Episode 1: The Mad Mage of Madzone
Part 1: The Battle of Dunn
Rash the Barbarian, Canthar the Sorcerer, and Bakra the Puma Girl were riding north, into the Madzone of Wiskasoon. They had heard rumors that a Wizard was active in the region, attacking local villages. They discovered quickly that the rumors were true, as they found a village under attack by a group of Rattocks (Rat Men). Led by a large Rattock wearing a red sash and Ancient army helmet, sporting a monocle, and directing with a riding crop in one hand from the safety of an Ancient military jeep, twelve Rattocks were attacking the village of Dunn, seeking to burn it down while taking the residents prisoner.
Against Canthar's better judgment, Rash and Bakra leapt into battle before getting an overview of the disposition of the enemy. They quickly discovered that, in addition to the nets and mancatchers they were using to trap the humans, the Rattocks had carbines and flame throwers! Diving through a hail of bullets and singed by a gout of flame from a flamethrower, Rash leapt from his warhorse, activated his Star Sword, and slashed two of the carbines clean in half. the two Rattocks squealed in terror and fled.
Bakra returned fire with her M16, pointedly aiming at the arrogant Rattock leader, who ducked down behind the shattered windshield of the jeep the after being nicked by a bullet. Two more Rattocks fled after being struck by orbs of power cast from Canthar's open hands. More bullets flew, flame belched, and nets were cast wide, but only Canthar was worsted, caught by the snapping jaws of a mancatcher! Rash ran to save him, slashing apart a flamethrower en route. Fortunately, the Rattock failed to pull the sorcerer from his mount, and lost his grip on the mancatcher, sliding back only his tail in the dirt with a thump.
Bakra peppered the jeep with further rounds from her Ancient weapon, and the leader of the Rattocks turned and fled, driving the jeep blindly back deeper into the Madzone. Most of his warriors followed, including the Rattock who had (briefly) captured Canthar, their morale broken -- the rat men had thought to have an easy battle against simple villagers, not a crazy barbarian and sorcerer, let alone a cat person!
One Rattock, however, felt that honor had to be served, and leapt up on Bakra's felinique, having at her with a dagger from his belt. Holding the gun in one hand, she swept out her other, with claws extended, slaicing him and batting him off her steed. He too, turned and fled into the surrounding ruins.
Smiling and nodding to each other at a job well done, the three tended to their wounds as the people of the village came forth from hiding. One, a beautiful young woman who came out of the largest building in the village, introduced herself as Louisa, the Village Leader. She thanked the trio for their help, and told them that the people of Dunn were in their debt. She beckoned them into the Village Hall/Inn, where they were offered food and healing care.
During the meal Louisa told them of the growing threat of the Mad Mage, the Wizard of Madzone. He lives in a citadel on the Island of Insanity in the Lake of Lunacy, in the heart of Madzone, the ruins of the Ancient city of Madison. There he is served by Rattocks and Trolls. He had been only a minor danger to the villages on the outskirts of Madzone until recently, when he apparently discovered some ancient form of technology. In the last several months, he's been capturing humans from nearby villages to work in his factory. Escaped slaves say that they are forced to build flying robot warriors, and that once the Mad Mage has a complete army, he will strike against the other Wizards of Wiskasoon and conquer the entire land!
While the trio had little problem with Wizards killing each other off, they all detested the fact that the Mad Mage was enslaving humans to do his dirty work. With grim resolve they asked Louisa how they could get to the Isle of Insanity in the Lake of Lunacy...
End Part 1...