Erbzine.com Homepage
Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 1618
A Long Time Ago From A Galaxy Far, Far Away . . . 

. . . . . Came . . .
Jeff "Elmo" Long's

BARSOOMIAN BLADE
   .

Jeff Long
ERBzine is proud to present a reprint
-- retrieved from the Web archives --
of
Volume 1 ~ Number 4
of this much-prized collector's publication.

Jeff Long's collection of 
news items from Barsoom
first appeared on the Web in
1998.

Submissions, comments, lunatic ravings
... are still welcome.
E-mail them to Elmo
panthanpress@sbcglobal.net

.

ALL-PARODY ISSUE
CONTENTS
TROPHY By Huck
NASA scientists wondering what happened to the transmissions from Pathfinder should read this story

The ERB-Files by Andre (Cosmic Spider) Vandal
Mulder has the scoop on some weird photographs from Mars. Scully is skeptical, of course.

DEAR SIGMUND by David A. Adams
A concerned family friend of an anonymous "subject" sends a Case Study to Sigmund Freud for evaluation. Multiple head injuries, childhood trauma, an abusive foster father... Sound familiar?

ARTHURIAN TRILOGY by Peter Coogan
The Blade's resident deep-thinker, David Adams, has this to say: "Coogan has attempted to combine every legend in the Western World with Tarzan of the Apes, and the story, if Completed, would be dazzling. Conversation with Coogan would leave the average mythographer gasping for air."

Barsoomian Blade: Orgies in Paradise

..
 

TROPHY
By J. G. Huckenpohler

In the Great Audience Chamber of the Imperial Palace at Torquas, where a million years ago white Jeddaks had given the orders that sent mighty fleets out upon the waves of the vanished Throxeus, a green Jeddak glared at the source of the interruption.

"Issus take you, can you not see that I am involved in important affairs of state?" Indeed, the Jeddak held in his lower left fist a small black thoat, captured from his opponent and removed from the jetan board only seconds before the scout appeared at the door. His opponent was the Jed of one of the larger clans making up the Horde of Torquas, and would soon be a formidable challenger for the rulership. It was important that he be kept in his place, and a victory at jetan over his liege lord would be an unthinkable impertinence.

But the intruder, though nervous, stood his ground. He was a young warrior who had but recently won his second name, and the solitary circuit of the city's perimeter was his first major assignment of trust. Executing the martian equivalent of "present arms" with the sword in his upper right hand, he clutched at a squirming object with the other three. "I thought it might be important," he said.

"Well, what is it?" snapped the Jeddak.

 "I don't know, sir," replied the guard. "I found it out on the desert, making amorous advances at one of the rocks. There was a landing platform with several deflated balloons a short distance away." He held the thing out, revealing it to be a metallic rectangle somewhat smaller than his breastplate, with a reflective surface apparently made up of a number of small mirrors, and six wheels that spun crazily in various directions. "It seems to be very stupid."

"Let's see it," ordered the Jeddak, setting down the captured jetan piece and reaching for the object. It seemed to sense somehow that it was being transferred from hand to hand, because in addition to the spinning of the wheels, a strange spring-like motion of the axles caused it to seem to buck.

"No, Dork Dufus, it is not stupid," replied the Jeddak, examining it carefully. "It is terribly clever, for it is a machine -- some sort of spying device no doubt, and probably sent out by one of our enemies. Helium, maybe, or Ptarth or Jahar. The scientists among the red men are quite skilled at making this sort of fiendish device."

He scrutinized the thing more closely, and noted the small lens at the front. 

"See, here is its eye, to observe our deployment --" He took his dagger and smashed the lens with the pommel. Then, reaching around to the back of the strange object, he ripped off the antenna. "And here is its transmitter, to send images of what it sees to our enemies. Well, it will see no more, and it will report nothing." 

He turned to the wall behind him, hung with banners, helms, swords, and even the propeller of a flier, all captured in battle. Finding a bare space on the wall of approximately the right size and shape, he looped a length of thoat hide around the middle of the object and hung it up.

"You have done well, Dork Dufus. Once again the enemies of Torquas have been foiled in their attempt to destroy us with their cowardly and underhanded tricks."

The trophy, with its solar panels turned to the wall, slowly decreased its struggles, like a dying insect, and was finally still.


And on earth, observers were puzzled when the Pathfinder, in the middle of analyzing a rock, suddenly showed nothing but sky. Shortly afterward it stopped transmitting and their monitor screens went black.
 
 

,
 

The ERB Files
Extraterrestrial Research Bureau
...The fiction is out there...
By Andre (Cosmic Spider) Vandal

{{Eerie Music}}

 A red haired woman is walking down a dark and sinister looking underground corridor, at the end of it she comes upon a door with the letters E.R.B. on the top,  and a piece of paper stuck in the middle that says 'Go away! Nobody's in here but the Bureau's most laughed at!'.  She reluctantly opens the door to find a tall and weird looking, but yet hadsome man standing beyond it. 

MULDER: Hi Scully, come on in.

SCULLY: I got your email, you have something to show me?

