The Wonder Worlock: For Whom the Bell Trolls, Part 2
Posted by: Byron Brewer, Managing Editor
October 08, 2011 12:11 | Updated: 1 year 18 weeks Ago
October 08, 2011 12:11 | Updated: 1 year 18 weeks Ago
PART THE SECOND
The Wonder Worlock has seen many entities in his long existence, but he has seldom been in awe of a being like the one who stands before him now, little changed from the solid boulder that once dwelt there.
This is Ymok, greatest of the ancient race of Rock Trolls, returned to life from stone by the reality-warping power of his fellow, Mork (by way, of course, of the fabled Ruby of Reality).
Standing well over eight feet and weighing more than 700 pounds, the great green giant is anything but jolly. The top of his very head curls as if gravity is too weak to hold it aloft; a shaggy ring of green hair surrounds the cone. Ymok’s wide eyes mark him as a creature of the underground, and his wide mouth displays teeth rotting before many stars were born, it seems. His body, seemingly made of stone itself, makes this former general stronger than most Rock Trolls.
Ymok like most of his fellows has the ability to see into the infrared range of the spectrum, allowing complete night vision. In battle, Ymok is accustomed to using “pounders,” metal bands forged from carbonium and worn over the hands like brass knuckles; they are intact on Mork’s new incarnation.
And in his hand, the rejoined Ruby of Reality, the galactic gem that, with the right mental focus, can make the possessor’s wishes come true.
“Where am I?” asks a dazed Ymok. “Trolls, mount an attack against the … eh? Where is this cave? These surroundings? This darkness? Mork! Speak to …”
And then his keen troll senses tell him.
<Sniff, sniff> “There is a wizard about, and not the damnable Thaumaturge, although certainly one of his power set,” Ymok says. “By Great N.O.T.! I am in another time, on another world and … you, black-cloaked one! Are you responsible for this injury to my tactician?!”
Before the Wonder Worlock can even clear his head, a rocky fist encased in a pounder comes down hard on the mage’s side, sending him head-over-heels across the gravel of the cave. Ymok fights in trollish combat style, still stunned, still blessedly unaware of the
The celestial sorcerer struggles to his feet and the jade powerhouse sends another punch toward the mage’s gut. Quickly formed shields hold and absorb most of the impact, but it is still enough to keep the wizard’s concentration from coming to the forefront. His mind feels as muddled as Mork’s own.
Conjurer’s cone, he thinks, and Ymok is flung backwards and into an ever-shrinking cone of esoteric energies.
“Bah! Child’s play for an underground dweller,” Ymok taunts. “Been dealing with your kind a few bleems.” The nimble troll catches the edges of the cone with his gargantuan hands and unbelievably spreads them backward against the wizard’s will, hopping out of the hex and over the head of the Wonder Worlock, who is finally on his feet.
Ymok takes another mighty swing at the warlock, but only manages to get wrapped in his all-smothering cloak. As the troll fiddles with the cloth, the Wonder Worlock bends space about himself, lessening his density and slides where any troll might go: under ground! As Ymok breaks free of the dark cloak, it vanishes as two arms grab the troll from below the cave floor and drag him physically over to an abyss.
“Fie! Playing troll tricks, are you? I …” It is then the military-minded Ymok finally, finally notices the ruby in his hand. “This was the gem – or at least part of it – we were seeking from Thaumaturge! And now it is mine? Mork, I do not know how we came here, but if you do not make it you shall be rewarded and promoted posthumously. I will see to it personally.”
As the mage’s hands continue to drag the troll’s 700-plus pounds across the cave floor toward the great canyon beyond, Ymok squeezes the ruby and thinks, Solid! As quick as smoke through a keyhole, the land mass across the canyon from the one on which stands the troll joins with its opposite like correct pieces of a jigsaw puzzle coming together.
The Wonder Worlock feels the reality shift and knows immediately what has happened, and the realization makes the man of quantum magic shudder!
