ONE STEP BACK, TWO STEPS FORWARD PRESENTS
KORBO THE BARBARIAN CH. 1 CIRCA 2010
The following is an old fiction I wrote based on an old d & d campaign. Its really out there but this old draft could one day be worked into an awesome book. It was a parody of Conan the Barbarian and my own crazy ideas. Enjoy.
In the year 20XX, an earth shattering cataclysm shattered the world like a porcelain piñata at a quinceañera. As far as I can gather, the nations of the world used their most powerful magicks to destroy each other. The result was a volatile wasteland that only a lucky few survived in vaults under the earth, hiding like monkeys in the afore mentioned piñata. As they hid in the Earth, gods above, devils below, the forces of right, wrong and otherwise fought over the ruined earth. Until finally, after a few hundreds years or so, the battles ceased and man left their bunkers to see a new world where gods are too tired to fight any longer. They spread through the land from the 6 vaults and named the land Sixx in it’s honor.
To claim a new world of might and magick. The year is 27XX, and humans live in a world of fangorical fantasy. In a world filled with mutants and magical men, elves, dwarves, goblins and much more. The animals mutated as well from the corruption of the ancient wars, turning them into bizarre beasts from dragons to animal men. This world is a world of bizarre, magicks crackle through the air corrupting and twisting everything, humanity fighting hard to find a foothold and claim a stake in this world.
The world of Sixx is home to a agglomeration of human heroes, heroines, villains and helpless folks for these figures to fight over but one hero stands head and shoulder above them all. He is the righteous righter of wrongs, the Herculean history-making hero, the badass boy king supreme who would be badass king supreme,
Korbo the Barbarian
KORBO the BARBARIAN
The Devil’s Bellybutton
It was a dark and stormy night, except it was the middle of the day and it was cloudy with a chance of rain. Under this unassuming sky, a young man walks determinedly toward his destiny. There would be a lot of stops and starts on the road to his destiny. To start he merely had to walk and the first stop from there was a local pub called the Devil’s Bellybutton, a small little dwarven mining dive in the little town of Barton. The young man was not alone either. Walking alongside the venerable voice of virtue was his oldest companion.
He was always seen striding side by side with the young man or at least close behind. His yellow eyes peered down the short feral hyena snout, searching the alleys and street corners for any sign of danger. In fact, this companion resembled a spotted hay-colored hyena with the build of a gorilla and the garb of a brutal savage. The visage of this companion was that of a hulking beast and yet, this beast was no mindless monster- he was the mighty mentor of the young man. He smiled down at his charge as they walked into the Devil’s Bellybuton, as a proud father and a loyal brother of the young man.
When the young man walked into the bar followed by his guardian, he was quickly accosted by a girl about twice his age, “Korbo!!” She squealed in adulation as she wrapped her arms around his neck, standing on her tiptoes, to peck at his cheek. The young man froze, gently pushing strands of strawberry hair out of his face and helping set the girl on her feet, before with the gentle skill of a poet, “Um, hey, you!” Well, a poet on drugs…
“Oh, Korbo! I was wonderin’ when ya’ll’d be back in Barton!”
“Um, right, sorry, I had important um, hero stuff to do back in the Sabbathi Highlands.”
“Oh, don’t worry yer pretty bronze little head about it, darlin’! I knew you must’ve had summit important to do!” She coyly took his hand, “I mean, you and me were havin’ such a good time. First we got good and buttered up on some tequila shooters and then we went cowbird tippin’ and then we came back to my place.”
Korbo listened to the story with a patient and awkward smile of a young man trying to desperately remember the name of a girl he had spent a drunken night with. As she kept going, he tried to collect clues, “I went to slip into my silkies, turned around and lo and behold you leapt out the window!”
Meanwhile, Korbo’s old chum was getting a big kick out of the story, placing a hand on Korbo’s shoulder, standing a good foot taller than him, and Korbo was plenty tall, “Ah, then you saw him get up and stumble off, shouting something like, ‘adventure awaits!’ ?”
The pretty little country girl looked at the beast perplexed, “Well, yeah, an’ I figured he must’ve just had summit real important to take care of!”
Korbo looked from the girl to his companion and smiled, “Er, yeah that was the um, thing. I heard um, adventure on the horizon. Right, Dokken?”
Dokken chuckled, “Sure thing, lady-killer.” Giving him a knowing smile, “Now, if you’ll excuse us, miss, me and my young ward need to get some ale in us before we start ailing from weary sobriety.”
