Monday, December 13, 2010

Well, I bet you've all been worried sick about the fate of Thongor after his floater plunged into the ocean. But never fear!

A lesser man would have released his sword and struck out in panic as the dragon-infested black waters closed over his head. But not Thongor! He clasped the steel blade between his jaws, freeing his hands, and swam up towards the surface.

It looks like he was the only one to end up in the drink. The floater is still bobbing about a bit further off, and his travelling companions are standing on the roof, battling with the larch larth. Does Thongor swim over to save them? Nay, nothing so prosaic. His powerful shoulders cleave the icy waves, as he hurls his body through the water. With his sword still in his mouth, of course. Now it's time to kill a sea monster!
It's been a few pages since we've heard about his thews, so it's time for some more.

Driven by the force of Thongor's iron thews, the giant blade sheared through horny scales and leathery skin - through tough muscle and cold, reptile flesh - through the very bone itself, severing the dragon's right forepaw.

Karm Karvus can't believe his eyes. He dashes off to take the controls, while Thongor braces himself for the monster's next attack. Even though he knows there's no chance to defeat a larth, he will go on fighting to the last spark of life in his "magnificent body".
It's all very tense. The floater can't go very fast, and the larth is gaining. But what's this? ANOTHER larth? It's attacking the first one.
Thongor takes this opportunity to pop indoors and get a kiss from the princess, then goes to watch the larth fight.
Never in his adventurous life had he seen such a sight.

Two pages of larth-fight, and it's all over - they kill each other, and sink down to the depths. It's all a bit too much for Princes Sumia:

Sumia collapsed sobbing on the cabin's small bunk, and Thongor gave her wine.
"Come, that is just like a woman! To weep and wail, now that the peril is past!" And she smiled though her tears at him, and then sunk back into an exhausted slumber.

I think Sumia may have narcolepsy - she also managed to sleep through the terrible thunderstorm that was buffetting their floater about earlier.
Now that the immediate danger is out of the way, Karm Karvus and Thongor have another problem - they are lost. Says Thongor:
"If the electric storm had not demagnetised the directional pendulum our friend Sharajsha the Wizard installed, we could read our direction, clouds or no clouds."

Always a practical man, Thongor solves this difficulty by having some food and going to sleep. During the night, the floater drifts towards an unknown jungle shore. The chapter ends with the two men dragging the floater ashore, and a sinister paragraph tells us that the gleaming red eyes and cruel jaws of a mysterious dark form are watching them approach. I'm going to stop here cos I have to do the washing up, but the next chapter is called "Attack of the Cannibal Trees", so it should be a good 'un...


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