Monday, 7 September 2015

Project Hood – Who Is Guy De Gisburne?

Illustration by Doug Telford
After introducing you to the idea of my latest Project Hood, I looked briefly at the character of The Hood, who he is and why he does what he does. Today is the turn of Nottingham's finest – Guy de Gisburne.

In modern culture, Sir Guy of Gisborne is usually depicted as incompetent. An individual with position but no heroic qualities, able to fail at the simplest of tasks. Even in the original ballad "Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne" the noble Guy sets out to kill Robin but manages to only get himself beheaded by the outlaw.

When it came to Project Hood, I needed a leader for the Nottingham faction. Whilst the obvious choice would be the Sheriff, he's more of a politician than a fighter which doesn't bode well in a skirmish war game. I needed a hero that could stand toe to toe with Robin Hood.

Let me introduce Guy de Gisburne – 'The Raven'.

Even as a child Guy de Gisburne liked a challenge, obsessed with being the best at everything, he joined the Crusade in search of glory and renown. When captured by Saladin’s army he found only misery and pain, toiling in the heat and forced to fight for sport. After escaping he made his way back to Europe, offering his martial skills as a mercenary along the way. Over time his reputation as a mercenary/bounty hunter grew, he was a man who could get the job – any job – done, for a price. He is a perfectionist in every sense.

His appearance in a town or city was a unsettling precursor and townsfolk began to even fear his name. He does not care who his target is or why they deserved to die, his single-mindedness and emotional detachment essential in completing his missions. People began calling him the Raven – somewhere deep inside he quite liked it and the sinister reputation he had.

Then he heard about The Hood – it was too enticing a challenge to pass up.

In game The Raven has taken charge of the forces of Nottingham – once a laughable collection of individuals, but now a trained unit of soldiers. Brutal and capable.

If the Hood is a mixture of Batman and Rambo, then Guy is surely Nottingham's Darth Vader to the Sheriff's Governor Tarkin. Throw in a dash of Boba Fett and you have a man who is resourceful, intelligent and deadly. His very name can send a shiver down the spine and his presence can instil terror and bravery in his own troops in equal measure. He is the ultimate nemesis – a man who can not only out-fight you, but out-think you. He just always seems to be one step ahead.


  1. I love the Raven logo. As Darth Vader does that mean he is Robin's father? :D

    1. ...which would mean that Robin is Maid Marrion's brother!

    2. I did look into the idea that Robin is Guy's brother, as hinted at in the last Robin of Sherwood episode but it felt a little soap opera.

    3. Absolutely agree, thats a bit too cheesy. But maybe they met one another in the Holy Land years ago. Perhaps there is some old enmity there over spoils, glory or influence in the Crusade hierarchy.

  2. Love it. I think the best portrayal of this character was in the Errol Flynn movie - cunning and resourceful but overdosed with vanity and arrogance. Your description is most apt. He reminds me of Judge Dredd - pitiless and single minded to a code. Nottingham and Sherwood Forrest are his Megacity One and Cursed Earth respectively.

    I agree that the Sheriff is a politician and strategist, not a fighter. Having him hold the purse strings of a blade like Gisburne should indeed put fear into the cowed population.

    1. Judge Dredd!! I like it. Definitely some of that in there, not to mention a hint of Top Dollar from The Crow (maybe not so sadistic or self centred).

      Basil Rathbone was probably the least incompetent Gisborne I've seen for sure… and there is a passing resemblance with the beard too.



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