can try and steal Shanzikuul's Ring of Swordsmanship by winning an harder test of skill[27]. Once again, if you fail your enemy teleports away and uses the Staff's magic against you.
    • If you succeed and attack him outright, he loses 2 skill points and you can fight him directly[28].
    • If you succeed and take his ring, not only does he loses 2 skill points but you gain 2.[29] But by doing so, you give him enough time to teleport away and attack you with the Staff.
  • Finally, you can chose to attack Shanzikuul outright.

Shanzikuul is a very powerful enemy with skill 13 (11 if he lacks his ring) stamina 16[30]. When Shanzikuul's stamina drops to 2, if he wins the next Attack Round he teleports away to heal himself[31]. You have a limited amount of time to heal yourself as well, and if you own the magic tome The Three Hundred and Thirty Incantations of Ssassuzlit, you can cast a spell to regain 10 stamina points[32]. Shanzikuul then reappears with 6 more stamina points.

With Shanzikuul dead and his soul cast to the Pit [33], you have a limited amount of time to heal again or take Shanzikuul's Ring of Swordsmanship if it is not already done[34] before engaging the final battle against Naas[35]


  1. Master of Chaos - intro
  2. Master of Chaos - 382
  3. Master of Chaos - 125, 294, 306, 400
  4. Master of Chaos - 50, 187, 209, 241, 274
  5. Master of Chaos - 187, 209, 255, 289
  6. Master of Chaos - intro
  7. Master of Chaos - 209
  8. Master of Chaos - 382, 209
  9. Master of Chaos - 209, 298
  10. Master of Chaos - 209
  11. Master of Chaos - intro
  12. Master of Chaos - 349
  13. Master of Chaos - intro
  14. Master of Chaos - intro
  15. Master of Chaos - intro
  16. Master of Chaos - intro
  17. Master of Chaos - 118
  18. Master of Chaos - 252
  19. Master of Chaos - 84
  20. Master of Chaos - 21
  21. Master of Chaos - 382
  22. Master of Chaos - 163
  23. Master of Chaos - 316, 204, 95
  24. Master of Chaos - 209
  25. Master of Chaos - 298
  26. Master of Chaos - 326
  27. Master of Chaos - 274
  28. Master of Chaos - 187
  29. Master of Chaos - 326
  30. Master of Chaos - 289
  31. Master of Chaos - 306, 349
  32. pointsMaster of Chaos - 110
  33. Master of Chaos - 349
  34. Master of Chaos - 267
  35. Master of Chaos - 216

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