v) Tell us about deal

“Tell us about deal,” Abia says. She gently pats the back of the old man’s rough hand.

“Wet magic,” Berstuun gasps, his breathing coming more and more shallowly now. “Dark places. I deserve it.”

“Okay, as fascinating as this is,” Shyan says. She motions for the door.

“At last, someone speaks sense,” Cang replies.

“Ulxurix left me once,” the old man continues. “Magic circle… left me with it.”

Fassn’s face falls and he stops petting the man’s papery skin. “I think we know where this is going.”

Berstuun sobs. “She left me with the circle. I made a deal.”

“A deal that gave you purple fangs?” Shyan asks.

He begins nodding, doesn’t stop. “Fangs, magic, death. I’m to blame.”

Abia says gently, “No, not to blame.”

Berstuun meets her eyes for the first time. They’re red and overflowing with milky tears. “Yes,” he says. The dim purple light from his mouth is revolting. “I’m to blame. I called the lich.”

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