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Welcome to a 'Coueranna's Curse' Web-Serial Synopsis Page

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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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'Coueranna's Curse'

Alternative pHlogo prepared by Jim McPherson, 2002


-- Story Synopses --



Dragon, photo by Jim McPherson probably at Versailles, 1996

Gold-Mining for PHANTACEA Factoids
| Supra somebodies in 1938 | Heliosophos as Cain in his original life? |

- Double-click to enlarge in a new window -

  1. Old Man Power
  2. Cry Chaos
  3. Cain, Slayer of Abel
  4. Cry Helios
  5. Aegis-Jesus
copyright © Jim McPherson (phantacea)
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6. COUERANNA'S CURSE: "Old Man Power"

For those of you who've been following the story sequences set in 1980 as well as 'Heliodyssey', Kore-6 has a suggestive title, doesn't it? (Reference also a comment I made when I was doing the synopses for the initial version of 'The Moloch Manoeuvres'.) Here's a BLOCKQUOTE that, even if you only know of the comic book origins to the PHANTACEA Mythos, isn't at all suggestive:

When Sorciere removed the agate that provided him with his seeming, Yehudi Cohen proved to be covered in a rubber frog suit from head to toe, gloves and boots included. He wore the Gorgon goggles over his eyes but the rest of his face was smeared with tar.

"Something else I want to show you." He bent down and touched his toes; did something next to impossible and extended a pair of solid-looking flippers out of his feet. Then he did something entirely impossible, -- dove into the floor. Dove through the floor then came up on the other side of the Magister's bed. "Like it? Think I'll keep calling myself Yehudi. As in UD, -- the Untouchable Diver!"

Old Joe fluffed his pillow. "Notify my secretary and have him duly listed in the Register of the Ridiculous as such."

Actually, if you've been paying attention, you already have a pretty good idea as to what I'm suggesting by Kore-6's title. Since Aires D'Angelo and a sighted John Sundown are with the Magister; since we've already seen Airhead's twin sister Thalassa in Scotland, as well as both Jervis Murray and David Ryne on Charan's Ark, and Gloriella D'Angelo, as a 4-year old (in Rome, during Manoeuvres); since Yehudi Cohen has finally realized his Summoning Heritage; we're only missing Wilderwitch, who would be about the same age as Ramona Avar (whom we did re-encounter toward the end of Kore-5), and Raven's Head. As for Raven, recall Manitoulin's crow-creature, John Sundown's Fetishim?

So now that I've made it clear, yet again, who some of the characters in the 1938 serials grow up (or, as we'll see in Kore-9, grow down) to become in the 1980 serials, you might wonder why I've seemingly gone out of my way to spoil the drama of who lives and who dies in 'Coueranna's Curse'. Wonder no longer. There's plenty of characters whose fate will be determined before Curse concludes. Might even be a few whose fate will be determined fatally, if you can appreciate the distinction.

Besides, I haven't come right out and stated that Magister Joseph Mandam will survive to become D-Brig's OMP, have I?

After a chatty chapter, Kore-4, and one filled mostly with back-story, Kore-5, it's about time we got one packed with action, wouldn't you say? I know I would but the table still isn't quite set for it as yet. Kore-7 is the action-packed one you're waiting for and in fact there's so much action it'll needs be spill over into a few more chapters after that. Consider Kore-6 the aperitif, then, the beginning of the end of the Castle Nightmare aspect of 'Coueranna's Curse'.

There's some research, an interesting tidbit or two about Hamburg in the 20s and 30s as well as some info re Germanic expertise of the same time period in terms of aerostatics engineering. Conrad Schroff, uncle of Hiliarti, an orphan who is also about the same age as Ramona Avar and Wilderwitch, gets some rare opportunities for dialogue. So does the Baron Tyrtod von Alptraum and Morgianna Somata.

Plotwise, the Magister sends Fish and Delphi back to Africa to recommence their thus-far futile search for the missing Galvin-Shekmet party that includes his beloved daughter Barsine. We find out more about Aires D'Angelo's fascination with flying and old Joe's fear of it. There's more on the still strained relationship between Sorciere (Solace born Sunrise) and John Sundown.

