The first story in the Golden Axe series

"Citadel of Dead Souls" is a 6-part The Legend of the Golden Axe story, the first of two, beginning in Issue 1. The story is loosely based on the Golden Axe video games, starring Ax-Battler, Tyris-Flare and Gilius-Thunderhead from the first two games in the series.



The three heroes have recently completed an adventure, returning the Golden Axe to the King of Yuria after defeating Dark Guld, they are accosted by reptilian warriors whilst shopping in a small town. In the ensuing battle, Ax and his friends easily get the better of the enemy, but Rigia Mortius, the leader of the reptiles, arrives with a couple of minotaurs. Ax, Gilius and Tyris turn to low-level spells to fight them off but they are too weak and a rebounding boulder hits Ax in the head, apparently killing him. A further scuffle breaks out, but the two remaining heroes are bounded by living ropes conjured by Ul-Tima, a disciple of Sorcerer Blackspell. Taken back to the sorcerer's citadel, they find he has the Golden Axe and is planning to resurrect the evil Dark Guld.

Gilius and Tyris are taken to the dungeons, whilst the local villagers find Ax's lifeless body and take him to the stocks to rot. However, he is not dead and comes round. A wizard obsessed with the idea of rotting flesh advises Ax on which way to go, riding on a Bizarrian. The next morning, Ax reaches the citadel, but the pair fall through rotten wood, leaving the Bizarrian to fall into an underground river and into the clutches of a tentacled creature. Ax fights off a pair of warriors before an image of Blackspell confronts and taunts him. Still wandering around, he is soon attacked by Rigia.

A fight breaks out between the pair, but Ax is easily overcome by a sleeping draught. Taken to the dungeons, he is reunited with his two friends, but only briefly. Blackspell conjures the wall behind Tyris into a stone demon, dragging her along chained to it. On the order of Blackspell, Rigia moves to kill Gilius, but he manipulates her and her sword into cutting their shackles and freeing them, then proceeding to chain her up. Finding the citadel deserted, they use the help of wizard trader Proffit to acquire a pair of Bizarrians so they can rescue Tyris. Once at the Corpselands, site of Tyris' imminent sacrifice, the entrance is blocked by Ul-Tima, who conjures an army of skeleton fighters.

Gilius finishes the skeletons and Ul-Tima with a mid-level spell, then the pair move to rescue Tyris. As the sun rises, the sacrifice nears but Tyris' magic also grows. With her power of fire, she burns the ropes binding her, dodging a fatal blow of the Golden Axe. Dark Guld has been revived, however, yet without a sacrifice to give him power. Tyris, Ax and Gilius fight off Blackspell's henchmen. Incomplete, Dark Guld uses his power to merge with Blackspell.

The fight continues and Guld knocks out Blackspell after complaining one too many times. Tyris uses a powerful fire spell to conjure a phoenix, but Guld is impervious to its attacks. Dark Guld takes his turn by transforming into a two-headed eagle, swiftly proceeding to capture Ax and fly away with him. At Firedrake Fell, Ax is dropped in front of living, headless suits of armour. He makes good progress in attacking them, but they don't seem to be able to die and they manage to capture Ax.

On their way to rescue Ax, Gilius and Tyris attack a bunch of thieving elves, in turn stealing their magic potions and replenishing their spells. Inside Firedrake Fell, they confront Guld and Blackspell ready to sacrifice Ax in a pool of lava. Tyris moves to seperate the two villains by swinging the Golden Axe at their necks. Greatly wounded, Blackspell conjures a group of lava monsters. The three heroes combine their magic to create a phoenix, which in turn creates a rockfall, stranding the villains in Firedrake Fell as the others escape. Well enough away from the volcano, it erupts, safe in the knowledge but Dark Guld is dead once again.


The next Golden Axe story was "Plague of Serpents".