MULDER: Do I ever!  Have a seat and let me show you something that will blow... you... away!

Agent Scully rolls her eyes and looks for a seat closest to the door so she may leave as quickly as possible, and waits while agent Mulder scrambles to set up his archaic slide projector and turn off the lights.

MULDER: Do you remember reading about that Mars probe which was said to have disapeared and was considered lost?

SCULLY: Yes, of course, billions of dollars in sensitive equipment were lost in that project, it was suppose to activate itself when it reached Mars, but it failed, it didn't respond to any control messages sent, and it was filed as an L.I.S.... Lost In Space.

MULDER: Well that's what they told the public, but it's not entirely true, the truth is the probe did activate itself, and did take a photograph before it was destroyed by some alien life on Mars using a ray gun that made all the metal of the probe disintegrate, and when they saw the photo that came in, they had to cover it up in order to prevent a world wide panic.

SCULLY: Aren't you tired of all these conspiracy theories Mulder? Cause I sure am. 

MULDER: Ah!  But this time I have definite proof, look at this!

   Mulder presses the button on his slide projector, and a blurry photograph appears on the wall.  Mulder adjusts the picture with the lens of the projector to bring it to a sharper blurry image.

SCULLY: So?  It's a photo of what looks like a boat in a red desert, are you trying to make me believe that this was photographed on Mars?

MULDER: Exactly!  But take a closer look at the picture, notice the shadow on the ground?  Acording to calculations, this boat is hundreds of feet in the air!

SCULLY: Mulder!  Listen to yourself, you're not making any sense! A flying boat, in a desert, on Mars?  What would be keeping it up hundreds of feet in the air Mulder, Helium?  Or maybe it's Cavorite?

MULDER: Always the skeptic, hey Scully, never willing to believe, well I had a portion of this photo enlarged and enhanced, which proves beyond the doubt that this was not from Earth. Now take a look at this!

   Mulder presses the button on the projector once again to show a second photograph that is even more blurry than the last, and tries without success to focus on the photo. Finally he gives up and with a big grin looks at agent Scully, obviously expecting some major response.

SCULLY: Yeah, so, what's this suposed to be?

MULDER: Darn it Scully!  Even when I show you some indisputable photographs, you still don't  believe it!  Look at it, this is obviously a big black man holding something that looks like a sword, and this can't be anything else but an alien.  Look at it, it has four arms and it's all green!

SCULLY: Indisputable?  Mulder this photo is so blurry that what I see there, with a lot of imagination I might add, could be a Mister-T action figure standing beside a modified Gumby toy!  Oh Mulder, this is even more stupid than the time you came up with that Moon Men invasion conspiracy theory, hell, it almost beats that hollow Earth one!  or how about that tribe of lost samu...

   Mulder madly switches the projector off and the lights on, and then goes to sit at his desk pouting.  Scully, felling a bit sorry for being so mean, sighs and approaches to sit near him.

SCULLY: Listen Mulder, even if this was remotely true, what do you want us to do about it, croak and hope to get reincarnated on Mars?  We don't have rocket ships to go and investigate this you know.  We could try wishing ourselves there but I doubt very much that will work.  And where did you get that photograph anyway?

   Seeing a somewhat renewed interest from Scully, Mulder starts scambling across his desk for the file on the case. He finds it, and pulls out an evelope.

MULDER: We received an anonymous letter a few days ago so we don't know who sent it yet, but I had top specialist in the field investigating and we were able to narrow it down quite a bit.  Although the stamped mark on the letter was smudged, we were able to discover that it came from California, and we did find a Blond hair in the letter, and from that we discovered that it belongs to a woman. And look, in the letter she says that this was an OFFICIAL N.A.S.A. top secret photo.  Official, Scully!

SCULLY: So basically what you're saying is that you've narrowed it down to blond female in California who can spell the word official?

MULDER: And who knows about NASA.

SCULLY: And who knows about NASA, yes.  Now is that all you've got Mulder, cause it ain't much to go on.

MULDER: Well I had my friends at Tarzana look into the Mars/Alien connection...

SCULLY: Apeman?

MULDER: Yes, T.A.R.Z.A.N., Terrestrial Anthropoids Researching Zealous Alien Nuts.

SCULLY: I see, obvious friends of yours, go on.

MULDER: Well, they've been monitoring the Internet and discovered that there is a group of people who talk about Mars and aliens all the time, have you ever heard of... Erbcof?

SCULLY: Bless you.

MULDER: No, no, E.R.B.C.O.F, Extrinsic Rendezvous Bulletin for Communicating with Outerspace Friends.

SCULLY: You just made that up!

MULDER: Did not!  It an actual group, and they discuss aliens on Mars all the time.

Mulder takes out a manila pouch from the file and pull a thick pile of folded computer paper out of it.  He lets it drop to the floor while holding the first page, unfolding it into a lengthy scroll.

