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Welcome to a Volsung Variations Web-Serial Synopsis Page

| Top of Page Search Engine | Latest listing of phantacea publications available in print and digitally | Quick Lynx | Bottom of Page |

Phantacea Publications in Print

- The 'Launch 1980' story cycle - 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' Fantasy Trilogy - The '1000 Days' Mini-Novels - The phantacea Graphic Novels -

The 'Launch 1980' Story Cycle

The War of the Apocalyptics

Front cover of War Pox, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2009

Published in 2009; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

Nuclear Dragons

Nuclear Dragons front cover, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2013

Published in 2013; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

Helios on the Moon

Front cover for Helios on the Moon, artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

Published in 2014; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

The 'Launch 1980' story cycle comprises three complete, multi-character mosaic novels, "The War of the Apocalyptics", "Nuclear Dragons" and "Helios on the Moon", as well as parts of two others, "Janna Fangfingers" and "Goddess Gambit". Together they represent creator/writer Jim McPherson's long running, but now concluded, project to novelize the Phantacea comic book series.

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'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' Epic Fantasy

Feeling Theocidal

Front Cover for Feel Theo, artwork by Verne Andru, 2008

Published in 2008; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

The 1000 Days of Disbelief

Front cover of The Thousand Days of Disbelief, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

Published as three mini-novels, 2010/11; main webpage is here; ordering lynx for individual mini-novels are here

Goddess Gambit

Front cover for Goddess Gambit by Verne Andru, 2012

Published in 2012; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

Circa the Year of Dome 2000, Anvil the Artificer, a then otherwise unnamed, highborn Lazaremist later called Tvasitar Smithmonger, dedicated the first three devic talismans, or power foci, that he forged out of molten Brainrock to the Trigregos Sisters.

The long lost, possibly even dead, simultaneous mothers of devakind hated their offspring for abandoning them on the far-off planetary Utopia of New Weir. Not surprisingly, their fearsome talismans could be used to kill Master Devas (devils).

For most of twenty-five hundred years, they belonged to the recurring deviant, Chrysaor Attis, time after time proven a devaslayer. On Thrygragon, Mithramas Day 4376 YD, he turned them over to his Great God of a half-father, Thrygragos Varuna Mithras, to use against his two brothers, Unmoving Byron and Little Star Lazareme, in hopes of usurping their adherents and claiming them as his own.

Hundreds of years later, these selfsame thrice-cursed Godly Glories helped turn the devil-worshippers of Sedon's Head against their seemingly immortal, if not necessarily undying gods. Now, five hundred years after the 1000 Days of Disbelief, they've been relocated.

The highest born, surviving devic goddesses want them for themselves; want to thereby become incarnations of the Trigregos Sisters on the Hidden Continent. An Outer Earthling, one who has literally fallen out of the sky after the launching of the Cosmic Express, gets to them first ...

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The '1000 Days' Mini-Novels

The Death's Head Hellion

- Sedonplay -

Front cover for The Death's Head Hellion, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

Published in 2010; main web presence is here; Character Companion starts here; ordering lynx are here;

Contagion Collectors

- Sedon Plague -

Front cover for Contagion Collectors, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

Published in 2010; main web presence is here; Character Companion starts here; ordering lynx are here;

Janna Fangfingers

- Sedon Purge -

Front cover for Janna Fangfingers, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2011

Published in 2011; two storylines recounted side-by-side, the titular one narrated by the Legendarian in 5980, the other indirectly leading into the 'Launch 1980' story cycle; main web presence is here; Character Companion starts here; ordering lynx are here;

In the Year of the Dome 4825, Morgan Abyss, the Melusine Master of the Utopian Weirdom of Cabalarkon, seizes control of Primeval Lilith, the ageless, seemingly unkillable Demon Queen of the Night. The eldritch earthborn is the real half-mother of the invariably mortal Sed-sons but, once she has hold of her, aka Lethal Lily, Master Morgan proceeds to trap the Moloch Sedon Himself.

