BEYOND THE SEA OF DREAMS Life had not been kind to Joe and Marge. Now, according to the strangers who met them on a road that wasn’t there, they were due to die in nineteen minutes, eighteen seconds. But the ferryboat that waited to take them across the Sea of Dreams could bring them to a new and perhaps better life. There lay a world where fairies still danced by moonlight and sorcery became real. Joe could become a mighty-thewed barbarian warrior. Marge could be beautiful and find her magical self. But there was much more than they realised to this strange land. This was a world where Hell still strove to win its ancient war and demon princes sent men into battles of dark magic. It was a world where Joe and Marge must somehow prevent the coming of Armageddon.
Young Sharur is the scion of a merchant family in the city o Gibil, loyal – he thinks – to his city’s god, Engibil, and to that god’s human deputies. But like his fellows in Gibil, Sharur is less interested in gods than in invention and trade. Then, on a routine trading expedition, he learns that the gods of the other cities, resentful of Engibil’s relaxed attitude toward his people, are uniting to punish Gibil and squelch the growing power of human creativity, epitomised by the city-state’s easygoing ways. Now only Sharur’s wits can save the city from the aroused divinities…and he’s going to need all the inventiveness he can muster.
Confluence – a long, narrow man-made world, half fertile river valley, half crater-strewn desert. It is a world at the end of its time, a place of savagery, bureaucracy and war, inhabited by countless flying micro-machines and ten thousand bloodlines ruled by devotion to absent gods. It is the home of a singular young man named Yama. An infant who was discovered in a bier on the river, he was raised by the prelate of Aeolis until it was learned that his ancestry was unique. Yama appeared to be the last remaining scion of the Builders, closest of all races to the worshipped architects of Confluence. Now, awed and fearful of his increasing ability to awaken the machines the Builders left behind, Yama searches for his identity and a history that is both his and his world’s.
In Husaquahr, the world of magic beyond the Sea of Dreams, the battle had been won. All seemed peaceful. But Throckmorton P. Ruddygore, master sorcerer, knew better. Far to the south, on the River of Dancing Gods, the Dark Baron plotted with a Demon Prince to wage the final war that would bring about Armageddon. Someone had to make the dangerous trip into the unknown to spy on the conspirators. And so Ruddygore called again on the services of his erstwhile human helpers- Joe, who had become a superbarbarian hero with an enchanted sword, and Marge, now changed to a flying fairy woman. But could two fragile people from the Earth Prime – even with some magic ingredients- survive in this new, bitter struggle to good versus evil?
Tarra Khash is a Hrossak, a barbarian from the steppes beyond the River Luhr. A fearless adventurer, Tarra roves Theem-hdra in search of his next fortune, his next drink, and warm, willing females to share his bed. The Hrossak is a most fortunate man, for he has faced more than one god during his travels and – so far – has escaped unscathed. Seeking to avenge the murder of a beautiful young woman of the half-mystical Suhm-yi race, Tarra joins forces with her husband, now the last of his kind. Each worships a moon-god, and together their faith and Tarra’s weapons wreak a terrible vengeance on those who stole the treasure of the Suhm-yi. Eager for wealth, Tarra is trapped by a wily old man who has lured him into plumbing the depths of a treasure-filled cavern guarded by golden statues of the Great God Cthulhu. But Cthulhu’s treasure is not easily plundered, and Tarra nearly loses his life to the monstrous forces of the Elder God. Many men have met the lamia Orbiquita, but none have lived to tell of her extraordinary powers of love-making – until Tarra Khash, who treats her as a woman wants to be treated and thus earns her forgiveness and his life. Alas, others who assume her to be weakened by her love for Tarra Khash are not so lucky!
“I’ll need your help. Come night and the Oracle again, I’m going to try the final couplet.” “Jinian,” Murzy breathed while Dodie looked white-eyed at me. “Dangerous.” “And fatal not to,” I said, still smiling at them all… I wove by forest and meadow, branch and leaf. I wove by stream and pool, by river and fall. I wove by cloud and air, by thunder and sunset glow. I wove by depths of the earth, rock and gem, glittering ores and crystals blooming in the dark, old bone and new. Beside me the others wove as well… “And all within sound of my voice or reach of the wind,” I cried, thrusting my voice like a Sending, like a magic spear, driving it upward. “And all within sound of my voice or lick of the wave, or all within sound of my voice or stretch of the soil, or all within sound of my voice where green grows and leaf springs up. Named or unnamed, silent or speaking. Let this message be brought, By the Eye of the Star, Where Old Gods Are!”