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Welcome to 'The Weirdness of Cabalarkon' Synoptic Weirdness

- Top of Page Search Engine - Phantacea Publications available in print and digitally - Bottom of Page Ordering Lynx -

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.

Top of Page Search Engine - pHantaPubs in Print - Page Highlights - Upwards - Downwards - Fresh Graphics - Bottom of Page Ordering Lynx

'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 Mythos

- Online since 1996 -

Phantacea Logo

The Weirdness of Cabalarkon

pH-Webworld-

- Story Synopses --

Damnation Brigade Logo

Collage prepared on PHOTOSHOP featuring the members of the Damnation, Jim McPherson, 2004

Gold-Mining for PHANTACEA Factoids
| Pyrame Silverstar | Fish & the Diver | Between-Space | Cabalarkon |

Synoptic Weirdness

  1. "Pyrame's Progress"
  2. "All, Athenans, Apocalyptics"
  3. "The Diver's Trigregos Talismans"
  4. "Trigregos Diver""
  5. Above, Below, and Between-Space"
  6. "Spirits of Vengeance"
© Copyright Jim McPherson (phantacea)
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Bulk of page written mid-to-late 2002

1. "Pyrame's Progress"

Missed 'The Launching of the Cosmic Express', the 4-novel long web-serial that ran out here in Cyberia from mid 1996 until early 2001? Since you already know how to fill such a massive void, suffice it to say the Cosmic Express, with its crew of 60 or so cosmicompanions, was shattered into its constituent sections: its central hubship and its six cosmicars.

In Launch we discovered what happened to two of the cosmicars, the manned one that ended up on the Moon and the mysteriously unmanned one that ended up on Damnation Isle, in the Aleutian Island Chain. (Mystery was solved in GAME-Gambit, which is worth checking out since it revolves around the race to gain possession of the Trigregos Talismans and is full of information about them. Be more on the Three Sacred Objects shortly.)

Weirdness carries on with the saga of the ten supranormals who, in effect, came back into being on Damnation Isle as a result of the cosmicar crashing there. We also start to find out about a third cosmicar, one that ended up on the Inner Earth, Sedon's Head. Rather, we start to find out what happened to the escaped devils who hitched a ride inside the seven cosmicompanions aboard it.

The ten supras are our overall titular characters, the Damnation Brigade, while the escaped devil we concentrate on, at least in Weird-1 and for a few chapters afterwards, is none other than Pyrame Silverstar. Known as the Pauper Priestess because she neither has a devic protectorate to call her home nor a devic power focus to call her own, Pyrame is arguably the most important, third generational Master Deva still extant.

[Depiction of the Moloch Sedon, drawn by Ian Fry]

Among many another thing, she is the devil who possesses the human women that the solitary first generational devil, the Moloch Sedon, who is possessing their male mates, impregnates. Healthy and whole (no one mentally or physically challenged need apply) boy babies born as a result of these unions are the sedons. Sedons are the mortals that somehow or other help the essentially immortal devils' All-Father mystically maintain the Cathonic Zone that separates the Inner from the Outer Earth.

Pyrame has been cathonitized for thirty years. This is interesting, not that she has picked up on the fullness of its significance quite yet, because sedons do die. Since she also spent most of the years between roughly AD 1910 and AD 1950 [5910-5950 YD {Years of the Dome}on the Head] occupying the Female Entity, who is currently on the Moon occupying someone else, there are not many of these sedons left in 19/5980.

Consequently, if only to keep the sedons-stock replenished, she can't figure out why Grandfather Moloch didn't release her a long time ago. Unless he wants to bring down the Cathonic Dome, which he never has before. She'll figure it out eventually. Won't be the lone one to do so. We will too -- though, of course, I already have and, after a careful perusal of Weird-1, you should be able to as well.

Want a hint? Oh, all right. Consider first the definitions of Cathonic {skyborn} and Chthonic {earthborn} provided this chapter. Consider further that devils occupied the bodies of debrained demons when they became solid as well as spirit beings. Consider finally that the Female Entity, Miracle Memory, is possessing someone on the Moon. Put all that together, as the Male Entity, Heliosophos, did toward the end of Launch, and you'll have it.

As for D-Brig, they still haven't figured out there is such a place as the Hidden Continent of Sedon's Head. Well, I shouldn't say that. Some of them are from the Head (just aren't admitting it), all have been there before (just keep forgetting it) and will shortly be there again (and regretting it). Weird-1, though, only covers the events of Sunday the 30th of November to Tuesday the 2nd of December, 1980 for them and Sedonda the 30th of Maruta to Demetray the 2nd of Tantalar, 5980 for Silverstar.

