The Wonder Worlock: Planet of Plunder, Part 2
created 01/26/2013 - 1:22pm
(Cover by Jason Heichel, Benjamin Weetman and Jasmin Steele)
PART THE SECOND
How heavy is the head that wears the crown?
Zavar, once grand vizier to the Emperor of the realm of Threlkel himself and now king of the world of Olympia, had often heard that saying. In the days that followed the Olympian Incursion, he has understood its meaning.
Under his trust now are the fates of two entire planets, Olympiaand the recently-appeared Microsha; the fates of two different peoples; and the apparent teaching/training process of the most elite guard in the dimension, the Star Blazers.
Thus came the answer to another question: Can a very powerful telepath get a headache he himself cannot cure? The answer, Zavar finds, is affirmative.
Thus, with a mere teleport beam, the mind-wizard leaves Olympiaand his cares behind to once again stroll among the Subatomics. For Zavar, it is like an afternoon walk through a peaceful garden, so simple are these beings’ thought patterns that it disturbs his sensitive head not a whit. As a matter of fact, it refreshes him.
As his molecules again assemble at the great hall the Subatomics have built under the guidance of Prima Dona, praetor of the SBs, Zavar is most alarmed as his head begins ringing like an Orthgonan dinner chime.
“There is the old man, the one who has us enslaved!” screams a voice in a pattern Zavar has never heard before. “Take him!” it urges, a gravelly texture to its call.
Going against his own doctrine, the most powerful telepath in Threlkellian space attempts to take control of the multiple minds of Subatomics headed his way, rough knives and spears in hand.
Zavar had always believed these minds so simple his mental hand picked up nothing when it touched them. Could it be – and it is – that Subatomics are somehow immune to telepathy?
The King of Olympia tries a different tact: convincing the minds of his attackers that he is not there at all, feigning invisibility.
Out go the lights of the king! But not before …
… a Priority One message is mentally sent to the Emperor, now off-world, and – the Wonder Worlock!
“Friend Zavar, I … Zootalaris, what here occurs?!” the shaman says as the Subatomics have shocked the seemingly unshockable Dark Mage.
“People of Microsha!” the Wonder Worlock shouts in a voice that fills the flatlands and canyons. “Heed the words of your friend, the Wonder Worlock! Release your king and stop this onslaught upon the beautiful buildings and hamlet you have carved out for yourself! Cease!”
And even without telepathy or mystic motivation, a majority of the throng lay down their weapons and just sits on the grasslands surrounding the moo’kyke meadows.
But a small army of the largest Subatomics, towering over eight feet or more, surround a smaller, elderly one who, to the amazement of the Wonder Worlock, begins to cackle out what seem to be battle strategies.
As the wizard watches to the left, a spear comes out of no where and strikes the mage in his arm. Unbelievable pain he has never known before courses through his limb, and although his innate healing factor has already started to mend broken skin and damaged muscles no spells will be coming from this hand for a moment or two.
How did they get through my shields? How??! And from whence came that weapon?he asks himself.
Calling upon the mighty Orb of Ogor before which no untruth can be hidden, the wizard spies a Subatomic in a grassy knoll dozens of feet away – a Microshan visibly hidden by quantum magicks like his own.
Zootalaris! Thaumaturge! He is loose from his captivity on Olympia!the Dark Mage thinks as the roving Rings of Randak appear and imprison the struggling would-be assassin.
He lifts his wounded limb; still too sore to cast spells. Immediately, the caped man bends light around and through himself, effectively becoming invisible to mortal senses.
This will buy some time, he thinks, until I can contact Prima Dona and the others.
But no! A ground crew of she who is the leader’s strongest charge right at the spot where the mage invisibly hovers above the ground.
They hit the ailing wizard with the strength of a runaway locomotive! He reels and flashes back into sight, but just as quickly oozes through the dry grounds of Microsha like a bucket of water … or a Rock Troll.
Now in dire pain, the Wonder Worlock plans. He knows there is magic of some type afoot but knows not its source. A cursory check of the brig by mental means shows his foe, the great wizard Thaumaturge, still in stasis at SB HQ.