“Come out, sorcerer, you cannot beat me, for I now know what I hold in my hand,” Ymok says. “With this, I am King of the Universe, you hear me? I AM KING OF THE FLARKIN’ UNIVERSE!!”
Then, a slight smell of gas, then: WHHHOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSHHHHH!!
The Wonder Worlock comes crashing through the cave floor at full maximum density, a flood of ground water and unearthed natural gas following. The impact knocks the Rock Troll general to his knees and fills his lungs with nausea.
<Cough, cough, cough> “You are indeed a fine opponent, dark wizard, to take me by surprise,” Ymok says in earnest. “I would know your name before you die?”
“I am called the Wonder Worlock, troll. I am a being to whom even Satan himself shakes in fear. You may have had some mighty battles in your time, but I assure you, I am the closest experience to true Hell you have ever faced.”
Swiftly, the mage joins his hands together in the sign of a Devil’s Cross, much to the confusion of Ymok. For a second, the dank cave seems to darken deeper, as brilliant beams of light arc from the mage’s glowing palms in answer to his hex. High overhead, at the intersection of those beams, there swiftly forms a luminous eldritch cylinder, a cylinder which suddenly breaks apart into twelve perfect rings of magical force. The Rings of Randak!
The powerful roving rings seek to imprison the large hands of Ymok, specifically the one holding the Ruby of Reality, but they merely annoy the troll. Purplish vapors are emitted from the rings as the giant wills them to be torn asunder, choking the Rock Troll in the already polluted atmosphere of the hidden caves amid the mountains of Ytsan Nobe. He begins to become dizzy, and the Wonder Worlock hurls Blue Bolts of Bedevilment at the creature with great effect.
“How is this possible?” Ymok questions. “How?!” <Cough, cough>
In Earth’s history, there is a Scandinavian folk belief that lightning frightens away trolls. A cosmic lightning bolt from the Wonder Worlock strikes the banana-like curve of Ymok’s jade head, singeing its wreath of light green hair, embarrassing the troll more than injuring him. In his culture, this ring of frilly hair is a significant matter of male pride.
“Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!” the green giant screams, a powerful blast of red cosmic energy from the ruby hitting the conjurer.
The space-faring shaman falls across the rocky floor. By Ogor, even the mighty Kat’Wallidur would have difficulty with this one, the mage thinks.
Wave after wave of other-dimensional energies bombard the Wonder Worlock from the ruby, sending the spacefarer again reeling. A simple conjurer’s cone, cast by the experienced sentinel of the spaceways, captures the energies and funnels them back at Ymok, angering the Rock Troll, so soon returned to the land of the living. The right hand of the Wonder Worlock then glows white-hot, and begins to grow and extend to mammoth proportions. Simultaneously, twin tongs appear above the giant troll. “Behold! The Pinchers of Power and the Guided Muscle!” the mystic master psionically shouts as the giant hand grabs for the galactic gem of Olympia as the Pinchers of Power attach to each of the creature’s mammoth arms.
The ruby ceases to radiate red, but then a small white dot forms in the gloom and the colors of the jewel flare to life again, oddly like an old color TV set being turned off in reverse. Immediately, crimson shards of poison fire at the Wonder Worlock like so many arrows from a machine gun. The first barrage takes the mage by surprise. While they do not pierce his personal force field, thus saving his life, their velocity cracks his secondary shields, causing him to double over, wince and tumble aimlessly about the cave.
Ymok is becoming more proficient with the Ruby of Reality! A thought that makes the ebony mage again shudder.
Catching his balance, the wizard raises his right hand as he now soars above the cave floor, summoning the Eternal Fingers of Flame. Ymok is surrounded by the hellfire and begins to show signs of weakness around his huge eyes. But solar winds from within the crimson crystal cool the Flaming Fingers, finally blowing them out entirely.
