Return to the Necropolis: Chapter 1

Michael O. Varhola

the comely shade might manifest made him nervous and threw him off his game, and her actual appearance had sent more than one potential lover screaming for the door. The spirit of the lady who had lived in Kos in some archaic age did come to him in his dreams and was, suffice it to say, quite accommodating, so her presence was not totally unwelcome or without benefits. Overall, however, the situation was less than satisfying. 

Paros had visited the Dream Temple of Hippocrates in the suburbs southwest of the city and had undergone treatments there that he hoped might have freed him from her visits. While this hope had been dashed, in the supernatural dream state he had entered under the guidance of his friend, the priest Memnos, he had glimpsed a phantasmagoric scene from the days of pre-cataclysmic Kos. In this vision, a number of masked men had attacked and murdered a man — a man who looked just like Paros and who had been the husband of the Koan lady who now haunted him! This had certainly shed some light for Paros on why the shade was fixated on him, but had raised many new questions as well and indicated that more investigation was warranted.

When he was not working in his shop, Paros liked to spend time at the Four Winds Bar, the watering hole by the port favored by so many adventurers. He had long enjoyed drinking, playing games, and listening to tales there, and he relished his visits even more now that he had stories of his own to tell. That, however, was not the only thing that had enhanced his interest in the tavern. While exploring the labyrinth of catacombs beneath the necropolis, he and his companions had investigated the tomb of the Anemoi family and there, among other things, found a journal that discussed its mercantile ventures in great detail. One of the items in it that had struck him was the location of the Anemoi trading house's main warehouse in the port district of Kos and the revelation that it was, in fact, where the Four Winds Bar was now established. Paros had always assumed that the bar took its name from the fact that it was favored by sailors, travelers, adventurers, and others who had been to or come from the far corners of the world, so it was very