‘The launching of the Cosmic Express
took place on Sunday, the 30th of November 1980. On the Hidden Continent of
Sedon’s Head it was Sedonda, the 30th of Maruta 5980. The Cosmic Express
never reached the Whole Earth’s Outer Space. It did, however, reach an
aspect of its Inner Space. Briefly.’
Thus begins “The Trigregos Gambit”, another
installment of Jim McPherson's PHANTACEA Mythos. "The Trigregos Gambit" has approximately 160,000 words. This works out to slightly more than 700 pages,
double-spaced and in Times New Roman 12-point type.
This back-grounder consists of the novel’s premise,
a list of chapter titles and a pagination breakdown.
Lynx 1, 2 & 3 will take you to synopses for the three sample chapters provided on a separate webpage. A serialized version of this novel appeared on PHANTACEA on the Web in the late Nineties. Information on this serial can be
found beginning at http://www.phantacea.info/synop2.htm.
On the Inner Earth of Sedon’s Head the gods and goddesses, the demons
and monsters of ancient myths and legends continue to exist. The Latin word
for god is ‘deus’. The Romans spelt it ‘DEVS’.
Collectively, the Hidden Continent's immortal gods and goddesses calls themselves
‘Devas’, which is also a Vedic term for gods. Their offspring, by
themselves, are called ‘azuras’. Devas and azuras are names for
deities in both Hindu and Zoroastrian Faiths. Monotheists call gods and goddesses
‘devils’. In the PHANTACEA Mythos,
the gods and goddesses, who are physical beings with, more often than not, 3-eyes,
together with their immediate offspring, who are invisible Spirit Beings with
as many eyes as the shells they occupy, make up the ‘devazur’ race.
Nergal Vetala is the Blood Queen of Hadd, the Land of the Ambulatory Dead.
She is the lone devic vampire. Her azuras are known as Vetalazurs or Lazurs for short. They animate
Haddit Zombies. Another kind of azura, the Sangazurs, animate the Warrior Dead
or Valhallans. For 35 years she has been unable to prevent the encroachment
of the Living on her realm. Then her soldier falls out of the sky and she’s
back in the pink again. As in arterial.
The Trigregos Talismans are a curved blade, a mirror
that can be used as a shield and a bloodstone tiara. The Head’s anti-devazur
movement cherish them as the Three Sacred Objects because they reputedly can
be used to kill devils. For exactly the same reason devils call them the Three
Accursed Objects. (You can them the Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories if you like, because that's what they're known as in
"Feeling Theocidal", which is now available for ordering.)
They’ve been separated for hundreds of years, since roughly the onset of the 1000 Days of Disbelief to be precise. However,
they're composed of Brainrock-Gypsium, the remnants of the Big Bang's Primordial
Godhead. Due to the PHANTACEA-fact this Godstuff is both transmutable and teleportive,
if you found one it should lead you between-space to the other two.
At stake is mastery of devils, the gods and goddesses of not just the Living.
At stake as well, potentially, should be mastery over the entire Headworld.
Not surprisingly, when one of them finally shows up again, it suddenly seems
like nearly everyone wants all three of them. Too bad, as Nergal Vetala should
know better than most, everyone who ever played a Trigregos Gambit in the past
It won't happen this time, though. Not once her slavish soldier, who might be an incarnation of Chrysaor Attis, a dominant figure in 'Feel Theo', and who calls
her Goddess, acquires all three of them and becomes Trigregos Incarnate.
