v) “But,” Shyan says.

“But,” Shyan says. “Correct me if I’m wrong here. A lich is an undead lord, a patron of mayhem, a slayer and eater of souls?”

Abia shrugs, as though to say, “yes.”

“I think I’d rather work for a dentist.”

“I don’t know,” Fassn says. “That purple one would look awfully nice with these bad boys.” He gnashes his shiny teeth.

“Is it not obvious that our course of action ought to be the gold bar that has been stripped from our person?” Cang says. He’s playing a knife game with his little fingers splayed.

“The lich has that too,” Shyan says.

“It don’t belong to him,” says Fassn. “And we owe the witch.”

“We always owe somebody,” Cang sneers. He picks up the pace of his game.

Shyan gazes out the glass-less window of the tavern, to see a twisted black castle on a hill, far higher even than the lighthouse, its ebony spires cloaked in clouds threatening a storm. “Well,” she says, finally, a note of resignation in her voice. “Not much to live for. The least we can do is try for our gold.”

Cang’s face lights up for an instant before he brings his knife down into his hand.

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