Mythica: The Necromancer is the third chapter in Arrowstorm's epic five-part, Kickstarter-funded, fantasy saga.
Once again it perfectly captures the essence of a magnificent Dungeons & Dragons-style RPG campaign, brought to life.
Aged sorcerer Gojun Pye (Kevin Sorbo) investigates a vision he has while training his student, ex-slave girl Marek (Melanie Stone), and discovers that their nemesis, the evil Szorlok (Matthew Mercer) is on the move.
Pye knows that Szorlok needs Marek's innate necromancy skills to complete his villainous ambitions, so tells his apprentice to stay in hiding while he goes off and does wizardly things.
However, before Marek even gets to her team's hideout, her old friend Thane (Adam Johnson) is kidnapped by the scenery-chewing master of the Thieves Guild - and Marek's former owner - Peregus Malister (Robert Jayne).
He proceeds to use his hostage to blackmail Marek, priestess Teela (Nicola Posener), and half-elf rogue Dagen (Jake Stormoen), to track down a smuggler who has gone AWOL with a valuable shipment of magical drugs.
To keep an eye on them, Peregus sends his sadistic lieutenant Betylla (Philip Brodie) along with the heroes.
Their mission takes them across snow-blanketed landscapes, to the frontlines of an ongoing war, then a brothel, and eventually an enemy encampment... where they run into Szorlok!
Difficult decisions and unexpected sacrifices are made, resulting in Marek's powers getting a mighty boost - but at a great cost.
The Necromancer boasts a tight story that puts some unique twists on a traditional plot; top quality special effects (especially when it comes to realising the sundry magical powers and abilities flying around); rock solid direction from A. Todd Smith; and cracking performances from the central characters.
The bonds between these characters are wholly believable, and this adds convincing depth to their reactions and relationships.
One of the elements that also makes these films so great is that when characters are chatting, or interacting with their surroundings, you get the impression that is a complete world, not actors in isolation on a stage. There is a Truth to the Mythica saga that many low-budget fantasy or sci-fi films lack.
- The Kickstarter to fund post-production on Mythica 4: The Iron Crown (the movie has already been shot) is due to launch next week and I, for one, will be on-board.