Wednesday, May 19, 2010
6. Tor Conan #21, Conan the Free lance - Part 1
Conan the Free Lance, By Steve Perry - Part 1
10 million years before the birth of the first man in the mountain chain which would become the Karpash mountains, The Border between Corinthia and Zamora. It was in these mountains which a large meteorite impacted and formed Crater lake. And in the a castle on the shores of this lake was Dimma the Mist Mage and his hand crafted cohort, Kleg The Selkie. At this very moment plotting to steal some materials of value from the treefolk who dwell to the south. Materials useful for reversing the curse laid upon Dimma by an aged wizard, a Curse which makes him immaterial, literally made from mist.
The Man was Named Conan, and he is glad to be in the open air again after his time spent in the Caves networks which dot the Karpash Mountains. His destination is the same as it has been for months, Shadizar, City of the Wicked. But his trip has taken much longer than he thought it would, He has adventured these past few months with a Woman named Elashi. Monsters, Wizards and Necromancers have bedeviled his path at every step. But he is alone again now, and happy for it, eager to make up for lost time on the long road to his terminus. But it's not to be...
A few miles further down his path, Conan comes across a woman being guarded by five dragon like creatures. The woman informs him these are Korga, the hunting dogs of the Pili. Since they aren't apt to let him pass he opts to slay them, and does so relatively easily considering they are dragons. The woman introduces herself as Cheen, the medicine woman of the Tree Folk, and then explains the Pili, who are relatives of the Korga of a sort, and explains her purpose for being in the hills, Mushroom picking. After a nights rest the two continue on their path, a path that has now taken him over the mountains into Zamora.
The Next Day, Cheen takes Conan to her village. A village in the trees, where people are born, live and die in the trees. At about this same time Kleg is heading south across the Pili infested Aranza Desert, Obviously on a collision course for Conan's new found friends the treefolk. After the treefolk's treasure also are King Rayk and Queen Theyla of the Pili, masters of the Korga beasts Conan recently slew. Concurrently Dimma has one of his rare periods of corporeality and takes the opportunity to hastily consume a meal, and copulate with his mistress Seg the witch woman.
Kleg stops his small army a few hours march from the Treefolks fastness, debating his next move. Conan is introduced to some of the other tree folk, Vares the old woman, as well as Tair and Hok, Brothers of Cheen. Theyla laments her desire to have a human male, and also her desire to extend her empire out of the scrubby desert it currently occupies.
Conan attends a ceremony for Hok, and is treated to a drugged concoction which causes him to hallucinate an instructive visit with his god Crom. This night is also the night which Kleg chooses to attack the treefolk but of course hadn't counted on Conan being there. So he resorts to taking Hok hostage, planning to use him to escape Tair and Conan, and then trade him to the Pili for safe passage. Having fulfilled his mission he flees, to return victorious to Dimma.