Thundarr The Barbarian in The Wrath Of Crom

Chapter 8

Thundarr and Glasya lie in each other’s arms, resting soundly with an air of contentment about them. Thundarr's head rests gently against Glasya's breast. The two of them lay peacefully, not quite asleep, though not quite awake either. They barely notice as the cavern brightens up. At the last possible second, Thundarr and Glasya happen to look up and roll away as an enraged Conan brings his sword down into the dirt where they were lying just moments before.

"Demon dogs!" cries Thundarr as he pulls up his fur loincloth, "What do you think you're doing?"

"Glasya's mine!" says Conan, "By Crom you will not take her from me!"

The raven haired barbarian swings at Thundarr again. The blonde barbarian dives into a forward roll, narrowly dodging another potentially lethal blow. As he tumbles to his feet, Thundarr grabs his Sunsword from its bracer and ignites the blade.

Conan charges at Thundarr with his star metal sword, which the other barbarian parries with his own fiery blade. Thundarr retaliates with his Sunsword, which Conan in turn parries with his own blade. All the while, Glasya sits back and laughs. She doesn't even bother getting dressed, she just sits and enjoys the show as the two barbarians try to kill each other.

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In the smaller cavern designated as the latrine, Princess Ariel and Gideon spoon together in a lover's embrace. They are exhausted from their love making, and are nearly asleep. They are awakened with a shock as someone attacks them in the dark. Whoever the attacker is grabs hold of Ariel. The two combatants roll over to the torch, which is burning low. Ariel is on her back, and looks up in shock as she sees who her attacker is.

"Jezmine!" Ariel exclaims, "What are you doing?"

"He's mine!" Screams the acrobat, "You can't have him!"

"Oh?" Ariel says, "Then why is it that he made love to me and not to you?"

"By Mitra, you shall never lie with him again!"

"Oh yeah?" Ariel tucks her knees into her chest and kicks out, throwing the acrobat off of her.

Jezmine does a backward somersault, landing on her feet. She takes out her shuriken and throws them at Ariel. The sorceress conjures a magical shield, deflecting the deadly projectiles. As the throwing stars bounce off of the magical shield, they return to their owner and reattach themselves to her magnetic bracer. Princess Ariel hurls a ball of magical energy at Jezmine, which the acrobat dodges. The magical ball hits a boulder behind her and explodes. Jasmine retaliates by throwing her shuriken at the sorceress. Ariel uses her magic to deflect the throwing stars again, then replies with a magical blast. Again, Jezmine dodges at the last second what promised to be an agonizing death.

And all the while, the incubus Gideon is sitting back and watching the entire event unfold with a smile on his face. He even laughs with evil glee as Ariel nearly vaporizes Jezmine. He laughs again as one of Jezmine's shuriken narrowly misses Princess Ariel.

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Grey Wolf and Delilah lie together on top of his magical cape in the smaller cavern. Grey Wolf is lying on his back, and Delilah lies on top of him, using his shoulder as a pillow. A sudden brightening of the cavern awakens them. Grey Wolf looks up just in time to see Prince Zula coming at them with his spear raised over his head, poised to strike. Grey Wolf grabs Delilah and the two of them roll away from the attack at the last second, causing the spear tip to dig into the ground. The succubus scrambles out of the way as the air wizard stands and pulls his breeches up.

"What is the meaning of this?" demands Grey Wolf.

"She's mine!" cries Zula as he swings his spear at the wizard.

Grey Wolf ducks the uncharacteristically clumsy swing and dives for his magic staff. Zula whips about and hurls his spear at the wizard, sticking the weapon into the ground between Grey Wolf and his staff and disrupting his attempt to grab the weapon.

Before Grey Wolf could make a scramble for the staff, Zula tackles him from behind. He wraps his muscular arms around the wizard's neck and squeezes. The dark skinned warrior gets back to his feet and lifts Grey Wolf up by the neck, still strangling him.

"She's mine!" he says, "You can't have her!"

"Then why . . ." says Grey Wolf in a strained voice, "did she . . . make love . . . to me . . . and not . . . to you?"


"Aaaaaaarrrrrgh!" screams Zula in outrage, and he drags Grey Wolf over to the fountain and shoves his head under the water. "It's me she loves! Not you!" he cries.

Grey Wolf tries desperately to push up against Zula's grip. While he is very strong and athletic, he is no warrior. The Wasai prince has him severely outclassed in a physical conflict. All the while, Delilah is sitting on a large rock off to the side, laughing wildly at the spectacle of two best friends fighting each other to the death over her.