Was Solace, pre-Sorciere, after she left Sundown not long after they consummated their childhood marriage, really sold into slavery and forced to toil in a Persian sheik's harem until rescued by Sedon St Synne? Did she never give birth to their daughter? (Answer, as we'll discover when we get to 'The Vampire Variations' a couple of years from now, is actually no to both. But that's the story and she's sticking to it.) We learn, hardly for the first time, of Sundown's claustrophobia; his one non-supra weakness other than his nowadays unrequited love for his childhood bride.

While all this is going on in Hamburg, having sent Delphi away with Fish Magister Mandam assigns Dragon Joe, who's presumably his personal psychopomp, to transport some of his cadre, specifically Sorciere, Sundown and Roxanne ('Hot Rox') once Heliopolis, now Kinesis, on nightly reconnaissance missions to Castle Nightmare over on the Baltic Sea coast.

Laodice Atreides is there, recall, and she supposedly has a prison pod (a Utopian eyeorb) containing Kore-Concord, she of the Many Names, about her between-space. This Kore, our titular Coueranna, she of the curse, was the source of Clymene born Catreus, aka Lao's mother's mysterious might. Probably isn't the source of Lao's not-so-mysterious, electricity-generating abilities, though. That's more a matter of her Summoning Heritage.

Hot Rox absconds with it in her usual Living Ghost fashion. But, back in Hamburg, Golgotha Nauroz, the leader of the Trinondev Warriors of Weir, who has been pretending to act as old Joe's Heliodromus, discovers it's empty. In other words Kore-Concord has gone elsewhere; rather, she got into someone and then got that someone elsewhere. (From Kore-4 we already know that someone and that elsewhere.)

There's nothing else for it. Old Joe and company are going to have to go to Castle Nightmare themselves. In von Alp's Balder airship, what they're still planning to take to Africa; go there, via the usual subterfuge, minus old Joe himself of course.

UD was wearing the Magister's likeness. Which was why Sundown was so ashen. If the Diver fought off Sorciere's seeming and bolted, he [Sundown] might have to reinforce yesterday's lesson [with respect to his supra-exclusion zone]. In something as fragile as a hydrogen-filled airship, with armed men and women everywhere, that struck him as a prospect to be avoided at all costs. Dragon Joe being between-space not far away did nothing to cheer him either.

What if he burped?

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Someone has died at Castle Nightmare. Rather, someone is dead.

"You see it, Sorciere?" the Mithraic Magus asked her under his breath.

"Already smelled it outside. Which is why I insisted you bring me with you instead of Skull-Face [Golgotha Nauroz] or your so-called nurse [Morgianna still Somata]. Chances are they've never seen anything like that. How'd it get here?"

"Ophiomedea obviously. She, her cockatrice self, was on the Ark the night before it landed in Cairo."

"Next question is what are we going to do? Make a scene?"

"Might as well. I'm much too old to dance."

Magister Mandam bent over Hulga Volsung's body. However, rather than kiss her, he ripped away her necklace. The moment he did so, the glamour was dispelled. There was still a corpse lying in the coffin but it was not that of the Hunnish hag. It was the remains of one of the lamia, Neath or Lathe, that were left behind in the Roman Colosseum [the night of the Thirteenth]; the one Ophiomedea removed from Charan's Ark the morning of the Twenty-Second.

She, whichever one it was, looked right at home in a casket!

The now thoroughly dead lamia does indeed look right at home in a casket. Unfortunately for Magister Mandam and crew, there are a large number of Germanic sorts, led by Donar Lancz and Strife that fancy them in caskets as well. Unless, that is to say, they're the unfortunate ones. Magister Mandam and crew aren't about to lie down and be boxed.

Yep, it's finally Battle Royal time at Castle Nightmare.

"You're going to quote Shakespeare now, aren't you?" the illusion of Sorciere said to the impenetrable, physically as well as psychologically, Magister.

"Seems appropriate."

"And she's going to let them loose." [Reference being to Strife's three Cereberant Hellhounds, each of whom have 3-heads.]

"'Let slip' is the exact quote."

"And they really can get into Shadowland."

"Love it there."

"Good thing I had my lunch. Wouldn't want them to die on an empty stomach."

"Die or dine?"

"Just spit it out. Time to get this show on the roar."

"Right you are, youngster. Cry Havoc and let ..."

What's happened? (In case you didn't figure out the import of all that foreboding provided in Kore-2 and/or neglected to trigger the lynx provided at the end of in Kore-5, Strife has merged bodily with the real Hulga Faust always Volsung and now appears to be none other than Hulga's grey baby, Valfreja Volsung, albeit both cancer-free and no longer pregnant.)