MULDER: Here are some very incriminating transcripts Scully, look at this word, "Kaor", it's not any word I could find on Earth.  And what about this discussion about a 'Pinback' transaction with an elderly woman, it's obviously some alien technology, she was even offered Barsoomian money for it, I've checked Scully, there is no such thing as Barsoomian money, not on 'Earth' anyway.  Don't you see Scully, this is real proof, and...

Agent Scully at this point gets up and slowly walks toward the door while rubbing her temples.  Concerned, Mulder also set up to intercept her before she leaves.

MULDER: What's wrong Scully?

SCULLY: I have a splitting headache.

MULDER: You sure get those very often... you know, you should have that checked out by one of our specialists, it could be an alien implant.

SCULLY: I don't really get them very often Mulder, I only get them when I'm around you.

MULDER: That's it!  It makes perfect sense, 'they' have implanted a device in your brain in order to prevent you from seeing things my way by giving you pain whenever you are around me.  Don't you see how this all fits Scully, it's a conspiracy against me!

   Scully keeps on walking out the door and closes it behind her, felling quite relieved to be out of that office and away from agent Mulder.

MULDER: Poor Scully, if only I could make her understand.   Wait a minute... I don't think I have ever seen Scully and an Alien at the same time!   hummmm.

 {{Eerie Music}}

END 

Copyright 1997, by Andre (Cosmic Spider) Vandal 
E-mail the author at Cosmic@Earthling.Net
Visit Cosmic Spider's web page at http://www.total.net:8080/~cosmics 
.
 

DEAR SIGMUND

By David A. Adams

To: Sigmund Freud of Vienna
From: Esmeralda Jones of London and Baltimore

My Dear, Herr Doctor Freud:

I am writing to you today about a very delicate matter that has become a great concern to me. Allow me to introduce myself: I am in the employ of a family that is well-known and respected throughout the British Empire, and beyond. During my long years of service, I have come to be more a part of this family than an employee. They are as dear to me as my own flesh and blood. And so, I write to you in the hope that you may have some insight regarding an affliction that is becoming ever more difficult to ignore. As the holder of several PhDs in the fields of medicine, psychiatry and animal behavior, I have reached my own conclusions about the case. And yet, I would very much appreciate your opinion on the matter before I implement my
intended course of treatments.

As you may have read in the popular press, one of our family members has been so unfortunate as to have fallen into patterns of behavior that are quite unseemly for a normal, civilized human being. In fact, I must confess that his actions have caused not just a little amount of embarrassment to our entire family, and word of his behavior is even whispered about in the House of Lords. I'm sure you can see our concern, and we hope you will be able to handle this case with the maximum amount of discretion and privacy your position in the medical world will allow. All I dare ask of you is that you will make a study of this case and send us the results of your diagnosis by private mail. I am convinced no radical restraint is warranted. However, if you feel that a need for commitment to a mental institution should be desirable in the future, please act with the utmost secrecy as further notoriety in this matter would only cause additional pain and distress to our already distraught family. I know you are an honest and capable man as shown in your work on the unfortunate Russian known as the Wolf-Man. Please consider this the plea of a completely desperate woman on behalf her family and friends.

The following is a brief description of our dear relative, whom I ask that you only refer to in the future as "The Subject." All the details of the case will not be given for the sake of brevity in this first inquiry. I only include the important particulars in hope that it will fire your imagination and whet your desire to take up our sad case, which we hope will finally give us and a poor soul some relief from a tragic misery. 

The Subject was orphaned at the age of 13 months and was raised entirely by a loving and caring foster mother. His foster father was mentally and physically abusive toward the child, beating him when the mother was not present for protection.

The Subject is a very strong, robust type of man. When he was ten years old he was fully as strong as the average man of thirty, and far more agile than the most practiced athlete ever becomes. And day by day his strength was increasing.

The Subject has been known to remain in a condition of amnesia for the better part of a week, and then quite suddenly regain his normal awareness as he is about to commit a murder. His awareness and recovery is remarkably sudden and complete, without the slightest period of confusion, in which he
must regain his senses and equilibrium.

Significant facts of the case

#1. At the age of ten, The Subject met with an accident (not occasioned by his foster father) in which he suffered severe injuries. There were throat, chest, and arm injuries where the flesh was torn away with much blood lost. A portion of his chest was laid bare to the ribs, three of which had been broken. One arm was nearly severed, and a great piece had been torn from his neck, exposing his jugular vein. He lay for days in a wild delirium of fever. However, within a month he was as strong and active as ever.

The Subject was very intelligent, and he lived primarily upon the vegetarian diet preferred by his mother. Once at an early age (before the age of thirteen) the subject fell from a tree, quite forty feet to the ground, alighting on his back in a thick brush which broke the force of the fall. However, a cut upon the back of his head showed where he had struck the tough stem of the shrub and explained his unconsciousness. In a few minutes he was as active as ever.

It was at about this time, the age of thirteen, when The Subject killed his foster father while protecting his mother from her husband's violence.

At the age of eighteen, The Subject's mother was killed in a violent way in public. When her son arrived, she was already dead. His grief and anger at her death was unbounded, and he fell upon her body and sobbed out the sorrowing of his lonely heart. To lose the only creature in all one's world who ever had manifested love and affection for one, is a great bereavement indeed.