“Sure thing, darling.” As Korbo went to walk past the waitress, she took his hand, “But first Korbo, you gotta promise to show me a good time once ya’ll get good and lickered! I’d love to see your sword and maybe help ya polish it! And then maybe-”
“OYE!” The barmaid stopped as the grubby hand of a dwarves miner grabbed her arm and nearly jerked her right down to eye level, which for the dwarf was only about four feet off the ground, “You promised me a date, Kitty.”
“Oh, um, sorry, Mr. Stonefoot, darlin’!” She winced, trying to gently pull her arm free from the filthy little hand, “But, I’m gonna have to reschedule our date!”
“Reschedule? Stonefoot’s don’t reschedule for no whores!” As he rose angrily, Korbo put a hand on the dwarf’s wrist, squeezed and with the trademark groan of a jerk being forced to release a girl, looked up at Korbo.
“You shouldn’t put your hands on young ladies, Mr. Dwarf.” He said calmly, beginning to twist his arm, as Dokken helped Kitty out of the way, she looked from behind his pillar of an arm. The funny thing about Korbo is he could be threatening and friendly at the same time, “Now, look, if you promise you’ll leave her alone I’ll let you get your hammer arm back and we can all have a drink. Doesn’t that sound like a good idea, Mr. Dwarf?”
The dwarf’s face was slowly turning red from fury, matching his filthy red hair, teeth gritted, he spat, “Shut the hell up!” The dwarf swung his yellow helmeted head up and knocked Korbo back into Dokken, pulling his hammer up from the bench and swing it at Korbo.
Dokken blocked the mallet with the flat of his axe, and growled, “This won’t be a fair fight! You should put the hammer down before I step on you!”
Stonefoot laughed, “You forget, dog breath, this is a mining town!” As he spoke the last syllable another dwarf launched himself across a table swinging his hammer at Dokken- but the dwarf was kicked the ground with a mighty kick from Korbo, knocking over the table, as Kitty screamed running to hide behind the bar counter with the half-orc bartender.
As Korbo unsheathed his blade, swinging it down at the dwarf, who rolled across the table and leaping up, hit Dokken in the back with a swing. Dokken roared swinging his axe around, splitting the dwarf like a log, as he was head-butted in the crotch by the first dwarf. The head of the little fellow was as thick and strong as iron, as he knocked the bugbear to the floor, just as an arrow from a third dwarf flew through the air hitting Dokken in the arm, “Fuck!”
Korbo flew into action, swinging to block another blow from Stonefoot, roaring, “Get away from him!” As another arrow flew past Korbo’s head it was quickly snatched by the gnarled hand from within a robe who had just leapt down the staircase,
“Off my tables!” He roared, and the cloak crumpled and exploded into a swarm of locusts that flew and hit the archer dwarf. The archer screamed in terror, swinging at the insects, but within a few moments, he fell dead to the ground, pockmarked from the vicious bite marks of the insects.
Stonefoot had stopped in horrified astonishment as he saw his brother-in-arms get eaten alive by bugs, and in that moment of terror, Korbo swung his blade. The blade was six inches wide, six feet long and sharp enough to cut off three heads in one sweep. A third of its force was all it took to make the fat dwarf’s fiery redhead fly through the air and land, gored, on the tusks of a boar head hanging above the front door. Just then a horn could be heard and stumbled in were nine dwarves wielding picks and hammers, covered in dust from the mines. The oldest looking dwarf growled, “And what the hell is going on here?! What‘s the meaning of-”He froze mid-sentence as something wet and warm dribbled onto his bulbous nose, he looked up and cried in fury, facing turning scarlet, as he searched for the perpetrator, seeing Korbo he and his men turned to attack him.
Ah, but the dwarf was not the only one incensed. In fact, Korbo had been worked up into quite the frenzy himself. A boy of sixteen, going on seventeen, built like a bronze statue of Grecian old, wearing fur and leather, his long brown hair hanging to his shoulder, his hazel eyes filled with blood rage. He was quite the sight as, speckled in dwarf blood, he turned on the newcomers. They did not fall from the weight of his blade or from that of his companion. They fell to their deaths at the technique passed on generation after generations in Korbo’s tribe. From shaman to chieftain to chieftain’s son and so on throughout the ages. A technique that filled Korbo’s enemies with horror, the dreaded Voice of God.
As the dwarves approached our hero he crossed his arms in front of his chest, taking in a long draught of air. His chest swollen with air, boiled with the heat of his berserker’s blood in his lungs. Throwing his arms back, he let out a mighty wail that shook the very foundations of the bar. Those caught in the blast were thrown back and those who attempted to resist the power of his almighty voice exploded. Literally, the heads of the dwarves that had just entered the bars burst open like ripe tomatoes hit with a mallet, brain matter everywhere, Korbo sat up straight, wiped his bloodied blade on the shirt of his slain foe and he sat down next to the nearest table, cooling down.
