Janapurna And The Stallions Of Hokar

Our heroes are running -- not from human or half-human antagonists this time --but from two fearsome, winged stallions. They're black and evil-looking, and their breath withers anything it touches.

They run into a little clearing in a rather cragg, dead-looking terrain, in which rests a smallish hovel. They creep up to investigate and see only an old man bending over a cauldron. The old man gives them refuge, and just when all seems well...

The old man shows his true form, changing himself into Kelek, the evil wizard and lackey of Venger. It's all to sudden, too swift, for the band of heroes to do anything about it -- and Kelek works a magic spell that winds them up on another plane!

Our heroes don't realise what's happened yet. They all still look normal to each other, but they are in a different place -- no longer the hovel, but instead a charred, dead-looking wood. And the only other thing that's different is that Bobby and Uni are missing.

But that's only the immediate, obvious difference -- for the remaining band can hear Bobby and Uni calling for them -- and they're not far away. Their voices sound close enough to touch them, but they are not in sight.

They yell for Bobby, but he can't even hear them -- so either Bobby's in another plane or they are...

The voice of the Dungeon Master joins them -- for he cannot join them in the flesh. They are on an astral plane, meaning they are spirits who cannot be seen or heard from the real material world. Presto finds this fascinating, but nobody is amused. They are farther from home then ever -- and they must find their own way out of the astral plane.

They wander for a beat, searching for some clue, some way out. It isn't long before they hear, rather than see, their clue. A haunting, ethereal song lilts across the barren hills. Hank, Presto and Eric find themselves "enchanted" by it -- almost hypnotized. And when several zombies cross their path, the three boys are uninterested.

It's up to Sheila and Diana to rescue the boys from certain destruction, which they do, using their magical implements.

The two girls have to virtually drag their male companions onwards. They come across a murky stream and the hauntingly beautiful song becomes more distinct -- and the three boys fall even more under its spell.

Bobby and Uni are meanwhile trying to find a way to either get into the astral plane or to rescue their comrades from it. He decides, in true Bobby fashion, to face Kelek directly and get him to release the spell. He fails in this -- not being anything near a match for the evil wizard -- and winds up in a cage until Kelek decides what to do with him. Kelek ignores the "mere unicorn".

While Bobby is getting himself into trouble, the band of astral plane captives find the source of the siren-like melody: the beautiful enchanted princess, Janapurna. She's under the spell of another of Venger's evil minions, the sorcerer Hokar. Hokar is long since dead so there is no recourse there.

The boys are truly enchanted by the beautiful princess, each trying to impress her in their own way. And they don't have to look far to find a way to do just that.

The winged, death-breathing stallions of Hokar -- the very same stallions that chased them into Kelek's grasp -- are the key to both Janapurna's and our heroes' dilemmas. The stallions can traverse both the material and astral planes -- anyone riding them can do the same. It's the way out for our heroes, and will break the spell on Janapurna.

Our five heroes find and barely manage to tame the terrifying horses and ride them with Janapurna out of the astral plane.

They must still find Bobby and Uni, and that means they must face Kelek. Uni turns up, frantic for Bobby's safety, and leads them back to Kelek's hovel. Janapurna distracts the wizard while they free Bobby, and give Presto time to snitch a magic spell from Kelek's spell book. It works, much to Presto's amazement, and the wizard is rendered the powerless old man we first saw.

Janapurna returns to her people, bidding the band farewell. Hank, Presto and Eric, although released from her song's spell, are still humouressly "enchanted" by the princess (much to Bobby's disgust and the two girl's poorly-disguised jealousy).

1 comment:

  1. I wrote a complete story of this premise, modifying it for the intent of it being a Season 4 episode. You can see how within a few pages of reading it. You can find it here:
    http://j3px.deviantart.com/art/Janapurna-and-the-Stallions-of-Hokar-442217569

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