Bungo the Barbarian - Chapter 1, Adventures in Derrowville.
Bungo thrust his armoured crotch plate wildly at a swooning tavern wench.
"Another Mead" he bellowed enthusiastically. His booming voice was punctuated by a dull thump as another buxom maiden fell to the ground; rendered unconscious from the sheer rapture of his manly presence.
Bungo took a heroic gulp of his drink, chugging back the beverage with warrior-like abandon; and spilling equally large quantities down his chiselled and bulging torso, eliciting sighs from the on looking villagers.
Suddenly the tavern door swung open and a cold draft of air blew through the building. The drunken rabble were momentarily silenced as a band of rakish outlaws swaggered boldly into the room. Their leader was a Sauranite Dragon-Man of easily twice the height of a mortal man. He approached slowly and loomed over Bungo menacingly; eyeing him like a hungry ogre looking at an unguarded playpen.
"Thumpp" Another fair maiden fainted with rapture.
The distraction was all the time Bungo needed. He leapt into the air like a mystic tiger and slammed his armoured crotch plate into the Sauranite's excessive cranium. The massive creature cried out pitifully for a moment and staggered back bewildered. Bungo landed with a cat's grace.
"Bamm" he declared heroically; the Sauranite's head caved in on itself to the size of a pea - before exploding outwards in a generous shower of luminous green viscera. There was an ensuing ruckus as the other ruffians rushed to the door in a scramble to escape the barbarian's wrath.
Bungo looked down at the fallen Sauranite.
"Treasure map!" he declared as he gleefully looted the beast's still twitching corpse. He stuffed the piece of paper into his leather briefs and hastily finished his drink, before heading out of the tavern after the fleeing rabble.
Bungo the Barbarian - Chapter 2, Raid on the Temple of Booty
Leaving the coastal town of Derrowville far behind, Bungo ventured boldly into the wilderness. With the greasy treasure map as his only guide the journey had been difficult and more than once he had been forced to defend himself from gangs of enraptured slave-girls, love goblins and succubean visitations.
"They crave my manly flesh ... and who could blame them." Bungo mused as he flexed his bulging muscles absentmindedly.
As Bungo crested the hill, his hard set eyes explored the edifice before him. He checked the treasure map again and everything fit. The Sauranite's picture of the location matched it to a tee. He could see the large entrance and archway in the picture, next to what appeared to be a doodle of the Sauranite himself riding a fire breathing Pegasus and eating fried chicken.
Bungo grinned widely, exposing a row of gleamingly white teeth.
"Excelsior!" He declared loudly; before heading through the darkened stone entranceway and into the temple. The interior was pitch black. Bungo couldn't see anything, but it was a momentary setback.
He tapped his crotch plate with one knuckle; eliciting a sound like a pealing bell. With his super keen hearing he could use the sound to detect objects in the darkness.
"You've heard of sonar" he declared to nobody in particular "now taste my Bone-ar". With that he rapped his codpiece vigorously and set off at a run, leaving only a vague echo and a cloud of dust in his wake.
Bungo the Barbarian - Chapter 3, Into the Unknown Booty
“By the power of Donglore” Bungo roared as he set about himself with his mighty blade. In his enthusiasm, he had run headfirst into a trap and was now beset from all sides by a salivating horde of Derpos.
“Foul Derpo, taste my justice” he bellowed as he slammed the phallic pommel of his oversized weapon into the beast’s mouth. He was rewarded with a loud derping noise as the creature deflated satisfyingly, leaving only an empty sack of Derpo skin on the floor.
“Derpo, Derpo!!” the creatures yowled; advancing in a gelatinous horde of rubbery blue flesh.
Bungo once again swung the blade wide at waist height, the Gloranite steel shone like crystal as it mowed through several advancing Derpos that dared cross its searing arc. They popped on impact and their carcasses whizzed about the room wildly under the force of the expelled methane within.
Bungo reeled back from the stench and in that moment they were upon him. A sea of rubbery bodies contacted with him and began to inflate; the Derpo’s deadliest attack designed to squeeze the life from their victims. The blade of Donglore slipped from Bungo’s hands as he fought desperately to remain conscious under their pillowy forms.
Bungo bit the nearest Derpo like a raging goat; tearing a large piece of blue flesh free. The creature deflated uncontrollably with a sound somewhat reminiscent of a Kallibonian Gassmonnog in heat; allowing Bungo to momentarily escape their grasp. He took a breath and grabbed the next Derpo with both arms before popping it in a savage bear-hug against his manly chest. Another Derpo faced an ignoble death as he lewdly thrust it to death against his steely crotch plate with a gyrating motion that would drive any woman wild with passion.
The remaining Derpos retreated in horror, with several more being caught and vigorously humped to death by the enraged barbarian.
Finally Bungo stood alone before the treasure chest leaden alter.
“Bare your booty to me” he rumbled, before moving to open the chest. The lid squealed momentarily as he wrenched it open; revealing a single piece of Derpo excrement stained paper within.
Bungo the Barbarian - Chapter 4, The Unexpected Booty
Bungo scrutinised the filthy piece of paper with a well-practiced adventurer’s eye. Needless to say his first reaction had been to stuff the paper into his mouth in a desperate attempt to see if it was made of gold, unfortunately his fears were confirmed when the heady aroma and abysmal flavour had left no question in his mind that the yellow staining was merely Derpo faeces.
Spluttering uncontrollably and wiping at his streaming eyes; Bungo was suddenly roused to awareness again by a distant rumbling noise, followed by the crash of a portcullis somewhere in the Temple.
“I’ve got you now Bungo!” whined an unreasonably high pitched, annoying voice from nowhere in particular. It seemed to be emanating from the walls themselves.
“Trapped?” mused Bungo, as he stroked his chiselled jaw. As if in time to his own thoughts there was another rumbling noise and a massive wrought-iron cage was lowered from the ceiling on several colossal chains. It crashed to the ground roughly and the door sprung open.
“Prepare to meet your doom Bungo!” the grating voice cried, followed by the sound of maniacal laughter that dwindled into the distance.
A creature burst from the confines of the cage in a blur of fur and fangs. “A Gassmonnog?” gasped Bungo, in a manly fashion.
The creature was easily 4 times as tall as the erstwhile barbarian and its lupine form was crested with seven chittering hawkish heads. Its foul mutations were even more evident than that though and Bungo was horrified to see a pair of large and unruly breasts that hung pendulously from its bestial torso; and seemed to be constantly trod underfoot during its ill-advised attempts to move.
“Foul creature who would defy the beauty of breasts” Bungo swore a solemn curse as he circled the prowling creature. “Prepare to die by my blade”. With that last utterance, Bungo leapt bodily into the air and drew Donglore in a blistering downward execution strike. The creature squawked with terror as Bungo landed with volcanic force on its exposed back and buried the blade deep between its shoulder blades. Crimson ichor erupted from the wound in a bloody fountain, but before Bungo could finish the strike and bury the blade in its heart he was beset by a flurry of gnashing beaks. He stumbled back under the onslaught; momentarily losing his footing on its undulating back. The loss of focus was all it took for his grip to loosen and the burly barbarian was thrown roughly to the ground.
Bungo looked up from his prone position in time to see the creature rear up; preparing to crush his manly form into somewhat less manly sludge.
Bungo the Barbarian - Chapter 5, Toilet-Brush with Death
For an agonising moment Bungo’s life flashed before his eyes. His reverie was broken when the room erupted in a shower of crimson lightning that left the Gassmonnog frizzled, convulsing and defecating uncontrollably.
