Thundarr The Barbarian in The Wrath Of Crom

Chapter 4

In his private chamber over in his temple to Set, Wrath-Amon watches the events about the campfire unfold and eavesdrops upon the conversation of his enemies in his magical scrying pool.

"Yes, my dear," says Wrath-Amon, "you shall have a big day ahead of you tomorrow. A very big day indeed." He turns from the scrying pool. "Dregs!" Shouts the wizard, "Where is that blasted naga? Dregs! Come here!"

"Coming, Wrath-Amon!" Dregs calls out to his master.

Dregs slithers out of the hole in the wall which leads to his private bed chamber. He greatly resembles a gigantic cobra with arms. He quickly slithers up to the evil wizard.

"What do you command, my masssster?" He asks.

"Summon a band of my mightiest warriors," says Wrath-Amon, "Have them follow Conan and his friends until they've uncovered The World Wand, then take it from them!"

"B-b-but Wrath-Amon," says Dregs, frightened of enraging his master by pointing out the flaws in his plan but even more frightened of his wrath should he fail, "Our snake warriors cannot stand against the star metal weaponsss! And our human allies aren't powerful enough to best such a group!"

"Send Mesmira!" Wrath-Amon shouts.

"Conan and the others know what she looksss like," hisses Dregs, "And Grey Wolf isss too powerful to be fooled by any illusion magic for very long. She would be dissscovered, and defeated, again."

Wrath-Amon glowers at the naga, and for a moment Dregs fears that he's going to strike at him out of pure frustration. Then, in a rare display of self-control, the wizard calms himself.

"Of course," says Wrath-Amon, "With these new allies of his, and that Sunsword which the blonde haired barbarian wields, Conan and his friends will be that much more difficult to defeat. We must use cunning, as well as force."

Then the wizard turns from the scrying pool and storms out of the scrying chamber. "Come Dregs!" He commands, "We have much work to do!"

The naga quickly slithers after its master, desperately trying to keep up with his strong pace. They reach a large, iron bound door which is rarely ever used. Wrath-Amon points at the door with his ring finger, and a magical beam of light shoots forth from his serpent ring and strikes the lock, opening the door. Wrath-Amon enters the room with Dregs following at his heels. The door slams shut behind them, leaving the wizard and naga in complete darkness. Dregs trembles as he's unsure of what to expect. Then suddenly there's light, as a brazier in the far corner of the room erupts with flames. Then another brazier ignites. Then another. Then another. Now the room is aglow with the flickering light of the flames. The walls are all adorned with symbols of Set etched into the walls, and human skulls resting within small stone cubbyholes. Carved into the middle of the floor is a great big pentagram, surrounded by mystic runes which have been encrusted with powdered gemstones of various colours. The light reflects off of the crushed gemstones and dances about the room in mesmerizing patters. The pentagram is nearly as large as the room itself. Wrath-Amon kneels down before the pentagram and begins to chant in an ancient tongue which sounds completely foreign even to the learned Dregs. Wrath-Amon chants on and on, without stopping, without pause. Dregs begins to tire and decides to wrap himself around one of the braziers and take a nap. Still, Wrath-Amon continues his chant.

Sometime later, Dregs isn't sure exactly how long, the naga awakens to the sound of his master still chanting in that strange and ancient tongue. He must be at a very important part of the spell, for he is now standing and shouting those strange words out with great enthusiasm. Just then the flames in the braziers explode in a great flash of light, momentarily blinding the naga. When Dregs' eyesight returns, there, standing in the middle of the pentagram, is the most glorious creature Dregs had ever seen in his life. It appears to be a woman, tall with long luxurious black hair and the slender yet athletic physique of a dancer. Her skin is like porcelain, yet she is anything but delicate. For while she is undeniably beautiful, she is most definitely not human. She has a small pair of ivory horns protruding from her forehead, and a magnificent pair of leathery bat-like wings sprouting from her shoulder blades. She glares at Wrath-Amon with a malevolent red glow in her eyes, and bares her vampire like fangs. She stands before the wizard without a stitch of clothing on, and makes no move to hide her nakedness. She hisses angrily at Wrath-Amon, her eyes glowing even more brightly in her rage, and she extends her palm towards the wizard. Dregs coils up in the corner, cowering in fear, as flames leap from her palm towards the naga's master.

Wrath-Amon stands there, unconcerned, as the hellfire races towards him. As soon as the flames reach the edge of the pentagram, they curl back about the demoness that hurled them. When it becomes obvious that her flames will not cross the barrier, the she-demon stops firing them and screams in frustration and rage. Dregs takes a peak at the scene unfolding, and sees Wrath-Amon calmly watching the she-demon's wrath.

"Have you any idea who I am, mortal?" Asks the demon.

"I know exactly who you are," answers Wrath-Amon calmly, "That is precisely why you are here."

"I am Glasya, Queen of the Succubi," she declares, "I am no mere imp to be summoned to do a wizard's bidding!"

"That is not your true name," says Wrath-Amon, oh so calmly, "If it were, I wouldn't have been able to summon you. Shall I tell you your true name?"

With that, the wizard reaches under his cloak and pulls out an ancient parchment. He unrolls it, allowing the succubus to see what is written upon it. Glasya's face blanches as she reads the ancient runes. On that parchment is her true name, and a spell which could utterly destroy her. She folds her leathery wings about her in a symbol of surrender.

"No," she says, "Please don't."

Wrath-Amon rolls up the parchment and puts it away with a satisfied look upon his face.

"What is it you wish of me?" Asks the she-demon with a respectful bow.

"An alliance," replies the wizard.

Glasya looks up at Wrath-Amon with a confused expression on her face. With the scroll he had just shown her, a wizard could force her into servitude. Yet he is asking for an alliance?