In the midst of the bitter, century-long expansion of the Lathakran Empire, the Hidden Headworld's three tribes of devil-gods are forced to unite in an effort to release their All-Father. Unfortunately for them, they're initially unaware Master Morg, the Death's Head Hellion herself, has also got hold of the Trigregos Talismans, devic power foci that can actually kill devils, and Sedon's thought-father Cabalarkon, the Undying Utopian she'll happily slay if they dare attack her Weirdom.

Utopians from Weir have never given up seeking to wipe devils off not just the face of the Inner Earth, but off the planet itself. Their techno and biomages, under the direction of the Weirdom of Cabalarkon's extremely long-lived High Illuminary, Quoits Tethys, have determined there is only one sure way to do that -- namely, to infect the devils' Inner Earth worshippers with fatal plagues brought in from the Outer Earth.

Come All-Death Day there are more Dead Things Walking than Living Beings Talking. Believe it or not, that's the good news.

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phantacea Graphic Novels

Forever and Forty Days

- The Genesis of Phantacea -

Front cover of Forever and Forty Days; artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

Published in 1990; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

The Damnation Brigade

- Phantacea Revisited 1 -

Front cover of The Damnation Brigade, artwork by Ian Bateson, retouching by Chris Chuckry 2012

Published in 2013; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

Cataclysm Catalyst

- Phantacea Revisited 2 -

Front cover for Cataclysm Catalyst, artwork by Verne Andru, 2013

Published in 2014, main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

Kadmon Heliopolis had one life. It ended in October 1968. The Male Entity has had many lives. In his fifth, he and his female counterpart, often known as Miracle Memory, engendered more so than created the Moloch Sedon. They believe him to be the Devil Incarnate. They've been attempting to kill him ever since. Too bad it's invariably he, Heliosophos (Helios called Sophos the Wise), who gets killed instead.

On the then still Whole Earth circa the Year 4000 BCE, one of their descendants, Xuthros Hor, the tenth patriarch of Golden Age Humanity, puts into action a thought-foolproof, albeit mass murderous, plan to succeed where the Dual Entities have always failed. He unleashes the Genesea. The Devil takes a bath.

Fifty-nine hundred and eighty years later, New Century Enterprises launches the Cosmic Express from Centauri Island. It never reaches Outer Space; not all of it anyhow. As a stunning consequence of its apparent destruction, ten extraordinary supranormals are reunited, bodies, souls and minds, after a quarter century in what they've come to consider Limbo. They name themselves the Damnation Brigade. And so it appears they are -- if perhaps not so much damned as doomed.

At least one person survives the launching of the Cosmic Express. He literally falls out of the sky -- on the Hidden Continent of Sedon's Head. An old lady saves him. Except this old lady lives in a golden pagoda, rides vultures and has a third eye. She also doesn't stay old long. He becomes her willing soldier, acquires the three Sacred Objects and goes on a rampage, against his own people, those that live.

Meanwhile, Centauri Island, the launch site of the Cosmic Express, comes under attack from Hell's Horsemen. Only it's not horses they ride. It's Atomic Firedrakes!

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- Jim McPherson's phantacea Online -

Logo for Phantacea reads Anheroic Fantasy since 1977

| List of ph-Webworld's 1938 Web-Wheaties | The Volsung Variations Chapter-by-Chapter Synopses Start Here | Serial Graphics |

Bust reminiscent of Herr Hel Helios, with All atop his sunhat, shot in Paris 2004

| pH-Webworld's Welcoming Page | Internal Search Engine | Main Menu | Online PHANTACEA Primer | Ongoing PHANTACEA Features | pHantaBlog | Information for ordering by credit card | Information for ordering by certified cheque or money order | Serial Synopses | Contact | pH-Webworld Miscellanea | Lynx to additional websites featuring Jim McPherson's PHANTACEA Mythos | Bottom of Page Lynx |

The Volsung Variations

6. "Subterranean Trigon" ... 7. "Celestial Supras" ... 8. "Monolithic Monotony" ... 9. "Grail Knight's Sky" ... 10. "Subterranean Queen"

- Helio-notes & Page Background Details -

A Rude bust reminiscent of Herr Hel Helios, shot in the Paris Musee D'Orsay by Jim McPherson, 2004

Gold-Mining for PHANTACEA Factoids

| Korants Happy to Have Firstborn Boys | Pyrame Silverstar as Mithras's Earth Magician | Sedons are always first, and only, born |

6. The Volsung Variations: "Subterranean Trigon"

That's how VolVar-5 ended

That's how VolVar-6 begins.

