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Thundarr The Barbarian in The Wrath Of Crom

By Tony Misfeldt

Scifi / Fantasy

Chapter 1

In the year 1994, from out of space came a runaway planet, hurtling between the Earth and the moon unleashing cosmic destruction! Man's civilization was cast in ruin. Two thousand years later Earth is reborn. A strange new world rises from the old. A world of savagery, super science, and sorcery.

In this world, three heroes ride their mounts along an ancient paved road. In the lead is a large muscular man riding a white stallion. His long blonde hair is the colour of straw. He wears the brown furs of a large animal and a large tooth hangs from his neck by a leather thong, marking him as a barbarian. His wrists are adorned with leather bracers, a golden sword hilt attached to the one on his left. His blue eyes dart back and forth from one side of the road to the other, always on the lookout for danger. He is Thundarr, once a slave to the evil wizard Sabian, now a hero to the weak and the downtrodden.

Following Thundarr close behind on her chestnut mare is a beautiful young woman. Her long raven black hair flows behind her in the evening breeze. She wears a small blue outfit with gold trim, reminiscent of the swimwear people once wore centuries ago. She has golden bracers on her wrists, a matching gold circlet about her head, and golden yellow boots which come up almost to her knees. She is Princess Ariel, the stepdaughter of the wizard Sabian who had enslaved Thundarr, and was instrumental in his escape. She spent most of her life in her stepfather’s library, learning all she could about history, culture, and sorcery. Her almond shaped eyes and olive skin mark her as of Asian descent, though many such distinctions are lost to the world now.

Bringing up the rear is their companion. A large leonine humanoid called a mok, riding a massive lizard like alien mount called an equart, for only equarts are strong enough to carry such large riders as moks. Moks combine the features of lions and men in much the same way minotaurs of ancient Greek myth combined the features of bulls and men. He has sleek tan coloured catlike fur covering his entire body, similar to the coat of a cougar or a puma. He has a long golden mane and short black and gray hair on his face. He wears a black fur loincloth and matching boots, although this appears to be more out of modesty than any need to protect him from the elements. The mok's name is Ookla. He and Thundarr befriended each other when they were both slaves of the wizard Sabian. When Ariel freed her stepfather's slaves, Ookla elected to stay with Thundarr.

Together the three of them have been riding across the land, defying the wizards who rule where ever they encounter them. Thundarr and his white stallion leap over the wreckage of an ancient Ford Mustang lying in the middle of the road, clearing the ancient automobile with ease. Ariel follows close behind on her mare, also clearing the wreckage. Ookla and his equart leap over the automobile, but don't quite clear it and squash the ancient sports-car flat.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, storm clouds roll across the sky which was perfectly clear just moments ago. Thunder and lightning light up the sky, and the three friends are hit with rain, wind, and hail.

"Demon dogs!" Thundarr shouts, one of his favorite expressions, as the storm hits.

"This is no ordinary storm!" Ariel shouts in an attempt to be heard above the wind and the thunder, "This storm is wizard's work!"

"Aye!" Agrees Thundarr, "But who? And why?"

"This is my storm, barbarian!" Says a familiar voice, "And I am here to exact my revenge!"

Out of the storm cloud comes a gray skinned wizard wearing a purple cloak and a red helmet. Thundarr and his companions recognize him as the wizard Crom, whom they had defeated at the ruins of The Alamo years before.

"You used my moon dial to go into the past and repair The Guardian machine! You destroyed my moon dial so that I can no longer travel back to Old Earth to steal weapons for my army! You bested me at The Alamo, and robbed me of my slaves! For that, you must pay!"

"Then come here, wizard!" Thundarr replies, "And face Thundarr's fury!"

With that, Thundarr removes his Sunsword from its place on his bracer and ignites its blade. Princess Ariel brings her hands up above her head, summoning her magic in preparation for a spell. Ookla takes out his mighty mok composite bow and aims a stun arrow at the wizard. Crom laughs at their efforts and pulls a staff with a large red crystal on the end out from beneath his cloak. Ookla fires his stun arrow at the wizard, who merely vaporizes it with his staff. Ariel launches multiple balls of energy at Crom, but he simply uses his staff to conjure a shield to repel them.

"Is that all you can manage wizard?" Thundarr taunts, "A little thunder storm and a few shields?"

"Actually," replies Crom, "I'm just getting warmed up!"

With that, Crom points his magical staff up at the sky. A blast of crimson sorcery strikes the storm clouds, and they begin to swirl around, faster and faster. Soon they form a gigantic inverted funnel, like a tornado turned upside down. At a gesture from Crom, the funnel moves over to Ariel. The sorceress desperately holds onto her mare's reins, but she and her horse are sucked up by the giant whirlwind.