Who else composes Magister Mandam's crew? (Here's a hint: two out of the three's right.) Who do they fight? Answer to that is that, other than the men are Nazi Hermiones whereas the women are mostly Horrid Hulga's Korants (as trained by Mata the Muse and Medea the Sybil), there's so many of them even I don't recollect all their names.

How did they come by the contents of the Aesgardian Tantalus? (You see there's this little boy and he takes this little girl to Doc Jay's well-equipped infirmary within Castle Nightmare in order to play doctor. There's this locked tantalus, a metallic cupboard with glass windows, there. It's full of medical implements. He can see through illusions. Apparently she can't. In fact apparently she's just a little girl. The medical implements, they're the illusions. The contents of the Aesgardian Tantalus, guess what they appear to be? Who said medical implements?)

And if Hush's Gush has been killed yet again, which he has, and if he's done his free airline ticket routine only to end up on Aegean Trigon with his Uncle Abe, which he also has, then who the hell is masquerading as Unholy Abaddon at Castle Nightmare? Would it help if I asked who the Herr Hell?

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8. COUERANNA'S CURSE: "Cain, Slayer of Abel"

From time to time in these here Web-Wheaties, as in cereals, as in serials, I take a break in the action to delve into some of the PHANTACEA Mythos back-story. Kore-8 is one of those times. Only this time, as its not at all suggestive title will have alerted you already, we're going way back. We're not talking prehistoric times, we're talking pre-Biblical times. Well, I suppose that's not entirely accurate. To antediluvian times then, to the Golden Age of Humankind. When Kore-8 starts there's not only a Whole Earth, one not divided between an Inner and an Outer Earth, there aren't even any devils on it. So, in the beginning ...

Forget about alien astronauts, in Atlantis the Whole Earth had all the advanced civilization it needed. Call Atlantis Eden. It sank. Glug, glug. Before it did, Edenites performed experiments in biogenetic engineering. They were after immortality. They didn't find it, quite the opposite in PHANTACEA factuality, but the results of their experiments were deposited on the hundreds of islands that made up the Archipelago of Pacifica, the Places of Peace. (Pacifica became the Hidden Continent of Sedon's Head after the Genesea, the Great Flood of Genesis. Edenite experimentations account for the vast array of sentient lifeforms still extant on the Hidden Headworld.)

Golden Agers, led by its First Patriarch, Alorus Ptah, and Trishtar Thrae, his life's love, survived the Great Glug of Old Eden. Thanks to the Golden Apples they ingest, they live exceedingly long, healthy lives. Now enter the alien astronauts. They'd be the fallen angel devils, devakind. The year is 669 pre-Flood (4669 BC). The devils are led by the Devil, the Moloch Sedon. Other than their All-Father, only three of them are solid individuals. These are the Thrygragos Brothers, the three members of the second generation of devakind.

The rest, their offspring by the long-lost Trigregos Sisters, make up the third generation of devakind, the Master Devas. (There are no azuras yet; nor are they any fourth generation devils. These last, primarily the Thanatoids of Lathakra, don't come along until the 60th Century of the Dome, the Outer Earth's 20th Century.) Master Devas are still insubstantial Spirit Beings. They quickly discover they can't possess Golden Agers due to the fact they ingest Golden Apples. Which is of course why they're called Golden Agers.

There are plenty of other sentient lifeforms they can possess, however. The vast majority are ordinary men and women altogether allergic to Golden Apples. These Golden Apples grow all over the Whole Earth, on offshoots of the original Tree of Life. (Think Johnny Appleseed.) It still stands, in the remnant Garden of Eden, but its Gates are guarded by Angelics. (Presumably they're yet another sentient lifeform indigent to the Whole Earth; yet another product of Old Eden's discredited science, that is to say.)

The devils discover there's a power struggle going on between Golden Agers. The Biblical Good Guys, the Patriarchs, are descended from Alorus Ptah, who died in 4726 BC, through the 2nd Golden Age Patriarch, Pseth Ra, who's still alive. The traditional Bad Guys, the Anti-Patriarchs, are also descended from Ptah, albeit through our chapter-titular character, Anti-Patriarch Cain, who's also still alive. Both sides have hoards of massively destructive weaponry left over from Old Eden.

