The Wonder Worlock: If This Be Muspellheim, Part 1
Posted by: Byron Brewer, Managing Editor
August 28, 2012 17:23 | Updated: 33 weeks 15 hours Ago
August 28, 2012 17:23 | Updated: 33 weeks 15 hours Ago
It was many ages before our own universe was shaped that the Mist-World of Niflheim came to be, and midmost within it lies the well that is called Hvergelmir, from which spring the rivers called SvÃ¶l, GunnthrÃ¡, FjÃ¶rm, Fimbulthul, SlÃdr and HrÃd, Sylgr and Ylgr, VÃd, Leiptr. There is also the river GjÃ¶ll, like its fellows actual “bridges” to neighboring dimensions, that some say leads straight to Hell.
Just as the phenomenon of cold arose out of Niflheim, so also all that looked toward its polar opposite, MÃºspellheim, became hot and glowing; but Ginnungagap (the vast, primordial void that existed prior to the creation of our universe) was as mild as windless air, and when the breath of heat met the rime, so that it melted and dripped, life was quickened from the yeast-drops, by the power of that which sent the heat, and became a man's form.
He was Aurgelmir, first and greatest of all the Frost Giants!
When Aurgelmir slept, or so say legends recorded in the scrolls of the Wonder Worlock, a son and a daughter grew from his armpits, and his two feet procreated and gave birth to a son, a monster with six heads. These three beings gave rise to the race of Frost Giants who populated Niflheim, a dimension of mist, chill and ice. Aurgelmir became the All-Father of the powerful Frost Giants who populate this savage tundra, this dimension of roving snow-peaked mountains and icy oceans leading to -- well, who know?
Some of the Frost Giants were of hideous appearances: claws, fangs and deformed features, apart from a generally humongous size. Some of them even have many heads -- such as Thrivaldi who, it is said, had nine of them -- or an overall non-humanoid shape.
Yet for all their fearful natures, since his coming has the Wonder Worlock called upon them and their realm in time of need. Although never journeying to Niflheim, the dark mage has found the Frost Giants seemingly very old, carrying the wisdom of bygone times. It was the Frost Giants Mimir and Vafbruonir the wizard sought out in times past – at the very edge of our universe’s entrance to the River GunnthrÃ¡ -- to gain this ancient knowledge.
But, after eons, the cold winds of change seem to be blowing in isolated, icy Niflheim, the Great Frost Giant Aurgelmir seems to have tamed his temper ... and in MÃºspellheim great Surtr is smiling.
Unlike Aurgelmir. Surtr is pleased. Very pleased!
PART THE FIRST
The world is one of molten lava, active volcanoes on a scientific world whose people hold dear their territory. Over the eons, they have fought for it, liberated it, bled for it, died for it. All that pride swells each day that dawns for the barbarian called Traven. For he is king of all he surveys – and more.
Riding on his personal hi’opsys – a primitive type of camel, almost – this morning, he smells the burning lava and smoke from nearby volcanoes and thinks, Aye, it is good to be alive this day.
The night had not been a pleasant one. Another long day among diplomats of other worlds and his own castle’s chaos; since the imprisonment of wife Marlee for treason, some of his other wives among dozens have strode toward individualistic opportunities not in keeping with the crown of this world Threlkel. Malcontents, he thinks, I always chose malcontents!
Then, under the orange skies of this honored world, Emperor Traven dismounts his hi’opsys and rolls gymnast-like to the hard-rock ground of this lava planet. He stretches his massive arms out and 20 youths come scrambling into them. These arms that could crush stone hold the 20 moppets as gently as a nurse does a newborn babe.
These are the children of Traven! This is the future of the Threlkellian Empire!
“So, T’koy, are you ready to try and raise Memorell today?” Traven says to his eldest, pointing to his enchanted blade of legend.
“Aye, Father, I am,” T’koy says, thinking the name of the sword as he heaves on its mighty handle. And for the first time in memory, someone besides Traven himself lifts legendary Memorell off the ground – or at least its hilt!
“Zounds! Son, you are becoming a man right under my old nose,” the king laughs. “I think the next diplomatic session I have, I will let you handle it. How say you?”
His breast heaving over the stress of lifting Memorell even a bit, T’koy manages just one word to his father: “Booo-ring!”
And then they and all the children laugh under the orange skies of peace, of home.
Not even the emperor’s trusted friends Zavar, a powerful telepath, and the Wonder Worlock, a sorcerer from another dimension, could predict what danger is headed toward Threlkel this day of days!
Like a comet with a powerful, crackling tail, the bright object hurls through darkest space, the black stuff of our own universe planes away from Threlkel. Along the rim of the Mephistoff Nebula and then into a small solar system it heads, exuding energies off any scale.
As it breaks through the atmosphere of a lush, jungle-filled world, the sound is nearly deafening. But then the object arrives with an almost soundless landing that belies its travel fury, smoke clearing from a glade of tropical plants to reveal the galactic guardian known only as -- the Wonder Worlock!
This is the world known as the Shirewood II, the home of the former virus that once plagued the universe known as Plantagenous Rex, now a simple gardener and one of the most powerful entities in the cosmos. The Wonder Worlock helped cure this galactic germ and, ever since, the two cosmic titans have been working in cooperation with Queen Arema, ruler of the undersea races of Oceanus, and with noted geneticist Mayrah Rand of Goff-lair to populate this new world with one of the oldest races in the quadrant: the Intz.
“Mayrah, Mayrah!” the warrior shouts as the Goff geneticist runs out of her lab, several Intzlings following almost hastily along like baby ducks after their mother. “I have not heard from Plantagenous in awhile and I was worried --”
“Ease your burdens, my friend,” Mayrah says. “Our Plantane friend is off with the Elves, exploring their new world in Null in hopes of improving plant life here in our reality.”
“I tell you, with all this dimension-hopping both he and I do of late -- not to mention Traven and his Star Blazers -- it is hard to remember which universe I call home.” <relieved laughter>
“Well, you had better not leave this quadrant without visiting my son on the New Hope,” Mayrah says. “He left some bizarre message to you with me about not choking before you got there, and when you arrived he would still be all tied up --? That make sense to you?”
“Indeed,” the Wonder Worlock smiled, thinking of his best friend Rand awaiting him on the spectacular R&R deck of the New Hope. “And how are our charges today?”
“Come say hello to your uncle, the Wonder Worlock,” Mayrah says to the open air, as if the duo were surrounded by sentient beings instead of sapling trees. And so they are!
Slowly at first – and certainly not hastily – the young Intz speak to the patient ebony mage.
“I am so, so proud of you all, not only because you are minding your ”˜mom’ but also tending to the trees of the Shirewood II forests like the Intz of old,” the Wonder Worlock commends the Intzlings. “If Tokeen Senior were still with us – and, in a way he is, through your essences – I know the Old One would be very, very proud of you.”
If living wood could blush, these troll-like beings would be scarlet by now, much to their own chagrin but to the pride of Dr. Mayrah Rand.
“And now we will -- Wonder Worlock, are you OK?” Mayrah questions as she suddenly noticed the celestial shaman is stiff and very lost within himself.
“Zootalaris! But evil has just entered and left our universe, and it is headed for -- Threlkel, the home of my friend Emperor Traven! Mayrah, I --”
But before the sound of his words can be transmitted, there is the stench of brimstone as purple smoke marks the spot where, only a moment ago, a cosmic legend stood.
The Wonder Worlock is headed for Threlkel, and it is a trip from which he might not return!
TO BE CONTINUED --