Amid his own winds, the troll warrior is not quick to notice breezes blowing from elsewhere. The Wonder Worlock has summoned the mighty Vortex of Viruses which encircles the mammoth Ymok and begins to break down the chemistry of his stony structure. In true danger, the soldier forms an egg about himself with the ruby that floats only seconds before the holder of the ruby is healed entirely. When the egg cracks open, Ymok leaps out and the goop spills all over the dark mage.
The Wonder Worlock calls for refreshing rains from the heavens to wash the bacterial-like quagmire off his physique. He then strengthens the storm and directs a bolt of celestial lightning at the hulk … to little effect.
“Your kind has come and gone, wizard, and still the Rock Trolls rule the spaceways,” the pirate says. “With this ruby, I will recreate all my fallen armies that ever were and we shall re-conquer the cosmos! Bwahahahaha!”
Then Ymok’s wide eyes look directly into the scarlet gem and he thinks, Codfish!
With a burst of light, the legendary Wonder Worlock is … a codfish.
Being unable to gesture or verbalize, however, has in this instance worked in the warlock’s favor. For as Ymok surveys his environs anew, the mage realizes he is not fighting Nomad this day … or Kat’Wallidur or even Ymok. No, he is combating a living, thinking gemstone. That is the key! Thus, the galactic guardianpsionically awakens an all-but-forgotten Mork, still lying unconscious in the corner of the cave.
Ymok has your jewel, Mork, the cosmic champion voices to the fallen troll telepathically. It is yours. The Ruby of Reality is yours! Ymok will no doubt imprison you back in the Dungeon of Doom. Why would a troll king need a jester?
“No, it is mine!” Mork screams, awakening suddenly. “Mine, mine, mine! Noonahhh, noonahhhh!!!!!! Noonahhh, noonahhhh!!!!!!”
The former Dungeon denizen hurls his eight-foot, 500-pound frame at the larger Ymok, who is startled, and struggles for the gem. “To me, my precious!” Mork yells, and the reunited ruby actually responds in kind – not unlike King Traven’s enchanted sword, Memorell. “To me, my precious! Out of here now, as fast as lightning!”
Unfortunately for the trolls, the only “place” the insane Mork can think of is … the Dread Dungeon of Doom! Through an aperture in the cave wall go Mork, Ymok and the ruby being juggled between the pair of trolls. As the wormhole closes, the Wonder Worlock (now returned to his normal form and no longer a codfish) gestures, enlisting the Pinchers of Power to capture the gem.
What do you wish, my master?asks a voice in the Wonder Worlock’s brain – the voice of the Ruby of Reality.Think and you shall have it. I will bring the universe to its knees for you!
No more scattering for you, foul stone, he telepathy responds. I am teleporting you to a safe place where you can influence no one, where everything is dead or dying and chalky white – the dimension my former foe Nomad called “There.”
With a soft implosion of air and a slight flicker, the Ruby of Reality floats among the place once being built by a sentient wormhole. In a few minutes, the Wonder Worlock is gone too, returning to Oceanus for a night of “entertainment” with Queen Arema.
Thunder sounds over a stretch of mountains on the dark world of Ytsan Nobe. Deep in the hollers of these towering earth-cones lays a crystalline cave that once possessed a towering center boulder almost as tall as the Great Ilahk. The boulder is gone now, as are the combatants who for awhile filled the cavern with great power and pyrotechnics.
Now there is nothing but silence in the cavern, even in the great abyss that momentarily vanished as two land masses became one, rejoined by Ymok, greatest of the ancient race of Rock Trolls.
Now there is silence in the cave, silence in the dark, deep abyss. But if there were any to listen, they just might hear a sound similar to laughter, a laughter that carries with the wind.
And if Ymok were still in this cave on the world of Ytsan Nobe, he would find the laughter familiar. Not the maddening drone of Mork, which Ymok will now hear endlessly along with the other denizens in the Dungeon of Doom. No, Ymok would tell us this is laughter quite similar to that of … the great wizard Thaumaturge!
But he is dead, gone with his wife and his world of Rubicon IX.
And besides … there is no one here to listen.