That they haven't used them on each other is mostly because both sides recall what happened to Old Eden, which didn't just sink. Rather, it didn't sink just because of natural phenomena. Old Eden was the author of its own ruination. (And, no, none of its inhabitants became dolphins in order to survive its Great Glug. At least, if they did, that hasn't become part of the PHANTACEA Mythos as yet.)

Ian Fry's depiction of the Dual Entities, Mnemosyne is being humanized by Fecundiy, aka Nergal Vetala,  Ian Fry circa 1989

Must be time for a gold-mining BLOCKQUOTE:

Because of their marked physical similarities, [Thrygragos] Lazareme had briefly entertained the notion Alorus Ptah was Heliosophos. It was only when Ptah died that the Great God felt confident enough to assure Sedon that Helios was gone. Without that assurance, the Moloch would never have brought the Sedonshem to Earth. But was he? Or, and given the look of the three mini-mounts [the three monumental pinnacles of stone that dominated Cain's capital on what's now the Sinai Peninsula] this had to be asked again, was Heliosophos here in his original life?

Quite conceivably [the devils'] Grandfather Sedon was right in assuming Heliosophos had merely been Alorus Ptah's God. However, the Male Entity was the most confounding individual ever to exist. Being a time-tumbler, he could have arrived on the planet without realizing his first self was either already here or, if it was early enough, may be a few years shy of being born. The Memory Entity might have realized it. However, she always had her own agenda and could well have filtered out any awareness he retained of his original self before she let him come conscious again.

Whatever the case, the future Unities [Order, Harmony and Chaos] determined to investigate Enoch City firsthand. What they saw there sent them scurrying back to Giza and Thrygragos Lazareme.

What they saw may have been the Male Entity in his first lifetime. (The comment that the Female Entity has always had her own agenda is significant, especially if you recall how Kore-4 ended.) They also saw the Anti-Patriarch's three young wives, whose names are Mnemosyne, Cybele and Eden. No coincidence there, since those are the names for PHANTACEA's Trigon Triplets. However, I did a modicum of research for Kore-8 and among the things I discovered was that the folkloric name for Cain's first wife was Awan, a word which reputedly meant wickedness compared to his, which meant smithy.

Supposedly she was Adam and Eve's third child, who was born between Abel and the Biblical Seth. Be that as it may, PHANTACEA's Awan died giving birth to Enoch-Cain, the Anti-Patriarch's firstborn, while Adam and Eve's fifth child (assuming Cain was Trishtar Thrae's child; not that of Primeval Lilith, the Demon Queen of the Night) married Seth (PHANTACEA's Pseth Ra).

According to the Oxford Companion to the Bible (Oxford University Press, 1993), her name was Azura, the same name I use for the other half of the devazur race. (Which I procured from the Indian Vedas as well as both the Hindu and Zoroastrian Faiths. As near as I can make out, depending on the context, the words 'azura', 'ahura' and 'asura' all mean either 'lord' or 'lady'.)

By her slightly older brother this Azura thereafter had the Biblical Enosh (Enolon Su, PHANTACEA's third patriarch of Golden Age Humankind). In the graphic novel ("Forever & 40 Days, the Genesis of PHANTACEA"), which is where most of the material found in Kore-8 first appeared, Enolon Su was the patriarch who expired when a dragon he was boozing it up with burped. (Hey, I'm not afraid to repeat myself ==>) The moral of that story is obvious: Never drink with a dragon.

Something else the future Unities saw in Enoch City was Cain's pet bull, Serapis.

In what sounded distinctly like the Male Entity, most patriarchs believed they, that is humanity collectively, were all the gods they needed. Cain though, as part of his propagation of the ways of Old Eden, actively encouraged the practise of bull-worship.

Cruel Platon, the Bull of Mithras, as drawn by Ian Fry circa 1989He even knew what the bull should look like, -- black in colour but having a square spot of white on the forehead, the likeness of an eagle on the back, with double hairs in the tail, and the mark of the scarab beetle on the tongue. The bull's generic name was Apis and Cain's own pet bull in Enoch City was called Serapis.

Despite his manifest perfection, he, Serapis, was just a bull, though. What came to visit Cain towards the end of 664 PD, five years after Amemp Tut [the Biblical Methuselah] was officially crowned patriarch despite Pseth Ra's reservations with respect to having a miserable half-Cainite in charge of Mankind's affairs, was no mere bull.

The old, oft-reviled killer should have realized it immediately. Not only was it huge and anthropomorphic, it did not have a white square in the middle of its forehead. It had a third eye.