Mr Handsome is of course Helios called Sophos the Wise. As for Tanith Silverhair, the fact Magnus Minus, the Midget Minotaurus of Minius [Absudyl, the Lower Layer land far beneath the Weirdom of Cabalarkon, Sedon's Devic Eye-Land on a map of the Hidden Headworld] obeys her rather than Helios is highly significant.

Make that lowly significant, doubly so since we're in Sub-Trig and Tanith evidently has acquired aspects of Primeval Lilith to go along with those she acquired that, at least nominally, belonged to Pyrame Silverstar.


Tanith doesn't stay feline-faced throughout VolVar-6. Neither does Helios stay mouse-sized (though it might have been fitting, if he had, because Olympian Apollo, who took the classical Helios's place as the ancient Greeks mythological Sun God, was first worshipped as a mouse god). However, when she was feline-faced and he mouse-sized, she did threaten to swallow him.


To say the least, having finally attained her Summoning heritage, Tanith's got brass -- as well as a splendid ass, as Tom-Tiddly might say if he could rhyme worth a sprig of thyme. In addition to a newfound assertiveness, she's also got smarts; more than she's demonstrated thus far anyhow. After she lets Magnus Minus return Heliosophos to his regular size and masculine good looks, Tanith figures out the trick the wannabe-Daemonicus must use in order to work his wonders:

Jordan Tethys, the legendary 30-Year Man, being able to draw someone, anyone, anywhere against his or her will? Can't be! Unless, that is, something else happened to Jordy (aka also 30-Beers) during 19/5920's Simultaneous Summonings besides becoming a vamp; something that we don't know about as yet.

Might the fact he asks Tanith (by now codenamed Cousin Constellation) to call him Pictor or Painter, after a constellation in the southern hemisphere, mean it's her, not him, doing unto Herr Hel Helios what Helios wanted to do unto her? On the other hand, might he, like so many of the Summoning Children, have become a supranormal as well as deviant? Hmm.

Hey, I thought Tom-Tiddly was in love with Fred, not her simultaneously born cousin/niece. So why did he ask her to marry him? More to the point, why did she accept? The answers are in VolVar-6, though the queries still warrant a hmm.

And what's with Heat and Cold (Methandra and Tantal Thanatos) coming in at the end? Is it because Fred's still in love with Airhead and they feel, like Sea Stuff probably does if asked (which she couldn't be because she went back to the Outer Earth after events described in VolVar-4), that Tom-Tiddly really should be falling in love with her and not a Volsung? Hmm again.

Silverhair equals Silverstar. Ah, but does that mean Silverhair can mother Sedon's Sed-sons the same as Silverstar, along with her demon queen, did before she-they got stuck in a tub of Cathy perhaps forevermore? Magnus Minus did obey her after all. He did so unquestioningly as well and he fancies himself King Daemonicus. Demons are products of Mother Earth. That makes them matriarchal, doesn't it? Quadruple hmm.

Or is it just an elaborate scheme to get the one to release the other, complete with Primeval Lilith, the Demon Queen of the Night? Might it not, equally likely, be how the Dual Entities hope to lure the Moloch Sedon deep downstairs to Minius/Absudyl, the bottom of the bottomless pit, where they can and will cue-ball him. Quintuple hmm.

Of course, given it's no secret she's already pregnant {though, admittedly, she isn't sure who by, hence most of the reason she's tried to kill herself once, if not necessarily twice let alone thrice, already) barring miscarriage or abortion, it'd be some time before the Mighty Moloch who-definitely-didn't-impregnate-her might be tempted to find out. No hmm about it.)

