The The Plunder of Paingloss wiki last edited by jeffreyv2512 on 08/09/14 01:37AM View full history

Prologue: "I, Werewolf!" - Jack Russell narrates an introduction to this tale.

Chapter I: "Bad Deal with the Devil's Disciple' - Under the pretense of conducting an interview for a newspaper, Jack Russell and Buck Cowan visit Satanist High Priest Joaquin Zairre, hoping to learn of a cure for lycanthropy. Zairre sees through the ruse, sensing that Jack is the cursed one. They leave abruptly when Jack becomes ill-at-ease.

Weeks later, Buck drives Jack into the hills, so the Werewolf can roam far from civilization. However, they are followed by Zairre, and when they stop to confront him, the demonologist holds them at gunpoint. Zairre has Jack tie Buck to a tree, and Jack surreptitiously slips him a penknife. The high priest then forces Jack into a cave where he is to stand in the center of a pentagram; when the moon rises, Zairre intends to shoot the Werewolf with a silver bullet as a sacrifice to Satan.

Chapter II: "Doorway of the Dark Waters" - As Jack begins to transform, a wizard in another dimension prepares a spell. At the same time, Buck, who has cut through his bonds, accosts Zairre, while simultaneously, a silver lariat shoots from a pool in the cave to snare the Werewolf. The man-beast is dragged through the water, until he emerges in a cavern where he meets the wizard Grithstane and a warrior named Paingloss. The Werewolf attacks until the wizard conjures another lariat which paralyzes the beast, allowing Paingloss to carry him to his transport, a vessel called the Night-Streaker. Soon, they are speeding through the caverns.

Chapter III: "Fragile Magic" - Paingloss and the Werewolf emerge from the caves, hurtling through a sky with twin full moons. Then they are set upon by bat-like creatures called shadow-sharks. The pair beat back the shadow-sharks until they speed toward an endless white barrier, and the things fly off. The vessel plunges through the barrier to crash on the daylight side of this world. The Werewolf reverts to Jack, who introduces himself to Paingloss. The warrior tells him of this world, Biphasia, which is divided into the light-side, Searland, and the dark half, Shadow-Realm. The disappointed warrior also explains the man-beast was intended to be a gift to his lover, Delandra the Half-Queen, who collects strange creatures for her menagerie. They are then captured by lustrums, giant snails in Delandra's employ.

Chapter IV: "The Ark of Onom-Kra" - In Delandra's throne room within a seven-mile long ark, her advisor, Savant, frets over the impending invasion of the Shadow-Realm's king, Sardanus, but the half-mad queen orders Paingloss to obtain another beast for her. Agreeing to do so, Paingloss instead leads Jack through the ark to confront Sardanus. Along the way, he tells his tale: years before, Paingloss invaded Searland and killed its champion, the giant Glissem. Delandra, who had to that point sat upon a throne at the barrier, maintaining a balance between the two sides, was obligated to take Glissem's place, but went slightly mad. Paingloss fell in love with her, but she demanded he prove his love by capturing bizarre creatures for her. And so it has been ever since.

When Jack and Paingloss reach the barrier and the throne, they are met by Grithstane who casts a spell to keep Jack cogent and docile when they cross to the Shadow-Realm. They proceed and Jack transforms.

Chapter V: "Silver Rain, Sardanus and Shadow" - The trio meet Sardanus leading an army of Darkspawns, and the battle is joined. With his mystic truncheon, Paingloss stuns Sardanus. The shadow giant topples and shatters, revealing itself to be construct operated by a spindly human, and the Werewolf kills the would-be conqueror.

The balance of Biphasia restored, Grithstane spirits the Werewolf back to Earth. He emerges from the pool at the moment just after he left, when Buck was about to strike Zairre. The blow lands the Satanist in the pool, never to be seen again.

This issue also includes three reprinted stories: "The Most Miserable Man in the World" (from MYSTIC #16), "He's Coming to Get Me" (from WORLD OF FANTASY #11) and "The Unsolid Man" (from WORLD OF FANTASY #13).

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