Dokken put a hand on Korbo’s shoulder, smacking the sides of his own sensitive ears as they rang, speaking rather loudly, “Well-done, Korbo. You’re improving your technique! Nine has got to be a new record for you.”
“Well, yes,” Korbo confidently smiled up at him, “But if there were more, my record would be better.”
Dokken chuckled, as he looked around seeing the mess they had made and realizing this was probably another bar where the bartenders would want them to leave, but be too terrified to look them in the eyes.
He noticed the swarm of locusts from earlier was slowly moving toward them, he moving to pull Korbo up, but he stopped as the swarm formed into a figured cloaked in a brown robe. Dokken and Korbo stared at the figure, as it dropped its hood to reveal a disturbing face.
The man appeared to be whittled more than born from wood, sharp, splintered features, with a creepy smile curling his small head under a flat nose like protrusion and yellow eyes of devil with green pupils. He coughed and a fly flew from his throat and back into his twig like hair as he clapped his hands together. Everything about this tree-being spoke of sick insectoid infection and parasitic personality and yet as he clapped his hands together and kept clapping. Looking around, the creature began to cheer in a buzzing whine of a voice, “Bravo! Bravo!!” And the patrons who had remained mostly silent spectators up until that point began to clap as well as the creature revealed his identity, “Free drinks on the house, owner’s treat boys!” He gestured for them to come sit at the bar, “Come, please, I wish to talk with you two.”
Korbo turned to look at Dokken with a confused frown, who simply shrugged and helped him up, “Eh, probably a sorcerer, but free booze is better than being banned from the bar. C’mon.” Sitting on bar-stools next to the proprietor, he pushed into their hands two drinks. Dokken’s crackled and smoke drifted from the gritty green substance in his mug. As for the Korbo’s drink, it was blood red and smelt awful. Yet, the two drank and coughed, for as strong drinker’s as they were, they had not braced themselves for such a snap.
“Ah, my new patented Trollsnot Syrup and of course, the family favorite, Dragon’s Period Ale!” The creature’s voice crackled with delicious mischief as he watched Dokken shrug and go back to gulping down his drink as the younger barbarian nursed his, not much for the foul taste.
“You two boy’s really impressed me out there. I mean, the way you just, the way they went, BABOOM!” He threw his hands up in the air, slapping his hand on the table, as if appreciating a really impressive joke with a laugh, “It was so visceral, and brutal and well, I like a good slaughter any day.” He sighed, shaking his head in seeming impressed glee. Dokken nodded, as he emptied his drink, “Don’t mention it.”
“I couldn’t help it really. Just natural.”
“Yes, supernatural even! Oh, yes, let me introduce myself, “He cleared his throat, as he breathed in deep, his throat made a chittering noise like a cicada, “I am Scurdge the Violator, the proprietor of the Devil’s Bellybutton and a master of insidious forms and pleasures. As for you two,” He turned to them, with a smirk, “Everyone knows Korbo the Barbarian, and his best friend, err-”
“Ah, yes, Dokken. Now, I must ask, what leads you two fine gentleman into my neck of the world. It’s an awful long ways from the Sabbathi Highlands just for a taste of Ice Mountain Ale.” He chuckled, in a way that made Korbo shudder, this guy was off, “I don’t mean to be presumptuous, but I will be. I presume that you two gentleman are on some type of quest, eh?”
“Aye, we are,” Dokken nodded, “We are on a quest to find the Enchiridion!”
“Yes, yes, the Handbook for Heroes, yes? The most valuable book ever crafted by the Hyrijikan Lords!”
“The same. We hear it’s in parts near here and that it is in some kind of temple that only a hero can open.” He clapped a hand on Korbo’s shoulder, “And not to brag, but I think Korbo needs a good read before we begin our next big quest.”
“Yes, learning is ever so important, ever so indeed. Now, may I ask you Dokken, do you know where the book is hidden?” A curious smile of a devil in cherub’s guise curled Scurdge’s already crinkled face.
“Well, no, but we figured Dion would lead our feet.”
“Ah, but to trust such a god is perhaps not always the best plan, eh, old friend?”
“I suppose not, but no one knows where the Enchiridion lies.”
“Oh, someone does,” giggled the slim gremlin.
“Me, of course, my chum.”