"Thundarrrrrrrrrrrr!" She cries as she disappears from sight.

"Ariel!" Thundarr shouts back, "Ariel!"

Next the wizard directs the funnel over to Ookla. Like Ariel before him, the mok and his mount are sucked up into the funnel. Ookla howls in protest as he disappears into the whirlwind.

"Ookla!" Thundarr calls, but gets no answer.

Now Crom moves the funnel over the barbarian. Thundarr grips his stallion's reins tight, as he and his mount are dragged into the whirlwind along with his two companions.

"Demon . . . Dooooogssss!" He cries as he too disappears.

Crom laughs evilly as he raises his staff over his head and vanishes in a flash of light. Then the storm dissipates as quickly as it had appeared.

_____________________________________________________________________

Elsewhere, a swirl of clouds appears in the sky near a snow capped mountain peak. Out of this twisting hole in the sky come Thundarr and his white stallion. They land in a huge mound of white powdery snow. Thundarr gets up out of the snowbank and shakes the snow out of his hair. He quickly checks his mount. Luckily it suffered no damage in the fall. The barbarian then looks about for his companions. There were no tracks of any kind to be found, save those he and his stallion made when they arrived. If Ariel and Ookla were somewhere on this mountain, they would start heading down to where it was warmer. And that would be his best chance to catch up with them. So Thundarr mounts his white stallion and starts off along the first path that he can find which leads downwards.

_____________________________________________________________________

Out in the middle of a large clear lake, a whirlwind of clouds appears high up above the water. Seconds later, Princess Ariel and her mare fall from the hole in space and into the water. Ariel resurfaces just as the portal dissipates. She treads water for several minutes, looking around for Thundarr and Ookla. Neither of them surface, which she figures means they didn't arrive at the same place. Or at least, that's what she hopes it means. She swims over to her horse, which had already started swimming for shore, and grabs hold of its tail to get towed to land.

_____________________________________________________________________

In the middle of a desert, just above a sand dune, clouds form out of nowhere and swirl into a whirlwind. Out of the portal fall Ookla and his equart. They tumble down the sandy slope, and by the time Ookla regains his feet the portal is gone. The mok looks about for his companions, but they are nowhere to be found. He climbs back up to the top of the dune and takes a look around. In nearly every direction, all he sees for miles and miles are more miles and miles. In all directions except one. There, far in the distance, are mountains. Ookla doesn't know where the others are, but he does know that if they are anywhere in this desert, they would be heading toward those mountains. That would be the most likely place to find not only shelter, but also clean drinking water. He checks his equart for injuries. Luckily, it wasn't injured in the fall. So he mounts the beast and starts to ride towards those mountains.

_____________________________________________________________________

At the lake, Princess Ariel is just getting to the shore. She had let go of her mare's tail and is wading into shore on her own. She's shivering, as the water is icy cold, most likely fed from the glacial melts of the nearby mountains. She staggers out of the water, exhausted and freezing cold. She unsteadily moves towards a soft looking patch of grass, which is out in the open where the sun can shine down upon it unobstructed. Whether it's from luck or sheer determination she's not sure, but she manages to reach the grass and collapse. She lets herself fall asleep and allows the sun to warm her. Sometime later, she's not exactly sure how long (it could have been minutes, or it could have been hours), Ariel wakes up. She no longer feels like she's freezing, but her clothes are still waterlogged and cold. She tries to get up, but finds that her legs are still very weak from having to tread water for so long. She pulls off her boots and dumps the water out, and then places them on a log where she's sure they will get a lot of sun. Then she takes off her leotard and wrings it out. It had retained a surprising amount of lake water. She lays that out on the log as well to let it dry. She's not sure if there are any settlements nearby, but this is a matter of survival. If people come by while her clothes are drying, she's just going to have to deal with it. When it's a choice between survival and modesty, survival wins every time. She then goes back to that comfortable patch of grass and goes back to sleep. Hopefully by the time she wakes up, her legs will be able to support her weight and her clothes will be dry.

_____________________________________________________________________

Up in the mountains, Thundarr is carefully guiding his horse down the mountain path. He has to be cautious, for this path does not appear to be well traveled. There are many areas that are very icy, and other areas where the snow is very unstable. As he's trying to determine if there is actual ground under the ice and snow beneath their feet, or if they are walking on a path composed entirely out of ice and snow, from out of nowhere Thundarr is tackled by some great shaggy beast.

"Demon dogs!" Exclaims the barbarian as the creature lands on top of him.

