iv) Berstuun, under the watchful, expectant eyes

Berstuun, under the watchful, expectant eyes of Shyan, Abia, Fassn and Cang, steps into the circle. The moment he breaks its perimeter, white light shoots up, refracts off the lighthouse mirror, and shines across the town.

“If the lich didn’t know, she does now,” Shyan says.

“Lich always knew,” Abia replies.

Berstuun groans as the light intensifies. Wisps of purple vapour drift from his anguished lips. Soon his mouth is peeled open in a scream, and more purple energy flows away from him. To any close examiner with the requisite dental knowledge, his purple fangs appeared to be rotting away at great speed, fleeing the confines of his mouth.

“How long does he have to stay in there?” asks Shyan.

“As long as he likes,” is Abia’s reply.

The purple fades and twists, is lost to the overwhelming light. “Berstuun,” Shyan shouts, but he can’t appear to hear. His skin begins to twist and crackle.

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