"You do not seek to become my master?" She asks, genuinely surprised.

"And risk having you undermine my every command, even in the subtlest of ways? Nay. An alliance is far more beneficial."

"What are the terms?" She asks.

"Complete a task for me, and I shall set you free to create as much chaos as you see fit for as long as you are able," replies the wizard, "With the understanding that I may call upon you for aid at any time in the future."

"And what do you desire in return?" Glasya asks the wizard.

"A simple task," replies Wrath-Amon, "but a very important one. Something that requires a combination of power and cunning."

Wrath-Amon cups his hands in front of him, and a burst of flame erupts from his palms. When the flames burn out, there is a crystal sphere left in their stead. There appears to be flames burning within the crystal. As the flames subside, Glasya sees a pair of barbarians, one with black hair, the other blonde, with their hands locked together and pressing against each other, chest to chest, in a good natured contest of strength.

"The dark haired barbarian is called Conan," says Wrath-Amon, "He has been a constant irritant to me for a very long time. The other barbarian is known as Thundarr. He is a new ally of Conan's, and of him I know very little. Only that he carries an enchanted weapon called a Sunsword, which is the most powerful I've ever seen."

The wizard can see from the succubus' expression that he has peaked her interest. He waves his hand over the crystal ball, and the flames come back up. When they subside, the image in the crystal ball has changed to that of a man in a turban with a blue tattoo across his eyes sitting and talking with a beautiful dark haired young woman wearing a blue leotard with gold trim. As they talk, they demonstrate their magic to each other.

"The male wizard is called Grey Wolf," says Wrath-Amon, "He is a powerful wizard from the city of Xanthus. The woman is named Ariel. Her powers are great, but very new. I have never seen such magic before."

Wrath-Amon can tell by Glasya's expression that she's not pleased by the thought of battling not one, but two powerful wizards. Demons don't fear much, especially demons of the caliber of Glasya, but wizards are the one thing that even she has reservations about taking on. Wrath-Amon waves his hand over the crystal ball once more, hardly concerned with the demon queen's fears. Now the image in the sphere has changed once more, this time to show a dark skinned warrior, a young woman with long brown hair, and a great hairy beast that appears to be a cross between a man and a lion.

"The man is named Zula, Prince of the Wasai tribe," says the wizard, "He has the power to communicate with animals. The girl is named Jezmine, and is a highly skilled acrobat. She's also very good with her shurikens, almost never missing. The creature is named Ookla. He is a mok, a being new to this world. I know very little of him, except that he is extremely strong, is incapable of speaking human, though he does understand it, and is extremely loyal to Thundarr and Ariel."

"A powerful group," says Glasya.

"Which is why I have brought you here," replies Wrath-Amon.

"I will need help," says the succubus.

"I will give all the help you require," replies the wizard.

"Not from your lackeys," says the she-demon, "If they were competent, I wouldn't be here in your damned circle."

"What do you require?" Wrath-Amon asks her.

"I will need to call in some of my minions," she replies.

Wrath-Amon takes a moment to think this over. A single demon is difficult to control. More than one is even more difficult. But this group of adventurers is extremely powerful. Likely powerful enough to defeat a single succubus, even if she is The Queen of the Succubi.

"I can allow you to summon two more of your kind," says the wizard, "Any more and my spell of summoning will fail and you will all be cast back into Hell."

"Agreed," says Glasya.

The Queen of the Succubi closes her eyes and begins to concentrate on contacting her reinforcements. As she's doing that, Wrath-Amon begins his chanting anew. It doesn't take long for his spell to reach its crescendo this time around. Dregs closes his eyes before the flames in the braziers could erupt and blind him with a flash of light. As he reopens his eyes, he sees standing there in the magic circle next to Glasya, a beautiful blonde haired succubus and a handsome red haired male demon. Both are standing there completely naked.

"Allow me to introduce my consort," says Glasya, indicating the male demon “His name is Gideon, an incubus. He is as skilled a swordsman as he is a lover. And this is Delilah, my chief lieutenant. Her knowledge of the arcane arts is almost as extensive as her knowledge of persons' erogenous zones."

"Somehow I doubt Conan and his friends will welcome you with open arms," says Wrath-Amon.

Glasya smiles at the wizard, and then glances back at her two fellow demons. The three of them burst into flames right in front of Wrath-Amon's eyes. When the flames die away, the three demons stand there in the magic circle looking completely human. Their horns, fangs, and wings have all disappeared. Glasya is wearing a chain-mail loincloth and matching bustenhalt, with steel shoulder pads, and a long red cape. She's also wearing brown leather boots and matching gauntlets. Belted to her hip is an ornate longsword with a dragon shaped hilt, the wings forming the cross guard, the neck forming the handle, and the head forming the pommel.

Delilah is wearing a daringly cut gown of red silk, with matching silk slippers. Gideon is wearing skin tight black silk breeches, a white silk shirt with ruffled cuffs and puffed out sleeves, which he wears unbuttoned leaving his muscular chest and abdomen exposed. He has a black pair of soft leather boots which come up to his knees and fold down at the tops. He has a basket hilted rapier belted to his hip in true swashbuckling style.

"Better?" Glasya asks.

"Much," replies Wrath-Amon.

"Then release us, and tell us more of this Conan and his friends so that we may properly prepare for our meeting."

Wrath-Amon nods his head in agreement, and with a mere gesture knocks over two of the braziers. The burning coals spill over the mystical runes, breaking the magical circle and allowing the three demons to walk free. Wrath-Amon gestures for them to accompany him out of the summoning chamber. The three demons disguised as human adventurers follow their ally out of the room, eager to learn all they can about their intended prey.

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