After the violent death of his mother, The Subject himself became a killer. Soon, he began killing men as well as an assortment of animals. His methods were usually quick, not involving torture to any degree, employing a rope, a knife or other sharpened weapons, or bare-handed strangulation -- the combination he used in killing the slayer of his foster mother.

#2. Around the age of eighteen, The Subject sustained the first of many head injuries. This primary injury was a partial scalping in which his scalp was half torn from his head, so that a great piece hung down over one eye. In this case, by ten days he was quite sound again, except for a terrible, half-healed scar, which, starting above his left eye, ran across the top of his head, ending at the right ear. His powers of recovery were quite remarkable.

The occasion of this injury took place as The Subject was attempting to protect an old female from a beating by a young male. It was a selfless act, because the subject leaped into a dangerous situation where he could have expected bodily harm. After this event, The Subject changed his mode of dress and appearance and began larger associations with strangers and other people who were not related to him.

# 3. Some of the events in this case are difficult to place in a consecutive time frame, but it seems that from the occasion of the events reported above, The Subject became rather accident-prone, despite his strong, physical nature. On one occasion, he fell into a hole in the ground and was knocked unconscious. He fell backwards and struck his head on a wooden stake. There was a swollen spot at the base of the brain which indicated the nature of his injury. In this case, he came to rather quickly, and was fully conscious in a few minutes.

#4. The Subject was again knocked unconscious; this time by a falling tree during a lightning storm. (He lived in a heavily wooded area and was fond of walking there in all seasons in all kinds of weather.) This time, it took him much longer to regain consciousness.

#5. The Subject was beaten into an unconscious state by rocks and dead tree limbs. He became conscious in a few minutes, but only slowly realized what had happened.

#6. At this point, The Subject seems to be having problems with vivid nightmares. There are problems of distinguishing reality from dreams -- even in waking states. He seems to not even being aware of dreaming before this age (around eighteen.) In this flux, he mistakes reality for a dream and is bitten in the shoulder by a wild animal.

After these experiences, The Subject seemed to be prone to violence. When he was angered, he could become deaf with rage, and a red mist seemed to cover his eyes as he performed violent deeds. He is known as a killer of animals and men. 

#7. Around the age of twenty, The Subject suffered two gun shot wounds, one in the left shoulder and one in the left side -- both bloody flesh wounds. He was confined to bed for several days, but he considered it to be a superficial incident -- and exhibited signs of impatience regarding the necessary medical attention he was provided with. He described the quite serious injuries as "pin pricks."

#8. Later, The Subject was gun shot again in a grazing blow to his head, a slight scratch which had furrowed the flesh across his temple and rendered him unconscious. The wound bled profusely, so that dried and clotted blood smeared his face and clothing. He regained consciousness after some time, but remained silent for hours. Later, he was pummeled for a short time with stones and sticks, then, bound by ropes, kicked about the face and side by a man with heavy boots. He suffered from thirst, and felt waves of madness sweep over him. By now, The Subject saw himself as another creature when killing.

At this point in the history of this Subject, he marries. The union soon produces a single child, a son. There are no further children in this marriage, but the husband and wife remain together and faithful only to each other. However, The Subject seems to have a very difficult time remaining at home, and often goes away on long journeys. He is more often separated from his wife and son than with them.

#9. The Subject seems to become constantly involved in violent situations where he is often in grave danger. His body is covered with scars from beatings, cuts and puncture wounds. He is again rendered unconscious by a blow from a blunt, wooden object, and one leg is torn and lacerated to the point that it becomes difficult to walk. When he becomes conscious, The Subject forces himself to walk a long distance in such a condition of great rage that the great scar upon his forehead stands out almost continuously in a vivid scarlet line. During this journey, he screams out loud over his anger and frustration, startling even himself at the force of his rage. In this condition, he murders a man with his bare hands, and with a gesture of disgust throws the corpse aside without a further thought or comment. He is then reunited with his wife and resolves to live a quiet and sedate existence. The subject seems to be a normal human being, despite the many accidents and violent situations involving murder. He seems to be able to resolve any mental conflicts or feelings of guilt without compunction.

#10. During this hiatus, The Subject seems to have suffered a certain loss of his usual keen awareness of his situation and surroundings. He takes a large financial loss due to mismanagement of funds. Noticeably, he loses his sense of smell. It is under these conditions that The Subject receives another violent blow to his head, another injury that leaves him in a state of total amnesia. He is not aware of his name or anything of his past before the blow. He does not remember the accident, nor does he recall anything of what had led up to it. He can walk and function in a fairly normal way, but he makes mistakes at times and falls into situations where he before would have taken more care. He is curious about his surroundings, but does not remember the names or relationships of many previously familiar objects or people.

The Subject remains in this condition of amnesia for the better part of a week, and then quite suddenly regains his normal awareness as he is about to commit a murder. His awareness and recovery is remarkably sudden and complete, without the slightest period of confusion in which he must regain his senses and equilibrium.