All of which leads us to ==>

Whereupon, after we finish with 4661 BC's WMD finale, it's back to 1938 AD's action-central, Castle Nightmare, for its ditto.

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9. COUERANNA'S CURSE: "Cry Helios"

Early on in the synopsis for Kore-4 I wondered if, despite what happened to them in Odd-14, the time-tumbling Dual Entities are still around. Well, the wait is over and the answer is yes.

Kore-9 starts off with a few references to events documented in 'Helioddity'. The first is very nearly a direct quote from close to Odd-14's happy ending. The date then was January 21, 1938 (Yamana 21, Year of the Dome 5937 on most of Sedon's Head). That was when both Taurus Ulysses Heliopolis (no longer possessed) and his consort, the three-thing (devil + demon + machine = Humanized Memory), Miracle Maenad (Pyrame-Lilith-Memory), were shot to shit. Whereupon they, Mithrant Boss Bull and Korant Boss Cow, immediately vanished.

The second reference is to something that happened in Odd-5, when the latter was dismembered in the Weirdom of Cabalarkon by Golgotha Nauroz, whom you'll recall is now with Magister Mandam and crew at Castle Nightmare. As we quickly discover, neither the Taurus nor 38's Miracle Maenad were shot to hell. While they were definitely shot to shit, her much more terminally than him, they ended up in Sub-Trig (Trans-Time Trigon), not hell (although Sub-Trig is then-currently subterranean). Were still in shit, as in deep dreck, though.

Were so terminally because the thousands-of-years' joint, Pyrame-Lilith aspects of Miracle Maenad is/are Silver-Arrows-splattered so badly she-they can't hold onto the Female Entity any longer. (Just to be clear, Pyrame so dominates her Lilith aspect she believes it, her body, is just a de-brained demon.) That means their Machine-Memory aspect has to take herself wholly into her terminal, the computerized innards of the Dual Entities' Trigon; become altogether the Mnemosyne Machine again.

The sorry, not to mention, yet again, shitty state of Pyrame-Lilith's remains provokes the following, typically significant dialogue between Heliosophos, speaking to the wall, and the wall itself:

“That’s Pyrame? Looks like you, Human-You.”

“Two-thirds of Human-Me, put better. I said actual demon and by that I mean the third of Miracle Maenad that’s neither me nor Pyrame was an earthborn original. If the lore on such creatures is at all accurate she’d have been a distinct individual with an unaging, not to mention undying, ever-replenishing body. At least at one time she’d have also had a mind, a brain if you prefer, of her own. She wouldn’t have had a soul as such, her immortality was purely physical. Now I have to figure out a way to keep her that way.”

“From the looks of her there’s not much chance of that. Why would you want to save a demon anyway, especially if it dying means a devil dies as well? And don’t tell me it’s because you’ve become attached to Pyrame Silverstar over the years. Where there’s one devil, there’s usually always another.”

“You haven’t been paying attention, Kadmon. There isn’t another one like this one; like these two, make that. If I’m right Pyrame’s demon’s none other than the primo-generative female demon, the mate of Daemonicus, the primo-generative male demon.”

“That’s Lilith, the Demon Queen of the Night? That’s the mother of Cain, Biblical Slayer of Abel?”

“I said if I’m right, Kadmon. But, hey, if I’m wrong, if you’re not Kadmon Heliopolis and, consequently, yet to be born, well then, that creature there, doing her literal damndest to stay alive, she’s your mother!”

All of which is to say that if the Male Entity wasn't Kadmon Heliopolis in his First Lifetime, then there's no point in him trying to kill either of as-yet-unborn Kad's parents (Agenor Heliopolis or Argiope 'Bright Face' still Zeross) in his Eleventh. This revelation so unhinges Heliosophos he tries to finish off the Pyrame-Lilith two-thing. Whereupon Pyrame tries to possess him. Unsuccessfully, we're to gather.

(Back to the action at Castle Nightmare, when it's January 29, 1938.)

In Sub-Trig, still on Yamana 21st, Machine-Memory has to take matters into her own hands. Which, being once again wholly her Computer Self, means she has to first of all acquire some hands. Re-enter an old acquaintance of ours from Odd-4, Aquilla the Hunter. (He's a garuda. He's also an Inner Earth Summoning Child like Morgianna Somata and Demios Sarpedon, the other two Utopians with Magister Mandam and his crew at Castle Nightmare. Which means he isn't so very old, barely 17.)

