Ningauble of the Seven Eyes is one of two wizards in Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar tales of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. The patron warlock of Fafhrd the northerner, Ningauble is so named due to his roving seven [sometimes six] glowing eyes. Along with the Gray Mouser’s patron warlock, Sheelba of the Eyeless Face, Ningauble often sends his hapless minion on ludicrous missions such as recovering the mask of Death or to steal the very stars from the highest mountain.
Who (or What) Ningauble Is
Ningauble of the Seven Eyes is one of two seers in Fritz Leiber’s tales of Fafhrd and the Gray
Mouser in the imaginary Lankhmar. The patron of Fafhrd the northerner, Ningauble is so named due to his roving seven glowing eyes.
with the Gray Mouser’s patron, Sheelba of the Eyeless Face, Ningauble often sends his hapless minion on ludicrous missions such as
recovering the mask of Death or to steal the very stars from the highest mountain.
Ningauble shrugged his cloaked, bulbous shoulders. "I thought you were a brave man, addicted to deeds of derring-do."
cursed sardonically, then demanded, "But even if I should go clang those rusty bells, how can Lankhmar hold out until then with her
walls breached and the odds fifty to one against her?"
I'd like to know that myself," Ningauble assured him.
"And how do
I get to the temple when the streets are crammed with warfare?"
Ningauble shrugged once again. "You're a hero. You should know."
Fafhard and the Gray Mouser were created during correspondence between Fritz Leiber and his lifelong friend,Harry Fischer. Together they created the imaginary world of Nehwon and its city, Lankhmar, with its fictional heroes
loosely based on their creators: the barbarian Fafhrd on Leiber, and the thief The Gray Mouser on Fischer.
In 1937, Leiber and
Fischer designed a board game set in this fantasy world and each began composing a story with the same setting. Fischer's story
was "The Lords of Quarmall" and Leiber's "The Adventure of the Grain Ships" (neither story was finished until much later). During
this creative period, Fischer's wife, Martha – then a fashion illustrator and cartographer – rendered Ningauble in pastels, the only
known likeness approved by his creators.
1939 saw the first professional publication of a story by Leiber, “Two Sought Adventure,”
in Unknown magazine. “The Adventure of the Grain Ships” was not published until 1964, when it appeared in Fantastic magazine under
the title, “The Lords of Quarmall.” Fischer wrote its core 10,000 words during his early correspondence with Leiber, and Fritz finally
added the beginning and end.
Ningauble of the Seven Eyes
Pastel on paper
12 x 20 inches
Rendered by Martha Fischer
For anyone reading this who is a Fafhard and Gray Mouser fan, this should be a real treat for you. Below is the authentic
Ningauble rendered by Martha Fischer (my mother) during the year(s) that Fritz Leiber and Harry Fischer (my father) developed
Ningauble and Fafhard
For anyone not familiar Fritz's writings, the character of Ningauble of the Seven Eyes is
captured well in this excerpt from The Swords of Lankhmar...
Over the years, quite a few artists have portrayed Ningauble in various magazines and books.
Some may be found on the internet to this day. However, in my opinion, none of them were near what my mother's was like.
can see, my Ningauble on the previous page differs a bit from the original Ningauble posted above. However, I hope it managed
to preserve the sense of the character, yet in the more permanant oil medium. I'll let you decide whether I succeeded :-)