The Wonder Worlock: Ice, Ice, Baby! Part 2
created 12/18/2012 - 7:31pm
(Special Christmas cover by Darren Blackburn. Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone!)
PART THE SECOND
Imagine yourself falling through glass, solid glass. Down, down, down into that tiny little gleam all glass has, even in the darkest dark. Falling, tumbling, out of control. For a master of magic, it is not a feeling or a position you would like to put yourself in.
Control is everything to a master of magic, to the Wonder Worlock.
My universe, he thinks, it rushes at me and around me and through me and I am … freaking out … I am the Wonder Worlock … I am … freaking out … freaking … Why am I not dead what is happening to me why am I not dead … and, oh Zootalaris … I sense that I will soon see a face most familiar?? Not him again .. freaking …!
“Welcome to Macrosha.”
“Macrosha?” the Wonder Worlock says to no one in particular.
“Yes,” the voice says, “Macrosha. That place that is outside, larger than the Omniverse itself. It is the outer reaches of existence. Here have I made my home, sacrificing my needs and wants for my beloved Olympia.”
“Zootalaris, I knew it! Java Lyn! You grew and grew and grew on the surface of Microsha, now in the Threlkellian dimension, and you have become … what, One with the Universe?”
“Oh no, not that,” the voice that is clearly Java’s says, a disembodied noise whistling through the ether, “merely a god. Perhaps THE God, who knows? But anyway, however you came, I welcome you here. You know what they say about it being lonely at the top. We are definitely at the top!”
“ ‘However you came’? How did I come to be here. How …”
Mere moments ago … or was it eons? … the Wonder Worlock and his companion, Captain Rand of the star-spanning Goff Empire, were trying to help the mage’s friend Mimir, who had somehow fallen into possession of the Red Ruby of Reality, or at least a piece of the famed mystic talisman.
In Mimir’s abode, the Frost Giant was just about to tell the wizard how this came about when, enter: The greatest and first Frost Giant, the King of Niflheim, Aurgelmir!
“Mage,” a booming voice says, “how are you? What brings you to my kingdom?”
The gruff facial composition on the Ice Giant suddenly gentles as it sees his realm’s Sorcerer Supreme, even with the strangely garbed alien youth at his side.
“I hope, my friend, Mimir has told you about the many changes that have come to my realm, thanks to a blending of New Waysand Old,” Aurgelmir says. “And I assure you, Surtr remains our in-stasis prisoner, and his sword, his firebrand, has floated down one of the Eternal Well’s rivers, never to be seen in this cold place again.”
“All good news, my King,” the wizard says. “May I present my comrade, one from those far-away worlds we discuss who sought to share the honor of your presence in your own land, Captain Rand of the Goff Empire starship New Hope.
“It is an honor,” the small boy captain tries to say aloud.
“No, son, it is my honor,” Aurgelmir says. “All those eons dwelling in foolishness, in endless battle with the Aesir, a race that is not even significant in the Scheme of Things anymore.”
“ ‘The Scheme of Things’? Then I take it you have been reading the scrolls and tomes I left His Majesty?” the mage says.
“Aye, shaman, I have,” Aurgelmir responds. “That is why the Old Ways have brought me here, sorry to say. For I think there may be something young Mimir would like to tell me about?”
A few seconds that pass next seem like an eternity for all.
“My pardon, Your Majesty,” Mimir says, “but I did not wish to share my brother’s fate. Your age-old senses do not lie, for I have here – found by myself near the shore of the River Fimbulthul – a shard of what our friend, the Wonder Worlock, calls the Ruby of Reality!”
When the young Frost Giant reveals his find, Aurgelmir’s face goes from curious to frightened, something no giant ever saw on the King’s visage before.
“By the Well Eternal! By great Ginnungagap! ‘Tis the Rime Ruby, that which fell from the skies when the Hrimthursar were young. Even I have vague memories of it, but I know our mightiest threw it from here soon after we saw what deviltry it was up to. It speaks sweetly to you, like a good woman on a chilly night, and then pulls your essence into itself like the pounding waves of Gjöll by the Hel-gates.
