And Charon raised a voice of sand and said,

“How deep? Shall I peel back the skin of ugliness for you, and plunge you into the heart of its fruit? Show you heathen men? Show you machinations? The hearts of all are dark in this place and God is not with us. What would you see, fair youth? I can reveal the adulteress and the liar, the depressed and the mortally proud, the unnatural fruits of false religion, the stench of men who love each other as they should love woman, the sacrifices made to idols – the idols themselves, for they burn -, men who prayed to stars and to themselves…”

Farin said, “I seek the way to the witch’s keep,” and thus Charon saw the sword of Rosgaliant.

“Aye, for what purpose, worship or slander?”

“Neither, for neither will be holy.”

“Then do you lust her?”

“As I lust for fire and brimstone; that is to say, naught.”

“Seek you -”

“- the means by which, old sailor, I may free the city of Overland from the drought to which she has accursed it.”

“Aye. Many enter by my way.”

“But I am not dead, and by grace-mercy, cannot die.”

And Farin joined Charon in his boat, and the current accelerated into a swift stream.

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