Bungo didn’t care where the lightning had come from; all that mattered was that he had the chance to seize victory. He sprang from the ground and grabbed the hilt of his mighty blade where it still protruded from the beast’s back. His biceps bulged as he twisted the weapon like a ghastly corkscrew; suitably blenderising the prone monster’s internal organs. Its death rattle echoed through the chamber with a sound that was faintly reminiscent of the explosive anal decompression that Bungo had once suffered while under the tender mercies of the Butt-Goblins of Turdmondaz.
Silence descended once again and Bungo was left panting to catch his breath.
“Oh Bungie, that was so manly” beckoned a honey laden, seductive voice from a darkened corner of the room.
“Shallica?” The question probed the darkness momentarily, until the familiar succubean princess hovered into view. As usual she was levitating at head height with the barbarian; reclining on a bed of invisible air, and kicking her legs absentmindedly as she moved. Her voluptuous form was scantily clad in the traditional bikini-armour of her kin.
“Must you always interrupt my deadly struggles?” Bungo’s heroic voice echoed through the empty chamber.
“Well, I just got so jealous seeing you getting all sweaty with another woman”
“A woman?” Bungo queried, surveying his surroundings for the damsel in question.
“Well, it did have breasts!” Shallica pouted; vaguely gesturing at the mauled carcass of the once proud Gassmonnog.
It was at that moment that Bungo suddenly spun away from the jealous succubus.
“Did you hear that?” he rumbled.
“I think I did” Shallica paused; licking her lips hungrily. “Did it sound like something BIG and HARD hitting the inside of your fabulous crotch plate?…” The last few syllables were obscured by a sudden flow of saliva and her eyes hungrily explored Bungo’s masculine form.
“We need to investigate” replied Bungo obliviously; his attention was focused elsewhere.
Shallica’s only reply was an impish giggle as she floated ever closer to the barbarian’s generous cod piece. Her advance was cut short however; as Bungo planted an enormous boot straight through the wall to his immediate left. The masonry crumpled pathetically under the crushing impact; seemingly imploding in on itself for a moment as his leg disappeared up to the knee into the strained stonework. As the dust settled the hole in the wall revealed an adjacent corridor.
"Excelsior!" he declared deafeningly, before striking a pose and bounding off down the freshly excavated passage. Shallica followed silently in toe; dribbling incoherently and mumbling about the heroic qualities of Bungo’s firm buttocks.
Bungo the Barbarian - Chapter 6, A Fortune in Gold Pantaloons
"A Thief!" declared Bungo loudly. His booming voice reverberated deafeningly around the chamber like the rumbling of distant thunder; only far more ear-splitting.
Shallica eyed the small man quizzically as the titanic barbarian held him aloft by his hooded jerkin.
"Do you have like ..." She paused thinking "any proof at all?”
Bungo's headlong charge down the corridor had been arrested when he had come across a small prison complex buried at the heart of the dungeon. After freeing most of the captured travellers, he had plucked one man from the crowd as they raced to freedom.
"I have this" insisted Bungo; shaking the man roughly by the scruff of the neck to exaggerate the point. His seemingly innocuous victim was turning greener by the second from a mix of asphyxiation and an afore-unknown type of motion sickness brought on by the barbarian's gyrations.
"I see a small, slightly fat man in a hood" Shallica insisted. She was secretly enjoying the reparte as she gazed longingly into Bungo's dark eyes.
"A hood!" Bungo roared as though the statement made perfect sense.
"Only a thief would wear a hood; for secrecy!" The barbarian continued enthusiastically "an elf can be determined by his pointy ears, a barbarian by his leather pants." He paused to pull up his own leather pants unnecessarily as if to make the point. "And a thief by his hood!" Bungo made the last statement as though he was sharing some sagely golden-nugget of truth.
"I don't think..." Shallica began. She was interrupted mid-sentence as Bungo had started to shake the man more vigorously in an effort to prove his point. There was a loud crashing noise as a fortune in gold doubloons dislodged itself from the man's straining breeches.
Shallica could only stand silently; dumbfounded by the efficacy of Bungo's primitive logic.
"Excelsior!" Boomed the barbarian; suitably drop-kicking the now unconscious thief back into one of the prison cells, before scooping up his bounty and dashing further into the complex. Shallica followed in his wake with a vacant look of dazed adoration.
As the barbarian's footsteps dwindled into the distance the prison returned to silence once again. The calm was broken by a diminutive figure that stalked from the shadows.
"Yes, head further into my lair." The high pitched voice's sinister invitation hung in the air like a curse.
"I'll get you yet Bungo..."
Bungo the Barbarian - Chapter 7, Enter the Warrior
The throne room was quiet; so very peaceful for such a long time now. The Derpo king sighed lethargically as yet another uneventful day slid by; continuing silently with his knitting. He was lazily daydreaming about making fortunes for his kingdom selling hand-made elasticated Derpo pants, when it happened.
Suddenly the colossal oak doors exploded inwards in a shower of wooden shrapnel. Bungo entered seconds later; riding the unconscious body of one of the huge Ogroid guards like a surf-board. He skidded to a blood curdling halt 10 feet into the chamber and leapt from the top of his unwilling mount; before landing with his hands on his hips. The burly barbarian paused for a moment; pulling several unnecessary flexing manoeuvres for the benefit of nobody in particular.
The Derpo king was only sure of one thing; this didn’t bode well for his knitting enterprises.
Bungo the Barbarian - Chapter 8, A Deadly Derp in the Dead of Night
Bungo’s muscle-bound reverie was soon interrupted; the chamber seemed to darken momentarily as a second gargantuan Ogroid guard stepped through the broken remnants of the doorway. The beast’s face split in a menacing parody of amusement as it loomed over the barbarian’s masculine form.
“Blaarggh!” the creature intoned, although it was unclear whether this was intended as a vicious war cry, or perhaps it was merely the sound of some malicious bowel movement brought on by too much fine dungeon cuisine.
The beast’s monstrous form swayed unsteadily as it made a lumbering side-swipe with its corroded War-Maul. Bungo leapt aside; easily evading the cumbersome assault. The rusted club-like implement crashed into a pillar, and the room seemed to shake momentarily under the crushing impact; dislodging a good quantity of ancient tomb-dust from the straining rafters.
Bungo was already moving; he jumped into the air and landed a vicious double-kick to his opponent’s malformed face. The creature reeled back; holding its bloody mess of a head and yowling incoherently.
“Looks much better!” declared Bungo heroically; admiring his grizzly handiwork from his vantage point on the ground. He was feigning reclining on a chaise longue, much to the chagrin of his opponent and the watching Derpo King. In truth the beast’s hideously concave visage had been reduced to the walking equivalent of an ingrown toenail.
Bungo wasted no more time and drew the crystalline Blade of Donglore; decapitating his blundersome opponent in a satisfyingly explosive eruption of gore. There was a short delay as the creature’s body swayed unsteadily, before collapsing to the ground in a convulsing heap.
Just as the barbarian was about to make a witty pun, he was again interrupted by the appearance of another adversary.
“You would defile my innermost chamber?” A squeaky voice declared haughtily.
Bungo turned from the Ogroid’s corpse with a groan of dissatisfaction. At this rate he’d never get to loot the body for any treasure.
He salvaged the less than ideal situation with a heroic witticism “That’s what she said!” replied the hero with a smirk; judiciously adjusting his generous man-package for added impact.
The Derpo King was not amused. Enthroned on a raised dais; the blobby creature’s rubbery flesh squeaked menacingly as he waddled from his perch and approached the barbarian on stunted purple legs.
“Time to die man ape!” he squawked; momentarily blinding the barbarian by throwing what appeared to be a half-made garment complete with knitting needles into Bugo’s chiselled face.
Screaming with manly fury and choking on the fluffy garment for a surprisingly long time; Bungo eventually threw the knitting to the floor.