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7. The Volsung Variations: "Celestial Supras"

Got another chat-chapter here. To start, just to reiterate an earlier note:

"What've you done with Tanith?" (Aegis-Jesus asked 30-Beers.)

"Me? You mistake me, boy. Never shoot the mailman."

"Tanith's no bag of letters from the homefront. She's flesh and blood, -- and I think I love her."

"Silverhair and Silverware, eh, Jess? Afraid you'll have to stand in line. Besides, she's safe. And I'm here. Safe from her!"

The Legendarian's joke refers to the Silverspoon crack Jesse's been enduring since, in terms of these synopses anyhow, VolVar-5. We're back at the DDD by the way, albeit only in time for breakfast, so Jordan Tethys is opting for a mug of steaming hot Cathy instead of his first beer of the day.

He's just recently drawn himself back from Sub-Trig, where Tanith's still walking around in conversation with whom (as opposed to what) she's walking around on. As for Jess, his night has been almost as eventful as Jordy's. (I just avoided detailing it, primarily due to a desire to retain a PG rating for pH-Webworld.) Jordy picks up on Jesse's (dare I say it?) cocksureness right away.


"How did you know?"

"Besides the silver hair on your silver shoulders?" The Legendarian did not wait for a response. "We've a past. I keep tabs on her; the better to know when I should be elsewhere."

"You weren't last night."

"Negative serendipity that. Count myself lucky to have missed her. Heard she's been spreading her horizons of late though."

"Spreading her legs, more like."

"Nothing new about that. Hope it wasn't love at first bite."

"There was a certain amount of nibbling I have to admit but, while the experience was draining, it wasn't blood-draining. Fact is I feel great. She was energizing, not enervating."


Good for Jesse, I suppose. You're going to be more than a wannabe Supra-Saviour, surviving lesser perils, like nipping and napping (as opposed to sleeping) with a silver-haired vamp, is a definite prerequisite.

For her part, Tanith's more concerned about surviving having a Vampire Maker's son.

"Look, Memory, I've made love all of two times in my life. Once to a guy who's funny enough, attractive too, in a myopic way, but who's also Jewish."

"Which is just not done."

"Not in my family it isn't. And the second time to a creature, -- can't call him a man, not entirely --, whose baby, as you're well aware, I'm likely carrying."

"Unless it's the Jew's."

"I certainly hope it is, -- because I might die giving it birth if it's Count Molech's."

"You knew the risks."

"I also knew what the Ararats promised me; only the one, Countess Avar, slit her own throat and the other one, Medea Annulis, the snake-lover, never hangs around long enough to recommence, let alone complete, my instruction."

"The first half of your instruction, don't you mean? The Korant Sisterhood's the same as the Anthean one -- got to be a mother before you can go any further, right?"

"So they told me. Except Korants think it's fine to have firstborn boys; Ants don't, for some reason."

"Not some reason. They're afraid that they'll have a sedon, small case. Sed-sons are always first, and only, born.

Meanwhile, back in the DDD, Jesse and Jordy are chatting away just as amiably. The latter has suggested that Jess forget about Second Fangs. He'd be far better off hooking up with Barsine (his twin sister or half-sister or non-sister) and seeing the Hidden Headworld. He even knows the ideal guide, Pusan Wanderlust, whom we last encountered on Battle Beach and its semi-reconciliatory aftermath up in Eventide (which is at the far north of Crepuscule-Twilight, Sedon's Outer Nose on a map of the Hidden Continent).

Jess asks if she's a scar in her forehead the same as Tethys and Abe Chaos do -- in other words, if she's a devic suicide. Tethys hems and haws. He'll neither admit nor deny he was once Rumour of Lazareme and isn't about to confirm Pusan was once Amal-Althea, Lazareme's female healer.

He won't even say if the faeriedust with which Tammuz Rhymer of Dukkha got faerie-dusted, when he thereby became Tom-Tiddly Taddletale, was what'd become of Rumour. (As, you may have picked up from the end of VolVar-5, Helios does and, at the risk of having to correct myself later, it is Rumour's dust.)