He's been lying in a tub of Cathonic Fluid since events described in Odd-8; which is to say ever since re-membered Miracle Maenad returned from Cabby's Weirdom with it. (Even if 're-membered' isn't a word it's not a bad pun. Mnemosyne does mean memory after all.) Unfortunately for him it isn't just his hands Machine-Memory needs in order to patch up her Herr Hel Helios. She also needs the tub full of Cathy he's been lying in for not enough time as yet. End result being he's now severely brain-damaged:

With Machine-Memory, who was just a big face on a wall, directing him, he lifted the demon-devil, though he didn’t realize that was what she was, off the floor and plopped her into the vat of miraculous liquid he’d just vacated. The hellacious creature was decidedly more ventilated than she had been mere moments earlier but still had a barely perceptible pulse. Was still oozing what for her passed as life’s blood as well.

Deed done, without a shovel, he replaced the lid, stood back and watched as beams of light coming from one of the wall-face’s eyeballs sealed it. For all he knew, or cared, Pyrame-Lilith was thereby submerged inside it for all eternity.

At which point in our narration, we return to what's going on in Castle Nightmare over a week later.

Helios with All on helmet; actually a bust shot in Paris by Jim McPherson, 2004(Sooth said, Kore-9 bounces between Sub-Trig and Castle Nightmare throughout. PHANTACEA fact of the matter is so much happens during the course of Kore-9 there isn't much point in even trying to summarize any more of it in the space remaining. Guess that means you'll have to read it while it's still up here in WWW-Dotland.)

Helios, and it was Taurus Ulysses Heliosophos, had finally shucked his seeming of Unholy Abaddon, was the first to rise above the wreckage. His right arm was in a sling but all the Heliopolises were naturally left-handed, a sinister affliction common to such invariably sinister folk ... He grabbed [a rifle] from a Hermione. Bracing it against his left shoulder he took careful, albeit one-handed, aim and pulled the trigger. A spatter of muck sprang up beside the fleeing [Cheyenne Summoning Child].

"A wafer!" Sorciere demanded of old Joe in the [Balder's] gondola.

"Sorry, love," [Magister Mandam] apologized. "I popped them all. Even a Branstock needs its acorns."

"Don't worry, lady," encouraged the Diver. "He's an exclusion zone."

Helios's second shot proved it did not extend to bullets.

What's this! John Sundown's been shot? Yehudi Cohen, having already self-codenamed himself 'UD - The Untouchable Diver' (in Kore-6), is sort of right in that Sundown had indeed had himself an exclusion zone. What the Diver doesn't realize (though Sorciere {Solace Sunrise} and likely Magister Mandam, who purports to know just about everything, do) is that it was arguably due to the fact Sundown also once had himself a Raven Fetishim.

So what became of it? Recall once again how Kore-4 ended. Recall also that Mnemosyne D'Angelo is codenamed Circean.You might even recall that on Charan's Ark (the 'Noah Two') Human Memory, Lovely Lady Afrite that she is, hooked up with her much younger (by 11 years), adoptive nephew Aires (Airhead).

"I'll blow his goddamned head off," promised Taurus Ulysses Heliopolis, one-hand-sighting on the Angelic [Airhead, using his Aerod, is attempting to fetch the Herr-Hel-just-shot Sundown; to air-freight-haul the Cheyenne, Air's fellow Summoning Child, to the Balder, Tyrtod von Alptraum's airship. Which is ready to take off from the grounds of Castle Nightmare.]

That was when the crow-creature flew out of the sky and knocked his [Herr Hel Helios's] aim askew. What came out of it went up and kissed him on his lips.

"Come, my love," she said in her very best, Afrite-seductive suggestiveness. "Let me show you the better way."


"The real Memory for once."

That was also when they both vanished.

Meanwhile, on the Noah Two ==>

[NOTE: The wafer Sorciere (Solace Sunrise) is referring to is transformative faerie food. As for what effect it has on her and old Joe, well, I suppose that's all the more reason you should read Kore-9 as well as Kore-7 while they're still availabe for a fee-free perusal.]

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10. COUERANNA'S CURSE: "Aegis-Jesus"

Recollect SOS, the Sorority of Sausages, from 'The Moloch Manoeuvres'? Well, they're back. Sort of back anyway. I say that because hardly any of the original Sausages remain on the Noah Two (Charan's Ark) as it steams its way through the Red Sea closer and closer to its destination, Italian Somaliland on the east coast of central Africa.