You can read of D-Brig's adventures over those three days in the first few chapters of 'The War of the Apocalyptics'. For Pyrame it's a three-day journey from the heavens to hell to someplace even worse, the Ghostlands -- a radioactive wasteland ruled by the devic Grim Reaper, Underlord Yama Nergal. It's in Hell on Earth, however, that we first encounter someone you might want to mentally nota bene as After Limbo, not to mention Pyrame, progresses. I refer to Baaloch Hellblob, Sinistral Sloth of Satanwyck!

"Welcome to Hell," Lord Lazy shrugged. "If you've come to ask for the soul of your lover back, I don't do requests. Besides, if it is here, I wouldn't want it back if I were you. Which of course I couldn't be. I'm not even human."

"Nor am I," said Cosmicaptain Purandar. "Not entirely."

Her skin lightened, went from brown to a greyish-white. Her weapons and backpack vanished as her clothing transformed into a sheath dress. It was held up by cross-straps that tied behind her neck, leaving her breasts bare. Her face became triangular, pointed at the top. Her head, top, back and sides, crunched in on itself until it had only three sides. The face cleared and a single eye peered out of each side.

"Correction. Welcome to Paradise for the Damned, Pauper."

Although I tend to agree that villains are generally more interesting than heroes, I'm not prepared to say that these particular devils are After Limbo's bad guys. Then again, bearing in mind that PHANTACEA is Anheroic Fantasy, you'd never get me to admit that After Limbo has any bad guys. Or bad gals, for that matter.

Is full of guys and gals going about their business, however, and it just so happens that some of that business might result in bad things being done. Point being that what's bad for some guys and gals is good for other guys and gals. And that's what makes it so much fun to write, -- and read!

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2. "All, Athenans, Apocalyptics"

The Triple-A title is alliterative for a structural purpose. Is intended to remind long time PHANTACEA readers of fay-saying. So, does that mean Young Life and Young Death are back? Not yet. Might not even show up in Weirdness. Either of them. Not in person, though they'll certainly be discussed. There is a strong suggestion that faerie farts will soon be appearing, however. And they do, in this very chapter, just not as explicitly as you might expect.

All is the self-proclaimed Invincible She-Sphinx of Incain. Athenans are Inner Earth War Witches. Apocalyptics are War, Death, Disease and Disaster. They, along with Demon Land and the Vultyrie, are the devils who attached themselves to Cosmicar 4 when it blew out of the Sedon Sphere and whom D-Brig defeated on Damnation Isle on the Sunday. Are also the ones OMP, Old Man Power, has been sending to his homeland, Temporis, beneath the Upper Headworld, ever since.

Those of you who have been through the Launch Tetralogy, particularly the 21 (or 22) Moons, are aware of what happens to All of Incain -- but that's a few days from now. Same holds true for the Apocalyptics. Might even recall War Witches are named after Mediterranean Athena, the Greek Goddess of both War and Wisdom, and that long ago Illuminaries of Weir decided the Olympian Goddess and Methandra Thanatos were one and the same devi. Which, in their jumbled up, anagram-prone cleverness, is why they gave the Scarlet Empress of Lathakra that particular name.

(Devils, you should recall, don't have names as such. Usually go by their attributes: Egg, Empress, Seeress, Goat, Pauper, Smiler, Drunken Buffoon, War, Death, Disease, Disaster, Drought, Pestilence, Flood, Famine, Strife, that sort of thing.)

As Pyrame (named after the Egyptian pyramids and the silver stars they are aligned with) discovers, there's quite the conspiracy afoot on both the Inner and Outer Earths. Seems everyone is double-crossing everyone else. All, for example, serves at least two main mistresses, the Female Entity, who is on the Moon, and the aforementioned Methandra, who is also the Crimson Queen of Mythland.

She-Sphinx is just as responsive to three of the four Quarter Queens of Shenon (Aortic Amphitrite, a Lemurian Frog Woman, Aortic Tsishah, who appears to be an Irache, and Ventricular Sheba Faerieflight, who is then-currently possessed of Strife on the Outer Earth). Another one All tends to defer to is the Athenans' Mother Superior, Morgianna Sarpedon, who happens to be a former Quarter Queen as well as the Summoning Born, year-younger, full-sister of Pyrame's half-son, Saladin Devason, the current Master of Weir.

Virtually all of these individuals, some more so than others, showed up during the Launch Tetralogy. A couple more who did ditto, Pusan Wanderlust and Klannit Thanatos, also make their first appearance in Weirdness this chapter. Won't be their last. As is usual for PHANTACEA on the Web, we're building up quite the cast of characters.