The Derpo King had not been idle during the distraction. A section of wall had slid aside by some arcane means; revealing a colossal Derpo Death Ray in the adjoining chamber. The Derpo King cackled maniacally as he aimed the bulbous weapon and it cycled unsteadily to full power.
Bungo could only swallow uneasily as the Derpo King pulled the ignition leaver and a stream of crackling methane-powered energy arced across the throne room.
Bungo the Barbarian - Chapter 9, The Tomb of Doom
An earth-shattering detonation rocked the chamber as the directed energy beam scythed through the air; reducing everything in its path to dusty disintegrated rubble in an instant, before finally impacting on the far wall with an impressively pyrotechnic eruption. Even the vast collection of iron swords that hung in grim decoration had been reduced to nothing in a blinding instant; their steely blades no proof against the Derpo’s arcane technologies.
But there was no sign of the hollering man ape barbarian.
The Derpo King wiped the bountiful sweat from his brow with the back of a rubbery hand; eliciting a squealing noise like nails on a chalk board. He muttered a bitter curse as he began the reload cycle and the sorcerous weapon once again began to shudder; choking into life and discharging vast quantities of methane into the air as its energy crystals overflowed in a slowly creeping miasma.
“I don’t care if you’re alive or not” he crowed. His high pitched voice echoed through the dungeon’s now silent halls. He grabbed the ignition leaver with both hands; preparing to unleash another deadly torrent.
“This place will be your tomb manling!” he spat the words furiously; his eyes wet with tears at the thought of his lost knitting enterprise, and in his mind the loss of his people’s economic security.
It was in the midst of this rather one sided exchange that he suddenly caught a glimpse of a strange shimmering shape in the air above him.
“Excelsior!” cried Bungo from his lofty perch as he initiated a dive-bomb manoeuvre that closely echoed the attack runs of the great avian predators of Morgax.
Only mere moments before the blast he had grabbed hold of Shallica’s succubean horns and taken flight to escape the wanton destruction wrought by the Derpo King’s fierce weapon. Her entrance into the chamber had gone unnoticed in the struggle, and Bungo’s daft adversary would soon come to regret the mistake. The barbarian had mounted her sensuous form in a strange parody of a piggyback ride; the picture was as amusing as it was deadly, but markedly more lewd than either.
“What the hell is wrong with you people?!” The Derpo King screamed; fleeing in terror as the strange cavalry bore down upon him. His waddling gait and clumsy flapping feet made escape next to impossible and the lurid pair grew ever closer. He had only made it three cumbersome strides when he turned in horror to see Bungo sailing through the air on a direct collision course. The barbarian had abandoned Shallica in mid-flight and was now soaring towards the wildly defecating Derpo; his hair billowing in the wind as he made the heady 20 foot drop with ease.
The world seemed to go into slow motion as Bungo’s bulging elbow drop came to a thunderous end; connecting directly with the Derpo King’s head. For a single heartbeat the rubbery flesh seemed to absorb the impact as Bungo’s arm disappeared right up to his shoulder in the cranium of his unprepared adversary. There was a momentary delay before the Derpo King’s eyes bulged out of their sockets to three times their usual size and his head imploded inwards in a fantastical expulsion of methane that drove his shrivelled body into the ground; before pinging about the room.
“Don’t be so hot headed!” quipped Bungo; standing proudly with his hands on his hips and pulling a few manly poses that Shallica seemed to appreciate with hungry enthusiasm. In truth she was still overcome from the excitement of having Bungo suddenly leap on her; and had been in a daze ever since.
Unfortunately for the heroic duo, the moment of victory was short lived. The Derpo King’s shrivelled body flew by one last time before finally coming to rest in the worst possible place; directly on the Death Ray’s ignition leaver. The was an ominous clunk as the dooms-day device switched from idle and into overload and the whole chamber began to collapse as the nebulous energy ball started to unmake the world around them.
Chapter 10, The Stench of Success
The entire dungeon shook violently as Bungo made his escape. Together with Shallica he had managed to put some distance between himself and the overloading doomsday machine, but he was still being pursued by the rapidly expanding energy bubble. He occasionally dared to glance back into the blinding florescence of the cataclysm, but there wasn’t much to see; the bubble was disintegrating everything in its path.
As they rounded another twisting corner, the corridor seemed to convulse for a moment as reality began to crumble; Bungo’s top heavy heroic form wasn’t well suited to balance and he staggered into a straining dungeon wall. The wall collapsed in a dusty explosion and Bungo fell through the breach; landing in a panting heap on the mossy floor.
“Moss?” queried the barbarian, addressing nobody in particular. It was at that moment that a heroic epiphany came upon him.
“This way” he hollered boomingly; his mighty voice was partially drowned out by the rumbling of the cataclysm. Shallica appeared in the air above him moments later as he barrelled headlong down the dank passageway.
“Moss means water!” he yelled above the crumbling cacophony as his feet beat a rampant tattoo on the overgrown stonework beneath him. Taking a running jump, Bungo’s mighty form shaped a human cannon-ball as he burst through the next wall; plunging straight into a previously undiscovered underground river.
“By Donglore!” gargled Bungo; spitting out a large quantity of rancid water. In truth it wasn’t so much an underground river that he had dived into, but more a purpose built Derpo sewage aqueduct. The incorrigible barbarian fought to keep his head above the foamy waters and away from the sea of raw faeces that were floating by, but simultaneously holding his breath and his nose was draining his strength as much as navigating the tumultuous rapids.
A great splash momentarily distracted the hero as Shallica’s unconscious form dropped into the aqueduct’s murky waters. Unknown to the barbarian, her flight had been arrested when she was overcome with the heady fumes; the reeking miasma had proved too much for her delicate demonic sensitivities and her well-formed body was now rolling adrift amongst the waves.
Bungo’s muscular arms scythed through a particularly gigantic floater as he tore through the water towards her. He managed to retrieve her unconscious form just in time to see a light at the end of the cavern ahead of them, growing closer by the second.
“Excelsior!” the cry of victory was cut short as Bungo once again regretted opening his mouth; having taken on another gulp of filthy water punctuated by what appeared to be a half-digested corn cobb.
Spluttering uncontrollably; the filthy pair emerged from the mountain’s underbelly with only moments to spare. There was a loud rumbling sound from deep inside the temple; punctuated by a blinding flash of light as the edifice collapsed in on itself. The once proud entranceway was the last thing to disappear into the dusty ground; leaving no sign that the dungeon had ever existed.
Bungo hauled himself from the river bank with a grunt of exertion; placing Shallica’s comparatively diminutive form on the dewy ground. She was breathing steadily, but showed no signs of regaining consciousness any time soon.
“They will never know of my heroic struggles, but I require no thanks from the realms of men.”
Bungo had turned into the slowly rising sun and was busy forming a grimly heroic silhouette in the foggy morning air. His hair billowed fiercely in the westerly wind that blew across the vale and his face was stern; steely in contemplation. The image would’ve been somewhat more evocative if it weren’t for the generous lashings of raw sewage that were running down his chin and splattering messily against the ground at his feet.
With no audience to appreciate his dramatically herculean musings, Bungo began the long walk back to town in silence with Shallica firmly wedged under one bulging arm.
Chapter 11, The Hero’s Sausage
The road back to town had been arduous and rather pungent. Thankfully an unscheduled downpour had washed Bungo and Shallica’s forms free of the heady mixture of greasy sweat, mud, and raw sewage.
The barbarian trudged into Derrowville and headed straight towards the inn in a daze of exhaustion. He was still cradling Shallica’s unconscious form, although in truth she had come to her senses some time ago, and was merely staying quiet and feigning stretching in her sleep intermittently as an excuse to variously grope and fondle Bungo’s herculean physique.