Chapter by Chapter Titles & Pagination
1. Pregame-Gambit 1: MEANWHILE, ON THE INNER EARTH – pp 1-22
2. Pregame-Gambit 2: THE DEVIANT DEAD – pp 23-44 (synopsis)
3. Pregame-Gambit 3: FANGS FIGHTS HER OWN BATTLES – pp 45-65
4. Pregame-Gambit 4: THARTARRE’S STORY 1: WRONG-HANDED THUMBS –
5. Pregame-Gambit 5: THARTARRE’S STORY 2: JUSTIFIABLE MATRICIDE –
6. Pregame-Gambit 6: CHOMPING THE COSMICAR’S FOUR – pp 108-137
7. Pregame-Gambit 7: SEDON’S STOOGE–
pp 138-171 (synopsis)
8. Pregame-Gambit 8: AMATORY ANTS – pp 172-200
9. Game-Gambit 1: A DINQ, A DOINQ AND A DANQ– pp 201-227
10. Game-Gambit 2: THE THREE GUINEA PIGS BLUFF – pp 228-251
11. Game-Gambit 3: HADD’S BLOODY GODDESS – pp 252-269
12. Game-Gambit 4: MORG’S YOUNG DADDY DEATH – pp 270-295
13. Game-Gambit 5: NON-MELTING MIRRORS – pp 296-314
14. Game-Gambit 6: KRONOKRONOS CANNON FODDER – pp 315-340
15. Game-Gambit 7: TRIGREGOS NEPHEW – pp 341-363
16. Game-Gambit 8: FREESPIRIT NIHILA – pp 364-382
17. Game-Gambit 9: DEVIL REBEL – pp 383-399
18. Game-Gambit 10: FAREWELL, GREAT BYRON – pp 400-417
19. Game-Gambit 11: RE-BEGIN GAME, DAMNATION – pp 418-445
20. Game-Gambit 12: TETHYS DRAWS TROUBLE – pp 446-475
21. Game-Gambit 13: ENDGAMES INEVITABLE – pp 476-506
22. Endgame-Gambit 1: DAMNATION IN PANE – pp 507-537
23. Endgame-Gambit 2: THE DIVER DIGESTS GODSTUFF – pp 538-565
24. Endgame-Gambit 3: DUST DEVILS – pp 566-597
25. Endgame-Gambit 4: MORG’S A MORGUE – pp 598-627
26. Endgame-Gambit 5: PSYCHO SOUL GRENADES – pp 628-663 (synopsis)
27. Endgame-Gambit 6: D-DAY FOR D-BRIG – pp 664-696
28. Endgame-Gambit 7: EVERYONE LOSES EVENTUALLY – pp 697-715
Synopses of Sample Chapters
'The Launching of the Cosmic Express' takes place on the 30th
of November 1980. It's launched from the tri-peaked, largely manmade Outer Earth
landform known as Centauri Island. On the Hidden Continent of Sedon’s
Head the date is the 30th of Maruta, 5980 Year of the Dome. Jordan Tethys is
aware of its launching but is as yet unaware that it didn't make it to Outer
Space. He's in Petrograd, the capital city of Greater Godbad's north-easternmost
province, New Iraxas. The Subcontinent of Aka Godbad is Sedon's Lower Jaw and
Goatee. Across the Gulf of Aka is old Iraxas, Sedon's Mutton Chop, what's now
known as Hadd, the Land of the Ambulatory Dead.
Tethys is a deviant. When conceived one, the other, or
both, of a deviant's birth-parents is/are, by definition, possessed of a devil.
Because of his deviancy, Jordy's been coming back for most of 2,000 years. He
does so usually in the bodies of his terminally ill offspring, boys and girls.
They immediately become better; albeit with he in them, not they in themselves.
He's also known as the Legendarian because he makes his living as a storyteller.
Like most deviants he has a great many talents that can best be characterized
as supranormal. For one, he has a Brainrock quill. He draws stuff with it. Can
do some impressive things with his drawings.
Fangfingers, the second so named, is a vampire. Her
life-name was Janna Somata. She's a deviant too. In the absence of its goddess,
Nergal Vetala, who hasn't been seen for 35 years, she's Hadd's regent. 500 years
ago, when she was altogether alive and he was in a different incarnation, they
were lovers. She had plenty of lovers when she was altogether alive. One of
them was a devil. Not just any devil either. He was Unholy Abaddon, one of Thrygragos
Lazareme's firstborn, the Unity of Chaos. Her devic half-mother was his Unholiness's
immediate sister, Harmonia, the Unity of Balance. Back then Abe Chaos disposed
of Harmonia with the Susasword, one of the Trigregos Talismans.
Janna Fangfingers tracks the Legendarian down in a beer hall, -- Jordy likes
his beer. Dozens of stars have disappeared from the night's sky above the Hidden
Headworld. The Head's Night's Sky is the aforementioned Cathonic Zone or Dome.
It's composed of the essence of the Moloch Sedon Himself. He could be the monotheists'
Devil. Monotheists are prevalent on the Outer Earth. Not so on the Inner Earth,
where most religious sorts worship devil-gods, many of whom walk amongst them
quite openly on a daily basis.
Stars in the Dome, aka the Sedon Sphere, are cathonitized devils. Over sixty
of them are no longer shining upstairs, in the heavens. That means the devils
themselves have been decathonitized. Second Fangs is terrified of encountering
a few of them. She wants Jordy to draw her to Abe Chaos. He'll protect her.