Here my account must break-off, for the present, as I am called away on urgent business that cannot be put off even another hour. (Young Jackie is yapping up a storm.) I am sending you this incomplete account with our fervent prayers that you will pity our situation and look into this case at your earliest opportunity.

Sincerely,
Esmeralda Jones. PhD, and nanny. 
 

                                                       END

Copyright 1997, David Arthur Adams 
.
.
 

Arthurian Trilogy
(Set in ERB's universe)
By Peter Coogan

Preface: (The trilogy as a whole needs a name -- or a name for the series.)
While working on my master's thesis in Arthurian Literature at the University of Wales in Bangor, I came across a history of Sir Yvain written by his son, St. Kentigern. This history tells of Yvain's Grail Quest, which took him to the ancient kingdom of Midia in Africa, to Avalon, and to a land which Kentigern claimed lay inside the hollow Earth. Filed alongside Kentigern's history, but uncataloged, was a packet of notes written by Tarzan's grandson, the current Earl of Greystoke. These notes expanded and supplemented Kentigern's history, explaining how Yvain and his party passed through the land
of the Mangani -- the great apes who raised Tarzan -- and the ruins of an outpost of Opar, the lost Atlantean colony discovered by Tarzan, and ultimately to Pellucidar, the inner-earth world described by Edgar Rice Burroughs in a series of novels. I tracked down Lord Greystoke, who agreed to let me publish the tale as fiction, an agreement similar to the one his grandfather had reached with Burroughs. I augmented the saint's history and the earl's notes with my own research, and this is the story, largely true, that I put together. 

Book 1: The Quest of the Holy Grail (working title, need a real title)
Near the end of the Quest of the Holy Grail, King Arthur sends a quartet of his subjects, under the guise of a diplomatic mission to Rome, to investigate a legend he came across years before during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. That story, told in a book reported to be the secret history of Joseph of Arimathea, recounted how Joseph fled Jerusalem with the Holy Grail and instead of going west towards Rome and his imperial enemies, he went south along the Nile to Midia, a kingdom founded by Nathan, a son of David, near the headwaters of the Nile. From there, St. Joseph proceeded across to Africa and thence to Britain to found the abbey at Glastonbury. Arthur believed that Joseph may have left the Grail in Midia and concocted the legend of bringing it to Britain in order to safeguard the Grail and its true location. The four on the mission are: Sir Yvain, a knight who was too young to be called to the Grail Quest at its inception, but one perhaps worthy to achieve it; Sir Dagonet, publicly Arthur's fool, but in reality a key operative in Arthur's secret intelligence organization, the Order of Aurelius; Lady Vivian, a Lady of the Lake and daughter of Nineve and Merlin; and Lady Alyne, a nun well-versed in ancient languages and literature and adept in the arts of alchemy. 

They sail from Britain accompanied by Sir Grimmace, a member of Mordred's diplomatic service and ostensibly the leader of the mission to Rome. After stops along the pilgrimage route through Brittany and Gaul, they cross to Carthage from the Mediterranean coast, intending to go from there to Alexandria, Jerusalem, and finally to Rome. Arthur publicly declared that the mission was intended to  reestablish contacts between his kingdom and the holy sites along the pilgrimage route, ending with a reconciliation with the emperor at Rome. On the passage to Carthage, Sir Dagonet, following secret instructions from Arthur, kills Modred's spy Sir Grimmace, explains the true nature of the expedition to the rest of the party, fakes a ship wreck, and sails for the west coast of Africa to follow Sir Joseph's map to Midia. 

Shortly after landing, they observe the Dum Dum -- the ritual hunting dance of the Mangani, or great apes. Skirting the exhausted apes, who collapse at the end of their orgiastic frenzy, they are ambushed by Gozan, an African native who has been raised by the Mangani, as Tarzan would be centuries later. Before anyone is seriously injured, Vivian recognizes Gozan's language as one she learned from Merlin, her father, who traveled extensively in his youth. Gozan agrees to lead the party east as he was planning to explore in that direction to investigate a legend he has heard about a city of whites who have been interbreeding with the Mangani in their area. Led by Gozan, they come to the edge of a large settlement, where they accidentally kill a cow while hunting for game. While butchering the cow, they are discovered and taken into custody by a party of minotaurs, who charge them with the murder of a close cousin of their king. 

The minotaur city, Minopolis, had been settled several centuries earlier by a band of minotaurs, raised by Minos of Crete to be an invincible army. For several years prior to the coming of Theseus and the slaying of the original minotaur, King Minos had bred his monster with both human and bovine mates. Shortly after Theseus' escape, Minos met his death in a steam bath designed by Daedalus. As part of the peace treaty between Crete and Athens, the minotaur tribe was to be loaded on to a ship and sunk far out at sea. A few of the minotaurs discovered the scheme and forced the human navigator to sail the ship to Egypt, where they expected to be welcomed as the children of Hathor, the cow goddess who gives birth to the sun each
morning. But the Egyptians had at one time sent their children every year to their deaths in the labyrinth as tribute to Minos, and so drove the hated minotaurs, symbol of their past subservience to Crete, into the desert. Eventually they wandered into the interior and settled in a ruined outpost of Opar, thought to be a lost colony of Atlantis. Here they lived, intermarrying with Africans taken in war. And their cattle. 