Heedless of this, Bungo casually booted down the inn door and lurched through the entrance. As his sleepy eyes adjusted to the dark interior, he almost tripped headlong over the festering corpse of the Sauranite Warrior he had vanquished almost a week earlier. It seemed that the lizard-beast’s generous frame had proven too much for the villagers to move unaided, and they had simply given up halfway across the room. With no other option open to them, they had dressed the grim remnants with furs in an attempt to disguise them as some kind of beer-hall bench.
It wasn’t very convincing.
With little energy left and in dire need of sleep; Bungo climbed the creaking stairs to his room. He laid Shallica down on the rough-hewn wooden bed; before dropping like a stone to the hard mattress with a hollow thump and falling into a feverish sleep.
“My belly-box is empty! I need food!” Roared the barbarian; the words were muffled by a huge mouthful of what the Innkeeper described only as “Hero Sausage”, but realistically might well have been made of the Sauranite’s processed remains. Bungo had awoken with a huge appetite and had seated himself in the tavern; surreptitiously ordering every single item on the menu and two of anything with meat in it. His words were accompanied by a generous spray of half eaten offal as the rubbery foodstuffs escaped his enthusiastic mouth.
Shallica had been dazedly watching the excessive overeater for over an hour. In truth there had been several times when a crowd had begun to gather to stare at the outlandish spectacle that was Bungo eating breakfast, but she had chased them away; variously biting and scrabbling any who dared to overstay their welcome. She was determined not to share him with anyone else, and had barely tolerated the innkeeper’s presence, who was sweating nervously on the other side of the bar, and had been quietly praying for the outlandish pair to move on before he had another suspiciously smelly “beer-bench” to worry about.
As the barbarian finished off a particularly chewy chunk of sausage that curiously seemed to have scales, his meal was interrupted by the sound of approaching hoof beats. The loud clacking sound came to an end just outside of the saloon door. There was the tell-tale noise of someone dismounting, followed by footsteps across the shoddy wooden decking. A moment later the tavern was bathed in light as the doors were flung open and a tall figure strode into the room.
Clad in a long black cape and wide-brimmed traveller’s hat; the man was somewhat conspicuous to say the least. Bungo eyed the new arrival’s grizzled face with interest as he approached the innkeeper and they entered into a hushed conversation. Their whispered words were lost entirely to Bungo; drowned out by the loud smacking noise as he heartily slurped another sausage down.
It wasn’t until the innkeeper gestured reluctantly in the barbarian’s direction and the man began to move towards him that Bungo realised something was wrong. It was at that moment he noticed the large copper medallion hanging around the man’s neck.
“A bounty hunter?” the question hung in the air for a second, but was soon answered; the dark stranger drew a rapid-fire crossbow from under his cowl and took aim right between Bungo’s eyes.
Chapter 12, Horror of the Meat-Sabre
Bungo upturned the breakfast table with a guttural grunt; sending as spray of creamy porridge and half eaten morsels across the room. He was just in time to deflect the first bolt as it slammed into the sodden table top a moment latter. The sound was followed rapidly by another bolt that whizzed past the makeshift shield as the Barbarian took cover from the bounty hunter’s advanced weapon.
Having left his sword upstairs the night before, Bungo was unarmed. Looking around for a weapon, his eyes fixed on a particularly large and bulbous Hero Sausage that was flopping wetly on the ground around his feet. He hefted the rubbery meat-sword with one large hand and prepared for battle as another two bolts slammed home into the straining wood.
As Bungo was struggling to think of a way out of his predicament, an unexpected scuffle broke out on the other side of the room. It seemed that Shallica had leapt onto the bounty hunter’s back and was busy putting her incisors to work on the soft tissue of his exposed ear. The man threw her to the ground a moment later, although she fell away with his dismembered ear still grasped grimly in her razor-like teeth. Screaming in pain; he aimed down and prepared to finish the insatiable she-demon with the weapon that she had failed to wrestle from his grasp.
In that deadly instant Bungo leapt from behind his barricade and let fly with the flopping meat-sabre. The sausage flew through the air like some ghastly blimp before impacting in a wet splosh on his adversary’s dumbstruck face. The man reeled back momentarily in pain and the opening was all the time Bungo needed to tackle him to porridge soaked the ground.
The two men wrestled through the creamy juice in a life or death struggle. At some point Bungo had torn the shirt from his adversary’s back and the two underpants-clad combatants were now covered in greasy white porridge. The scene continued for several minutes, with neither man particularly gaining the upper hand as the fight devolved into one of the most homo-erotic combats that would ever be fought. Occasionally the bounty hunter would reach for his crossbow, only to have it batted away across the room. The undulating man-wadge seemed to show no signs of separation any time soon.
After dusting herself off, Shallica had resumed her position shooing away the on-looking villagers, and was now seated on a tall bar stool with a good view of the action. She occasionally hovered above them or behind for a “close-up” when Bungo was in a particularly suggestive pose, but couldn’t stay on her feet to long in the face of such rapture.
As the fight entered its sixth minute, Bungo finally seemed to get the upper hand. Straddling his opponent’s chest and pinning him to the ground, he reached out and snatched a jellied hero sausage from the gooey floor.
“Your death would’ve been a lot cleaner if I had my sword!”
The Man’s eyes grew wide with terror as realisation dawned on him. Bungo grabbed his opponent’s mouth in one powerful hand; prising it open. With escape impossible, he slammed the bulbous sausage home straight down the bounty hunter’s throat. The meat-sabre disappeared twelve inches into the unwilling orifice and stuck hard.
“Choke on my meat!” Grunted Bungo as he clamped the man’s mouth shut. The scene was punctuated aptly, as his adversary’s wheezing breath sent a spray of creamy goo slapping onto the barbarian’s oily chest.
With a sound like a blocked drain gargling its last, the bounty hunter’s eyes rolled into the back of his head and his body went limp in Bungo’s grasp.
Chapter 13 – Pontification Station
Bungo stood astride his defeated opponent's stricken form and danced heartily. The celebratory romp concluded spectacularly with a barrage of sharp thrusting motions and a double-handed crotch slap; eliciting an unexpectedly sublime chime as the hammer blow rang against Bungo's steely codpiece.
The burly barbarian halted his joviality abruptly; suddenly struck by the notion that he still had no idea why the fight had broken out in the first place. He hummed thoughtfully as a massively powerful hand stroked his Herculean jaw and his manly eyebrows furrowed in consternation as his comparatively underdeveloped mental faculties went to work. The effort was such that didn't even notice the shrill ruckus that ensued when the innkeeper finally came out of hiding to see his bar reduced to a swampy broken ruin. Nor did he flinch as fresh porridge dripped from the rafters and splattered against his steely chest; to say nothing of the fact that Shallica had been licking him clean for the past two minutes and relishing every moment of it.
Another agonisingly slow moment passed before Bungo finally broke the silence.
"I have a thought..." He declared; turning to face Shallica with one finger raised. The dainty gesture was quite out of keeping with the barbarian's sinewy physique. Still probing the air with one questing finger, he continued broodingly.
"Why is a bounty hunter attacking me?”
Shallica's only response was a sullen groan; her fine eyebrows raised in a quizzical expression.
"All that time and you only managed to get the question, not the answer?" Her reply hung in the air unheeded; Bungo's oblivious diatribe continued uninterrupted and mostly unintelligibly.
"Bounty Hunters hunt bad people for money..." Another break in prose seemingly proved that the colossal barbarian really was unable to string together multiple sentences with any efficacy. Shallica groaned again; the questing finger had returned.
