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Thundarr The Barbarian in Friends & Enemies

By Tony Misfeldt

Adventure / Fantasy

Chapter 1

In the year 1994, from out of space comes a runaway planet! Hurtling between the Earth and The Moon, unleashing cosmic destruction! Man's civilization is 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 strange new world stand the ruins of Cape Canaveral, in disrepair but still standing after all this time. Just off the coast is a small island. Here stands the once mighty fortress of the great wizard Mindok the Mind Menace. Inside the stronghold is Mindok's inner sanctum, dusty and unkempt since his defeat at the hands of Thundarr the Barbarian and his companions Ookla the Mok and the sorceress Princess Ariel years earlier. Cobwebs hang from the furniture and ceiling. Sitting on Mindok's desk sits a wooden box with velvet lining on the inside. Nestled safely inside the box is a dust covered crystal sphere. Inside the sphere sit three figures. Not elaborately detailed figurines, but living beings. They are the mutant, General Zoa, and his two lieutenants.

Years ago, General Zoa had worked in the service of the wizard Mindok. When he was defeated by Thundarr, and allowed the barbarian and his friends to free the three twentieth century scientists, known as "The Ice People", from their cryogenic slumber, Mindok punished Zoa for his failure by shrinking him and his lieutenants down and imprisoning them within this crystal sphere. Thanks to the magic of the sphere, they need neither food, nor water, nor air. They are forever conscious and aware of the passage of time. All they can do is sit in their prison and stare out the open window of Mindok's study. They have a perfect view of the western horizon. Every day they watch as the sun sets in the west. They have witnessed more than two thousand sunsets since their imprisonment, and still they wait.

As the sun sets on this particular evening, something strange happens. A yellow mist slips into the room through the open window. It hovers right in front of the desk. Then it begins to take on the shape of a man and solidify. Finally it takes the form of a bald man in green robes with golden trim. His head is completely covered with eyes, many of which blink at various times. The wizard lifts his hand towards the sphere, another eye located in the center of his palm. The eye blinks a couple of times, and then a beam of yellow energy shoots forth from the eye and strikes the crystal sphere. The sphere is magically lifted from its resting place and placed upon the ground. The sphere then dissolves, and the three mutants trapped within grow to their full 7' height. They kneel before their rescuer.

"Thank you, My Lord," says General Zoa.

"Do you know who I am?" asks the wizard.

General Zoa shakes his head. "No, My Lord," he replies, "Only that you have freed me and my men from that wretched prison.

"I am Argoth," says the wizard, "The Wizard of a Thousand Eyes. Lord of the citadel Vanow, one of The Seven Citadels of Sorcery."

"I have heard of you," says Genera Zoa.

"And I of you, General," says Argoth, "Please rise. We have much to discuss." General Zoa and his men stand before their savior. "We have a common enemy, you and I," begins Argoth, "The some enemy who is responsible for your long imprisonment."

"Lord Mindok?" asks Zoa, "But he was defeated."

"No, not Mindok." says Argoth, "The one who bested him. The one whose interference caused the failure for which you were being punished."

"Thundarr!" growls the general.

"Aye," says Argoth, "He bested me as well. Destroyed my citadel, freed all my slaves, and nearly killed me by drowning me in hot tar."

"He is a mighty adversary," agrees Zoa, "His Sunsword makes him nearly invincible."

"He is also cunning and strong," agrees Argoth, "But he is still only a man. And therefore can be defeated."

"How?" asks Zoa.

"I have heard tales of a magical bow, with powers not unlike Thundarr's Sunsword," explains Argoth, "With such a weapon, you would be more than a match for the barbarian."

"Where can I find such a weapon?" asks Zoa.

"In the hands of a boy," says Argoth, "Little more than a child, and no match for one of your skill. Join with me, and the bow is yours."

"You have freed me from my prison, My Lord," says Zoa with a bow, "You have my gratitude, and my service."

"Very good," says Argoth as he turns and begins walking away, "Then follow me."

General Zoa and his two lieutenants begin to follow the wizard out of the study, when Argoth suddenly stops dead in his tracks. "Oh yes," he says, "I'm afraid I only have need of one of you."

With that, twin beams of magical energy shoot out of two of the eyes in the back of Argoth's head and strike Zoa's two lieutenants. They open their mouths as if to scream, but no sound comes out. Their skins turn black and crumble away, leaving large blackened skeletons in their stead. The energy beams cease, and the skeletons collapse where they stand. As the bones hit the floor, they crumble into ash.

