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Saturday, 24 June 2017

Sword of Sorcery 4 - Fafhrd and Gray Mouser fight a cloud, and a story of Young Fafhrd

Denny O'Neil scripts both of the stories in Sword of Sorcery 4 (Sept/Oct 73).

Chaykin does the art on the cover story, in which Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser have one of their brawls interrupted by a mysterious mist. This mist can kill people, or steal their weapons. The pair follow the cloud back to a cave.

Chaykin has a lot of fun with the cave and the cult of hate. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser have heard of these people, who mystically channel their energies into a nebulous but destructive entity.

The cloud comes after them, and they figure out that they need to kill the orb in the centre of it. The orb is up high, so Fafhrd gives Mouser a boost, and he pierces it with his sword, killing it. Not much time for complexity with the brief page count for the tale, but it all looks so great no one would mind.

Walt Simonson does the art on the back-up story, which features a fifteen year old Fafhrd, and his first love. They are out taking a walk in a region known for monsters, although neither thinks this is anything to worry about.

Of course, they are very wrong. A big nasty snake thing shows up and grabs the girl. Fafhrd tries to fight it, but the beast is too strong and too fast for him. Thinking that he has lost his girlfriend Fafhrd sings a lament.

His voice is really strong. Strong enough that the vibrations it gives off shatter a huge icicle, which falls and penetrates the snake thing's head, killing it. The couple are re-united, but choose to keep wandering through this region, rather than running to safety. Dumb kids.

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