Weird-2 contains a perhaps inordinate amount of background material. The gist of the action, such as it is, has a lot to do with Pyrame's Progress. Seems she suffers from the same problem the Apocalyptics did in Launch. As a decathonitized Deva she needs a sentient shell to possess in order to avoid recathonitizing. Her shell, Cosmicaptain Nehrini Purandar, did not fare as well as she did in the radioactive Ghostlands. Was, in fact, poisoned to the point of uselessness in Underlord Yama's Deva protectorate.

We'll leave the Pauper Priestess, she whose Her-Story we've been alternating with the Their-Stories of D-Brig, inside Pusan Wanderlust. She-they, with Aortic Tsishah accompanying her-them, is walking the dog-thing that All has become along the sandy, not-just-windswept Prison Beach of Incain. Promise we'll get back to all three, or four, of them come Weird-3.

In the meantime, maybe you've been wondering why this segment of Weirdness is sub-titled 'CEREBRAL INTERCESSION'. If you have, wonder no longer.

Cyborg Cerebrus had no idea the Four Primary Apocalyptics, the Vultyrie and Demon Land had taken up residence in Old Man Power after Sea Goddess's state-shifting wonderment the previous Sunday. Had no idea OMP was methodically sending them, one at a time, day by day, via his Homeworld Sceptre to the Thousand Caverns of Dand Tariqartha, OMP's devic half-father, beneath the subcutaneous northern third of Sedon's Head.

Had no idea that, come Saturday, Devauray on the Hidden Continent, one of them, Mars Bellona, the Apocalyptic of War, would as good as kill him!

PHANTACEA fact of the matter is I designed the 'After Limbo' sequences in order to spotlight, howsoever briefly, each member of D-Brig in the 100th Helio-Sun. Now that we know how he's going to end up, it should be bloody obvious chapters re-capsulizing events in the first week of December 1980 are about as close as Cerebrus David Ryne is ever going to get to being spotlighted.

Should be -- but, hey, although it's often bloody, how often has PHANTACEA been obvious?

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3. "The Diver's Trigregos Talismans"

So Cerebrus David Ryne is supposed to be the spotlighted character in the initial set of Weirdness's story sequences. Ha! It is to laugh. (Not to mention be awfully weird.) Can't recall if Cyborg Cerebrus even appears in Weird-3, sooth said. Diver does, though, and so do a number of other characters we've come across before. Got some new additions to Weirdness's ever-increasing cast as well -- predominantly U.D.'s lover of forty odd years earlier (her time), Fisherwoman.

U.D., the Untouchable Diver, Yehudi Cohen, and Fisherwoman, Fish, aka Scylla Nereid, are personal favourites of mine for a number of reasons. One of them's they're fun to write. Diver's prone to making jokes, puns too, that are often quite humourous, whereas Fish is forever spouting her famous 'Fishisms'. Be plenty of both in Weird-3. Which is only one of the reasons you should click onto it almost immediately.

Another's that, while they're both tragic characters in many respects, they're also survivors. I like survivors. Most folks do. Fish, for example, has been surviving torments that I, sometimes somewhat sadistically, have put her through in virtually every web-serial I've ever web-published. Although, due to being stuck in Limbo with the rest of D-Brig at the time, he missed Rings '60, U.D.'s been in most of them as well. Survived them dildo-Diver, as he might say.

Devauray (Saturday) the 6th of Tantalar 5980 (December 6, 1980) took a heavy toll on D-Brig. Cerebrus is hardly their only casualty. Wilderwitch and Radiant Rider (Gloriella D'Angelo) aren't capable of making it to Hadd, where the Living are battling the Dead, and who knows what's become of the Elemental Twins. Been no sign of Gloriel's adopted siblings, Air and Sea, since their last sighting -- the latter at YVR, Vancouver's International Airport, on the Friday (Lazam beneath the Dome); the former in the Precolumbian, North American Plainsland Cavern of Temporis the day after, the Devauray.

Ringleader's reappeared on the scene and, after dropping Cerebrus, the Witch and Rainbow off in the Weirdom of Cabalarkon to be cared for by Utopian Scientocrats, many of whom he's personally trained, has taken the remaining five (OMP, Raven, Blind Sundown, Dervish Furie and the Diver) with him to Hadd, the Land of the Dead. Rings, Aristotle Zeross, wants to acquire the Trigregos Talismans for his patron, Saladin Devason, the Master of Weir.

Who ends up with them instead is, well, the title kind of gives that away, doesn't it? As for what's become of Silverstar ...

Periscope poked out of the sand. "All told you go away or All eat you."

"We did go away," Pusan Wanderlust pointed out.

"And you didn't tell us not to come back," said Tsishah.

Voice changed. Was now Pyrame Silverstar who spoke through the periscope. "What do you want?"