"You always so deft at avoiding answers?"

"Better deft than daft. That's another thing I always say. But, yes, you could say we're related. In a relativistic sort of way. Pusan comes back too. Always as a faun though, and always as a female. What you might call her Pan-i-fest Destiny."


"Pun's fests are fun ..."


Their discussion eventually returns to Jesse's friend Fangs. In it Tethys even mentions Fish's hubby, an Inner Earth Summoning Child, Achigan Auranja, Greater Godbad's hereditary king, who's also discussed, though doesn't appear, in VamVar-2.

"Vamps aren't as socially unacceptable," [Tethys told him,] "Not to mention terrifying, in here as they are out there. In fact, they're even becoming respectable, if you can believe it. And she likes that."

"Awfully human for an inhuman, isn't she?"

"Given their unsavoury needs, vampires are surprisingly useful in certain areas of the Head. For example, the relatively juvenile, but surprisingly wise-before-his-years, King of Godbad considers them invaluable over in the newly expanded oil, gas, and coal fields of New Iraxas. Understandably so, -- no one else can breathe in such a place."

"Sounds like we should import them to Pennsylvania."

And so it goes until Tethys lays a heavy on young Mandam over their bacon and eggs:

"Fangs hasn't latched onto you just to spite-spike Abe Chaos," 30-Years trumped. "She knows it's hopeless. Likely she never even realized he was awake again; only came across him by accident."

"How so?" Jess queried, attention at last got-fully.

Tethys gave him a look like his father, his nominal father, Joseph Mandam, sometimes gave him when he was playing the prat during his childhood. "Look, Fangs'd know enough to lie low, if not go entirely underground, until Chaos dozed off again -- except she daren't. Not right now."

"Why's that?" persevered young Mandam. Eggs were supposed to be the thinking food. Right now, though, they tasted duller than his wits; something the Legendarian was quick to note.

"Maybe you are as thick as three bricks of Aegis-Armour after all. Let me put it this way. Survivors like Fangs somehow develop a kind of sixth sense about threats to their continuing existence. Have to or they're not survivors, are they? Chances are she'd know if a certain someone was back on the Head, wouldn't she?"

Finally something clicked; a mental light switch if nothing else. "Vetala, -- Fangs is after Barsine, my sister!" Tethys looked visibly relieved. Said so as well.

"Sometimes illumination doesn't come with a lit match," he philosophized. "Sometimes it comes with a kick in the head of the bleeding obvious."

All of which leads to this somewhat abridged revelation:

"Fangs was the Vampire Prime during the Summoning!"

"And in '95." Tethys dug deeper into his side plate of beans and chopped wild mushrooms, calmly wiped his lips, then fixed young Mandam in his eyes, all two of them ... "Fangs was after Rhea/Vetala in both cases."

"If she turned her while Rhea was still dominant, then Vetala would be subservient to Fangs, not the other way around."

That explains that then.


All right, if you don't want to read or re-read VolVar-7, the long and short of it is Rhea Sangati, always Ararat, stayed young so long because she was born with Nergal Vetala inside her. Rhea lost Vetala during the Summoning, whereupon she started aging again (and became the Norma, the Deadly Druidess, whose story was in part told during Mole-8). She lost Vetala not so much to her first born, Olympias by then long Kinesis, as through her to Olympias's Summoning Child.

And that would be . . . . .


Tantal Thanatos, once very nearly Head-worldwide Emperor of Lathakra, emerged from his Thousand Year Sleep a beer-guzzling fatalist. Not so his Scarlet Empress, previously best known as Mithras' Virgin.

Not so that any longer either. Certainly not after ten duo-birth children, -- all born while she was possessing the Female Entity!

"Found two, Cold. Maybe I can get them back; maybe get all of them back."

"Let's start with these two, shall we?" He was referring to his balls.

Upon which she, all six inches of her, was standing!