"Fail me, General," says Argoth, "and your fate will be worse by far."

Argoth then continues out of the study, leaving General Zoa standing there looking at the two piles of ash that were once his two most trusted lieutenants. He quickly swallows the lump which is building in his throat and follows his new master out of the study.

In the mok village of Knox, the leader, Chief Ogrot, is looking over the activities of his village. The males are by the river, casting their fishing nets into the water. The females are hard at work in their vegetable gardens or at their looms. The children are either at play or doing their daily chores. The chief's daughter, Princess Eekra, is hard at work with ink and quill, writing in an ancient picture book. Once used to teach human children how to read and write, she is drawing symbols she had created, based loosely on ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, to teach her fellow moks how to use this new written language she had developed. Chief Ogrot just shakes his gray head. Ever has his daughter been a strange one.

He then looks over at the ancient vault they had built their village around. Two heavily armed moks stand guard outside the vault. Chief Ogrot waves to them, a signal that asks if all is well. The mok guards salute him in return, a signal indicating that there has been no trouble. Ogrot nods his head in satisfaction. The moks of Knox had not used that vault to keep their valuables for generations. Instead, the mound on which the vault sits is made up entirely of gold bricks buried under several feet of dirt, mud, and stone. Today that vault is used for a different purpose entirely. As a prison.

Years ago, a pirate named Captain Cordon, Queen of the River Pirates, attacked the village of Knox and tried to steal the moks' legendary treasure. With the aid of their friends, Thundarr the Barbarian, Princess Ariel, and a fellow mok named Ookla, the tribe's warriors were able to defeat The Pirate Queen and her band of cutthroats.

Then several months ago, Captain Cordon managed to escape their prison, along with a couple of her fellow pirates. She took over leadership of a band of brigands, raided the treasury of a long dead wizard, and then returned armed with an arsenal of magic weapons and laser guns to wreak her revenge. Once again, Captain Cordon and her bandits were defeated and captured with the help of their old friends Thundarr, Ariel, and Ookla. Now Captain Cordon once again dwells within their prison, with even more cutthroats as company, as well as groundlings, carocks, amazons, and mutants. *

Inside the prison, several pirates, bandits, and mutants sit about waiting for their next meal. They are startled to their feet by the appearance of a mysterious yellow mist that slips in through the bars on the door window. They watch as the yellow mist takes shape and solidifies into the forms of Argoth and General Zoa. Argoth raises a cloth to his face to ward off the stench of so many unwashed bodies together in one place.

"Who among you is known as Captain Cordon?" asks the wizard.

A form beneath a tattered, moth eaten blanket stirs and rises. The blanket falls away to reveal the ragged appearing form of Captain Cordon. Her hair is a tangled mess. Her once fine blue dress has been torn to shreds, and is now barely held together by strategically placed knots. Her face is bruised, as are her arms and legs.

"I am Captain Cordon," she says, "Or at least, I was . . . once."

"And what are you now?" asks Argoth.

"Our whore!" says a burly pirate, stepping between the wizard and the female pirate, "She failed too many times to be allowed to lead us any longer."

"So you punish her by making her your whore," observes Argoth.

"It's better treatment than the bitch deserves," says the pirate.

"Captain Cordon," says Argoth, emphasizing the word 'captain', "I have a proposition for you."

"She's not interested," says the burly pirate.

"Was I talking to you?" asks Argoth.

"If you're speaking to her, you are speaking to me," he replies, "I am in charge here!"

"Really?" says Argoth, with an almost amused grin on his lips.

The pirate visibly pales, as he begins to understand his error in angering a wizard. "Um . . . well," he stammers, "I suppose it's okay if you talk to her . . . for a minute."

"What exactly is this proposition?" she asks.

"How would you like to get out of here and gain your revenge on those who put you here in the first place?"

"Thundarr?" she asks, now very curious.

"And his wretched friends," agrees Argoth.

"He is a mighty foe," she says cautiously, "Twice I had faced him, and twice he has bested me."

"He is no match for your skill," says Argoth, "It is his Sunsword which gives him his advantage."

"When last I met him, I had a magic blade of my own. And still he beat me!"

"You mean this one?" asks Argoth, and he pulls the crystalline rapier out from under his robes, "A powerful weapon indeed. But not enough to defeat Thundarr. For that, you will need a magic shield to go with it."

"I have never needed a shield before," says Cordon.

"You will need one now," says Argoth, "And I know of one so powerful, even Thundarr's mighty Sunsword cannot penetrate it."

