ii) Worse than this?

“Worse than this? We’re locked up in a dungeon right now, Abia,” Shyan says. “I mean, I can imagine worse I guess, but I can imagine a hell of a lot better.”

Already Berstuun has stopped kicking at Fassn. He slumps, only his soft, slow breathing moving his body at all.

“Witch has magic circle,” Abia says. “Put Berstuun in.”

“Perhaps you had not noticed,” Cang begins. “The tattooed witch, that cackling hag in the lighthouse, she is herself the lich now. We cannot walk into its abode and ask to destroy its sire.”

Berstuun moans weakly.

“Relax, old man,” Fassn says. “You’re going to visit Old Ajralan.”

“Can we make our own magic circle?” Shyan asks.

“Yes,” Abia says. “Not here. Not well.”

Shyan rolls her eyes. “Of course not.” She sucks air through her teeth. “All right, Cang, you’re with me. Abia, take point behind Fassn while he carries our friend.” She peers up the crooked stairway to a tiny rectangle of flickering light. “Let’s go.”

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