"You'd have recathonitized without us, Pauper," Tsishah declaimed. "You owe us and I'm here to collect."

"Seashells are at the seashore. Collect as many as you want. I could care less. I'm more interested in mine. Where's Purandar? I'm stuck here without a sentient shell."

"Mirrors still has her," said Pusan. "You can have me again."

"To do what?"

"Get laid for starters." Goat's statement did not shock Pyrame. Fauns were as horny as they were horned.

"Laid -- or screwed again?"

Seems the Diver isn't the only one who likes to make jokes.

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4. "Trigregos Diver"

In terms of the Launch Tetralogy, which was set for the most part in early December 1980, the Damnation Brigade was primarily featured in 'The War of the Apocalyptics'. They were back in number (though only some of them were there in strength) during ENDGAME-Gambit -- particularly after Ringleader, Gambit's primary protagonist, brought them to Hadd in order to join the Forces of the Living in their battle against Nergal Vetala and the Forces of the Dead. That battle was actually concluded during the course of Helios on the Moon.

Prior to Launch -- not that the fullness of the story made it to PHANTACEA on the Web until just before the millennium --, what happened to D-Brig immediately pre-Limbo formed a substantial part of the subject matter for Rings '55. Other than in flashbacks, as seen almost exclusively from the perspective of Cerebrus David Ryne, it was not until Weird-3, when we were following the Diver around, that we began to catch up with the rest of them in this late 5980 space-time continuum.

[Sea Goddess logo prepared on Macromedia Flash by Jim McPherson, 2002]

In Weird-4, as most of D-Brig reunite in the Weirdom of Cabalarkon, we pretty much finish our re-acquaintanceship process. Well, truth told, Wilderwitch doesn't reappear until the end of Weird-4 and we don't actually reacquaint ourselves with the Terrible Twins as such. Do find out where Aires and Thalassa D'Angelo are and, as if you didn't know it already, learn that they aren't so much angelics as devils.

D-Brig are not the only ones with whom we reacquaint ourselves this time up. Rings himself, Dr Aristotle Zeross, is back; in person, not in flashback. So is his wife, Melina nee Sarpedon, and their three daughters: Athena, Helen and Persephone. Some others we have seen before return as well. These include Golgotha Nauroz, his equally clonal wife Gethsemane (Golgotha and Gethsemane were cloned out of Ubris Nauroz and Chryseis Somata, Saladin and Morg's paternal grandparents), the Weirdom of Cabalarkon's Trinondev Warriors Elite, of which Golgotha is their field leader, and, lest we forget, Pyrame Silverstar.

Of these Melina is probably the most significant. She's a Summoning Child and, as such, something like 23 years older than Harry. Her black-as-midnight twin brother is Demios, who played minor yet nonetheless important roles in 'Centauri Island' and 'The Trigregos Gambit'. She was around in the Fifties, and in the late Thirties and Forties, so D-Brig know her. Was around in the Sixties as well, though none of those stories have made it on the Web as yet.

Her supra codename was Illuminatus, after the Illuminaries of Weir, of whom she is now their High Illuminary. Her niece, Andaemyn, Demios's daughter by Morgianna, the now presumably dead, former Quarter Queen of Shenon and Mother Superior of the Athenan War Witch Sisterhood, was in Gambit and will be reappearing in the After Limbo sequences eventually. While that does not make Aortic Tsishah Mel's other niece (except by marriage, I suppose) it does make the current Superior of the Athenan Sisterhood Andi's half-sister.

There's all sorts of pertinent little details like that in Weird-4. I should make a list of them but that might spoil some your reading enjoyment. Will note that Andi was the Zebranid Leper Dervish Furie saved from Saladin Devason, the current Master of the Weirdom of Cabalarkon, on Sraddha Isle during Gambit, an event that comes into play this chapter. (Nota bene: the Master recognized her as his niece. Which means he really is a jerk. Given Sal won't let them see the Witch, most of D-Brig had pretty much already determined that. Must come from being one of the few remaining sons of the Devil!)

Something else to note for future reference is Furie has not reverted to his Jervis Murray persona since D-Brig's arrival on the Head on Tantalar 5 (December 5th) and, by end-chapter, it's Tantalar 14. What's worse his Dervish persona been undergoing some, um, outward alterations.

Wildman Dervish Furie was not much taller than Sundown. Nor was he particularly broad shouldered or seemingly as muscular. However, he actually had horns, ones that were starting to curve backwards the longer they grew, was lighter-skinned than any full-blooded Utopian male and, no doubt because of his slight muzzle, bristled beard and sharp, glistening teeth, exuded an aura of sheer animal magnetism.

