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part one.

Part One
The seventh rat lifts his nose into the air, inhaling the soft, sweet scent of earth. Itís been far, far too long. Perhaps he should have left sooner, but his patience will be rewarded.

Shaman is different to how the rat remembers. The landscape has been changed by the various curses; here volcanic ash has created a fertile strip of land from which a thousand new plants are bursting into life; there, where there had been a natural bowl in the ground, a new lake has formed as a residue of the flood. Parts of the land are familiar and the rat feels his insides glow warm when he sees them, but other parts are almost beyond recognition. Whole forests, yet to be replaced, have been ripped up by the flood. Itís unusually quiet from the lack of wildlife Ė about 95% of which perished in the flood Ė and the world smells new and clean, as if itís ready to start anew.

Well. It soon will.

The rat sucks in his breath. As he slowly exhales, a thick black smoke emerges from his lungs and he gradually droops onto the ground. The last puff of the strange opaque mist slips out of the corner of his lips just as he sinks to the ground in a dead faint; it hovers over him for a moment, as if contemplating something, before dissolving into the air. The master no longer has any need of his stooge Ė the rat can die for all he cares. That body has served its purpose.

Mixed in with a million particles, the master surfs the air currents lazily towards his first destination. Thereís no rush; a carefree, relaxed journey will allow him to examine the world he intends to rule.

And if, dear Reader, the direction of these plots is as yet not obvious to you, know this before you proceed; the greatest and most dangerous blight to the land has been saved ítil last. The seventh curse is Mallos.

      • part two. -
      • part three. -
      • part four. -

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