The final chapter!
Swords, daggers, pikes, spears were plucked from their owners' hands and whirled aloft by a ghostly force!
Something tells me that, just perhaps, someone might have turned up with a giant Wile E Coyote magnet...
Sumia watches all the swords, armour and other metal objects go flying up into the air, including a "gigantic iron-shod battering ram". Now, if this magnet is in the floater, surely the laws of physics should apply, and the floater should be dragged downwards towards this huge metal object, not vice versa... it's like that episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles where Shredder and Krang reversed the Earth's gravity, and all the buildings started flying up into the air.
The besieging army is in uproar, and the ones on the walls are equally confused. Karm Karvus seizes this moment to chuck Vaspas Ptol over the battlements:
The gorgeous jewelled robes fluttered through the dust-hazed air like a fantastic moth for a brief moment... then the dark, imperial dreams of Vaspas Ptol were quenched forever in a crimson smear as he struck the rocky field far below.
All the other captives (?) follow his example, by turning on their guards and giving them similar treatment. Prince Dru, who is apparently "lean, witty and sardonic" demonstrates these qualities by bashing two guards' heads together and throwing them down the stairs. There is general uprising against the druids and their men.
Outside, Hajash Tor (the bad general) has been thrown from his kroter, and stumbles through the chaos to see Barand Thon (the good general) strangle Evil Emperor Phal Thurid, whose golden armour had inexplicably also been sucked away by the giant magnet. Hajash Tor knows better than to interfere, and tries to run away instead -
Later, in some other realm, he could continue his quest for power.
He meets Thalaba, the Lord of Torture, who orders him to get back and attack! Hajash refuses, and crushes Thalaba's skull with one blow from a wooden stick! He laughs harshly and strides away, followed sneakily by Arzang Pome. Who the fuck is Arzang Pome? We're 8 pages from the end, isn't it a bit late to be introducing new characters? *skims back through book* - ah, no, he was very briefly mentioned on p91. It turns out he's the "cruel and sadistic Sark of Shembis", with whom Thongor has a score to settle, as the Sark once sentenced him to life as a galley slave. Hmm.
Back in the city, all the guards have finally been chucked over the walls, and Sumia is declared Queen. Hurrah! The crowd joyfully begins tearing the Yellow Druids limb from limb. Soon, there's only one left, Numadak Quelm, who is bound and brought to Sumia for judgement. But then the floater appears overhead! Who could it be?
At the rail stood Ald Turmis, and a familiar giant figure in harness of red leather.
The ship came down in the littered meadow that had been a battlefield. Emerging from the cabin, Thongor sprang over the rail and dropped lightly to the turf. From the opening gate, he could see chariots thundering to meet him, and a great crowd flowing slowly out of the city to hail their rescuer. For it had, of course, been Thongor - armed with the Magnetic Ray of Omm - who had disarmed both Patanga and the host of Thurdis of their steel weapons.
Everyone greets Thongor warmly, including Sumia's mates from Patanga, who (it turns out) had seen him three weeks earlier, when he had saved Sumia from the fiery altar of the druids. Three weeks earlier? Our boy's been busy!
Thongor's most recent adventures are now skimmed through very quicky in recap form. As suspected, the other victim of that vampire wizard was the one who beat his way through the forcefield and strangled him, then shut off the power; now he was the ruler of the Lost City of Omm, and had helped Thongor by giving him the Magnetic Ray. Then Thongor and Ald Turmis hurried back with all speed, yadda yadda yadda, we get it.
In the meantime, Barand Thon has gathered up all his troops and come to surrender. There are a couple of paragraphs of discussion about the fate of Phal Thurid etc, then Sumia comes over with a suggestion.
"My Lords, there is much work to be done today, and for many days to come, before our cities are restored to their former greatness. (note: wasn't she deposed just three weeks ago? How bad can it be, exactly?) I am but a woman, young and inexperienced. This work needs a man. Thongor of Valkarth, will you marry me?"
Thongor agrees, and she declares them married right there on the spot. Pretty nifty, being Queen. Everyone is wild with delight, as Thongor is their hero. So here's the money shot:
He made a heroic figure standing tall under the full blaze of noon, a towering and gigantic figure, bronzed in the full tide of his youth. And although he was nearly naked, clad in the rags of scarlet leather and a battered harness, his mighty torso and arms scarred and bruised, a kingly dignity invested him. And that was regal raiment enough.
Barand Thon is declared Sark of Thurdis, and Ald Turmis is made Sark of Shembis (even though Arzang Pome isn't actually dead). They both only accept on the condition that Thongor is their overlord, a position which had been vacant for many years. Nothing for Karm Karvus, then. Finally, Thongor releases all the prisoners (though the druids all get banished) and declares that it is now dinner time!
And so the chapter ends.
Not really worth doing a whole extra post for this, so here we go, let's get this book finished.
Days of celebration, ceremony, feasting, weddings, etc. Ald Turmis and Karm Karvus meet up, and Ald complains that Thongor won't be any fun any more now that he's married, no more manly adventures now that they all have cities to run. But never fear! says Karm Karvus. Thongor still has many adventures ahead of him!
"...Next year, he's vowed to go with me back to Tsargol. That's where we met, you know, in the dungeons, condemned to the Games by Drugunda Thal the Sark, and by Yelim Pelorvis, the Red Druid of Slidith. The Druid rules alone now, for Thongor put a cold steel through the Sark's guts when we escaped. Well, he's vowed the two of us shall go back and finish the job... and I may end up with a Sarkdom of my own!"
"Do you really think...?"
Karm Karvus rose, clapping a hand to his friend's shoulder. "Let's go back in and have a glass of sarn. There's a dancing girl I noticed looking at me - maybe she has a friend for you! Come, cheer up - wherever Thongor is, there'll be fighting and excitement enough for all!"
Don't touch that dial!
Next up: THONGOR FIGHTS THE PIRATES OF TARAKUS!