"Someone paid this man to attack me!" The final words came out in an exultant rush as Bungo finally identified the plainly obvious. It was only after another celebratory crotch-slap and a booming chorus of "Excelsior" that the barbarian realised that Shallica was nowhere to be seen.
After a brief moment of befuddled searching, Bungo looked down in time to see her clawed hand reach out towards him with a piece of warrant paper clutched between her delicate fingers. It seemed that she had grown weary of waiting for the erstwhile dunce's creaking cognitions and had performed a search of the unconscious man's belongings in an attempt to speed things along.
Bungo's colossal fist dwarfed the tattered parchment as he took the proffered item from Shallica. He brought it closer to his face and immediately burst into raucous laughter.
"Who is this hideous oaf!?" Bungo spluttered the words; his eyes wet with tears of amusement as he stared at the blockheaded visage on the paper. The hastily scrawled portrait was fashioned with a fierce cleft chin, glowering grey eyes and a monstrous forehead dominated by a bold mono-brow. The poor individual's body was outlandishly proportioned in a ridiculously triangular manner, with legs that appeared almost vestigial in size and arms that hung below the ankles. A childishly angular sword was proudly clutched in one raised hand above a mane of unruly hair.
"It says right here it's you." Shallica pointed to the bottom of the page; the simple gesture almost immediately ending the barbarian's good humour.
"Reward, 50,000 Chrome Stumpkins for the head of Bungo the Barbarian." She read the next line aloud, unaware that Bungo had already begun to turn a deep shade of red; silently fuming at the insult.
"Wanted for crimes of...." She stopped mid-sentence, scowling slightly
"This part’s been ruined by porridge, I can't see anything else..." Her casual remark was cut short when she looked into Bungo's Herculean features. Gone was the air of amusement; his whole body was tense with an air of dark resolve. In truth, at that moment he resembled the warrant poster's mug shot more than Shallica had previously thought possible, but she didn't want to ruin the moment by pointing it out; even though his hunched posture really did make his arms hang rather low.
There was a pregnant moment as Bungo turned toward the inn door; dramatically draping the stricken man's long cloak about his angular shoulders. When he finally spoke, his tone was brooding and low.
"There's only one place where they use Chrome Stumpkins" he was oddly contemplative as he climbed the creaking stairs to retrieve the Blade of Donglore.
"We're heading to Marbo."
Chapter 14 – A Man’s Best Friend
“What is THAT!?” Shallica’s clawed fingers were trembling as she pointed unsteadily into the far corner of the barn.
Bungo had led her to a disused stable on the outside of town, promising to give her the ride of her life. Needless to say, he had no idea what the insatiable she-demon had imagined at those words, or indeed the horrors her less than pure mind was now conjuring up as she glared at the oddly bovine beast with a mixture of confusion and abject horror.
“Wendy!” Bungo held his gargantuan arms out wide in greeting; the familiar call seeming to elicit some kind of response in the molten darkness. A brief, deep, mooing noise; punctuated by the rumbling of cloven hooves was his only reply at first, until something colossal hove into view. Shallica bit her trembling lip in fear as the beast finally emerged; its quiveringly bulbous mass brought tears to her eyes.
Standing as wide as it was tall, “Wendy” was a sight to behold. The rippling mass of muscle that could barely be called a horse emerged like some prehistoric marmot on steroids. It resembled a thoroughbred bull more than anything else, but the distinctly bovine form was definitely related to a horse in some way, perhaps as a thrice-removed mule from a before unknown breed. Even more disturbing than its over-muscled 10 foot tall hunch was the embossed monogrammed harness that proudly declared the creature’s name in surprisingly adorable script; complete with a few backwards letters. Shallica vomited in her throat a little; and it wasn’t just that hero sausage she’d snapped up before leaving the inn.
Oblivious to her discomfort; Bungo threw his arms round the creature’s neck and to Shallica’s horror it seemed to purr like a cat as he squeezed it lovingly. The rumbling purr was more like an earthquake than an acceptance of affection, and oddly it even seemed to like it when Bungo squeezed so hard its eyes bulged in their sockets. The heartfelt reunion ended with the barbarian delivering a healthy slap to the creature’s flank that set the beast staggering across the barn; neatly demolishing a portion of the eastern wall in a crash of splintered wood.
“This is Wendy, the finest thoroughbred horse in all the free kingdoms.” Bungo seemed to be making some kind of introduction, as he went about the somewhat onerous task of saddling the creature. Watching the barbarian work; Shallica was momentarily dragged into nostalgia as she remembered the time that Bungo had climbed on her back and ridden her into battle against the Derpo King and his devious Death Ray. She couldn’t help but feel jealous of Wendy at that moment, but was somewhat reassured by the knowledge that the horse-beast was obviously male; whether Bungo actually knew the difference between the sexes or was just oblivious to the fact was another matter entirely.
Shallica’s train of thought was disrupted mid-flow as Bungo placed his powerful hands around her waist and unceremoniously lifted her off the ground; plonking her down in the saddle high on Wendy’s back, before climbing into the seat in front of her.
“Ride!” The cacophonous command that burst from Bungo’s lips was almost immediately covered by a stampede of heavy hoof-beats. The rampant cavalry left only dust in their wake as they burst from the now ruined stable; to say nothing of the massive pile of horse droppings that seemingly had accumulated during Bungo’s week long absence.
Armando Spineshankler lurked in the bushes. He glided through the undergrowth unheeded; cowled in black and obscured by secret techniques that made him as silent as a sparrow in flight. He paused for a moment in the darkness cast by a fallen tree; stopping only to lick the side of his knife. The gesture exposed a row of filthy jagged teeth that seemed to compliment his grizzled bearded visage in the half light of early morning.
“Bungo … I’m coming for you” The whisper was barely audible above the sound of the forest, but it would have chilled the blood of any close enough to hear. Armando had been eyeing the bounty warrant for weeks. He had stalked his prey across continents; biding his time and waiting for the perfect time to strike. He had followed him to Derrowville, and now to an old barn that would soon become his adversary’s grave. He could almost feel the weight of the Chrome Stumpkins in his pack already.
“Ride!” the words echoed strangely through the forest; scattering the birds like a shoal of snapper fish with a Garganto-Shark in their midst. For a moment, Armando jumped; thinking that his cover was blown. The momentary fright gave way to outright panic as a huge leaping silhouette darkened the sky; rumbling like thunder in paradise as it tore a swathe through the sleepy forest.
Armando’s last words came out as a strangled “Eeep!” as he was carelessly ground underneath Wendy’s monstrous hooves; the crunch of his fragile bones inaudible to Bungo and Shallica as they barrelled past and inadvertently crushed him into a bloody paste.
“Was that a deer?” Shallica’s shrill voice cut the air as she looked back in panic, but the grizzly scene had already been left far behind in a sea of indistinct broken vegetation and tortured earth.
Chapter 15 – Harbour Master Disaster
The Harbour-Master’s office was a tiny hovel of a room, punctuated by a large desk and sprawling sea charts. Getting Bungo’s burly frame into the diminutive space had been quite the conundrum, and his customary spread-legged power stance meant that he had actually wedged one foot against each wall in an attempt to get comfortable.
The ageing Harbour Master eyed him suspiciously over a steaming tankard of bunk-swill; a local beverage that combined a caffeinated seaweed-grog with moonshine in a potently pungent cocktail.
“Marbo?” he mused; pondering the barbarian’s intended destination. Like most of his utterances it was lost almost entirely to slurred unintelligibility.
“I need a suitable vessel, seaworthy…” The barbarian hooked his thumbs into his massive belt for a moment.
“And, full of just adventurers!” He punctuated the booming declaration by making a wide sweeping motion with one hand that neatly beheaded an antique wooden statuette and sent a spray of eclectic paraphernalia crashing to the ground in pieces.
