After the battle over the M'krann was over, and Monako had time to heal and think about all he had seen, he remembered Magar's comment. In retrospect, it surprised him even more than it had at the time; Magar was usually quite quiet, even taciturn, and although the moment and the scene had been tense, it was still highly uncharacteristic of Magar to speak unprompted, especially with such vehemence.

Monako approached Magar the second night back, after dinner, and asked him about it. At first all Magar would say was that it was a matter he'd thought resolved long ago; later on Magar would ignore the question and simply pretend that Monako had said nothing. Intrigued, Monako began researching the being, first in those few books he always carried with him, and then later in the extra-dimensional home he'd built for himself in a small pocket dimension near the Pastel Dimensions.
A search through the Necronomicon, the Cultes des Ghouls, and the Liber Ivonis revealed nothing. The Grimoire Historique only mentioned a man of darkness and fire who had plagued Europe for a few years and then had been vanquished.

It was only in the Annals of the School of Ancient Ways that Monako discovered the reference and information for which he sought. The School of Ancient Ways had been founded by the survivors of the Moken sea nomads and the People of the Sea at a monastery at the southern end of the Ucker river in what later became Germany; they had emigrated there following their slaughter at the hands of the Atlanteans and the Deviants in 363 C.E. The School had flourished for centuries until its followers finally dwindled out and the last practitioner of the Ancient Ways school of magery had gone down to defeat at the hands of the followers of Tiboro in 1702. During its heyday, however, the School's adepts had wandered all the lands of the Earth, proselytizing and doing good deeds. One of those itinerants had returned to the monastery near Prezlau and had dictated an account of his travels to the School's scribes.

In 1451 the adept had been riding through the forests of what would later be known as Hungary when he encountered the fleeing remnants of John Hunyadi's army, along with a flood of refugees. When he enquired, he was told that a strange being, in the form of a man but of the stuff of darkness and fire, had arisen from a black pool that had appeared one night on the surface of Lake Balaton. The being had used evil sorceries to enslave all who encountered him, and after he had raised up an unholy army he had descended on the twin cities of Buda and Pesht, destroyed Hunyadi's army, razed most of both cities, slain the teenaged King Ladislas V, and taken control of the kingdom.

The adept, sensing that evil magicks were afoot and that there was more to be found here than just the babbling of peasants, began accompanying the soldiers of John Hunyadi, succoring their wounds and aiding them as best he could.

The adept was with John Hunyadi's army for 14 years. He watched as the being of evil, who gained the name "The Angular Man" for the pointed and sharp outlines of his body, created a dark and forbidding castle on an artificial island in the middle of Lake Balaton, summoned up more armies from the Dark Dimensions, and rampaged across Hungary, Bohemia and Austria, slaying all who opposed him and instituting a despotic rule, forcing the natives to engage in blasphemous and unholy rites. The adept accompanied Hunyadi's troops in their guerrilla war against the Angular Man's army, slowly nibbling away at them and always avoiding pitched battle, for Hunyadi knew that such a thing would be his destruction. The adept helped in small ways, ensorcelling blades and healing wounds, but never daring to do more, for he knew that any major working would be detected by the Angular Man. Yet as the years went by the adept thought he could detect a very subtil and powerful magical sending helping Hunyadi's forces against the Angular Man and somehow preventing him from bringing through further troops.
Finally, in 1465, Hunyadi led his army, now battle-hardened, against the Angular Man's castle. The spell that the adept had only sensed erupted then, allowing Hunyadi's horses to gallop across the waters of Balaton as if it were flat, dry earth, and igniting the blades of their swords and pikes, and somehow shielding them from the worst of the Angular Man's death-spells.

After a short but bitter fight they broke through into the castle, trapped the Angular Man in its highest tower, and razed the castle completely, destroying - or so it was thought - his corporeal form and killing (the adept thought) him.

Monako found this most interesting, but Magar continued to refuse to speak of it, and Monako eventually forgot about it.

Go back to Liberators #25