Sea Stuff (Thalassa D'Angelo), Telemax (Maxwell Dre'Ath) and Circean (Mnemosyne D'Angelo) are, at least theoretically, in Scotland. whereas Airhead and General 'Huff and Puff' Jollity (Hush, Joli Blon) are in Germany. That leaves us with Ginny Gemstone (Virginia Mannering, albeit with rainbow eyes and now going by the codename of Living Agate; in other words the Horny Ghost is back inside her), Werewolf in Shorts (Jervis Murray aka Dervish Furie), Icicles for Arms (Camille Dugas aka Clair du Lune), Kid Killjoy (Will Tombstone aka Kid Cemetery) and his girlfriend, Torches for Arms (Brunhild 'Burning Hell' von Alptraum, the bronze-haired Volsung Summoning Child).

It seems someone has been sticking silver arrowheads under the bed-pillows of those still on the Ark. Silver arrowheads, you may recall from both Manoeuvres and Helioddity, are the calling cards of the Silver Arrow Assassins (Nester 'Sagitarrius' and Artemis 'Sagitta' born Zeross Hyperenor), who were last seen on Aegean Trigon. Naturally the ex-Sausages are concerned about this. And so they should be. Sagitarrius and Sagitta aren't called the Silver Arrow Pacificists after all. Consequently, in some respects on the theory that the best defense is a good offense, Celestine-Ginny has decided to launch a pre-emptive strike on that Trigon.

For reasons detailed in Kore-10, she's decided to leave Will and Brunhild behind. However, she's managed to convince Mr Brilliant (Immanuel Dark) to accompany the rest of them. Even though she has no known supranormal abilities, Tanith von Blut, the silver-haired Volsung Summoning Child, has also agreed to go along for the ride. Needless to say, all of this has sparked a degree of controversy among the latest SOSers.

For synoptic purposes we join the debate as Celestine-Ginny attempts to recruit our chapter-titular, would-be saviour of supranormalkind. That'd be Jesus 'Jesse' Mandam, who looks a lot like Ginny when she doesn't have rainbow eyes. As we've long known, Jesse has a thing for Tanith. All of which brings us to this rather lengthy, says-it-all BLOCKQUOTE. (The initial speaker is Jesse.)

"So we go to Trigon and the Minoans, their Silver Arrow Assassins, and Argiope Bright Face, who must have been the one who tucked the arrowheads under your pillows, come at us. I'm supposed to just stand there and exude reason and good fellowship or some such. Do I at least get to put my arms around Tanith? Because, sure as shit, they'll drop her just for the hell of it. They hate Germans, especially ones with relatives in the military. Look what happened to Donar Lancz and Stephen von Blut [Tanith's paternal uncle]; one got branded and the other got killed."

"Actually we reckon Tanith’s in even less danger than you," said Mannering.


"Because I've all that's left of Etzel Sangati," Tanith opined bravely. "He and Agenor Heliopolis were blood brothers. He wouldn't kill the mother-to-be of his blood brother's child. I’m our peace-offering."

"You're going to volunteer to become their hostage?"

"I am."

"And if they don't buy into that little arrangement."

"Then we fight," proclaimed Jerry. Murray was getting visibly hairier by the moment. It was so bristly he could probably scrub off paint with it were he so inclined.. "Anything's better than being taken out in your sleep."

"You fight. Without the Aegis I'd be useless. In case you haven't noticed," said Jesse, holding out his cast-covered hands, "These things aren't healed yet. I can't even hold a gun."

"I knew this was futile," snorted Immanuel Dark. "The punk's a coward. No wonder his old man left him behind."

"Casts or no casts, I can still give you a damn good clunk on the noggin, old bean."

Dark pointed a finger at Mandam, a ray of light came out of it only to dissipate just before it cut into his chest. "You'd never get close enough, boyo."

"That's it! I've had enough. I hope you all get yourselves killed. You don't, I'll see what I can do about correcting my relatives’ oversight once you get back." Like a petulant child that didn’t want anyone else to play with his toys, Jesse stomped out of the playroom.

No go Jesse, evidently. Maybe Celestine-Ginny shouldn't have tried to get him to let her wear the Aegis Armour. Immanuel Dark is hardly the only one not overly bothered by his lack of participation, however.