“D’ast! What has brought me to this sad end? What the flark is it?” he yells underground, and then starts to realize his mind had been purposefully diverted to the throngs of strong barbarians instead of to their leader, as would be the norm.
The old one! It is she who is leading the pack!
On the surface of Microsha, the unconscious Zavar is bound and gagged, with strange energy glowing about his pate. Hundreds of inactive, seemingly non-caring Subatomics sit on the meadow among the grass-eating moo’kykes and watch as their king is lifted and carried away by the elder plotter and her small but strong army.
It is then a cosmic thunderbolt cracks open the ground and the gigantic Guided Muscle, an extension of the Dark Mage’s now-healed arm, scoops up the army and separates it from its captor. As the barbarians drop like rain from the sky, each and everyone is caught in a Conjurer’s Cone which whisks them away to another realm.
The Winds of a Thousand Worlds whirl in and about the elder female Subatomic, but moves her not a millimeter. She then raises her hand and an esoteric circle is formed from her motion. Hurricane-force winds hit the Dark Mage’s breezes, absorb them and turn them against him.
Absorbing the winds into his mammoth drape of a cloak, they invisibly build and are directed back at the Subatomic … even as the hex-caster remains in shock (again!) … with the power of the Living Gale! As the whirlwinds knock the Subatomic off her ground-perch, she hits her head and her visage begins to change.
Gone is the great height, as the Subatomic – now visibly a female – grows whitish head hair where no hair had been. The large nose reminiscent of a Proboscis monkey shrinks, but not to a great degree, and a mouth is now perceptable, one that was once full with luscious lips. The extremely hairy forearms and legs are no more.
“By Randak! You are Gahaes, a vicious space pirate of the time of Thaumaturge and the last sorceress of the world of Sw’haven!” the celestial shaman says.
“Aye! He thought it humorous to imprison me in the body of a slave and throw me back with the fishes, back into that Microverse I could not escape!” says the elder mystic as she rises from the ground. “I would kill him if I knew where he was, that d’ast Thaumaturge! Ah, Java Lyn, bless his monstrous hide, his science freed me as we came to this dimension and Prima Dona herself was the key to me building this army as they learned to work with humanoids.
“Now have at thee!”
At her bidding, the air itself splits in twain and a vacuum pulls the ebony mage toward its dismal innards. He recognizes this aperture well, as he does the diverse laughter within.
Gahaes has opened -- the dread Dungeon of Doom!
It is then the unexpected happens. The throng of Subatomics peacefully sitting in the moo’kyke meadows rise, free Zavar and then attack Gahaes from all sides. The Dungeon fades from existence before it has even fully formed; the Wonder Worlock would later swear he heard an ancient Rock Troll curse from within, in a voice similar to Ymok’s own.
It does not take the elder witch of Sw’haven long to be overcome by the power of the masses. She is locked in stasis like her one-time foe Thaumaturge and placed in the strong prison of SB HQ on Olympia by Prism and Prima Dona themselves.
Zavar and the Wonder Worlock enjoy tea amid the great gardens of one of the twin towers of the Microshan city just completed by the Subatomics. Inside, Prima Dona works with her designated leaders in assigning the daily tasks for this populace so willing to work to be somebody … anybody!
“Damn brilliant of you to use your telepathic powers to turn the multitudes against Gahaes, Your Majesty,” the Wonder Worlock says to Zavar. “I did not know if your teep was strong enough, mighty enough to break through her mystic shields around you.”
“It was not, my friend,” Zavar says to the wizard. “And besides, I have learned this people are immune to the musings of the mind; they cannot be influenced by telepathy, even of your exotic brand.”
“I had no idea, Zavar. But then …” The sorcerer suddenly drops his cup and it cracks on the new lazvarian floor. “The rescue? The …”
“Totally their own idea, their own actions!”
“Zootalaris!” the Wonder Worlock says. “I think we have the makings of a great new member for the Circle of Allies … some day.”
“We must now, more than ever, safeguard their world and their future until that day,” Zavar agrees.
“As I once told Prima Dona,” the Dark Mage smiles, “this looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”