Warlord v1 #22

Jun 79

The Beast in the Tower
17 pages

Writer/Penciller: Mike Grell
Inker: Vince Colletta
Letterer: Todd Klein
Colourist: Adrienne Roy
Editor: Jack C. Harris
Cover: Mike Grell

Travis Morgan

Near the terminator, Morgan sits in a tavern trying to drink away his pain. An old man approaches him, trying to sell his services as a palm reader. Morgan says that if he looks past the blood stains on his hand all he’ll see is death, destruction and a dream lost. The old man agrees and adds there is also destiny.

Later, Morgan leaves the tavern and is set upon by four thugs who think the drunk warrior is easy pickings. Invigorated by the battle, Morgan despatches three of them in quick order. The last seeks to sneak upon Morgan from behind, but a crossbolt embeds itself in the petty criminal’s back and he pitches forward, dead. Morgan has been saved by a beautiful woman carrying a crossbow. They lock eyes, spooking the woman who dashes off. Morgan retrieves the crossbolt and discovers it is solid silver. It is extremely odd given that the tavern is in a seamy part of the city. It piques Morgan’s curiosity and he decides to pursue the girl.

He finds her at the base of a tower, being manhandled by four soldiers who mean to detain her, for what purpose Morgan does not know. While two soldiers take the girl inside and seal the door, the other two think to kill Morgan for his interference. After Morgan has taken care of them, he uses his gun to blow away the door’s lock and he enters the tower. Inside the strange tower, larger on the inside than on the outside, and with a door that disappears as soon as Morgan passes through it, the Warlord’s nose picks up a stench.

He turns and faces a giant serpent. Morgan impales it on his sword, but still it comes. Picking up a brazier, Morgan sets the creature alight and continues into the tower. The fire from the serpent begins to spread. Morgan thinks to turn back until he hears a scream of anguish and so he braves the surreal pathway in front of him, eventually facing the two soldiers who eluded him earlier and he kicks his way through the death’s-head portal they were guarding.

He faces a savage man-beast, fighting for his life when it springs at him. Morgan is disarmed, and while pinned under the slavering animal, remembers he carries the silver crossbolt. In desperation, he rams it into the creature’s chest. The thing screams and dies, transforming into the girl. Morgan has slain a werewolf.

The old man from the tavern steps forward, revealing himself to be the girl’s father. He had known Morgan was the Warlord, and that Morgan could save his daughter from her curse. He thanks Morgan and bids him to go before the burning tower consumes him. Morgan sees no exit as the flames close in, and the old man dismisses him. Morgan finds himself outside the tower, recalling the girl looked happy as she died. eom

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