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Ookla is waiting in the main chamber of this cave complex with the horses. First Thundarr, Ariel, Gideon, and Grey Wolf had gone to explore the other caverns. Then Glasya and Delilah went to check on Thundarr and Grey Wolf. When no one came back after several minutes, Conan, Jasmine, and Zula all left to see what was taking so long, leaving Ookla behind to guard the camp. Now the mok could hear the sounds of battle coming from not one, not two, but all three tunnels. He wants to run off to his friends rescue, but he doesn't know where to go first. Suddenly there is a burst of flame in the center of the cave and a cloud of smoke. When the smoke clears, there stands a most peculiar looking man. He wears a ragged red robe, trimmed with animal furs. His arms and legs, at least what Ookla can see of them, appear to be stick thin. He wears a necklace of animal teeth around his neck, not unlike the one Thundarr wears. His head is shaved bald, and he appears as though he could be a distant relative or ancestor of Princess Ariel's. Sitting on this wizard's shoulder is the young phoenix, Needle, his chest puffed out like a barnyard rooster and his face beaming with pride. The little phoenix starts flying excitedly about the cavern.

"Needle find Hermit!" he says, "Needle find Hermit! Needle do good! Now must help Needle's friends!"

"So," says the Hermit, "you must be this 'mok' creature that this little phoenix was rambling about."

Ookla howls back in response.

"Yes, yes. We can get into all that later. Right now I believe that you have friends who are in grave danger."

Ookla howls again, this time pointing at the three tunnels his companions had all entered earlier. The sounds of battle can be clearly heard coming from the first two tunnels. The third has gone eerily quiet.

"You two," says The Hermit, "Go and try and get the others to stop fighting! I will be in to help as soon as I can!"

And with that, the wiry little man runs off towards Zula and Grey Wolf. Ookla heads towards where Ariel and Jezmine went, while Needle flies towards Conan and Thundarr.

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Zula is still holding Grey Wolf's head under water. The dark skinned warrior has a crazed look of satisfaction on his face as the wizard's struggling weakens and his limbs begin to go limp. Just then The Hermit enters the chamber. Without so much as a word to the two combatants, he hurls an energy blast at Zula, striking the warrior prince and sending him flying through the air and crashing into the far wall. Zula falls to the floor in a heap, dazed from the impact of the spell. Meanwhile, Grey Wolf manages to push himself up out of the fountain and roll over onto his back. He coughs up a bunch of water, but otherwise seems to be breathing fine. Delilah looks over at the newcomer and hisses at him like an angry feline. She can sense the awesome power emanating from within this man.

"I lift the veils from your eyes," says The Hermit, "And I draw the envy from your hearts like poison from a wound!"

Red beams of energy leave the mouths of Zula and Grey Wolf, and enter the mouth of Delilah. Moments later, green beams of energy leave their mouths and enter Delilah's. The two friends get back to their feet, neither of them quite sure as to what was going on.

"You'll pay for that, old man!" Says Delilah to The Hermit, "You have no right to interfere!"

The old wizard looks at the she-demon and raises his hands, which begin to glow a bright yellow.

"Discard your mask," says The Hermit, "and let your true face be revealed!"

Then he blasts her with blasts of magical energy, forcing her to return to her natural form. The succubus stands before the wizards and the warrior prince, stark naked and with her horns, fangs, and wings bared for all to see.

"Damn you!" Screams the she-demon, "You will pay for that! You'll all pay!"

And with that, Delilah disappears in a burst of flame and the stench of brimstone. Zula hands Grey Wolf his magical staff.

"I'm so sorry my friend," says Zula, "I didn't realize."

"There will be time for apologies later," says The Hermit, "There are still two demons to vanquish!"

The three of them rush out of the cavern and back into the main chamber. There they find Ookla, with Jezmine tucked tightly under one arm, and a very naked Princess Ariel tucked under the other. Despite the fact that they're being held apart by an eight foot tall mok, the two women are still desperately trying to claw each other’s eyes out. Meanwhile, Gideon is just standing there, leaning casually against his sword, with a smug look upon his handsome face. As Zula and Grey Wolf enter the cavern with the ancient wizard in tow, the demon's expression shifts from smug to annoyed.

"I lift the veils from your eyes, and draw the envy from your hearts like poison from a wound!" says The Hermit.

As before, red energy leaves the mouths of Ariel and Jezmine and enters the mouth of Gideon. Then green energy leaves the girls' mouths and enters the mouth of the incubus. As soon as it does, the sorceress and the acrobat both cease their struggling and Ookla sets them down. When he sees this, Gideon turns towards The Hermit and growls like a rabid wolf.

