The Wonder Worlock: Winds of War, Part 1
Posted by: Byron Brewer, Managing Editor
July 22, 2012 19:12 | Updated: 42 weeks 6 days Ago
July 22, 2012 19:12 | Updated: 42 weeks 6 days Ago
Beneath the starship Good Fellow spins the world of Oceanus. Regarded as a jewel throughout its system for an abundance of unique sea life, few realize there is an intelligent race overseeing this big blue marble.
Beneath the surface of Oceanus this day swims the Wonder Worlock and his good friend, Captain Gar, himself of another underwater world, the faraway planet called Neptunia.
Together they swim off the main underwater continental shelf, lush greenery on the surface and underneath the waves calming Gar as he and his friend trek across a grotto in this alien ocean and into a den of caves occupied by large but apparently harmless octopus-like creatures.
Slowly, inexorably, these two great leaders dive deeper and deeper into the caverns of Oceanus, the thick kelp and numerous fish life sometimes making visibility a problem. But soon, a beacon shines before them, an ever-lasting illumination that marks the memorial to fallen heroes called the All Souls Grotto.
Here lies Skrill, native of the planet Neptunia, right-hand man in the service of Captain Gar. Here also lie the newly-memorialized Ybom Kcid, an Oceanan in Gar’s service, and Br’vort, the first scout to record the necessaries of the waters of this wondrous world. Heroes all. Dead on Gar’s watch.
“I mourn our friends with you, Captain,” the Wonder Worlock tells his close friend. “I worry even more about Landry.”
“No worries there, dark-cloak,” the staunch captain says. “I have proposed to Nef and will be there to watch after her and the girl, whether she will have me as Landry’s mer-father or mer-uncle. You will also be happy to know that my loyal Kcid has already been replaced -- not replaced, but his position -- by another Oceanan: Dal’Auqa. Arema said it was the best man she knew -- at least who did not wear a cape underwater.”
PART THE FIRST
As fish swim to and fro around the protective energy netting of Oceanus’ most populated area, on the golden streets below history is being made this day as two races officially become one.
Captain Gar, commander of the legendary Good Fellow starship of Neptunia, has asked for and received the hand of young Nef of Oceanus, mother of the hybrid Landry, who indeed is the first being to belong to both races.
Officiating at the most royal wedding is Arema, Queen Prime of the World Oceanus, Ruler of the Seas Eternal and all Lands touching same, Empress of the City-State of Oceana and Keeper of the Grotto of Gaspar. Directly before the ceremony, the descendants of the Old Guard of Neptunia, long since having migrated into space from the warm waves of their native world, have indeed ceded title of that planet’s – that people’s rule to Arema as a showing of good faith toward the conjoining of the two cultures.
Oceanus and Neptunia are now one. So, soon, shall be Gar and Nef.
As Gar, manned on his right by his new No. 1, Dal’Auqa (an Oceanan), awaits his lovely bride, Landry coos in the carriage near her army of nannies and protective guards. Her nickname among the people, “Gem of the Worlds,” is no joke. She is probably the most valuable being in the quadrant!
Suddenly among the throngs of Oceanus and Neptunia dignitaries, the nobility and the gentry, a purple puff of smoke leaves a noxious stench of brimstone. It is Nef, escorted this day by the Sorcerer Supreme of both cultures -- the Wonder Worlock!
Never would I have suspected such could be, the celestial sorcerer thinks to himself. I am on the deck of Gar’s ship one moment, telling him about a wonderful but barren ocean world, and the next here are these water-breathers unbeknownst to me on Oceanus and we are now at a wedding -- my beloved officiating! Zootalaris, these are wonders indeed!
The ceremony -- with the rising and setting of the tides, the parade of schools of bubble fish (considered lucky by Oceanan tradition) and the releasing afterward of the ma’patal, a very rare form of flying fish that soars the airways more than swims the oceans – goes off without a hitch. With Landry present, many – including Gar and the Wonder Worlock – were concerned for her well-being. But Nef and Arema were both insistent she be there as the focal point for both these peoples, now officially joined as one!
A reception on the gigantic aft deck of the Good Fellow follows, guard duties turned over to Prima Dona and the Star Blazers of the Threlkellian Empire, a star-spanning other-dimensional kingdom ruled by the Dark Mage’s friend, Traven.
Heroes all, the Star Blazers are an army of powerful beings from throughout the worlds of the Empire. Prima Dona is their leader, and the blonde is quite formidable in her own right. The sole survivor of a traitorous world destroyed during the Great Solar Wars, Prima Dona possesses strength on a superhuman scale as well as the wisdom to use it. Like few others, she also possesses the ability to use cosmic energy to augment her life force, granting her great longevity and regenerative abilities. Her only known weakness thus far has proven to be sorcery.
Sorcery, like that from her current mentor -- the Wonder Worlock!
“Let me get this straight. The Star Blazers, most powerful army in the Threkellian Empire, is -- babysitting?!!” Dona said when first approached by the Wonder Worlock with the assignment. “Babysitting?!”