In punishment for their crime, the Britons and Gozan are sentenced to die in the arena as bull dancers, an element of Cretan heritage preserved by the minotaurs. After a series of engagements, in which Dagonet invents bullfighting using a cape, they escape from Minopolis. Gozan goes his way, off to discover Opar, forging Tarzan's trail to the lost city centuries ahead of the ape man. 

Several days' march to the East, they come upon another set of Oparian ruins that marks the end of their map. In these ruins lives Piscatorus, Latin for fisherman, a Roman soldier who served under Julius Caesar, nearly 500 years before. Piscatorus was a common soldier in an expedition sent by Caesar to rediscover the lost colonies of Atlantis and the last survivor of a battle between his legion and the remnants of the Atlantean colony. Severely wounded in the foot and nearly lame, Piscatorus found a temple with a fountain whose waters flowed into a stone bowl, placed there centuries earlier by the Atlanteans, the continual drinking of which kept him in a state of stasis, neither aging nor healing. Dagonet and the rest are unsure whether to continue, as their map only leads this far, and because Vivian asserts that Piscatorus and the carved stone bowl may represent the mythic origins of the Fisher King and the Grail, following the Celtic tradition of the Grail as a cauldron of rebirth. Piscatorus denies all knowledge of the Fisher King and the
Grail and their Christian origins, having never heard of Christianity, since he left Rome long before the birth of Christ. After spotting some hieroglyphs carved into the wall of the temple, Alyne matches them with a passage from Joseph's history, which indicates that he passed through this area on his journey. They find the underground river that supplied the waters of the fountain and that the saint had taken in his journey from Midia. 

Traveling the slow-flowing underground river, they come out in Midia, a city hidden by a ring of mountains. St. Joseph escorted ______ , Mary's niece, to Midia so that she could marry David, the descendent of David's son Nathan who founded the lost city. They married and bore _______, again uniting the two great houses of the Jews, as Mary had done when she married Herod's son ______ and gave birth to Jesus (explained in detail by Robert Graves in King Jesus). The history of the second child, the second coming of the messiah, is explained to the Britons who also learn that Joseph did take the Grail to Britain. The Midians have lived in peace for half a millenium, impervioius to death by age or disease due to an elixer later discovered by Tarzan, practicing a pure Christianity based on Christ's two commandments: Love thy God and Love thy Neighbor. Their mission ended, the Britons find their way to the Nile and thence to Rome. At Rome they are greeted with the news that Arthur is dead and Camelot fallen. There is also a message from Arthur, delivered by the secret Order of Aurelius, "Go West." 

Book 2: The Search for Excalibur (working title, need a real title) 
Alyne and Vivian decipher Arthur's message, "Go West," to mean that they should follow him to his resting place, traditionally thought to be Avalon. But as a Lady of the Lake, Vivian knows that Arthur would not refer to Avalon, the axis mundi, or world navel, as "west" because it's a world "center." Through agents of the Order of Aurelius, they find Barinthus, the pilot who took Arthur to his resting place across the sea to the west. Barinthus also led the famous St. Brendan to his "fair isle," which in fact was the American continent. Barinthus is dying, but he is able to provide them with sea maps and directions, which the quartet follows, eventually landing on the American shore. There they find a rune stone carved by Morgan directing them to Arthur's location. 

At the close of the Battle of Camlan, Arthur had lain dying. Morgan and Bedevere helped him into Barinthus' boat and they set off for Turtle Island, leaving Bedevere behind to set up a false grave for Arthur on the Isle of Man, otherwise known as Avalon. Morgan had foreseen the fall of Corbenic in the year 800 as the final victory of the Anglo Saxons over the British Isles and so knew that Arthur's sleep would have to be elsewhere. Bedevere's son, also named Arthur, was supposed to accompany them as sword-bearer, but he has been murdered and replaced by Mordred's son Morgos, who so closely resembles Bedevere's son that no one notices the switch in all the haste to leave. Arthur's wound largely heals on the voyage, but he is still dying slowly, kept alive only by Morgan's magic and the life-maintaining properties of Excalibur's scabbard. 

During their first night on the American shore, Morgos steals off with Excalibur, leaving Arthur with a false copy of the sword forged years earlier by Mordred. Morgos makes his way south to the kingdom of the Olmecs in Mexico and plants the sword into a stone, knowing that Arthur is the only one who can withdraw it and that, in his weakened and dying state, he will never survive the journey. Mordred planned this separation of king and sword because he foresaw his own death and resurrection and Arthur's return as king in Avalon centuries later and sought to prevent that return by denying Arthur his sword, following the proverb: "The king without a sword, the land without a king." 

