The year, 1994. From out of space comes a runaway planet, hurtling between the Earth and the Moon, unleashing cosmic destruction. Man's civilization is cast into ruin. Two thousand years later, Earth is reborn. A strange new world rises from the old. A world of savagery, super-science, and sorcery. But one man bursts his bonds to fight for justice. With his companions Ookla the Mok and Princess Ariel , he pits his strength, his courage, and his fabulous Sunsword against the forces of evil. He is Thundarr, the Barbarian!
The Horror of…Iron-jaw
The parched landscape stretched out for as far as the eye could see. There was nothing around this desolate area, and that remained unchanged, until off in the distance, a small party of riders could be seen coming over the horizon. Riding in front was a woman, her skin a fine brown and dressed in the bluest silk. Next to her was a man, dressed in furs. He looked at the surrounding desolation with a slight sneer on his face as he gazed over to the third rider in the party. It was a creature referred to by man as a "Mok". The Mok, even while on his mount was still taller than the two humans, and judging from the creature's growls, he hated the feel on the raising dust getting into his shaggy golden fur. "Ariel, are you sure your magic is correct? It feels like we've riding in circles." The man said. "I've told you Thundarr, the Ice people don't use magic, they use science. That's how they were able to send use that message. And I know we are going the right way, because of the map they gave us." To emphasize her point, she patted the map, tucked safely behind her saddle. Suddenly, a figure dressed in rags appeared directly in front of the group. "Demon Dogs! What manner of fool are you?" Thundarr shouted as the figure, out of both fear and exhaustion, dropped to the ground. The figure removed the rags to revel the face of an older man. Ariel dismounted and approached the man. Seeing her come closer, the man jumped up and grabbed her by her shoulders. "Thanks Heaven!" He cried. "Horrible, horrible, had to get you. You're the only ones who can help!" The man screamed before passing out. "Ariel, what do you think this means?" Thundarr asked as the wind began to pick up. "I don't know, but it doesn't look good."
The three companions sat around a hastily built fire as the stranger told his tale. "Thanks for the food. I've been running for almost two days straight." Thundarr glanced down at the man as he finished off the last canteen of water the group had. "So" Thundarr said, not really trying to hide his disdain for the man. "You spoke of a horror Ice Man, yet now you act as if nothing is amiss. What would cause you to flee from the safety of the Cape, summon us with your magic, if it wasn't a matter of life or death?" The man on the ground sighed as he placed the canteen on the ground and stood up. "Well, first off you can call me Dr. Marks, not Ice Man. Second…well I think I should sit back down to tell the story." Having made himself comfortable, the man known as Marks began to tell his tale in earnest.
"In case you didn't know, we had managed to get Cape Canaveral back up and running. We've got electricity, why we even have radios." "Old man, we are not interested" Thundarr interrupted angrily. Thundarr's outburst startled the older man, but Ariel's soothing voice managed to calm the barbarian down enough to let the man finish. "Thank you. As I was saying, we've gotten a pretty nice little town for us. But about a week ago, a strange ship crashed landed down the cost from us. It was a boat, loaded with refuges from across the Atlantic. They said they were escaping a barbarian warlord calling himself "Iron-Jaw". These people risked storms and starvation to escape this lunatic, how could we say no to them?" "Noble sentiments Doctor, but why is it that you need us?" Ariel asked. "Well my dear, it seemed that this Iron-Jaw fellow didn't take to kindly to his subjects leaving him. He sent out a war party to try and bring them back. They found us a few days ago." "So, you need our help in defending the Cape against these foes?" Thundarr asked, a gleam in his eye at the thought of battle. "To be perfectly honest sir…no. We've built up a rather nice defense force, and using our wits and our superior weapons, we managed to drive the invaders out." Thundarr stood dumbstruck at that. "If the battle is already over, what need you of us?" "That's were it gets a little sticky. You see, while we were able to defend our homes, we are not a warlike people. I've seen the horrors of war, and that's not something I wish to experience again. We are prepared to defend our homes, but I'm afraid we have lost the will to battle. You three are the only ones who can defeat this menace. Please, as a fellow human, I beg you to help us!" Ariel stood up walked over to Thundarr and the silent Ookla. "Well, what do you two think? Should we help them?" Ookla growled loudly, while Thundarr stared at the older man before speaking. "You would have us fight your battles for you? Were all men of the past cowards or fools?" Before anyone else could reply, an ear-piercing shriek filled the