Luckily the Harbour master was in too much of a bunk-swill induced stupor to notice the raucous nuisance that had invaded his office. He eyed a dusty chart slowly; taking time to process the information it contained.
“Sea’s Bounty is goin’ to Marbo; ‘tis a fine ship.” He offered a manifesto to the barbarian, who glared at it incredulously.
“Sea’s Bounty?” The barbarian roared in annoyance. “Do I look like I’m going fishing!” With the final statement he snatched a list of currently docked ships from the desk.
“The Briney…. no that won’t do” Bungo’s manly features furrowed in consternation as he considered the list of potential vessels. The Harbour master was mumbling something about manners and young folk nowadays when suddenly Bungo gasped loudly and the room fell into complete silence.
“The….” He gulped re-reading the word several times excitedly to make sure.
“The…” There was a brief pause as he took a huge breath.
“The EXCELSIOR!!!!!!” Bungo threw a handful of coins on the table and rushed from the Harbour-Master’s office; narrowly avoiding demolishing an entire wall as he stampeded out of the room.
“No son, not that ship! it’s a place of ill repute … and I ain’t talkin’ about her seaworthiness neither!” The Harbour Master’s muttered warning fell on deaf ears as Bungo raced towards the pier.
Chapter 16 – Innuendo Crescendo
The Excelsior rode low in the water. Its massive form seemed to rock unsteadily in time to the undulating waves; helpless under the weight of its own lavishly bedecked aft castles and silken finery. Its cabins were painted sloppily in a generously applied, and seedily peeling coat of thick red paint. The whole ship was gloriously topped in what appeared from a distance to be solid gold wheel at the centre of the helm, but would on closer inspection be revealed as a cheap brass knockoff encrusted with a generously audacious quantity of rhinestones and worthless baubles. As if that wasn’t enough; the gaudy decorations were entirely eclipsed by a colossal topless mermaid statue that boldly crested the prow of the ship.
Bungo noticed none of these seemingly small details as heaved Wendy up the gang-plank; bracing his back against her generous hind quarters and pushing with all of his titanic strength. He was excitedly eyeing the words “Excelsior” that had been proudly embossed on the side of the ship when something stopped the odd baggage train in its tracks.
“Hold it right there!”
Bungo peered round his steed to see a small green Goblin blocking his path; the creature seemed to be bizarrely dressed in a brocaded jacket and tri-corner hat. Even stranger he seemed to be wearing an eye-patch, but was lifting it up to get a good look at the intruding individuals. His beady eyes hungrily took in Bungo’s herculean form.
“You mean you don’t know who I am?” The odd Goblin gestured at a large badge on his baroque jacket.
“Janboe Tigg, Pimp of the Seas…” Bungo read the words slowly, not quite comprehending their meaning. Without concerning himself with the little details like what he was about to get himself into, or what was actually going on, the adventurer made a move to continue up the gang-plank.
“I require passage…” as soon as the words left the barbarian’s mouth, Janboe went to work. He clapped his hand once, seemingly signalling the crew. The deck soon rang with the patter of dainty footsteps as a parade of scantily clad women lined up in rows in front of the dumbstruck barbarian, along with a row of infuriatingly camp sailors.
“Petunia’s got one hell of a passage; gotta be seen to be believed!” the incredulous Goblin said with a generous wink; waving his arm in the direction of a particularly girth-some woman who was beckoning Bungo invitingly.
“Just step right up and that’ll be 3 Pieces of Silver, thank you very much.” He paused for a moment, eyeing Shallica up-and-down curiously, before speaking again.
“What’s wrong with this one; a case of Demon-Wang?” Shallica immediately turned red at the suggestion, but Janboe continued regardless.
“I think I’ve got an ointment for that, doesn’t cure the Wang, but soothes the engorgement.”
Bungo finally managed to interrupt the crazed Goblin’s repartee for a moment by waving his arms wildly.
“I don’t want to buy sex! I want to be taken, you know PASSSAGE on THIS SHIP!” Bungo’s booming words reverberated across the deck. The last shouts causing a clamour amongst the crew as they struggled to get a better look at the barbarian interloper.
“Oh, right…” Janboe was thinking again for a minute.
“Taken on the ship…” The Goblin ummed and ahh’d for a moment before snapping his fingers.
“I’ve got it!” He clapped his hands twice more and a muscular man with a moustache appeared from out of the crowd.
“This is Klaus, he’ll take your passage on this ship all day long! And for only 2 Pieces of Silver!”
There was a slight pause while Bungo’s prehistoric intellect struggled to come to terms with what was happening. Unfortunately the thinking time was mistaken for indecision by Janboe, who immediately offered him a two for one deal and a loyalty card before the barbarian could finally interject again.
“What if” Bungo began slowly, sounding out the words one by one in an attempt to get through the labyrinthine sex-trap of a mind he was contending with.
“I” the barbarian stopped to gesture to himself and his companions. Janboe was nodding eagerly.
“Want a cabin” He paused again, looking the Goblin directly in the eyes for signs of acknowledgement. “Without the sex.” The crew fell silent with looks of confusion. A few laughed at the preposterousness of it, and more than one snicker was heard, until Janboe hushed them meaningfully.
“Alone? Everyone in their own room?” The buccaneering Goblin, stopped for a moment.
“I get it, but y’know that it’ll cost more to drill the peep-holes right?”
Bungo was about to argue, but at this rate it didn’t seem like he’d get a better deal. Exacerbated and more than a little confused, he pushed Wendy’s monstrous form on board with Shallica in tow and they were quickly shown to their adjoining cabins.
After promising to come back with a drill, Janboe finally left. As the door creaked shut Bungo cold hear a faint voice echoing through the wall from the next cabin.
“I don’t have Demon Wang…” Shallica pouted quietly to herself.
Chapter 17 – Amnesiac Attack
Bungo’s head appeared; looming over the side of the lumbering vessel like the pale head of some prehistoric turtle poking out of its shell. Without a moment’s delay he vomited profusely down the flank of the ship with all the subtlety of an erupting geyser; pouring an eclectic spray of foodstuffs into the tumultuous deeps below.
“I was born for the sea!” declared Bungo boomingly; springing back onto the deck with feigned enthusiasm. He seemed oblivious to the strings of saliva that dangled grotesquely from his decidedly pale visage, or the fact that he’d been sea sick for hours.
“That…” Shallica began shakingly “was the grossest thing I have ever seen”. In truth it wasn’t so much the vomiting that was disgusting, but the fact that Bungo had been variously eating and vomiting ever since the storm had broken over 4 hours earlier. Her words went unheeded; the oafsome barbarian was already sitting down to another plate of frothy gruel and an even frothier tankard of Bunk Swill.
Just as Bungo was struggling to fasten a fresh napkin around his neck, there was a sudden thunder-crack that seemed to be forewarning for the largest wave yet. Salty spray lashed across the vessel; batting a few unwary seafarers from the deck and into the ocean below. The waves boke against Bungo’s manly chest pathetically, but his dinner was dashed to the ground and ruined. In truth it was probably just cutting out the middle man, but Bungo furrowed his brow in annoyance nonetheless.
“Duck!” Shallica’s suddenly leapt to the floor as the mast spun on its axis; caught in a deadly crosswind, and the massive beam swung across the deck.
“Duck for dinner?” Bungo pondered “I think I’d like another Hero Sausage actually…” he was stopped mid flow as the colossal wooden plank collided with the back of his head; eliciting an explosive crash that for a moment even seemed to drown out the sound of the storm. The Barbarian swayed on his feet unsteadily; incredibly surviving the blow that would have caved in the skull of a lesser man. He teetered and lurched a single step forwards; his mouth opening slightly.