Unaware, at first, of the theft of Excalibur and unable to wait for Morgos' return, Morgan takes Arthur to the land of the mound builders near the Ohio River and establishes him in a temnos, or magic circle, built by the Native Americans there. It will keep him alive until Excalibur is returned to him. She heads west, leaving a message about where she is heading for Vivian and the others, whom she knows to be following. The four Britons locate Arthur, but he does not know where Morgos has taken the sword. Vivian uses egeomancy to locate Excalibur, as the sword has been stuck into a stone resting on a ley point, the meeting point of several ley-lines, which are the "channels" the Earth's energy flows in. The Earth's ley-energy prevents any but Arthur from drawing it forth. To make it possible for Yvain, Arthur's closest relative of the four, to draw the sword from the stone, the king shaves his head and has Vivian knit the hair into a glove for Yvain to wear, incorporating magic knots and charms into the weaving. To further ensure that the young knight will be able to withdraw the sword, Arthur cuts off his own right pinkie and forces Yvain to do the same, thus ensuring that part of Arthur's hand will be in the glove for the drawing. The quartet follows the leylines south, traveling on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. 

They arrive in Olmeca to find the Olmecs being ruled by a vampire, who has come from Egypt and set himself up as a divine king. This vampire, ________, committed the ultimate sin of killing the vampire who made him. He fled Egypt and the vengence of his vampire kin on a cargo ship bound for the land of the Olmecs, with whom the Egyptians had traded for many years and who are, in fact, the true Atlanteans, but not the founders of the Oparian colonies, which have a separate origin. Using his supernatural powers to establish himself as a god and king, ________ instituted the blood rituals that were later adopted by the Mayans and Aztecs. He has also transformed Morgos into a vampire to aid him in his rule of the Olmecs. The quartet arrives and eventually helps the Olmecs to kill _____ and Morgos and to free themselves from this foreign rule. They return Excalibur to Arthur, who is then entombed in a mound, and set off on the trail of Morgan Le Fey. 

Book 3: The Golden Apple of Troy (working title, need a real title) 
Following Morgan's trail, the quartet makes its way to the land of the Anasazi Indians. Morgan has gone there to be buried sleeping in the Anasazi caves so that she can rise again when Arthur and Mordred return. Morgan is very weak, having been wounded by the Jibbenainosay, the "spirit who walks." The Jibbenainosay is a British spirit of evil conjured by Mordred to ensure the death of Arthur and Morgan. It took over the body of a knight of Avalon and followed Arthur's funeral barge to America. It tracked them to the mound builders, but could not enter Arthur's temnos and could not take possession of any Native Americans, and so the Jibbenainosay began to kill Indians, hoping to deprive Arthur of all aid and support. Quickly discovered by the mound builders, the Jibbenainosay was driven away and it went in search of Morgan, whom it found and wounded before she could set up a temnos. The Anasazi protected her and the Jibbenainosay entered into total war with them. The quartet arrives and helps the Anasazi to eradicate the Jibbenainosay, who now has to wait for another Briton to arrive on the continent before he can have corporal existence again. 

Following the defeat of the Jibbenainosay, Morgan sets the quartet on the trail of the Golden Apple of Troy, the last bit of unfinsihed business from the Trojan War. The Golden Apple is an Apple of Discord originally thrown by Eris, the spirit of strife, at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, parents of Achilles, because she alone of all the gods had not been invited. The Apple led to the Trojan War because Paris awarded it to Aphrodite when she promised him the world's most beautiful woman, Helen, in exchange for awarding it to her as the most beautiful goddess. When Paris took his lovely reward, with the help of a love arrow from Eros' bow, Helen's husband Menelaus followed the lovers to Troy and began the decades-long siege. After the fall of Troy, a Greek warrior, ________, took the Apple from its temple in Troy and fled south, eventually entering Pellucidar, the world inside the hollow Earth. 

Morgan charged the quartet to return the Apple to its rightful owners, the Trojans, who are the anscestors of the Britons through Pryam's son Brut, the founder of Britain. Morgan knows that the crime of the theft of the Apple has to be avenged to let the ghosts of Troy rest. 

They sail down the coast to Antarctica, where they find an entrance to Pellucidar. The Apple has caused a war between two great powers of Pellucidar that has gone on since its arrival, shortly after the Trojan War some 1700 years before. The four Britons steal the apple and help to settle the war. While sailing for Troy, a storm wrecks their ship off the coast of Australia. The aborigines, the Real People, will not help them to build a boat nor allow them any materials. The four have lessons to learn and need to walk across Australia with the Real People. Gradually the Britons abandon their possessions, with the exception of the Golden Apple and the copy of Excalibur Yvain has been wielding. Each learns a lesson about him or herself: Yvain to give up leadership and to trust others' decision-making; Dagonet to give up all his hidden tools and tricks; Vivian that her magic lies within herself and not solely within the goddess she relies on; and Alyne learns to lead. Once across Australia they build a ship with the help of the Real People and sail for Troy.
They find that the waves of invasions that followed the fall of Troy have left no Trojans to receive their heritage. 