The way he moved he appeared ready to tear off his Trinondev-style muslin robe and pounce, fangs bared, claws extended, at any moment. Not that any of the women thought he would rip them apart. Not literally; close, maybe. What he reminded them most of was a satyr, a male faun. And they all knew what fauns were best at!

There will be more of what they're good at next time, -- though Pyrame, presumably possessing Aortic Tsishah, is spotted indulging herself in some of same atop Sedon's Peak. Spotted by Ringleader, Aristotle Zeross. And what's Rings doing on Sedon's Peak? Trying to avoid dying of Gypsium Sickness, as it happens.

Peak is the devic protectorate of Tvasitar Smithmonger and he's hoping the Smith, whom he considers a friendly devil, can help him locate one of Thrygragos Lazareme's healers, Althea Brand or Azkeecyoos, either one of whom might be able to cure him. Much the same reasoning led Fish, Fisherwoman, to bring the cocoon Morgianna Sarpedon, Mel-Illuminatus's sister-in-law, wrapped herself in after (really) Blind Sundown did his spear-casting thing atop Diminished Dustmound, as reprised in Weird-3. (Guess I should have mentioned that then.)

Won't commit myself as to whether either Althea or Azkeecyoos will ever show up After Limbo. Will note, again for future reference, that John Sundown is involved with the Scientocrats of Weir in an effort to duplicate his Solar Spear and that Raven's Head has agreed to let them attempt to clone her. Why? Because they're cathonitizers. Potential devaslayers!

"What we did to the Apocalyptics in Temporis and what Raven did to the Vampire Queen in Hadd can't have been accidents. We are naturals, Beauty and I. Think. If there were many of her and many men armed with solar spears like mine, the devils would run in terror at our coming."

"More likely they'd just hide in goddamned shells," growled Furie. "And what would you do then?" he wondered, not so much tempting fate as daring the renowned killer to tempt it for them both. "Blast everyone in sight on the off chance they might be devil-possessed?"

Was a good thing Sundown was as slow to anger as he was; was probably a better thing for Sundown. No one, not even Dervish himself, knew what the full Furie was capable of doing. Not having reverted to his Jervis-Jekyll persona for so long he was beginning to suspect it would be a lot more murderous than anything Sundown or Raven had done in the past, though. Full Furie might kill for fun![Former Underlord Yama Nergal, Current Overlord of the Ghostlands, once the Elysian Fields, against a <em>PHANTACEA</em> logo, DRAWN BY IAN FRY, CIRCA 1988]

"Your people and mine went through Hell on Earth, Johnny. Undoubtedly still do -- especially yours, from what little we saw of them in Vancouver. But our skin colour makes us easy to spot. These Master Devas are as invisible as they are virtually anything else they want to be."

"Maybe you're right -- but are you so sure we shouldn't make the effort?"

Just then an elderly Utopian woman ran past them, shouting an alarum. "We're under attack," she cried. "From the Elysian Fields!"

And so they were. Not that the Elysian Fields were called such any more. As you'd know from Weird-1, specifically the latter part of it wherein I reproduced a battle scene first recorded in SIXTH-Moon, they're no longer the Laughing Lands. Are not exactly uninhabited, however, and you would also know from the above who was most responsible for that. Neither Underlord Yama nor Pyrame Silverstar are leading the Inglorious Dead, though. Title tells you who is!

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5. "Above, Below, and Between-Space"

It being situated beneath the Cathonic Dome, what separates the Inner from the Outer Earth, the 'below' part of the inserted chapter's title is the Hidden Continent of Sedon's Head. There, in the Weirdom of Cabalarkon, we reconnect with our nominally featured character, Cerebrus David Ryne. The date is Demetray (Tuesday) Tantalar 9, 5980 Year of the Dome. After his near-death, and likely still terminal, experience in Temporis tangling with the Apocalyptic of War on the Sixth, he has been submerged in a tub of life-preserving Cathonic Fluid within the catacombs beneath the Citadel of the Thinkers. Might be there for quite awhile, Saladin Devason, the Master of Weir,tells him.

Naturally Devason already knows that Sleepers such as Cerebrus has become can be awakened, howsoever briefly, by dripping blood into their tubs. He's also a scoundrel of course, but we know that, too. Claims he's motivated to improve the sorrowful lot of his sad-sack subjects, the once star-spanning but now mostly inbred imbecilic Utopians of Weir.

And maybe he is, though he leaves Cerebrus with the impression he's more interested in self-improvement; as in self-aggrandization. As for Cerebrus himself, well, it is supposed to be his series of mini-stories so he'll have to get around to doing some Cerebral Intercession eventually, won't he? (Not this chapter, he won't. Will before Weirdness is over though, that I can promise you.)