Instead, off of the nib of his Brainrock quill, come dozens of Athenan War Witches,
Among them are two characters that feature throughout "The
Trigregos Gambit". These are Morgianna Sarpedon, the Morrigan,
and Lady Achigan, Fisherwoman. Morg, the Hecate-Hellions' as well as the Athenans'
Superior Sarpedon, wears an invisible demon. She's after the Trigregos Talismans.
Fish, besides being amphibious and prawn-prone to spouting fishisms, is the
best witch in the world, both sides of it. She wants to destroy the Trigregos
Jordy doesn't hang around to finish his beer.
Pregame-Gambit 7: SEDON’S
STOOGE – pp 138-171
'The Launching of the Cosmic Express'took place
on the 30th of November 1980. That was a Sunday. On the Hidden Continent of
Sedon’s Head, its equivalent, the 30th of Maruta, 5980 Year of the Dome,
was a Sedonda. It's now the 4th of Tantalar, December on the Outer Earth. It's
a Devauray, a Thursday. Jordan Tethys, having drawn himself a second skIn, the
second skin of a woman, is now on Sraddha Isle, a bastion of the Living in the
midst of Lake Sedona, the Land of the Dead's Teardrop. It's the home of the
Warrior Monks of Sraddha. As many of the Sraddhite priests are priestesses.
Sraddhites wear brown robes and shave their heads bald.
In life Sraddha Somata was the twin brother of Janna Fangfingers. When she
conceived the Terrible Twins, their mother was possessed by a devil: Harmonia,
the Unity of Balance. Their birth-mother's name was Melina Somata. Five hundred
years earlier, that Mel was the Master of the Weirdom of Cabalarkon; another
Mel, Melina Sarpedon Zeross, is its current High Illuminary. Melina Somata was
the last person known to have hold of all three of the Trigregos Talismans.
Needless to say, she wielded them with disastrous results. Everyone who plays
a Trigregos Gambit loses.
Sraddha Somata is long dead. He might not be altogether dead and gone, however.
His vampiric sister, Second Fangs, is said to have secreted his soul somewhere,
possibly in the Crystal Skull attached to the cloth torc she always wears around
her neck. Apparently as well, Fangs knows a cure for vampirism, just chooses
not to use it for herself. Not yet anyhow. The current High Priest of Sraddha,
one Thartarre Sraddha Holgatson by name, looks much like Sraddha Somata. Janna
wants Thartarre to come away with her. If he proves a worthy receptacle for
her brother's soul then she might cure herself. Whereupon the two can settle
down together. Twins are weird.
The High Priest isn't interested. He's also believed to have hold of the Amateramirror,
one of the Three Sacred Objects. The Smiling Fiend (Smiler), a highborn devil
no one remembers exists unless he manifests himself physically in your presence,
has taken over Thartarre. Smiler is Sedon's Stooge. He tells Jordan Tethys,
who is still hiding under the second skin of a woman, his story. It's quite
the saga, spanning as it does thousands of years.
To hear Smiler tell it, it involves Alorus Ptah, the
extraordinarily long-lived First Patriarch of the antediluvian Golden Age of
Humankind, and his just as long-lived life's love, Trishtar Thrae. They're the
Biblical Adam and Eve. But what he says about them isn't the standard Biblical
account of Adam and Eve; it's more about what they did after leaving the Garden
of Eden in order to repopulate the Whole Earth, pre-Flood. It also tells of
Daemonicus, the immortal King of Daemons, and his forever-mate, Lilith, the
equally immortal Demon Queen of the Night.
They each have three signs of office. Daemonicus has a mask, a cloak of many
colours and a cruciform. Consider them the prototype Thrygragos Talismans. Lilith
has a curved blade, a mirror and a bloodstone tiara. Consider them the first
versions of the Trigregos Talismans. Ptah uses the former to create then animate
the Osiris Sphinx, who's male. He eats demons. He ate Lilith. Whereupon he went
moribund. He still stands on Egypt's Giza Plateau on the Outer Earth.
Hundreds of years later, still pre-Genesea, aka the Great Flood of Genesis,
Ptah used Lilith's talismans, which Trishtar acquired after the Androsphinx
ate the Demon Queen, to create then animate the Gynosphinx, All of Incain, on
what's now the Inner Earth. All eats devils. Still does. (In Pregame-Gambit
2, the She-Sphinx threatened to eat Jordan Tethys, whose half-mother was a devil.