air. Marks stood up, his features contorted with fear. "My god, they followed me! Quickly, we have to" The older man's remarks were cut short as nearly a half a dozen arrows pierced his body. "Lords of Light, what manner of men are we facing?" Thundarr shouted over the rising din. In answer to his question, several riders appeared over the dunes. They looked to be riding horses, but as they rode closer, Thundarr could see the wires and other bits of metal sticking out of the creature's flanks. The riders were covered head to toe in armor which seemed to cobbled together from anything the riders could find. The rider's mounts were faster than they appeared, and within seconds, they had surrounded Thundarr and his friends. "Thundarr, behind you!" Ariel screamed as the riders tossed several black balls in the air. The balls hovered for a second, before swirling around Thundarr and Ookla. With a mighty roar, the Mok swing his battle club at the floating orbs, smashing several of them in one stroke. But as the orbs crumbled, they released a thick black mist. The riders pulled back as the mist began to swarm around Thundarr and Ookla. "Demon Dogs! What manner of madness is this?" Thundarr shouted as the mist formed heavy bonds around him and the Mok's arms and legs. Ariel raised her hands in preparation for a spell when the mist suddenly shot over to her and completely covered her body. The mist hardened around their bodies, and the riders (having dismounted their strange steeds) simply walked over to them, picked them up, and slung them over the backs of their rides. The riders, with nary a look at Marks's body, rode off with their captives.
Several hours later
The bonds holding Thundarr had finally dissolved. Looking around the tiny cell his captors had placed him in didn't inspire any confidence. After he and his friends had been captured, the riders took placed them on a boat. Thundarr had been separated from Ookla and Ariel, but he wasn't concerned. They had been in worst situations, and they had always come out the victors. His musings were cut short as the door to his cell opened, and one of the riders entered. Thundarr stood up looked at the rider. "What do you want?" He asked. The rider looked around in the hall before entering the cell. Quickly reaching into a bag that was hidden under the rider's cloak, the rider pulled out a wrapped object and tossed it at the barbarian's feet. The rider turned to leave, but before stepping out of the cell, turned to Thundarr and said in a rasping voice: "Be wary barbarian. Iron-jaw is not a foe to be taken lightly." Before Thundarr could question the rider about the sudden change of heart, the cell slammed shut. Picking up the object, Thundarr was surprised at what it turned out to be. " My Sunsword!" He exclaimed. With a slight grip on the handle, the cell was bathed in a golden light from the sword's mystic blade. Quickly extinguishing the blade and hiding the hilt in the folds of his furs, he thought of escape…
Meanwhile, in other part of the ship
Ariel paced around the confines of her cell. Her bonds had dissolved, but she hadn't used any of her magic yet. Since she had no idea where they were, she decided the best course of action was to wait until the boat reached land. Hearing the lock on her open, she quickly raised her hands in preparation for an attack spell. One of the riders entered the cell with both hands up in what Ariel assumed was a peaceful gesture. But before she could think about attacking, the rider spoke. "Lower your hands, I mean you no harm." The rider said in a raspy voice that Ariel thought might belong to a woman. "I have no time to waste. We will arrive in our homeland tomorrow. Once there, it will be the Master who decides you and your friend's fate. I have already given your human friend back his weapon." Not entirely trusting the rider, Ariel still kept her hands raised. "Why are you doing this?" "Because we have heard of you. We know if anyone can defeat Iron-Jaw, it's you three." The rider shook her shoulders, and then began to slowly unwrap the bandages that had covered the rider completely. Ariel recoiled at the sight. The rider's body was that of a woman, but Ariel could understand why she had kept her face hidden. The rider's lips were missing, reveling a set of pearly white teeth, which contrasted greatly with her exposed gums and the scar tissue which ran across the lower portion of her face. Her rasping voice snapped Ariel back to reality. "This is the fate of all who displease the Master. Several of us tried to escape, and we thought we had found sanctuary in the Cape. But the Master found us. He would have destroyed the Cape, but he offered them a deal. He had heard of you three, and he knew how the Ice People could reach you." "So he constructed a trap to get us to come down there." Ariel said, finally piecing it all together. The rider began to wrap the bandages around her face again when Ariel placed her hand on the rider's shoulder. "Thank you. I promise we'll help you and your people." The rider looked at her with sad eyes. "I hope you can." Quickly, the rider left the cell and the door behind her.