Having checked in on D-Brig's former leader, we return to one of their current ones: Yehudi Cohen, the Untouchable Diver. The Diver's been busier than Cerebrus thus far in Weirdness and, late Demetray (Tuesday) evening, he's on the heart-shaped Island of Shenon being entertained, in an approaching PG manner, by Telepassa of Godbad's four charming daughters: Semele, who's only 12, if that, and barely budding, along with her triplet sisters, Autonoe, Ino, and Agave, who are in their late teens and have thoroughly blossomed already. Probably, given they were members of the Afrite "Lovely Lady" Sisterhood, any number of times by then.

(For those of you who read Rings '60, which turned out to have a sequel I'm still in the process of completing, you won't be surprised to discover who Telepassa actually is -- and the identity of her daughters' father. For those of you who missed Rings '60, you'll have to rely on its chapter-by-chapter synopses, which are still out here somewhere. Otherwise you might become as lost as the teasing foursome render the Diver. They do do it, lose the Diver, entertainingly though. Got, even if I do say so myself, a knack for the vernacular.)

Done with the Diver for the nonce, we head upstairs to the 'above' aspect of Weird-5. That would be the Moon and it's there we reconnect with Moon's Angel. One of All's mistresses, she would also be the Female Entity, Heliosophos's Milady Memory, whom we're given to understand was, in her first lifetime (this is ostensibly her hundredth!), the wholly human Afrite born Mnemosyne D'Angelo. Even if it was one of the revelations I referred to above, I might as tell you here and now that, as astute PHANTACEA pHans are already aware, after events first described in LAST-Moon Miracle Memory acquires a devil such that she can become humanized again.

Devil's Datong Harmonia, the Unity of Balance; only, as detailed primarily in 'The Trigregos Gambit', she now calls herself Freespirit Nihila. Still wields the same broken Brainrock chains that are extensions her power focus (the Necklace of Harmonia, natch) and it's hardly the first time they've been a team. Does beg the question of whom Miracle Memory was occupying during 'Helios on the Moon', though. While we've covered most of the answer to that in these synopses previously, it doesn't hurt to finally get confirmation of her identity. And it wasn't a devil!

The 'between-space' of Weird-5 is what a great many of Weirdness's central characters pass through when they go from place to place. Witches access it via their stepping stones; Ringleader uses his Gypsium Rings; the Diver swims through it after inhuming Brainrock; most devils cut through it via their talismans, which are made of this same Gypsium-Brainrock Godstuff. One devil, perhaps the only third generational Master Deva who does not have a power focus, is Pyrame Silverstar. Which is one reason she's known as the Pauper Priestess. Occupying Aortic Tsishah, Pyrame flies through between-space on All, the self-proclaimed Invincible She-Sphinx of Incain.

As Cromwell Necator, the Godbadian 'protector' who was featured primarily in the later sequences of 'Centauri Island', demonstrates early on this chapter (in a reprise of an event first described in 'Helios on the Moon'), All isn't exactly invincible. She is a definite She-Sphinx, however, and, as you've probably realized already, where she carries Pyrame-Tsishah is Sedon's Peak. The Peak's the devic protectorate of Tvasitar Smithmonger, the devil who manufactures Gypsium talismans for other devils.

As you will have also picked up on by now a couple of our other characters are already there, or soon will be. They would be the fellow who uses Brainrock Rings and the fellow who as good as eats the Godstuff. Pyrame's there to seduce Tvasitar in the hopes of thereafter having him make replicates of the Trigregos Talismans. Guess who's there to destroy the originals? And guess which charming triplets are apparently Trigregos Reborn?

Finally it's back to the Weirdom of Cabalarkon, the place, where the Spirit of Cerebrus encounters the Utopian after whom it's named. Encounters, rather, the Ghost of Cabalarkon, what amounts to his soul-self. Cabalarkon is perhaps the weirdest of Weirdness's Weirdos. He's the almost impossibly old Sleeper none other than the Moloch Sedon regards as his father. Is also what might effectively be considered a psychic vampire somewhat along the lines of Medea's, and not just Medea's, lamia from 'The Moloch Manoeuvres'.

At the ghost's suggestion Cerebrus goes on a spirited walkabout; what his godfather, Sedon St Synne, calls Wayfaring in the Weird. (The Weird, as you would recall, is yet another term for between-space. Another thing you would recall is that St Synne is named after the Moloch and that both he and Saladin are sedons. Are, possibly, the last two sedons there are -- other than the fellow who always talks in big-print, yet rarely appears in PHANTACEA on the Web, that is.)