With no place to return the Apple, they decide to take it to safety in Midia, since they are relatively close to the lost kingdom. Midia is almost empty when the arrive, with only a few guardians left. The population has been systematically destroyed by a vampire werewolf, Evingolis, who had been serving the emporer as a minstrel and overheard Dagonet's report on the outcome of their Grail quest in the city of Midia to the Order of Aurelius' Pendragon in Rome. Evingolis is ancient, having been born a werewolf and later transformed into a vampire while in his human form. The idea of drinking rich immortal blood excited Evingolis and he arrived in Midia just in front of his wolf pack, which he pretended to be escaping. He posed as a minstrel and began to suck the city dry. At first the Midians thought that the deaths were attributable to wolf attacks, to which they put up a good defense. By the time they realized their error and discovered the true culprit, few Midians were left and Evingolis took to hiding and hunting down the survivors. The besieging wolves killed off the few who attempted to leave the city to get help, their immortality elixer preventing death only by disease or age, not injury or accident. 

At first the wolves and Evingolis hunt the quartet and the remaining Midians, but gradually the tide turns and Evingolis is tricked into following one of the few remaining Midians, doused in the intoxicating menstral blood-scent of the virginal Alyne, into an airtight tomb, which they seal with alchemy and magic. Midia is now nearly a ghost town and not a safe place to leave the Apple, so they travel to Rome and thence to the shattered Britain to help put the pieces back together and deposit the apple in Merlin's tomb. 

Character profiles:
Sir Yvain: Son of Sir Owein, whom Chrétien de Troyes made famous as the Knight of the Lion; grandson to Morgan le Fey and King Uriens. He was too young to be a Grail Knight when the quest started, but he proved to be one of the best knights that remained. Forthright and honest. Built like a bull with legs like oak trees and iron thewed arms. An excellent swordsman, rider, and jouster. He's Christian, but not deeply so. Tall with reddish-blond hair. About 18 years old.

Sir Dagonet: Son of Sir Dynaden, Arthur's satirist. Dagonet is Arthur's fool and jester but this is just a cover for his real activities as a secret agent, a dragon, in the Order of Aurelius, Arthur's secret intelligence service. For years he has cleaned up Arthur's dirty business and engaged in covert activities, including assassination and overthrowing Arthur's enemies. He frequently saves knights while in disguise, either as Kay, or in blank armor, so the rescued knights think that they've been saved by Lancelot. He keeps all sorts of weapons, lock picks, pins, and poison hidden on his person, braided into his hair, etc. He is tall and thin with a knife-edged face. Very good with his throwing knives and a bow, but a mean swordsman too. Not afraid to fight dirty, use poison, or set traps for his enemies. Puts forward a carefree and clever face, but is deadly serious about the king's business. About 28 years old, he's been working as a dragon since his early teens. 

Lady Vivian: Daughter of Nineve and Merlin. She was conceived on Merlin's last night before his sleep. Nineve kept her pregnancy hidden by gaining weight and keeping Vivian in the womb by dint of magic and drugs for three years. She makes contradictory claims about who her father is, and will claim anyone as a father if it furthers a point she is making. Her eyes change color, an after-effect of the pregnancy drugs taken by Nineve. She learned a great deal of magic in the womb directly from Nineve and also spent three years in Merlin's cave coaxing all sorts of lore from Merlin's sleeping brain. She is good with geomancy, bad with weather magic, and very good at speaking with the dead. Arthur sent her on the mission because of her magical abilities and her overall knowledge of hidden things. Tall and redheaded, like a British battle-queen. About 24 years old. 

Lady Alyne: Daughter of Lamorak and granddaughter of Sir Pellinore. She is a nun, a scholar of ancient and contemporary languages, and a student of alchemy. She has been raised in a nunnery, but was generally left to pursue her studies by herself because of a large grant of land her grandfather gave to
the church. Arthur sends her on the mission because of her knowledge of languages and history. She often acts as an interpreter for the group when dealing with peoples of the Mediterranean, Near East, and Northern Africa. She is rather small and elfin looking, dark-haired. She is not given to physical confrontation, but voracious about knowledge. About 21 years old. 

 END

Copyright 1997 by Pete Coogan 
.


Listen to the Podcasts of Elmo's Dateline Jasoom via the vast Gridley Wave Network.
Visit www.PanthanPress.com for directions on tuning in your Gridley Wave antennae.
The show is podcast every two weeks and features
a full 15 minutes of news, zaniness, music, and interviews with ERB-world personalities --
all beamed directly from Elmo's state-of-the-art GWN studios on Barsoom.


Jeff Long's Barsoomian Blade & Panthan Press Features in ERBzine
Blade 1 | Blade 2 | Blade 3 | Blade 4 | Blade 5 | Blade Fiction 1 | Fiction 2 | Fiction 3 | Fiction 4
Princess of Jasoom | Princess 1 | Princess 2 | Princess 3 | Princess 4 | Princess 5 |



BILL HILLMAN
Visit our thousands of other sites at:
BILL AND SUE-ON HILLMAN ECLECTIC STUDIO
ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2008/2017 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
All Panthan Press and Barsoomian Blade Material Copyright 1998/2006 by Jeff Long
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.