"Discard your mask and let your true face be revealed!" says the old wizard.

Yellow energy leaps from the palms of his hands and strikes the demon called Gideon, forcing him to revert to his natural form. The incubus glares at the group before him.

"You haven't seen the last of me!" He declares, "I'll be back!"

And with that, the demon disappears in a burst of hellfire and brimstone. Grey Wolf walks over to Princess Ariel and drapes his magical cape over her shoulders.

"Are you alright?" He asks her.

"I . . . I suppose so," she replies, "I . . . don't . . . really know."

Ookla starts to howl and point towards the tunnel where the sounds of battle still rage. Ariel nods her head in agreement.

"Ookla's right," she says, "Thundarr and Conan need your guys' help more than I do right now. Go! I'll catch up."

"What will you be doing?" Asks Zula.

"Ummmm . . . Getting dressed," she replies.

The Wasai prince's face gets an expression of comprehension that says that he just now realized that aside from her boots and Grey Wolf's cape, Princess Ariel has been standing there bare assed naked. Ookla guides Zula towards the tunnel that the sounds of battle are coming from. They're followed by Jezmine and The Hermit. Last comes Grey Wolf, who stops for a moment and looks over to Ariel. The sorceress disappears into the middle tunnel, her head down. The wizard wasn't sure if she was feeling ashamed of her actions, or violated by the incubus' spell, or perhaps both. He made a silent vow to help her sort out her feelings, then he moved to follow the others.

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Thundarr and Conan are fighting each other so very fiercely. Their bodies glisten with sweat under the flickering light of the Sunsword's blade. Each warrior is equally matched in speed, strength, and skill. Every move is anticipated and countered. Every counter is retaliated. If one cannot parry, they dodge. If one cannot dodge, they parry. If not for the differences in weapons and hair colour, one would almost think that they were fighting their evil twin.

"By Crom she is mine!" cries Conan, "You can't have her!"

"Lords of Light, man!" replies Thundarr, "If that were true, she would have bedded you and not me!"

"Bah!" says Conan, "You took her by force! That's how you tribeless rogues operate!"

"If I took her by force, then why didn't she cry out for help?" asks Thundarr.

"You gagged her! You covered her mouth! There are plenty of ways you can keep a woman from screaming!"

"And I bet you've tested them all on your precious Jezmine!"

"How dare you, you treacherous dog!" shouts Conan, "I am a man of honor!"

"As am I!" replies Thundarr.

"Then why steal my woman?"

"I cannot steal what one does not own!" says Thundarr, "Glasya came to me! She was never yours!"

"YOU LIE!" Conan screams, "She loves me! She told me so herself!"

Just then, Zula and Ookla burst in, torches in hand. They're followed shortly by The Hermit and Jezmine. And finally out steps Grey Wolf, his magical staff glowing brightly and a look of angry determination on his face. Glasya glares at the companions, for it is soon obvious that her devious plan had failed. The Hermit holds his hands up over his head. The old wizard's hands glow yellow.

"I lift the veil from your eyes, and I shall draw the envy from your hearts as I would poison from a wound!"

As before, red glowing energy exits the mouths of the two barbarians. Shortly thereafter, green glowing energy exits the two barbarians’ mouths. Unlike with the other victims of the demons' magic, however, the two barbarians do not stop fighting. The Hermit turns his attention to Glasya.

"Discard your mask and let your true face be revealed!" says The Hermit.

Yellow beams of magical energy leap from the old wizard's hands and strike the she-demon. However, unlike with Gideon and Delilah, she does not revert to her natural form. The naked succubus picks up her broadsword and laughs triumphantly.

"You old fool!" she says, "Have you no idea who I am?" And with that she voluntarily changes into her natural form, "I am Glasya! Queen of the Succubi! Greatest of all the she-demons! And I will have my revenge!"

And with that she vanishes in a ball of hellfire and brimstone. As the sulphuric smoke clears, the others notice that Conan and Thundarr have yet to cease their fighting. Ookla growls something in his own tongue, then takes aim at them with his mok composite longbow. He fires one stun arrow, and then quickly knocks another one and fires that one right after it. The first stun arrow hits Conan, rendering him unconscious. The second hits Thundarr almost immediately afterward s, before he gets the chance to capitalize on his fallen opponent.

Ookla goes to the two barbarians and picks them up, taking them to a comfortable corner of the cavern and lays them out. Meanwhile the others go to the horses and get their bedding, food, and other supplies. In minutes the cavern has been made into a comfortable campsite, and Thundarr and Conan have been tucked into their bedding.

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