“and another Bunk-Swill…” The words left his mouth in a whisper, before he fell limply to the deck.
“I love a good storm” Janboe swaggered through the cabin door, before slamming it behind him. A dangerously swinging lantern rocked from side to side in time to the vessel’s undulating movement, revealing the interior of the room in a hazy orange glow. Bungo lay unconscious on a gaudy bed with his head wrapped in an unnecessary quantity of bandages, Shallica was standing watch over his uncharacteristically prone form.
“The sky…” Janboe seemed to be speaking mostly to himself “all rumbling and grinding … heaving with passion.” He seemed to be building up enthusiasm for some reason. “Spraying the whole world with its fertile juices, and getting it all wet…” His voice went shrill with excitement at the end.
“I’m going back outside!” He opened the door again and rushed from the room. In the distance Shallica could hear him babbling something about “throbbing” and “engorged”, but she didn’t want to pry any further than that. She assumed he’d come to check on the Barbarian, but it was just as likely that he had come to see why the peepholes had been blocked, despite the fact that the ship was leaking worse than a butt-goblin’s sanitation pad.
The irrelevant question was soon forgotten as Bungo groaned, listlessly.
“Where am I?” Bungo’s words were barely audible above the crash of the waves.
Shallica looked down at him in relief with tears in her slitted demonic eyes; before lovingly crushing his face against her ample Succubaean bosom.
“Bungo! You’re alright!” she cried; a panic leaden edge leaving her words a strangely shrill pitch. Unfortunately, what happened next would dash her hopes to the very depths of despair; much like Bungo’s spoiled dinner.
“Who am I?” the barbarian’s question came in a cleavage-muffled groan.
Bungo’s amnesia had begun.
Chapter 18 – Bungo and the Briny Beast
A week passed as The Excelsior was lost amongst the waves; days running together into one endless night of thunderous fury. It was a miracle the barely seaworthy hulk hadn’t capsized yet, but nobody on board dared to breathe a word of it lest their last remaining fear would come to pass. Bungo had been no help either; feverish with amnesia and unable to leave his sickbed.
Shallica was on deck; perched on the prow of the ship. For the second day in a row, she looked out into the tumultuous grey and hoped for salvation. She squinted against the unrelenting downpour; for a moment a shape seemed to loom in the distance.
“Land!” Her exultant cry as cut short by confusion. The land seemed to be moving, or at least it appeared to have disappeared into the mists, like a wishful mirage just beyond reach.
Janboe was up the rigging in an instant and staring through his sexton at the object. Shallica wondered whether he knew how to use the nautical instrument at all. Come to think of it, it might explain why they’d been stuck in the storm for so long. It didn’t help her confidence when his trousers inexplicably fell down around his ankles and he scrambled to pull them up again; fumbling with the buckle for an unnecessarily long amount of time that made her wonder if the act was intentional.
Suddenly, Janboe’s face took on a different air; he shouted something down to the deck, but the words were lost amidst the storm. Judging from the goblin’s frantic arm movements it wasn’t good news. Her suspicions were confirmed when the ship suddenly lunged to one side in response to a loud crashing noise. A spray of water lapped across the deck and for one moment Janboe’s voice cut above the storm. The only word she could make out was “Serpent”, although by this stage it was irrelevant as the colossal creature she had originally mistaken for land reared its dinosauric head above the water.
At almost 30 feet tall above the waves it was impossible to tell the actual size of the beast. Its fiery eyes stared down hungrily at the sea hands that were scrambling on deck in an attempt to regain control of the wildly listing Excelsior. It lurched forward with the speed and destructive power of a lightning strike; neatly snatching a straggling cabin-boy from the crowd and wharfing him down in a shower of meaty chunklets. The disturbing scene was made all the more obscene as the creature emitted an odd purr that reverberated through the beams of the ship; it was laughing.
Shallica took to the air; her sensuous form spiralling straight for the beast’s draconian maw. At the last minute she twisted away and blazed demonic lightning into the right side of its face. The bolts cracked through the air; seeming to take power from the storm itself. The blast discharged against its flesh in a sizzling eruption that would have flash-fried a charging Wendigo, but barely scratched the surface of its iron-hard scaled hide. It turned immediately; snapping at thin air as Shallica flew overhead.
She turned in mid-flight, cutting her levitation and plummeting like a stone past its right flank. Her perception seemed to go into slow motion as the serpentine beast turned towards her, there was an opening for a brief moment and in that instant she sent another weave of lightning scorching into its face. This time the magical fires found their mark and its right eye exploded like a rotten pomegranate with a spray of pus and viscera. It threw its head back; wracked with pain; before its serpentine form crashed bodily to the deck.
The ship heaved out of the water in response to the sea beast’s bulk; cresting a particularly large wave before crashing down into the tumultuous sea with a resounding explosion of salt-water. Shallica’s magical power had begun to wane after she had expended so much energy in the assault; she floated unsteadily to the main sail and held on for dear life; drained of strength.
“We’re all gonna die!” screamed Janboe; wildly firing a pair of rapid fire hand crossbows ineffectually at the Excelsior’s monstrous occupant. He threw the spent weapons down and dived under a cargo sheet. Whether he’d ever emerge again was questionable, but even amidst the chaos Shallica still couldn’t help but notice that his trousers seemed to have fallen round his ankles again.
It was in that moment of utter despair, when all hope seemed lost, that something incredible happened.
“Who dares disturb the great Donglore – Lord of the Underworld!” The voice that boomed from somewhere inside the ship was so deep and manly that Shallica immediately went weak at the knees and collapsed pantingly against the main sail.
The cabin door flew open a moment later and Bungo emerged. Clad only in his leather pants and wearing a well shined chamber pot on his head he was a sight to behold. On closer inspection it seemed that he had through some unknown means bored a pair of eye holes in the shining spittoon, and he was standing proudly with his hands placed firmly at his hips. His rippling physique seemed even more bulbous amidst the storm as a flash of lightning illuminated his steely pecs magnificently.
The entire ship went silent; even the din of the storm and the crashing of the waves seemed to quiet in dumfounded confusion as the strange scene unfolded.
Leaping into the fray, Bungo delivered an explosive kick to the monster’s ruined eye socket. The force was so great that the charging barbarian’s colossal leg was momentarily buried up to the knee in the creature’s ruined face. He pulled his sticky leg out with a grunt of exertion; following it up wilt a ludicrously big punch that drove the massive creature 10 skidding metres across the deck; its bulk snapped the mainsail like a twig.
The Sea beast mewled pathetically as the Avatar of Donglore bore down on it.
“There’s….” Bungo paused, gathering speed for a new charge “No Escape!” He roared the last words as he tackled the monster again; driving his shining bed-pan-helm hard into its jugular. A colossal wind rocked the ship as all of the air was expelled from the beast’s lungs.
“BICEPS OF JUSTICE GIVE ME STRENGTH!” Bungo’s new persona seemed to be running wild. He leapt at the creature like an enraged tiger; wrapping his steely arms around its neck in an unrelenting bear-hug. It tried to roll away and back into the sea, but the bulksome warrior coiled his legs around its snake-like throat and dug in deeper.
After several agonising minutes of straining, the beast finally went limp in Bungo’s arms. Its tongue rolled out listlessly as life left its body.
Not one to leave a job half finished, Bungo delivered a final boot to the creature that sent the lifeless beast plunging into the depths below.
“That’ll be 10 silver pieces each.” Janboe’s high pitch voice sounded from his vantage point on the floor. He dusted himself off and held out his hand expectantly. The crew looked at him blankly.
“It’ll be a cold day in hell when I let anyone see a man like Bungo choke the one-eyed-snake for free.”