For both Thundarr and Ariel, the rest of the voyage was uneventful. When daylight finally shone through the cell bars, Thundarr heard one of the crewmen cry out about reaching land. Within minutes of hearing it, the cell door was open, and manacles were attached to his arms and legs. As he was lead up to the deck, Thundarr noticed Ariel and Ookla were also chained. Tearing his gaze away from his friends, Thundarr got a look at the land of this "Iron-Jaw". The land was fairly barren, and off in the distance, he could see massive boulders looming over the harbor. His thoughts were interrupted when one of the riders ("the one from last night?" he thought) prodded him in the back. "Get moving! The Master hates it when his slaves are late!" yelled a burly crewman. Thundarr almost pulled his sunsword out and slashed the man down, but Ariel's hand on his shoulder made him reconsider. With a slight nod, Thundarr turned and continued walking. Ookla growled at the man. One of the riders spoke: "If the Master's slaves are harmed, then I will personally feed your entrails to the Master!" The man paled, and slowly backed away.
On the dock, they were loaded up into a strange metal wagon. There once had been a roof, but time had eaten away at it. The rest of the vehicle was intact, and made from a bright metal Thundarr hadn't seen before. While the body was made from metal, the wheels were of carved stone, and a team of horses were hitched up to the front of wagon.
Once inside, the riders removed the shackles from Thundarr and his friends. Ookla snorted and tried to grab one of the riders, but Ariel's voice had a soothing effect on him. "I know we can't apologize enough for deceiving you, but from here on out we must trust one other." The lead rider spoke as the wagon picked up speed. Thundarr, Ariel and Ookla glanced at one another then back at the other riders. "We know why you brought us here, but what exactly is your plan?" Ariel asked. "The plan is…well, we had hopped you had come up with one." The lead rider said with an almost embarrassed tone in her voice. Since the medium known as television had not survived the runaway planet's destruction, then nobody in the wagon was familiar with the phrase "face-fault", and there was nobody to explain the exact expressions of disgust, disbelief, and slight dementia that appeared on Thundarr's face. "You brought us here and you had no plan?" Thundarr shouted. Ookla roared loudly, and much to the rider's fear, the Mok began to pound on the wagon, making it sway from side to side.
Just then, a strange droning noise filled the air. "What's that?" Ariel asked. But before anyone could answer, the area around the wagon burst into flame and the wagon was upended. Crawling out of a broken window, Thundarr was amazed to see dozens of small flying objects, some as large as a horse, while others were no bigger than a man. The machines looked to be cobbled together from anything the pilot could find. The flying machines buzzed around, with the pilots dropping flaming bottles onto the road. Almost all of the riders were dead, their bodies burnt to a crisp along the road. One of the machines landed a short distance away and the pilot slowly climbed off the machine. The pilot was a scared man, and his smile reveled a few missing teeth. "I wouldn't try anything if I were you. The master has been watching you and your friends ever since you were onboard his ship." The other pilots were laughing as they picked through the remains of the riders. Thundarr was roughly hauled to his feet and handcuffed, along with Ariel, Ookla and the rider's leader.