"Where is this shield?" asks Cordon.

"In the hands of a young knight," says Argoth, "Barely more than a child really. Hardly a match for you."

"And if I agree to join you, you will get me out of here?"

"I shall," agrees Argoth.

"You have a bargain, wizard," says Cordon.

"NO!" shouts the large pirate, "I will not give up my whore!"

Argoth glares at the pirate for a moment. Then his expression softens, and the magic rapier in his hand disappears in a puff of yellow smoke. The large pirate smiles at his perceived victory, until he hears the scraping of a blade being drawn from its scabbard. The pirate turns around just in time to look Captain Cordon in the eye as she stabs him in the gut with the crystal blade of her enchanted rapier. The pirate's eyes widen in shock frost spreads across his abdomen from the wound. He opens his mouth to scream, but no sound escapes his lips. Icicles form on his nose, chin, and fingers. In a matter of seconds, the large and burly pirate is frozen solid. Captain Cordon immediately removes the blade from the wound, then whirls about and knocks the pirate's frozen body over with an impressive spin kick. As the body hits the stone floor, it shatters into a thousand pieces as though it were a crystal chandelier.

"Excellent!" exclaims Argoth, "But my captain should not be so shabbily dressed."

With that, Argoth stretches out his hand and unleashes a beam of magical energy from the eye in the center of his palm. Captain Cordon is cocooned in magical energy. When the spell has ceased, the lady pirate is indeed a sight to behold. Her long black hair is neat and clean. The bruises that covered her face and body are healed. Her stiletto healed knee high boots, which before were dull, scuffed, and dirty, now appear as though they are brand new and highly polished. The scarf tied about her head has been replaced with a steel circlet, with short lengths of chain hanging down just before each ear. Her torn and ragged dress has been replaced with a chainmail bustenhalt and a matching chainmail miniskirt. Her leather gauntlets, too, are cleaned and repaired. Captain Cordon looks herself over, then buckles her sword belt on about her waist. Argoth then motions for the lady pirate to join him and General Zoa. She moves to stand on one side of the wizard, General Zoa stands on the other side of the wizard, and then the three of them disappear in a cloud of yellow mist.

Just outside the village of Cisco, there is a tavern. Centuries ago, before The Cataclysm, it was a gas station, a place where vehicles would go to refuel. Now it is a tavern, where travelers go to eat and drink. Inside this tavern, sitting at the bar with his head resting upon the counter, is a dark haired barbarian. His right arm is robotic, his chest armor plated. He wears a metal skull cap upon his head. His name is Zogarr, once a mighty barbarian. Now, a pathetic drunk. He pushes his head up off of the bar and looks around groggily. He reaches for his tankard and attempts to have another drink, only to find the mug empty.

"Barkeep!" shouts Zogarr, "Gimme more mead!"

"Silver first," says the bartender, "You're not getting another drop until you pay off your tab."

"What?" cries Zogarr, and he reaches across the bar with his human hand and grabs the bartender by the shirt, "Maybe you dunno who yer talkin' to!"

"You're Zogarr," says the bartender calmly, "Once a barbarian to fear. But ever since Thundarr whooped your ass, you've been so drunk you're lucky if you'll hit the floor when you fall down."

Then the bartender pries the drunken barbarian's fingers off of his shirt and pushes him onto the floor. Zogarr hits with a loud 'thump', to which everyone laughs. Zogarr tries to get back to his feet, but falls over into an undignified heap, causing even more laughter at his expense. Just then a yellow mist wafts into the tavern. It floats over to the prone barbarian and takes form. In seconds, the forms of Argoth, General Zoa, and Captain Cordon are standing over the drunken heap which is Zogarr.

"Are you the barbarian they call Zogarr?" asks Argoth.

"Who wants to know?" asks Zogarr, trying to sound menacing.

"I am Argoth, The Wizard Of A Thousand Eyes. If you are the one called Zogarr, I have a proposition for you."

Zogarr tries once again to regain his feet, but falls unceremoniously onto his butt. He looks up at the wizard, still trying to be intimidating.

"I'm Zogarr," he says.

Argoth looks to General Zoa and Captain Cordon and nods. The two of them move over to either side of the barbarian and lift him up onto his feet. They hold him steady as Argoth approaches.

"I offer you a chance to redeem yourself," says Argoth, "To get revenge on the one who humiliated you and turned you into a laughing stock."

"Thundarr," growls Zogarr.

"Aye," agrees Argoth, "Thundarr."