Just in case you were wondering what made Wilderwitch scream so uncharacteristically at the end of last chapter, it must be time for an approaching PG-rated "BLOCKQUOTE" to end this synoptic installation:

Saladin Devason was making love to Wilderwitch. But there was more, Cerebrus realized, stretching his mental faculties such that he could read him.

Master was not all himself. He thought he was making love to some sort of darkness-shrouded demon, one with only two eyes but one who was not entirely herself either. Witch was not possessed but her soul-self was. And Saladin was not making love to her, it, the possessed spirit. Another demon was -- unless it was a devil.

It also had two eyes but one of them was in its forehead!

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6. "Spirits of Vengeance"

Recall how LAST-Moon really ended? Rather, how I, your dedicated typist, ended its synopsis? Well, after six chapters with lots of ancillary events and different perspectives meshed with an almost complete rehash of 'The Launching of the Cosmic Express' Tetralogy, that's about where we are now in terms of Weirdness. Seems the fellow who always talks in big-print, yet rarely appears in PHANTACEA, feels Wilderwitch will do fine for something.

And what might that something be? If 'Sedonsex' was still its title that would give most of it away but, even if its title was once just that ('Sedonsex'), there would be more to it than just that. Put it this way -- in order to achieve the desired result it takes four to tango.

"I can almost read them," Cerebrus told his fellow spook, referring to the ones on the bed. "It's like they're on two levels -- a couple of coupling couples, as the Diver might put it. Wilderwitch is so out of it on her own drugs I'm not sure she's aware of what she's doing. It's almost like Saladin's raping her."

"It's a bit complicated to explain," granted [the wayfaring spirit of Sedon] St Synne. "He's not raping her, though. She wants it as much as he does -- both sides of both of them want it. The difference is neither Saladin nor the witch are wholly there. They are in a state of ecstasy, of transcendence. They're screwing each other mentally, physically, and spiritually. It will be very interesting to see what becomes of this union. I trust it is a boy."

"A new Sedon," realized Cerebrus, recalling a snippet of the conversation he had with the Ghost of Cabalarkon that morning.

"Indeed. But that is not Pyrame occupying the other half of the Witch. It's a demon, an Earth Spirit, by the name of Lilith."

So now we know why Saladin Devason has been keeping the Witch all to himself. Well, not just to himself -- not only is he a jerk he has a personal demon, his own devic half-father as it happens, that's more like the All-Father of All Jerks.

(And, speaking of All, yes, that is the self-proclaimed Invincible She-Sphinx of Incain out there on the Slopes of the Sleepers tangling with D-Brig toward the end of Weird-4 and again this chapter. She's in one of her alternate forms, one we've seen before in PREGAME-Gambit, that of the Conglomerate Devil we've learned to call Demogorgon, though Master Devas call her the Unnameable. When they refer to her at all, that is. Or, put another way, refer to her other than as All.)

The sequence referred to above, which carried on from where LAST-Moon and indeed the entire Launch Tetralogy ended, was presented in some detail in Weird-4. As you might have guessed at that time, it was not simply the Master of Weir having a bad dream and Wilderwitch sympathetically casting an illusionary rendition of his nightmare for all to see.

With that in mind let's revisit the battle, albeit from Cerebrus's perspective. (Bet you didn't realize he was there. Well, it seems he wasn't the only one we missed.)

A darkness-shrouded, skull-faced, scythe-wielding devil and an odd-looking humanoid with a woman's willowy body, bared breasts, and quadrangular head with a solitary eye staring out of each of its three uppermost surfaces, to either side of him, the Untouchable Diver led the once Glorious Dead. Yehudi was wearing the Crimson Corona, the Amateramirror a shield on his arm and brandishing the Susasword!

Raven's Head, Blind Johnny Sundown on her back, burst out of the Trinondevs' energy globe. Suddenly there were dozens of her and dozens of him, all armed with solar spears. Wilderwitch was using him to cast long distance illusions, realized Cerebrus. Then there were hundreds of her and the Sundowns were Trinondevs carrying eye staves. The prison pods atop them opened but the devil-inhuming eyeballs inside them promptly vapourized. The Diver rose into the sky.

Then he was three, all women, all with three eyes. Cerebrus was shocked to recognize them as variations of Europa Heliopolis -- and he had not seen her since she was fourteen years old. Each one wielded only one of the talismans.

Dozens of other devils manifested themselves behind them. They started to come together, become a conglomerate devil -- an enormous Sphinx with the wings of a demonic dragon, the head of a Gorgon, the body of a hellcat, and the breasts of a beautiful woman but whose milk, he had no doubt, was purest bile!