Chapter 19 – The Windy City
Turdmundaz was a castle-city like no other. In form, it resembled a colossal termite hive. Its spires soared high into the clouds; coiling away and back upon themselves into one massive tangled structure formed of a strange resinous secretion of its stygian inhabitants. It was said that on a warm day, the fetid stench that emanated from the towering dung-heap could reach to over 50 leagues away, and that was probably a conservative estimate. In fact, close proximity had been known to cause potentially fatal spontaneous nasal combustion is all but the hardiest of races.
Buttfuldore was surveying the sea from his lofty perch among the summit peaks of Turdmundaz. He enjoyed the view on balmy days when the warm salty breeze would add a certain delicate spice to the excreta. His normal lazy demeanour was broken when he saw a glint amongst the waves below.
“A ship?” His shrill cry cut the stagnant air like a knife.
Buttfuldore excitedly hurried over to the alarm trumpet. Pressing the sound piece between his cheeks; his buttocks erupted noisily down the tumorous instrument, eliciting a booming sound that reverberated and spattered through the catacombs below.
Running back to the window, he grabbed a spy glass and peered hungrily at the vessel below. The ship looked to be stricken; easy prey for the butt-goblin hordes. More odd than that, was that even from the lofty height he was viewing from, he could make out a large muscled figure on the prow of the ship, who appeared to be practicing some kind of martial arts movements with great speed and skill.
“Such a foul smell!” Bungo’s manly exclamation woke the whole ship as he bounded headlong from the cabin and landed firmly on deck.
“We must be surrounded by invisible enemies! Really stinky enemies!” Bungo delivered a brutal kick to nothing in particular, before back flipping across the ruined main sail and chopping the air with a grunt of exertion.
“Invisible butt-balls of Inferocropolis feel my wrath!” Bungo swirled his arms like a tornado; ducking and diving across the floor in a storm of roiling muscle.
“I’ll teach you to befoul the air around Donglore, Lord of the Underworld”. With this exclamation, Bungo appeared to deliver the coup d’grace, and he set to stomping his invisible adversaries with a rapid series of heavy boots.
By this point, the Excelsior’s crew had gathered in dumfounded silence; watching the bizarre spectacle unfold. It wasn’t until a large harpoon lanced through the deck that their attention was adverted from the delusional demi-god.
Sallica spun towards the new threat groggily; just in time to see a swarm of small shanty-ships speeding towards them. Like a shoal of hungry sharks, their filthy hulls were encircling the Excelsior. She could clearly see the profile of large harpoon guns mounted on the prows of several of the hulks.
Shallica barely had time to take cover as the sky blackened with a fresh barrage of harpoons. The oversized arrows sped through the air like hungry dragons in flight; before mercilessly slamming into the stricken Excelsior.
Seemingly oblivious to the assault, Bungo was standing his ground defiantly with his hands on his hips. He was just in the middle of gyrating his hips and slapping his crotch mockingly, when one of the spears found its mark. Like a thunderbolt from heaven, the oversized projectile pinged off of his chamber-pot helm and clattered to the ground. A moment later, the mighty Helmet of Donglore followed it; revealing a fierce case of helmet hair that Bungo had apparently been suffering with. He swayed unsteadily; staggering back towards the guard rail before toppling from the ship. He plunged into the murky depths moments later; swallowed into the filthy seas.
Without a word, Shallica followed after the stricken hero; diving wildly from the back of the ship. As she disappeared beneath the waves, she caught a final glimpse of the floundering Excelsior being boarded by swarms of dark goblinoid figures.
Chapter 20 – Between Delusion and a Hard Place
“Shallica, can you hear me?” Bungo’s rich baritone voice seemed oddly distant to the she-demon. Teetering on the verge of consciousness; she began to feel an odd sensation. She could feel herself being lifted from the ground in Bungo’s powerful arms. Shallica squealed inwardly with delight at the sensation; her lofty thoughts of their love and daydreams about the wedding ceremony were shattered moments later when the embrace turned into a colossal burping as Bungo bounced her on his shoulder. The mood was well and truly ruined when she coughed up a pint of tepid seawater down Bungo’s chiselled back, and he plunked her down on her feet unceremoniously.
The oafsome barbarian resolved into focus as Shallica drearily opened her eyes. He was leaning over her with a look of concern; and more importantly he wasn’t wearing a chamber pot helmet on his head for the first time in weeks. They seemed to have washed up on some type of beach, but there was no sign of their ship, or any wreckage to speak of.
“What happened, anyway?” The barbarian seemed even more clueless than usual. “The last thing I remember I was sitting down to a nice dinner and some bunk swill. There was a storm, and…”
“Bungo?” Shallica’s eyes filled with tears and she threw her arms around him; although at him might have been a more apt description of the motion as the barbarian’s girth was so great that she could barely reach across his herculean chest with both arms fully outstretched.
“You’ve come back to your senses!”
The conversation that followed lasted some time, as Shallica had to explain every event since Bungo had been bludgeoned into senselessness. She left out a few of the details about how he had been calling himself “Donglore”, and she thought that he would rather not know that he had been wearing a chamber pot on his head. Despite her attempts to streamline the conversation, it took several hours as she laboriously explained simple concepts like “ship” and “mast”. Finally Bungo’s expression cleared in some dim facsimile of what most people would call understanding. A second later, his brow furrowed with confusion once again and his finger was poised; ready with a fresh question.
“Just one more thing…” the barbarian stroked his jaw thoughtfully for a moment before spinning around and pointing almost directly upwards at the colossal spires of Turdmundaz that spiralled off into the seemingly infinite sky only mere feet away from where the two of them were stood “What are we doing here?”
There was a short dumbfounded pause.
“You know what they do to you here…” Bungo had a feverish look about him as he spoke nervously. His voice suddenly dropped to a whisper “That!”
Shallica looked at him quizzically; her large amber eyes exploring Bungo’s oddly shaken visage with a new sense of interest. Taken in by his sudden change in demeanour, she lowered her voice and leaned closer to the panic stricken warrior, giving them the appearance of a pair of plotting thieves.
“What is … That!?” she whispered the last part rather loudly, as her enthusiasm ran wild. Bungo’s hand almost immediately came up and covered her mouth.
“Shhhh.” The barbarian’s eyes darted from side to side.
“Don’t say it, don’t even think it …. I’ll tell you, but only once, and we’ll never speak of it again”. Shallica’s delicate face bobbed up and down, still partially smothered by Bungo’s hand.
“I’ve been here before.” He began quietly.
“It was a long time ago, but I’ll never forget what I saw.” Shallica was already completely absorbed, and a little scared too.
“We were captured by them.” Bungo motioned to Turdmundaz “the Butt-Goblins!” His voice went strange and high pitched with the last word, adding a sense of eerie mysticism to the tale. Shallica jumped slightly.
“There was one man; young and strong. They took him into a cell. He was screaming, crying out for his mother after just seeing it. Then they made us watch while they ….” His voice was drowned out momentarily by a particularly large wave that crashed against the shore. Shallica couldn’t make out the words, but she could see Bungo go red in the face. His eyes bulged from their sockets and sweat ran in torrents from his forehead as he gesticulated wildly; his whirling arms seeming to form some type of repetitive plunging motion.
His muffled disposition continued until the sound of the waves began to grow quieter, and Bungo seemed to reach a crescendo. Finally his voice cleared.
“Until the handle broke off! And then they just pulled his pants up like it was nothing!” He stopped; wheezing, with a crazed look in his eyes.
“Like it was nothing!!” Bungo buried his head in the sea. The last declarations were drowned out gurgles as he continued his tirade underwater, but she could still make out that he was saying something about “that”.
Shallica just stood there shaking; left to imagine unknown horrors that would never be divulged.