“Good wizard, you must use your mighty power to transport this rock anywhere but here,” Aurgelmir pleads, Mimir standing in awe of his King’s fear. “Limbo, perhaps, or even Muspelheim. We must …”
But it is already too late! While Rand and Mimir listened to the Ice King’s plea, the Wonder Worlock was probing the unprobable. Now, his astral self – the part of him containing the Souls of She’ol – has been swept into the ruby, much to his friends’ shock.
“So that was it,” the Wonder Worlock says, his dim memory now alight. “And ho, voice of mine enemy. Can you not materialize that we might talk face to face as men of science?”
“I, Java Lyn, welcome you to Macrosha, Wonder Worlock. What a fine time we can have discussing science ‘til Crack of Doom!”
The celestial shaman sizes up his new companion: This is the Java Lyn of famed Olympia, the scientist who sought to better the worlds of his empire and then sought to take same away through the winds of warfare. This is the Java Lyn who used Warfarin’s own armor against the wizard and almost killed him on a number of occasions.
But this is not Java Lyn! That, the mage’s space-bending senses tell him. For Java Lyn’s body was monstrously mutated during its encounter with a live nuclear bomb. And radiation does not so readily dissipate, even in a world within a ruby, and this is no illusion.
Wondering how his powers may function in this land within a stone, and to the feux Java’s surprise, the Wonder Worlock engulfs the scientist in a Conjurer’s Cone, sucking him … where? Away, at least.
As Java disappears, the Dark Mage hears a sound he did not think he would hear again: energy emitted from the large cyclopean eye of – Kat-Wallidur!
“I thank you for killing me, mage,” the mad titan says, the octopus-like tentacles on his large eye already sifting through the Wonder Worlock’s mystic path for nourishment. “I have had an ever-so-nice time eating the subjects of Mimir’s imaginings, and those of others from the past.”
“Behold, visage of Kat’Wallidur, the Blue Bands of Bedevilment!” As the cobalt bands spring fro the wizard’s fingers like party favors, they smother the giant creature and hold him taught.
The Wonder Worlock notices that, as correct as Java’s image was – of the scientist, not the monster, at least – this replicon of Kat’Wallidur is vague. No defined features, except for the eye and tentacles, his most vicious features. The other body parts seem to be makeshift robotics from a Threlkellian murq mine! And there is an air of – what would Randcall it? – cartoonishness about the creature. And, ultimately, the Blue Bands of Bedevilment would never hold one as powerful as Kat’Wallidur so long.
These are the phantoms of my own memory, the reflections of my mind in probing the ruby, and even now!thinks the shaman. Ahhhhhh ….
“Away with you, phantom of my foe!”
The flames of the Great Dragon of Gaza IV can be felt on his back shields by the Wonder Worlock, but a mere call for the Vortex of Vipers whirls the reptile away before the necromancer even sees it.
Who will be next? Oh, why wait?thinks the sorcerer.
By the Ruby of Reality/
Before which boundaries decay/
I have the will to escape/
Grant me the way!
And the world within the ruby is empty again, save for a wee small voice calling, calling: Master? Master?
All the Frost Giants are on their best behavior at the celebratory feast in Niflheim, by order of Aurgelmir himself. How would it be for Captain Rand to return to the Realm Without and tell his kinsmen about murderous, gnarling giants with no manners? Not on his watch, he decided.
“ … So I just realized they were shadows of my own mind, the more distant the more indistict,” the Wonder Worlock explains to Aurgelmir and his assembled throng. “Also, in my world, the Rime stone is called the Ruby of Reality. I realized since I was the only living thing truly there, I could bend reality any way I chose.
“Obviously my powers did not work that well, my astral self separate from my physical form. I simply chose the reality of Niflheim and I was here.”
“I cannot believe you have all these adventures in mythical realms as well as the space of our own universe, sir,” Captain Rand says, full of awe.
“I told you, son, that is why I named myself … the Wonder Worlock, hahaha!”