Warlord v4 #6

Nov 09

Saga, Part Six : Death from Above
22 pages

Writer: Mike Grell
Penciller: Chad Hardin
Inkers: Walden Wong, Wayne Faucher
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Colourist: David Curiel
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Cover: Mike Grell

Travis Morgan, Shakira, Machiste, Tinder, Alysha Grant, Mariah, Katherine Archer, Ned Hawkins, Ewan McBane

The Atlantean airship captained by Ned Hawkins cruises slowly over the devastation it caused in the Borrgha Pass. Morgan is devastated, not only has he lost his wife, daughter and friend, they have lost all hope of stopping the golden god Hawkins.

Then, suddenly, the rubble begins to shift and finally flies apart. The magics of the magus Prime had created an energy bubble that prevented the deaths of Jennifer, Tara, Machiste and the Shamballan soldiers who were close around them. Morgan, relieved, joins the people he cares about, and Ewan is introduced to them.

Tinder approaches, and in the time between when he was striking out with the villagers last issue and now, has gathered an ‘army’ of locals. Morgan says they’ll be slaughtered, and chastises Tinder, saying they’re untrained. Or are they expecting plunder?

One of the men speaks up saying he was with Morgan when he led the slave revolt speaking of ‘freedom for all.’ Then Morgan became the Warlord and turned his back on the dream. But the people of the shadow lands, living hard lives of freedom hard fought, fight not for the Warlord, not for plunder, not for Tinder. They fight for their continued freedom, and their descendants’ future.

Morgan is shamed. He had forgotten what it was like to live in bondage. He remembers they were going to make a better world. But the villagers were wrong as well. Morgan could not give freedom, because it was theirs by right, paid for with their own blood.

As the Atlantean airship returns to Castle Deimos, Mariah is berating Hawkins with promises of death at the hands of Morgan and the Shamballan army. Hawkins forcefully reminds the Russian woman that she has translated the Scrolls of Blood and her usefulness is at an end so she should remember that she serves at his pleasure.

In the throne room, Theran soldiers present Hawkins with the artefact he was searching for. The Therans wish to be paid in slaves, and Hawkins quickly offers them a shocked Kate. Just then a huge boulder comes crashing through the wall rending a hapless Theran into pâté. The battle is on. Hawkins runs out to deal with the attack, while Mariah uses the confusion to grab a fallen sword and sever her shackles. The Warlord is not the only one who lives for battle. Meanwhile, Kate picks up the box containing the artefact and makes her exit.

Outside, Hawkins stands on a ledge and launches an energy attack on the invaders. Jennifer says he’s not bad for an amateur and counterattacks, blasting Hawkins with her own magic, sending him reeling back. Shakira and Alysha climb over the raised drawbridge and lower it, while Hawkins has boarded the airship, using its larger energy weapon to blast at the Shamballan army on the ground below. Morgan uses a Chinese bazooka to blast a hole in the airship’s hull, disabling it.

With the drawbridge down Morgan and his allies invade the fortress. McBane and Machiste dash forward to find Mariah, while Alysha has climbed the tower to confront Hawkins on the gangplank leading to the airship. While Tinder and the army fight the ground war, Morgan ascends to help Alysha with Hawkins.

Kate has Mariah at gunpoint, but before she can shoot her rival, McBane and Machiste coming crashing in. Machiste and Mariah embrace while Kate tries to sweet talk McBane into helping her. McBane decks her instead.

Outside, Morgan is fighting his way to the airship. As it slides away from the tower, Morgan jumps, grabbing one of the mooring lines and swinging out under the crippled airship. Hawkins is at the helm while Alysha is tied to a strut. They’re headed for the portal atop the pyramid and the airship crashes into the ground below while Morgan lands in the trees. As Hawkins begins to ascend the pyramid’s steps, Morgan confronts him. He throws Alysha at him and scrambles up, entering the portal. Morgan uses the airship’s energy weapon to blast the pyramid and the portal explodes. Hawkins, now without energy, but still carrying the Scrolls of Blood, is stranded on the Tibetan side, trapped inside the blocked-in cave.

The Therans abandoned the battle and the immediate threat to Skartaris has passed. Alysha and McBane join Morgan’s party, riding off into the eternal sunlight.

While the villagers celebrate in Castle Deimos, a shrouded Kate Archer takes the artefact into a dark chamber. Opening the box, she reveals the Mask of Life and places it over a rune-marked skull with a deep scar down the front of it. eom

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