The battle was joined. The original Raven's Head and Blind Sundown, the latter touching the tip of his spear to the former's elongated, brightly glowing unicorn horn, took out the shadowy devil as surely as they had the two Apocalyptics and Ramazar's Vultyrie in Temporis. Radiant Rider, the Kronokronos Supreme and the full Furie went for the diverse Diver-Devils.

At the sight of them coming, the three young women vanished. As did the Sphinx. The female devil with the three-sided pyramid-like head followed them into Samsara. Raven and Sundown, Cerebrus linked to him mentally, went after her. A few minutes later, they returned empty-handed. It was almost as if nothing had happened.

Completely confused, D-Brig came back to Cabalarkon, the City State. Once they were safely there Cerebrus brought his spirit back into his body. Probably he, alone of the Damnation Brigade, knew what had actually occurred in the Slopes of the Sleepers.

The Moloch Sedon had saved the Weirdom yet again!

As if nothing had happened, eh? Not quite true. Something had happened, -- and in Weird-6 we learn the fullness of it. Who are our titular Spirits of Vengeance? Not Cerebrus David Ryne, Sedon St Synne or Cabalarkon, all of whom get seriously spooky in Weird-6. Haven't forgotten any of our other essentially bodiless characters, have we? Don't know about you, but I didn't.

We leave 'CEREBRAL INTERCESSION', what amounted to an extended hangover from The Launching of the Cosmic Express, with a word to the wise for the fellow who always talks in big-print, yet rarely appears in PHANTACEA. Pyrame's still out there; no doubt plotting anew. Might be worth the effort to track her down and stick her back in Cathonia before she gets luckier than she was on the Slopes. (Just between you and me, maybe the Moloch will. Only trouble is, when and if he does, he may discover she's hooked up with someone even he can't do much about -- his mother!)

End Weird-6 Cerebrus is lying safely in his tub of Cathonic Fluid beneath the Citadel of the Thinkers. Along with his fellow Wayfarers in the Weird, notably the spirit of Sedon St Synne and the ghost of Cabalarkon, it's unlikely he'll be physically going anywhere anytime soon. Can't say the same for his fellow members of the Damnation Brigade, however. As for Fisherwoman, Aortic Tsishah, Ventricular Telepassa, her Lovely Lady daughters, All the Invincible, Pusan Wanderlust, and a few of the other characters we've met thus far in Weirdness, hey, where there's a Month One chances are there'll be a Month or Year Two, then a Year Three and Year Four.

Definitely will be more of a Month-1, and a Year-1, for Pyrame Silverstar and Moon's Angel. Other thing about the reunited pair is they are going somewhere. To the Outer Earth!

"Whatever for?"

"For starters a plate of roast turkey, with all the fixings, and if we're lucky some Christmas pudding. From my time inside Tsishah, whom I dumped as soon as I got hold of you, and after talking with Amphitrite and Lakshmi in Temporis, I know just the place -- the Houston Academy of Man."

"You believe the Great Man can aid you against the Moloch Sedon? Abe Ryne's an octogenarian on his way out. He doesn't move too well and probably doesn't think too well either. He certainly doesn't realize there is a Moloch Sedon, let alone there's a Sedon's Head."

"Oh, he might provide the feast but it isn't him I want to see. It's a couple of his children; one of them anyhow. Other one might not be his."

"Okay, now you've got me intrigued. Which ones and why?"

"Wouldn't want to spoil your fun, would I?

Neither would I. Am going to follow Pyrame's lead, however. As I write this it's Christmas Day 2002 and I do enjoy my turkey. Don't have to go to Houston to get it, either. (Just for the record, in case I forget where I left off Weirdness before I get back to it, they're Saul-Psycho and Aranyani Nightingale Ryne.)

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The Damnation Brigade: 'The Weirdness of Cabalarkon', Chapters 1-6

The Damnation Brigade: 'The Weirdness of Cabalarkon', Chapters 7-11

The Damnation Brigade: 'Psychodrama', Chapters 1-5

Note: Many of the characters who appear in these web-serials first appeared in the comic books and/or the "Phantacea Revisited" graphic novels. Most also appeared in "Goddess Gambit" or during one of the books making up the epic 'Launch 1980' fantasy trilogy, as per here Jim McPherson's now-concluded, long-ongoing project to novelize the comics.

Hit here for lynx to notes and graphics prepared for 'Nuck-Drags' and here for graphics prepared for 'War-Pox', respectively the first and second full-length novels making up the 'Launch 1980' story cycle. The culminating entry "Helios on the Moon" was, fittingly released on the 30th of November 2014, to the day and date precisely 34 years after the launching of the Cosmic Express.

Excerpts from all three full-length, multi-character novels can be found via the Main Menu(s) here and here.

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