Whereas these two would be . . . .

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8. The Volsung Variations: "Monolithic Monotony"

Lots to get to in VolVar-8 and, despite its title, none of it's monotonous. Well, Tom-Tiddly Taddletale's efforts to rhyme, if only to shave a lime, do get somewhat tedious after a while of smiles but, hey, especially when Young Death's around thing's never get dull.

Should forewarn you, though. If the preceding paragraph didn't twig you to it already, another thing there's a lot of is fay-saying.


Let's get a revelation contained in this chapter out of the way first.

I quote it not just because I'll be coming back to it either. I quote it because it answers one of the most long-serving and, thus far, ever-unresolved issues in the entire PHANTACEA Mythos: namely, just who were Mater Matare, the 3 male Apocalyptics and, presumably, the Smiling Fiend possessing when she, Mother Murder, conceived the fourth generational Quadrang Nucleoids of 'War-Poc' fame?

Since they probably weren't around circa 5850 YD, it likely wasn't the Dual Entities, the same as Heat and Cold were starting in 5919. While, admittedly, given the improvised nature of PHANTACEA, I can't say that with 100% definiteness ...

At this point in our synoptic proceedings I once again feel obliged to raise a cautionary flag about trusting anything Helios thinks. I mean, just because she's mostly a machine, he really should know better than to take as gospel everything Machine-Memory tells him. Pardon the foreboding but, as she's proved over and over again in these web-serials, she's a mind of her own.

[NOTE: Actually, now that I think about it, I seem to recall establishing the Oberon-Titania/Smiler-Apocalyptics connection during War, albeit not anywhere in its synopses that I've been able to relocate as yet.

Wasn't the devils burning out, as in burning up (killing, rendering unto wind-dispersed dust) the fay folks' royal rulers in the Gregarian Fields (the site of Thrygragon in 4376 YD) why the Moloch Sedon, unless it was the Byronic Nucleus, cathonitized Matare and her forces-of-nature older brothers? That's my recollection anyhow, and I wrote the damn thing.]


Next, let's get confirmation on something else I'd speculated on before I re-read VolVar-8:

[NOTE: In this quote, the male trickster's with Unholy Abaddon, Jesus Mandam and Dand Tariqartha in the latter's Hall of Mirrors. About a month has passed since Herr Hel Helios, succumbing to pressure exerted on him by Machine-Memory, but much against his better judgement, let the non-boorish troubadour twang himself and the potential Pyrame/Lilith Volsung Summoning Child out of Sub-Trig unscathed.]


Should mention Tom-Tiddly and Tanith remain unmarried. They are still together, though, and as those in Centurium can far-see, thanks to Time-Space's mirrors, are living in Tammuz Rhymer's homeland. That'd be Dukkha, Sedon's Upper Lip-Tip, the north-westernmost area of Sedon's Moustache on a map of the Headworld.

He's telling her a story, without daring to rhyme, that he calls 'Mirrors and the Monolith', hence at least in part this chapter's title. The other part's how bored the Monolith, Tvasitar Smithmonger, who can never leave Sedon's Peak (on the Cattail Peninsula, northwest of where Lathakra, once Sedon's Horn, now lies), becomes after he loses his azura-love, Mirrors herself -- that'd be Klannit Thanatos, the Thanatoids' Haunted Angel -- circa 2000 YD.

And how bored might that be? Try stiff, Tom tells Tan. As per here, I'll remind you.

It's such a good story I decided to preserve it for future reference (as well as for any eventual comparison with Smiler's version of much the same saga), just as I did Kore-8 and a select few others. Consequently, I'll skip synopsizing it and return to some other events detailed herein.


Dand Tariqartha is having a very bad time of it in 5937/8. He's having such a bad time of it that, at the beginning of the chapter he'd gone to Tympani, the Isle of the Undying One, in the midst of the Aural Sea (Sedon's Ear on a map of the Hidden Headworld), looking for Abe Chaos. Instead, temporarily anyhow, he ended up with Young Death.