“Then, would you tell us where the book lies?”
“Of course, of course, my good friend. Now, listen well, for I do not like repeating myself, I do not like it at all. Understand? I don’t like repeating-”
“We get it.”
“Please, um, if it wouldn’t be too hard give us a little help.”
“Of course, for two such talented young fellows, the citizens of the desert owe you plenty, to be sure.” He coughed and then in rapid succession began to recite the route to the Enchiridion, “First, you must head south into the Thickets of the Stung and past the Tower of Cid, mind your footing though, there might be booby traps about the old fellow’s keep. Then, of course, there are other beasties like nasty venomous scorpions and giant raptors and-”
“The directions, please.”
“Of course, of course. From there you must travel south south-east through the heat of the White Desert and find your way to a mesa that stands above the sand. But be warned, the mesa only appears at dawn and dusk. Once you have found the mesa, called the Hero’s Pillar, you must climb to top and then well, you fight your way through the dangers within and you will find the Temple in which they have hidden the handbook. The Temple of Tyrant’s Bane.” He sighed, “And if you bring the book back here to me, I promise to pay you handsomely.”
Dokken frowned, “How about you take us there and maybe we’ll give the book for a good price.”
And it is at this moment the saccharine voice of Scurdge turned to biting venom, “No, you listen here, my friend, you will bring the book here in seven days and I will pay you for your troubles handsomely.”
“How about you join us on the journey and if we’re done in a week you pay us like kings?”
Scurdge then hissed, “How about you just bring me the book?”
Suddenly, Korbo yelped, grabbing his stomach, grimacing in pain, “What the- what the hell is this?!”
Dokken realized that foul intentions were afoot and he grabbed Scurdge by the throat and slammed him into the bar counter with a hideous growl, “What’ve you done to Korbo? What was in that drink!?”
“Nothing!” Squeaked the choked Scurdge as he scrambled to pry the massive paw from his throat, unable to transform so easily while grabbed like this, “Just a little stomach bug!” He smirked then squawked as he was thrown to the flood and his head was pinned under the mighty heel of Dokken,
“You mistake me for someone who has patience for sorcerers, Scurdge. Now, tell me what you’ve done to the boy and I don’t snap you like a twig between my toes! I’d,” He pushed down hard, “Hate to have to pick splinters from my foot!”
Yet, when he pushed down to put more pressure on the punk, he felt nothing but give and under his foot was a black mess. Reforming a few feet away from black flies was Scurdge who sighed, “Now, listen,” all the little voices speaking in unison, “No need to get violent.” He pulled a vial from his sleeve, and dumped a fat white grub into his hand, “I slipped a young one of these into his drink. If he is not treated with an antidote, an antidote only I know of in ten days, he will die a painful and horrible death as the parasite burrows from his navel. You see, I named my bar for these White Navel Devils.” He chuckled, as he swallowed the white grub, “Now, if you hurt me, your boy will die. If you get me that book and let me tag-along for the ride, I swear that Korbo will be deformed faster than a queen’s dog!”
Dokken looked from Korbo who was quickly recovering and standing up, to the vile villain they had let trick them so easily, “Very well, slime, but you should know, if you hurt a hair on Korbo’s head or I ever get a half a chance, I will crush you like the crunchy little cockroach that you are!”
“Of course, of course, now, we will begin our journey in the morning, rooms are on me,” he gestured to the stairs. “Have a wonderful evening boys, I’m sure we’re going to be great friends,” he smirked with a twisted grin as Dokken helped the nauseous Korbo to their room, “Great friends indeed.”
Korbo the Barbarian’s Day-Off
Korbo sighed as Dokken helped him sit up in the bed, propping a pillow up behind him and then standing up, pacing. He worried so much about Korbo. He worried about Korbo’s first hair cut, his first kill and his first date. It seemed it was Dokken’s lot in life to be the guardian of arguably the most valuable or at least most famous humanoid in the world of Sixx. Korbo smiled, weakly, “I suppose it could be worse, Dokken.”
“And how could it be worse?”
“We could both be dealing with a bad case of worms.”
“This isn’t funny, Korbo.”
“Oh, come now, I can see it now, you dragging your bottom across the carpet like some old-”
“Korbo, this is serious. You could die and this bastard has got us by the short hairs. We gotta help him get that book which by all rights is yours. I mean it’s the hero’s handbook!” He threw his paws into the air in exasperation, looking around and then out the window, “This is the worst day of my life.”
“Oh, come on, Dokk” Korbo called from the bed, “Don’t be so grim.”
And that's where I left off...thoughts?