“This might be the most important assignment you ever lead your Star Blazers on,” the shaman promised.
“This is not even of a world in our own dimension, O sir,” she said. “I really need to talk to --”
The Wonder Worlock handed her over a royal decree from Traven, sealed with the mark of Memorel itself. With rolled eyes, Dona formed a volunteer cadre of seven powerful SB members, including herself, to make sure things on the good ship Good Fellow remained safe for new father, mother and the “Gem of the Worlds,” Landry.
The posh fashions of far-away Neptunia mix with the more common threads of Oceanus below as two peoples, slowly but surely, find similarities among the cultured and mannered reception. Of course, all the attention is not on the bride and groom but the guest of honor: Landry.
Despite herself, Prima Dona – who can juggle moons in her arms with little effort – finds herself shy and helpless around the babe, afraid to pick it up when Nef offers, then insists. An eye roll later, you’d think Dona had been holding the babe all her life. The connection between the hybrid and the Criptonan is strong and immediate.
Oh, we both have so much to prove to ourselves, to others, don’t we, wee one?Dona thinks. You have on your shoulders the uniting of two cultures, two peoples, two worlds. That is a lot for a baby, Miss Landry, but I do believe you are up to the task, yes I do! And me: A gal from a planet known for its traitorous nature in the Great Solar Wars, now leading – leading! – the super-army of the great Emperor Traven. Not too much for us to prove, is there, Landry? Not much at all.
“Dona, you are a natural,” says the Wonder Worlock, making his way through the “pretty people” on this flying fish bowl, his magicks keeping the non-water breathers like a majority of the Star Blazers alive and functioning. It is not Dona’s concern; she does not need to breath.
“ -- Says the guy that got me in this mess,” Dona laughs. “I tell you, O sir, you will owe me dearly the next time you visit our dimension, of that you can make note.” <laughs> “And I must say, the Queen makes you a nice paramour.”
“Paramour? Choose your words more wisely, girl, or despite your super-strength you will see yourself in an Oceanan criminal tank -- or worse, a resident alongside Vargus in the Ghost Zone!”
“What should I say?” Dona questioned with an uncustomary smile on her face. “Consort? Girlfriend? Port of call?”
Quick as smoke through a keyhole, the Wonder Worlock was gone from Dona’s side and at the side of his “paramour,” Queen Arema. Now Dona was more worried than ever: not about Landry, but about her position as praetor of the SBs. The Wonder Worlock’s word carried much weight with Traven and King Zavar, ruler of Olympia, new home of the Star Blazers’ headquarters.
“Dona, what have you done? What have you done?!”the blonde girl thinks.
Landry laughs a baby giggle.
“What have you been saying to Prima Dona?” Arema questions her lover. “Her face is redder than the rare sea swan’ther we are dining on later tonight.”
“Haha, you must keep that one on a short leash, my love,” the shaman responds. “Her temper and her self-awareness are both assets and enemies to that one.”
“You know, and I hate to say this,” Arema interrupts, “but how much would Vargas have liked this reception? Quite the society gathering.”
“I cannot even believe you can say his name aloud, beloved, so ravished did he leave the peoples of your world. And poor Tokeen --”
“The Intz are well, all is well, we are well,” Arema says. “Time marches on.”
They embrace and are about to share their greatest kiss as viewed by the public when -- apparently, someone opened the Good Fellow’s windows!
If a gilled creature with a Captain’s Hat and a man in a dark cape under water are hard to accept, imagine a wind churning beneath the waters which fill the Neptunian starship Good Fellow!
Suddenly, as people are thrown to and fro on the great starship, the Wonder Worlock instantly transports Arema, Landry, Nef, Prima Dona and SB member Smoke to the Throne Room on Oceanus, assuring their continued well-being as well as that of Landry.
Strong maelstroms around the ship’s humongous aft deck begin reaching speeds of 23 mph, rivaling the legendary Saltstraumen of Earth outside Bodo in Norway.
The shaman in black casts hexes to calm the tides as Gar and his fellow Neptunian navy men swim into action to assure the safety of reception guests and the ship itself.
“Cap’n, Cap’n,” Mr. Squid’le calls over the ship’s com. “Cap’n, winds -- if you can believe it -- are endangering the pressure inside and outside Good Fellow! We may have to man the life pods!”
“By the Great Rim, not on my watch!” newlywed Gar says, swimming toward the engine room. “Not on my watch --”
As the remaining members of the Star Blazers try to help the Wonder Worlock get things under control, Wolfin notices that one of their number is missing.
“Hey, Mr. Wizard!” Wolfin calls to the man in black. “Seen the Inhuman Tornado?”
A shock then comes to the celestial conjurer as he searches psionically for the missing SB.
“Zootalaris! It is the Inhuman Tornado who is making these swells and whirlpools! Tornado! Stop! Cease!”
Appearing from invisibility, the Inhuman Tornado madly charges the mage and Wolfin.
“They killed my people!” the mysterious SB screams. “They shall die! DIE! DIE!!!!!!”
TO BE CONTINUED --