The problem as he sees it is his eldest, therefore deviant, half-son (other than Akbarartha, I should stipulate) is successfully leading a rebellion against his authority. Said son is Kronokronos Mikoto, the decades-fully-alive, though one-time Japanese mantel (think replica) from the Tokugawa Era Cavern.

We're to assume, as does the Dand, that the consequential loss of worshippers is slowly killing him. (We'll learn what the real reason is in due course.) The highborn devil figures his eldest, presumably still extant children, the aforementioned Awesome Akbar and his sister-in-Oberon, whose name is Meroudys, could handle Mikoto if Chaos won't.

The devic suicide will, for a price. He wants Devil Doom (Zuvem Nergalis, who's also known as Gravedigger and who was last seen around the end of the 55th Century of the Dome; last seen beyond doubt, that is), which means he wants Time-Space to locate him via the revelatory mirrors in his Hall of Mirrors.


It turns out, as we've known since VolVar-5, but his devic half-father has only just learned, that Akbar's back on the Hidden Headworld. It also turns out that he and Jordan Tethys are already in Temporis. Except, it further turns out that Mikoto's conquered cavern after cavern of what's self-evidently no longer altogether the Dand's protectorate and, even more curiously, Tariqartha can no longer use his mirrors to see into any of them.

He can and does use them to far-see Tanith, whom Jesse will always love, and Tom-Tiddly, whom Jess speculates is the Summoning Son of Agenor Heliopolis. (Despite his blue skin and sunrays hair that's not such a fanciful notion, I trust you'll agree. After all, Tom-Tiddly thinks he's Herr Hel Helios's boy and Helios thinks his original self was Agenor's yet-to-be-born son Kadmon.)

Young Death and Abe Chaos both think Devil Doom is possessing one or another of the Etocretan Extremists in Djinn-Ghoster's Nebuland somewhere between-space on the Outer Earth. He isn't of course. Truth told, in all likelihood he's still cathonitized. (So, who is in the Nebuland with Agenor et al? For some reason I feel obliged to say I've forgotten!)

Nonetheless, as the disgusting little trickster puts to Tanith and Tom-Tiddly after he reaches Dukkha thanks to their freshly slaughtered supper:

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9. The Volsung Variations: "Grail Knight's Sky"

Got ourselves a not at all surprising guest star in VolVar-9. Give a great round of boos (or booze) to the greatest villain any epical, yet resolutely anheroic fantasy could possibly have -- none other than the Devil Himself! His hosts are -- well, there's a reason those in Dand Tariqartha's Hall of Mirrors spot a different Sedon returning the Elemental Twins to the Inner Earth:

"You had him, Cold! You have ten devic children to show for it. No other devil, but for your spouse, can say they've even one."

Skunks had trouble surviving in ... Lathakra. This skunk ... had no trouble surviving the frozen wastes of Outer Space. Of course not all skunks were Demon Kings.

"Had and had, Granddad[," countered Lathakra's Devil Dand. "]You've them. Have had for nearly five years. Release them and I'll consider it." Tantal Thanatos [blue-skinned, hoar-frost beard, icicle hair, volcanic eyes and worse temper] suffer[ed] from depression of the near-paralytic variety.

About the best he could manage was lifting his mug of ale. Sed-Skunk lapped his from a platter.

"I did not put them there and I will not release them."

Them would be Aires and Thalassa's other lost siblings. Always provided the Elemental Twins are Thanatoids (hence, of the Devils) and not of the Angels of course. (As for who put them there, some of that story is recounted herein. There's also a snippet of the same story told in the opening chapter of 'The War of the Apocalyptics', which is still online.)


On to our titular fellow -- and his computer wall and floor and the rest of Sub-Trig's innards.

Glowing golden regalia suggestive of devic power foci used by Heliiosophos when he goes into action; photo by Jim McPherson; taken at the Royal Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England, 2004Helios ... gave the grail goodies another going over. "Too bad there're no winged boots here. Add a nice touch. And flying is always a rush. Oh, well. Here goes."

