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Friday, November 13

Isles of the Damned: Part 2c – The Boneshaper’s Throne

They appeared in an empty room of gleaming white ceramic. In the middle of the room stood a man dressed in full-on swashbuckling gear: a longcoat, tri-cornered hat, and polished boots—the whole nine yards.

“Zoltan Zaska,” said Kham with a frown.

Zoltan took off his hat and bowed deeply. “Indeed, it is I!” he said with a thick Salantis accent.

Sebastian launched himself into the air. “Enough of this nonsense, let’s kill him and get the pist—OOF!”

The dark-kin collided with an invisible wall.

Sebastian landed, rubbing his nose. “Walls of force.”

“You have done admirably well on all of my tests so far,” said Zoltan, sneering. “You have proven yourselves superior in mind and body. But now you must prove that you can take on de toughest challenge of all: being Zoltan Zaska!”

Vlad turned to Beldin. “Is he serious?”

“Can you survive de same challenges I have lived through? If so, you earn de right to meet me face to face!”

Kham looked around. “So let me guess: you had to figure out how to navigate an invisible maze once? When was this, when you were still a toddler?”

Zoltan grinned. “Close! Even being born was a challenge for me. My twin sister died in the womb, as and she did, her umbilical cord wrapped itself around my neck. I escape strangulation and made it into de world by the slimmest of margins. Perhaps you can do de same!”

Beldin shook his head. “So this maze is a parallel for his birth?”

A section of the wall on the opposite side of the room shimmered away and two of crab-like beasts with mouthfuls of writing tentacles clattered forward.

“Then what do those represent?” asked Vlad.

“Don’t ask,” said Kham. “I suggest we start moving…” more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:45 AM


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