It looks like a wild cross between an ape and a bear, with fur as white as Thundarr's mount. It has wrapped one of its massive arms around Thundarr's waist, while its other hand is grasping the back of the barbarian's head. It is pulling Thundarr's head towards its mouth, as it opens its jaws wide exposing its massive, mok like teeth.

"You won't be dining on barbarian tonight, creature!" Says the barbarian.

Thundarr places both hands against the creature’s jaws and pushes with all of his might. However, this beast is nearly as strong as Ookla. And as strong as he is, Thundarr just can't match strength with a mok. As the beast is squeezing him, Thundarr realizes that he actually feels colder when wrestling with this beast than he did before it attacked. He knows he must act soon, or the monster will snap his spine. Luckily, while the creature might have near mok strength, it seems to be a thoughtless beast. And most beasts fear fire. Thundarr pushes with all of his strength with his left hand against the beast's chin. With his right he quickly grabs the Sunsword from his bracer and ignites it right in the monster's face. As Thundarr had hoped, this startled the creature and it drops the barbarian. Thundarr immediately springs back out of its deadly reach. He notices that almost as soon as the beast let go, he begins to feel warmer. He's not sure if this is because he's no longer in contact with the beast, or simply because he had ignited the Sunsword's fiery blade. Somehow he suspects the former. He makes a quick mental note to ask Ariel about it, should he ever see her again. Thundarr soon discovers that this beast is not nearly as thoughtless as he first believed. While it was startled by the Sunsword's fiery blade, its response to the appearance of the weapon is to break a gigantic icicle off of a rocky overhang and wield it like a club.

"Hungry for more, beast?" Thundarr asks, "Then come taste the fury of my Sunsword!"

Thundarr starts backing up, waving his Sunsword back and forth threateningly, until he puts his heels right up against an icy cliff with a thousand foot sheer drop. The monster swings at Thundarr, who ducks under the clumsy attack. The beast is teetering on the edge of the cliff, as Thundarr slashes the ground out from under it.

"So long, creature!" He says as it drops out of sight as the ledge beneath its feet crumbles.

Thundarr checks the immediate area to see if there are any more of these beasts lying in wait. When it becomes clear that this beast was a solo hunter, he extinguishes his blade, gathers his horse, and continues on down the mountain.

_____________________________________________________________________

Ookla is now well into his fourth day in this strange foreign desert. He knows he's in a foreign land, for the moon above is not broken. The stars look different as well. While he couldn't name any of these strange stars, or know if they had any constellations in this place, he was able to pick out a bright star just above the highest peak of the mountain range, and use that as his guide at night. And despite the blistering sun, he and his equart rode on all through the days as well. While he drank from his canteen sparingly, he ran out of water a couple of days ago. However he can smell fresh water in the distance. And grass. And trees. There is life at the edge of this desert, and where there's life there's hope. So he spurs his mount on a little further. Another day and night of hard riding have gone by. Ookla is nearly asleep in his saddle. His equart is staggering as it walks, barely able to keep going. Ookla doesn't realize it right away, but they are no longer traveling the desert wastes. There are grasses under foot. Not a lot. A patch here, a patch there, but it is grass. And it's green, and it's fresh. The equart stops to graze on this new treat. As neither of them had eaten in days, Ookla doesn't protest. The green grasses seem to reinvigorate the equart, and it continues on with renewed strength and determination. Soon, Ookla smells something in the air that picks up his spirits as well. It also gets his stomach growling. The smell of roasting meat and of wood smoke. That can mean only one thing. People! He spurs his equart on even faster, hoping that he has stumbled upon Thundarr and Ariel's campsite. When he arrives at the campsite, he's fairly certain that it isn't Thundarr's and Ariel's. There are four horses tethered here. While there is a chestnut mare with a black mane, he sees that there are four saddles laid out on a fallen log, and Ariel and Thundarr both ride their mounts bareback. And none of the horses is a white stallion. But while these people might not be his friends, they had things he desperately needed. Mainly food and water. And while he dislikes the thought of stealing from these people, especially since moks are an honorable people, he will do what he has to in order to survive. As he rides into their camp, he sees that they have gone and left their gear behind. One of them even left his shield behind, with a magnificent fiery bird emblem on it. Apparently they either have great faith in their fellow man, or they were incredibly foolish. Either way, they were nowhere to be found to stop him from helping himself to a few of their provisions. Each of their horses was drinking water from a leather bucket. He took two of the buckets, gave one to his equart so it could drink, and then drank the other one himself. That alone helped to revitalize the mok. Then he took the meat that was roasting on the spit and began biting off great big mouthfuls. And by The Lords of Light, that meat tasted good!

 

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