He flung the cloak of darkness over his shoulder and pulled the golden chalice or crater, which was mutable, like most Brainrock objects, over his head. This last created the distinct impression that he was wearing a chess piece on his shoulders -- a rook with eyeholes under its crown or cauldron-like battlements.

After slipping on the star-fingered gloves, strapping the sunray shield to his right arm, and picking up the lance with his left hand, he pirouetted about before the interior walls of the Kublai Cavern, his bedroom within the Xanadu of hollowed-out Trans-Time Trigon.

"How do I look?"

"Very striking. But, at the very minimum, you should consider putting on some pants."


Oodles of noodles more to note re VolVar-9. Except I won't do any; not today anyhow. Defeats the purpose of PHANTACEA on the Web, doesn't it?

As always, good reading!

I'm back. So are Young Death, Unholy Abaddon, Jesus Mandam, Dand Tariqartha and ...

Compared to the Awesome Akbar, upon whom she was akimbo, the naked Japanese Summoning Child looked much like a sapling on a hairy knoll.

Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not sure Takeda nee Mikoto eventually Power has made an in-person appearance in pH-Webworld as yet. There was, you might recall, this Strife-impersonage (as opposed to impersonator) in 5960, however. Be that as it may, just in case she hasn't, allow me to introduce Crystallion's eventual mom.

Glad that's done.

But for one thing the Grail Knight would not have popped in on them from between-space so abruptly. Chivalry, not to mention common courtesy, would have dictated at least a knock on the door.

Although much more than his beard had grown of late, she was clearly having her way with him more so than the other way around. How she was pulling it off was equally obvious. It was also what so infuriated the Sun Knight.

He, Akbar, the near-giant fairy Tariqartha sent to dispatch the father, not make love to the daughter, had Crinsom's Brainrock-inlaid ruby tiara strung around his forehead.

"We did not give Kronokronos Mikoto the Mind of Sapiendev so that you could dispense with your virginity on an unwilling subject, young lady."

"Who says he's unwilling?" the teenager half-mocked, half-moaned. "But you're right. It'll be much better served on you!"

So, not that he needs the added incentive but, if I was to tell you that our series- as well as chapter-titular hero, Herr Hel Helios, is about to fall under the baleful influence of the Trigregos Talismans, most specifically the Crimson Corona, would that ruby-ring any bells? It's certainly provoked blings of blue lynx from me, hasn't it?

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Synopses of Volvar 1-5
Synopses of Volvar 6-10
Synopses of Volvar 11-12

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Graphical Clickbacks

Bust of a Helios type with an All-like creature on his head; photo taken by Jim McPherson in the Musee D'Orsay, Paris 2004Bust of a Helios type with an All-like creature on his head; photo taken by Jim McPherson in the Musee D'Orsay, Paris 2004Glowing golden regalia suggestive of devic power foci used by Heliiosophos when he goes into action; photo by Jim McPherson; taken at the Royal Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England, 2004

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Page background is a whitened, then lightened even more, shot of the famously transplanted temple of Abu Simbel in Egypt. Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, spotted and shot it in 2000.Cliffhead spotted and shot by Jim McPherson in Turkey, 2003

A peculiar perspective side shot of the same massive monument to the absolutely astonishing ego of Ramses II (BCE 1303-1213) can be seen here and here. Quite a few more phantacea-related shots taken in Egypt on that same eventful trip are preserved in the Winter 2000/1 update of pHpubs. There are also a pair of long-serving photo essays re Egypt 2000 here and here.

Additionally, as per here, it turns out these two Helio-heads are actually of a Shelios. In 2004 the Musee D'Orsay's explanatory placard didn't note that the sculptor François Rude (4 January 1784 - 3 November 1855) used the bust as a model for "Le Départ des Volontaires" (aka La Marseillaise), his contribution to the Arc de Triomphe in Central Paris.

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Webpage Last Updated: Spring 2015

There may be no cure for aphantasia (defined as 'having a blind or absent mind's eye') but there certainly is for aphantacea ('a'='without', like the 'an' in 'anheroic')

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