i) Almery is, as any pan-galactic, dimension-hopping adventurer knows, a hellish place


Almery is, as any pan-galactic, dimension-hopping adventurer knows, a hellish place. Its skies are a burnt orange, its earth a parched, rocky waste. Its flora and fauna, too, are unanimously nasty.

Thus it’s with some trepidation that Abianarin relays the news to her companions. “Alchemist in Almery,” she says.

Their faces fall. The horse blinks at them, uncomprehending. It’s never had the displeasure of visiting Almery.

“But we went through the throne,” Shyan says. “How can we be anywhere near Almery?”

Abia gives a non-committal gesture, as though to convey the vagaries of mysticism, sorcery, the occult, etc.

“No way those crates are worth it,” Fassn says. “I say let her have ’em. Right, Cang?”

“Well,” Cang replies, in a thoughtful drawl. “They were rather valuable.”

“No way, no how,” Fassn says. “I ain’t goin’ to Almery.”


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