Ariel was in agony. Her hands (much like the hands of her friends) were now bound tightly above her head as the strange flying machines soared over the barren landscape. Off in the distance, she could see a large castle. But what really got her attention were the smells coming from the ground. Around the castle, there huge piles of bodies. The stench of rotting flesh almost made her vomit, and judging from Ookla's snort, he hadn't been able to resist the idea. The machine slowly lowered themselves inside the castle, and dozens of armed men rushed to release them from the machines undercarriage. They roughly pawed her and the lead rider, and tem they were quickly rushed down a corridor. Ariel's last image of Thundarr and Ookla was of the two trying to fight the guards as more and more guards rushed them. Her hands and arms were so sore she couldn't even lift them for a spell. One of the guards got behind her, and Ariel felt the world slide away as she was struck on the back of the head.
In the dungeons
"Ookla old friend, this is getting tiresome". Thundarr said as he was led in chains towards what his jailers were calling a "fate worse than death". Ookla growled and tugged at his manacles, but to no avail. The chains didn't give, and all the Mok got for his troubles was a sharp blow to the back. After walking in silence for almost an hour, the two were herded into a large arena. The audience was sparse, and the handful of people there looked as if they would rather be anywhere else. Sitting on a huge throne under a large canopy was a man who Thundarr assumed to be Iron-Jaw. Even though he was sitting down, Thundarr could tell the man was huge. The lower half of his face was in fact made of iron, and he had twisted chunks of metal for teeth. The rest of his face was a deep contrast to his lower. The rest of his face was smooth, almost feminine. His black shone almost as brightly as his jaw. The man raised his hand and stood up. "So, you thought to deceive me? Well, Iron-Jaw the Great doesn't fear anyone, especially a man who is lead a Mok and a woman! I know how to deal with you." Behind him, guards ushered out the lead rider. She swayed on her feet as Iron-Jaw walked over to her. "So, my darling sister thought she could get the best of me? Well, I'll just have to show you two what I do to people who betray me." Reaching over, Iron-Jaw proceeded to rip the rider's uniform away, leaving the woman to stand naked before the audience. Thundarr stared in horror. The rider's body was a twisted patchwork of scars, and even from the arena below, he could tell that parts of her face were missing. Without a word, Iron-Jaw picked up his sister and tossed her down into the arena. She landed on her feet, and Thundarr heard the bones snap as she made contact.
"Now, you fools will learn the folly of attacking your betters!" Iron-Jaw screamed as his guards pulled back. The madman stood up and leaped off of the balcony like a dying bird. The guards rushed towards their plummeting ruler and dove beneath him, breaking his fall (along with a few dozen or so bones of the brave fools who were under him, but Iron-Jaw quickly jumped up and climbed over their bodies.) Thundarr, putting himself in front of the rider, spoke to the monarch. "So far, I'm not impressed." Reaching in his furs, the barbarian pulled out his Sunsword, and the blazing blade caused Iron-Jaw to stop in his tracks. "So the rumors were true. But in the hands of a weakling, even the most powerful weapon is useless!" Grabbing a sword dropped by one of the dead guards, Iron-Jaw swung the blade around. "I will enjoying staining the ground with your blood, and then I'll have my way with that magic witch you drag around!" Iron-Jaw looked as if he was smirking, provided his jaw had any muscles to move it into a smirk. Thundarr was unimpressed as he sliced Iron-Jaw's sword in two with a single stroke from the Sunsword's blade. Iron-jaw simply dropped his weapon and stepped back. "So, you are a man after all. But it won't say the witch, for even as we speak, my men are having their way with her right now!" He threw his head back and laughed. "Now, give me your weapon, and I might spare your life!"
At that exact moment, in the dungeons
Ariel, all thing considered, wasn't doing too bad. The guards, after taking her down to the dungeon, had quickly removed her chains. "Princess, we known of your reputation…" "Yes Krodo, I believe the princess knows what she's doing here". The other guardsman interrupted the other before continuing himself. "I'm sure that our leader has explained of our wanting to be free of that deformed lunatic who sits on the throne?" Before Ariel could answer, the guard went on anyway. "Don't worry, all you have to do is follow us, and do some kind of magic." The guards went on pushing Ariel up a nearby flight of stairs.
