Warlord v4 #2

Jul 09

Saga, Part Two : Expect the Unexpected
22 pages

Writer: Mike Grell
Penciller: Joe Prado
Inkers: Walden Wong, Jay Leisten, Joe Prado
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Colourist: David Curiel
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Cover: Mike Grell

Travis Morgan, Shakira, Jennifer Morgan, Tara, Tinder, Machiste

Morgan and Shakira seek out Skartaris’ Magus Prime, Jennifer Morgan, Travis’ daughter. Morgan talks of an oppressive new god that is creating masses of refugees from neighbouring lands, and most likely an approaching army. Jennifer conjures up a projection revealing th new god’s fortress in the shadow kingdom in the terminator. But she cannot penetrate further. She’s being blocked. Morgan is shocked. Who can block her? The one man powerful enough – Deimos – has been killed by Morgan, repeatedly, which either proves he’s dead or he’s back again depending on how you look at it.

Shakira and Morgan decide to investigate and leave Shamballah on horseback. They don’t get very far when Shakira’s feline instincts say they’re being followed. Morgan feels it too. They lay in wait and bring him to ground. It’s Tinder. Tinder wants to come. Morgan says it’s no place for a bard. Tinder says he’s a historian and this is important. Shakira mediates and now they are three.

Morgan asks Tinder if he can use a sword. Tinder is a bow and dagger man, so Morgan says he has to learn and tosses him his sword. The sword he’s had since his early days in Skartaris.

Later Tinder sings his song of Morgan’s arrival in Skartaris and the battle for freedom he and his friends fought. Morgan scoffs and asks him if he believes all that. Tinder most certainly does. Morgan says that reality always falls short of legends. Tinder needs to believe, but Morgan is more practical. He gives Tinder a lesson in swordplay using his new broadsword. The boy is defeated easily by methods less than fair.

Shakira ignores the display of testosterone and informs them that a large party of men is passing below. Slave raiders have captured Machiste. He sits defeated in a cage on a cart. They plan to sell him to their Theran allies. One of the slaver leaders admires a gold box that will fetch him an even higher reward than Machiste.

Morgan plans to follow the caravan and wait for the best moment to free Machiste, but Tinder wants them to warn the settlers who are in the path of the slave traders. Tinder asks him has he forgotten what it was to be a slave. People believed in Morgan. Angered, Morgan asks the young man what would he know about it. Morgan once believed, but it cost him his son. Tinder, undeterred, accuses him of self pity and selfishness and goes off alone to warn the settlers. Shakira agrees with the boy, but her path is with Morgan.

The slavers make camp and Shakira as a cat infiltrates it, getting close to Machiste’s cage. Morgan charges in on horseback swinging his broadsword, decapitating any man in his path. Shakira switches to human form and frees Machiste. It does not take him long to reacquire his mace fist. He kills the slaver with the gold box. The shiny item falls to the ground, ignored.

After the battle is over, Machiste tells his friends that his kingdom of Kiro was overrun in a single attack. He escape with only a handful of men, but Mariah was captured and taken north. They talk of what the Russian woman means to them both, and Morgan admits the error of not warning the settlers first. The trio mount horses and take off after Tinder.

It seems amazingly inappropriate that Morgan would point a gun, even casually, at his daughter to make a point about it being the only gun in Skartaris. eom

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