"Best we’re squid-rid of him ... I was against his involvement anyhow-the-sea-cow."

Yep, after a not particularly long absence from Curse, Fisherwoman is with us again.

In Rome, on the Thirteenth of January, the original Sausages banded together in order to try to rescue, from Djinn the jinn and the ill-fated Count Molech, Fish and Delphi, her psychopomp. The next day, still in Rome, Jess had the temerity to shoot, howsoever non-fatally, both of them. That was how he managed to acquire the Aegis Armour in the first place.

Equally evidently, him trying to keep it from his suspiciously sisterly lookalike hadn't gone down well with Celestine-Ginny (whose codename, as noted above, is now Living Agate, not Ginny Gemstone).

Agate, covered head to toe in the silver aegis-armour, from winged Hellene-helmet to talarial-winged sandals, was back almost as quickly as she was gone. To make up for the absence of the Hellene’s Gorgon-goggles, which had fallen off it during the chaos in the Colosseum and which Yehudi Cohen had found, she had crafted a glasses-like substitute. Thanks to her illusion-casting abilities she’d also made her eyeholes shine like rainbow stars.

"Ready when you are, Fish."Dragon, photo by Jim McPherson probably at Versailles, 1996

“Just one thing,” said Tanith.

The others looked at her anxiously. Should she now decide to change her mind, and not go with them, there was a real chance Fish would fishnet-haul her along anyhow. Fish did that, regardless of whether Tanith did or did not scream, Brilliant, Furie, or both, might feel noble-male-obliged to come to her rescue. Either did that, Fish fought back, at least one person would be severely damaged and that one person would definitely be Tanith.

Fortunately the Volsung Summoning Child hadn’t changed her mind. On the contrary, she just didn’t want to be left out. “If I’m going to have to traipse off with a Society of Suicides led by a silliness-spouting Sister Shark and with a bunch of teenagers no older, or not much older, than me, including a French girl calling herself Moonlight and a Brit calling himself Dark Brilliance, shouldn’t I get a codename too?”

“That’s Brilliant,” Immanuel Dark objected. “Mister Brilliant to you.”

“Brill Brit sounds better,” giggled Camille Dugas, whose codename did mean moonlight. “Sinister Shark isn’t bad, though.”

“Fair enough,” smirked Dark. “How about Sister Bloody Suicide?” There were no takers on that, though Tanith didn’t contribute to the murmurs of disapproval. She was a fatalistic sort.

“Let silver-hair name herself,” suggested Jerry, who actually quite liked Dervish Furie.

“That’s it then. I’ll go with Tanith Silverhair.”

Meanwhile, back at Castle Nightmare ...

Vele Schuler was a crack shot. And a crack, a ricochet off the dur-aluminium beams, a spark off its metal ribs, was all it would take to ignite the hydrogen gasbag. He got one too. On only his third shot. And then it happened. Something no one there would forget as long as they lived. The Balder erupted into flames. Then the flames took shape.

None of them had ever seen Dragon Joe before.

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Synopses of Kore 1-5

Synopses of Kore 6-10

Synopses of Kore 11-15

Graphical Notes and Clickbacks

- Double-click to enlarge in a separate window -

Dragon Joe

Dragon, photo by Jim McPherson probably at Versailles, 1996

Spotted and shot in a rainy day in Versailles, France, 2004. Dragon Joe is Joseph Mandam, Jesse and Barsine's father of record.

He has a secret -- a number of them in pHanta-pHact. Perhaps the most interesting are in this title and this Gold-Mining box.

Return to image in context.

Hel All

Helios with All on helmet; actually a bust shot in Paris by Jim McPherson, 2004

Spotted and shot in the Musee D'Orsay in Paris, 2004.

The horse on his helmet is reminiscent of the horses who pull the Mythical Helios's sun chariot.

However the daemonic creature atop his helmet definitely suggests All of Incain, of whom much more is here.

Regardless of this, phantacea's Helios is not a Shelios. He's none other than the Male Entity.

Return to image in context

Plathon as Cain's Serapis

Ian Fry drew this version of Multi-Horns, the Bull of Mithras, whom ancient Illuminaries of Weir named Plathon for reasons unknown, ca 1989 for the Phantacea Phase One Project; he also drew this close-up and this unused cover of Cain, Slayer of Abel.

Return to image in context. A couple of other pertinent references to Helios, his resemblance to Thrygragos Lazareme and to Cain himself are just a click away on this very page.

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