Down in the arena
The fight was at a standstill. Thundarr, not sure if Iron-Jaw was lying or not, found himself unable to finish the fight, and Iron-Jaw found himself unable to defeat the barbarian, even with using his iron jaw (or his guards). Ookla was protecting Thundarr's back, and made sure no guard got to close. Suddenly, the crowd collectively gasped, and even the men fighting to the death in the arena stopped. On the balcony stood Princess Ariel, her hands raised, and bright glowing energy bouncing back between her hands. But before she could cast a spell, Iron-Jaw lunged for the wall, and pressed his palm against its surface. Suddenly, the very floor beneath them opened up and swallowed the group whole.
When Thundarr next awoke, he was alone. Quickly jumping to his feet, he looked around to see where he was. The only light in the room was coming from a small grate in the ceiling. Thundarr couldn't see if there was anyway to escape the room, but escape no longer mattered to him. Walking under the grate, Thundarr noticed his Sunsword laying in the dirt. Picking it up, Thundarr heard footsteps in the darkness. Spinning like a dervish, Thundarr ignited his blade just in time to see Iron-Jaw charge at him like a enraged animal. The madman was swinging a weapon which seemed rather similar to the Sunsword, only it was a bright white. Iron-Jaw swung the sword before tossing it at Thundarr's head. The sword hit the wall and bounced off of it and broke into pieces on the ground. Iron-Jaw started to giggle and rushed towards Thundarr.
"So, you think your puny weapon can stop my strength? Bah! I'll crush you and anyone that stands in my way!" The warlord threw his arms wide open and tried to get Thundarr in a bear hug. Stepping back, Thundarr swing his fist upwards and connected with the iron jaw of Iron-Jaw. The jagged bits of metal used for teeth were to be Iron-Jaw's undoing. The lower part of his face became stuck to his upper jaw, and the man tried to scream as his metal teeth sliced through his regular ones. He fell backwards and curled up a ball. Thundarr looked down on the man and extinguished his blade. "Pathetic" Thundarr said as he looked down at the weeping man. Walking over to him and grabbing a lock of his hair, Thundarr soon made his way back to the surface.
Thundarr, Ookla and Ariel were sitting before a cheering throng of people. The lead rider (who, after several healing spells) was now sitting at the head of the table. "Thundarr, we owe you a great debt. How can we repay you and your friends?" Thundarr took a swig of his drink and looked the rider in her eyes. "No thanks are needed, but we hardly did anything worthy of any thanks. "Now Thundarr, you did stop that madman in a fair fight." Ariel said. The rider stood up and all the noise stopped. "Friends, a toast. To our liberators! To Thundarr! To Ariel!" Ookla growled loudly and smashed a hole in the table. "Yes, and to Ookla!" This placated the Mok, and everyone toasted. As the festivities began in earnest the rider spoke to the three. "You will always have a home here." "Many thanks, but we never learned your name." Ariel said as Thundarr and Ookla began a test of strength over a nearby cup of mead. The rider sighed and looked at Ariel. "As a rule, the women here were not allowed to have names. My brother had…problems with women." Ariel looked at the woman sympathetically, but a thought crossed her mind. "Wait, what did you do with your brother after Thundarr brought him back up?" The rider looked on quietly for a few seconds before answering. "My brother…is someplace safe." "Ariel was puzzled by this statement. "What do you mean?" But the rider just shook her head, and wandered away, leaving a confused Ariel standing alone.
Down below the palace
So, this is what it has come to, thought the man known as Iron-Jaw. He had been stripped of his power, his dignity, and even his jaw. His eyes were sewed shut, and he could feel the vermin crawling over him. But he wasn't bothered. No, he would just sit here, quietly and patiently, and he crush all of those weaklings in one swoop. All he had to do was wait.