Let's re-enter the lost world with another installment of my issue by issue examination of DC Comic's Warlord, the earlier installments of which can be found here...
"Evil in Ebony"
Warlord #92 (April 1985)
Written by Cary Burkett; Art by Pablo Marcos.
Synopsis: An Atlantean scouting party returns to Shamballah through the forest of Ebondar. Their arrogance at their control of the area makes them an easy target for an ambush by the Warlord and his band. Morgan plans to do some scouting of his own within Atltantean-controlled Shamballah and needs this party’s livery to pull it off.
Meanwhile, underneath Fire Mountain, Jennifer continues to study the Evil One’s artifacts and tells Tinder about her previous encounter with him. The Evil One can’t de destroyed forever, but has been disembodied. He can only return if he can possess another physical form.
While Jennifer is talking, Tinder has been staring into the Evil One’s gem:
Jennifer is able to sever the link with her magic before the Evil One can take him over fully. She locks the gem up so it can’t be any more trouble—she hopes.
Back at Shamballah’s gates, Morgan and Krystovar, dressed as Atlantean soldiers, manage to bluff their way inside. Morgan sees a couple of soldiers stealing from a street peddler and intervenes. He cuts the fingers off one guy’s hand as he tries to take a piece of fruit. Morgan and Krystovar share a tense exchange of glances when the healer insists on tending the wounds of the soldier Morgan maimed.
Looking around, Morgan notes the placement of the defenses around the walls—particularly the energy cannons. He sends Shakira out in cat form on a special scouting mission. Easily completing the mission, she runs into a snag on the way to the rendezvous when a sadistic Atlantean decides to sick his lizard dogs on her. He loses sight of the animals in the chase, but when he catches up to his dogs they’re both dead!
Unbeknownst to Shakira or her antagonists, the old witch, Saaba, has watched these events unfold and now follows the cat with interest.
In Hunker’s Tavern, Krystovar and Morgan are arguing over their differing ideas about mercy toward their enemy. The debate is cut short when Shakira arrives and suggests they get out of Shamballah while they can. The three ride out of town, unaware that Saaba (in crow form) is following them.
They haven’t gone for before she uses her magic to cause trouble:
Morgan and Krystovar manage to stay out of the earth elemental's reach long enough to scramble up a hill and dislodge a boulder. This causes an avalanche to bury the creature. Our three heroes head back to their camp—but not before inadvertently allowing Saaba to overhear their plans for a two pronged attack on Shamballah using the underground tunnel they had used to escape the siege.
Saaba flies back to Shamballah to inform Lord Sabretooth of the Warlord’s strategy.
Things to Notice:
Saaba the witch again rears her ugly head. She was last seen in issue #84.
Morgan so dislikes Kystovar's compassion that he almost starts a fight over it.
Where It Comes From:
This is issue is mostly build-up for bad things to come for our protagonists.
The earth elemental that appears in this issue owes more to Dungeons & Dragons than to Paracelsus's conception.