"How can I besht him?" slurs the drunkard, "Hish Shunshord makesh him unbeatable."

"I know where you can get a weapon even mightier than his Sunsword," says Argoth, "A magic club, with the power to topple mountains!"

"Where ish dish club?" asks Zogarr.

"In the hands of a barbarian child," says Argoth. "All you'll have to do is take it from him."

"A child, eh?" says Zogarr, "Ye got yershelf a . . . a . . ." then the barbarian vomits all over Captain Cordon, " . . .a bargain," he finishes.

Captain Cordon looks down at the mess Zogarr had made of her, then up at Zogarr's face. Zogarr grins at her with a dumb drunken smile. So Cordon hauls off and punches him square in the nose knocking him out cold (though whether his unconscious state is due to the punch or the copious amounts of mead he had consumed is debatable). Argoth raises his arms and the four of them disappear in a puff of yellow smoke.

Not far away, in the village of Beverly, two dark shapes slip through the nights shadows. As silent as Death, the two shapes creep from shadow to shadow. They meld so completely into the darkness, that if you were to blink, you would think their movements a trick of the light. They stop just outside a tall, beat up old building. Three floors up is an open window. The two shadowy figures begin scaling the ancient drainpipe running up the side of the building. They glide up the pipe with such ease, they almost appear to be floating. As soft and silent as shadows, the two figures slip into the window. There, they find a bed. Lying in the bed, fast asleep and snoring soundly, is Ayrlo, the village leader.

The two figures crawl across the floor until they reach the bed. Then they stand, one on either side. They stand there a moment, hovering over the sleeping Ayrlo. Either one of them made a sound, or Ayrlo just sensed there was someone in his room, for either way the village leader's eyes fluttered open. He looked up and was startled to see two sets of reptilian eyes staring down at him. He opens his mouth to scream, but the two intruders strike first. They lunge at their prey, each one biting into a side of his neck. Ayrlo's death scream comes out more like a muffled gurgle, as the venom from the mutants’ bites paralyzes his lungs and vocal cords. As they continue to pump their venom into their victim's throat, a yellow mist slips in through the open window, taking shape and solidifying into the forms of Argoth, General Zoa, Captain Cordon, and now a very sober Zogarr the Barbarian. The two assassins stand up and push the hoods of their cloaks back, revealing themselves to be female serpentine mutants.

"Talona, Viper," says Argoth, "I see you two have been busy in my absence."

The two assassins turn around and see the wizard and his companions. Their eyes go wide and their jaws drop. Then they move towards Argoth and kneel at his feet, bowing until their foreheads touch the floor.

"Lord Argoth," they hiss, "Pleassse, forgive usss."

"We thought you were vanquisssshed," says Talona.

"Had we known you hadn't perissshed . . ." begins Viper.

"I'm sure you two would have remained my loyal servants," says Argoth.

"Pleassse do not be angry," say Viper, "With you gone, we needed to find employment."

"And we found we have a knack for Assssassssinationsss," adds Talona.

"I'm not angry," says Argoth, "In fact, I'm impressed. You served me well as servants, but you will serve me even better as assassins. In fact, I will even reward you if you come back to serve me in such a capacity."

"Reward?" asks Talona.

"What kind of a reward?" asks Viper.

"I shall grant each of you an item of great power," says Argoth, "Items that will make you even deadlier assassins."

"What items? Where" they ask.

"I know where to obtain a magical cloak which renders its wearer invisible," explains the wizard, "And a magical staff which is indestructible, and can extend to any length the wielder desires."

"Where are these items?" asks Talona.

"In the hands of two girls," replies Argoth, "Barely more than children, and hardly a match for the two of you."

"We are yourssss to command, Massster," say the two serpent women.

Then they get to their feet and join the wizard and his other three companions. Argoth raises his arms in the air and all six of them vanish in a puff of yellow smoke.

In the ruins of the Looney Land Amusement Park, under the light of the broken moon, a yellow mist appears before the run down remains of the Dungeons & Dragons ride. The mist takes form and solidifies into the wizard Argoth and his five new recruits. Argoth uses his magic to lift one of the old cars from the ride and place it back on the tracks. He and the other villains then climb aboard. Argoth zaps the rides controls with a magical beam from one of his eyes, starting the ride, while firing another magical beam into the rides entrance at the same time, opening a portal into The Realm. The car enters the ride, carrying Argoth, Talona, Viper, Captain Cordon, General Zoa, and Zogarr the Barbarian, and then they all disappear.


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