Which is why he's a deviant.) Come Ragnarok, the Moloch Sedon becomes the Demon
King as well as the All-Father of Devazurkind. In doing so Sedon supplants Daemonicus,
who fuses with the Smiling Fiend and thereafter, they jointly, becomes Sedon's
The destruction of the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah? That happens nearly
2,000 years after the Genesea and Dark Sedon raising the Cathonic Dome out of
his own essence in order to separate the Inner from the Outer Earth. It's an
assassination attempt. Sodom isn't Sedon, not always. More often than not he's
Smiler-Daemonicus; Gomorrah is Lilith-Pyrame. [Both feature prominently in
"Feeling Theocidal", which is now available for ordering. We've met Pyrame Silverstar,
the Perpetual Presence, in some the 1938 serials thus far presented on the Web.
We'll meet her again in ''Wilderwitch's Babies, Part Two".
Pyrame's been decathonitized but she doesn't appear in Gambit.]
The Demon Queen of the Night? Lilith's whom Dark Sedon gets into Wilderwitch
in 'Decimation Damnation'. Sedon has to be in mortal
daddy, Lilith has to be in mortal mommy, when the mortal Sed-sons are conceived.
Without mortal Sed-sons alive simultaneously on both the Inner and the Outer
Earth, the Cathonic Dome would collapse. And that's a PHANTACEA fact!
There's more. However, the Smiling Fiend's main purpose for coming to Sraddha
Isle is to brain-baffle everyone obsessed with acquiring them that, decades
ago, the real Trigregos Talisman were fused with the fake ones left in the Weirdom
of Cabalarkon by Chrysaor Attis. The long-recurring Universal Soldier did that
thousands of years earlier; shortly after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah,
as it happened.
It's a boatload of whaledreck of course. Smiler admits that one of his other
names is Judge Druj and that, in the Zoroastrian Faith, Druj is 'the lie'. But
he seems to be succeeding. 'Out of sight, out of mind' and all that
aphoristic claptrap in a crab-trap, as Fish would put it.
No fool he, Smiler doesn't want to go anywhere near the real things. He doesn't
want to play a Trigregos Gambit. Too bad for him his shell in this chapter,
Thartarre Sraddha Holgatson, ... Well, that would be telling. Too bad, dot-ditto,
Vetala's Soldier, whom we met in the previous chapter, may well prove to be
the Attis reincarnated.
All action this excerpt. It should be all action considering this chapter comes
near the end of a PHANTACEA Mythos novel.
The forces of the Dead and Undead have launched a massive assault on Sraddha
Isle, the last stronghold of the Altogether Alive in the Land of the Ambulatory
Dead. They include the vulturous Cloud of Hadd, hundreds of the enormous, single-headed
Vultyrie; the guns-blazing, Sangazur-animated, Valhallan Warrior Dead riding
them; berserker attack-bats, starved and consequently bloodlust crazed as they
are; and psychopomp vamps turned over the centuries by Janna Fangfingers, all
of whom can traverse between-space.
Also there are Athenan War Witches, LIfe's Defenders, who, once killed, and
against all their training, have risen to fight alongside Life's Destroyers.
Something has been keeping them going after death and it isn't any sort of known
azura. A solution to that novel-long, ongoing mystery presents itself in the
form of the titular 'Psycho Soul Grenades'.
Spearheading the assault are Nergal Vetala, Hadd's devil-goddess herself, and
her soldier, her golden-brown warrior, her Attis. By now he's an apparently
undying demigod, Trigregos Incarnate. He metabolizes Gypsium Godstuff; it makes
him godlike. She does as well. She would, she's already a goddess. She also
feeds on blood and her own azuras. Psycho-bats and berserker bats, they're happy
to slaughter first and feast later.
For the Living, there are the brown-robed, shaven-bald priests and priestesses
of Sraddha under the leadership of their High Priest, Thartarre Sraddha Holgatson;
Godbadian regulars who couldn't be evacuated in time; the remaining Athenan
War Witches, whose Field Leader is Garcia Dis L'Orca; and the Trinondev Warriors
Elite of Weir, whose Field Commander, Golgotha Nauroz, is an 80-year old clone.
Don't be too quick to call them cannon fodder because Life's Defenders are not
only good at defending life; they are about to get reinforcements.
They come in the form of Demios Sarpedon, who has the oldest eye-stave in existence;
his father-in-law, Morg's Young Daddy Death, who's a perpetual 7-year old faerie
trickster; the Untouchable Diver, the last active member of the Damnation Brigade
in Hadd; Fisherwoman, who's the best witch in the world, both sides of it; and,
lest we forget, Fish's psycho-bicycle. Okay, now you can call them cannon fodder.