Return to the Necropolis: Chapter 1

Michael O. Varhola

to see a particular rule applied until the end of a game even if it was clearly broken. He could hardly, however, complain about a devotion to this pursuit commensurate with his own.

Paros also became not just inured to looking at Pumayo's repulsively thick, fleshy features and supernumerary digits, he began to appreciate how much they made him look like some of the squatting stone idols he had seen in shops and foreign temples. And, in the course of their continued association, Paros also learned that his new friend was not a merchant at all but rather a wizard and adventurer native to the Levantine metropolis of Tyre (a place, like many Asiatic city-states, that had a somewhat dark reputation among Greeks). This discovery was attended by the revelation that the wizard was not as solitary as he had at first seemed and kept nestled within his voluminous robes a small but particularly ominous-looking cobra, with what appeared to be tiny horns on its head and scale patterns unlike any Paros had ever seen.

Their mutual interests in alchemy and the arcane gave the two yet another solid basis for association and it was not long before Paros invited the foreign wizard to his premises for purposes both of showing them off and receiving professional feedback on them. Before long, he had made the laboratory available to Pumayo and the two of them began discussing any number of activities they might work together on. By the time the hundred-year anniversary of the great cataclysm was celebrated the two were fast friends and spent a week carousing together during the wild and carnival-like Titanomalia. A not-undesirable side effect of this prolonged and boozy urban adventure was that the companions gained a good sense for each other's capabilities and how their respective abilities complemented one another.

It was thus that the months passed after the return from the necropolis, and there were days that went by that Paros did not think of it or his absent companions. 

Read "Return to the Necropolis: Chapter 2"