Rhialto the Marvellous (Dying Earth)
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Returns readers to Earth's distant future, a world in which sorcery blooms and unscrupulous magicians reign supreme.
references to the Monstrament. May I ask as to who can furnish the group a full, undamaged and authentic text? Ildefonse, you naturally include such a document among your references?” Ildefonse groaned toward the ceiling. “I would not know where to look. Rhialto, however, has brought here, as an exhibit, such a document.” “Unfortunately, Rhialto’s exhibit, whatever it purports to be, is torn and no longer valuable. We must insist upon absolute authenticity: in this case, the Perciplex itself.
to a six-sided structure roofed with tiles of blue gold. Rhialto had visited Fader’s Waft on a single other occasion, for reasons of simple curiosity. The west wind Fader flapped his cloak as he approached the fane; entering the vestibule he waited for his eyes to adapt to the gloom, then stepped forward into the central chamber. A pedestal supported the Egg: a spheroid three feet across the widest diameter. A window at one end displayed the Perciplex, a blue prism four inches tall, inwardly
Rhialto’s guilt. Let us study the Monstrament.” Rhialto spoke in a voice of icy politeness: “Are you not ignoring a most remarkable fact? The Monstrament was projected in reverse.” Hache-Moncour looked back and forth between Rhialto and the Monstrament in puzzled inquiry. “It seems now as steadfast as ever! I suspect that your eyes played you false; entering darkness from the daylight is often confusing. Now then! With true sorrow I call attention to this passage in Section 3, Paragraph D,
“Osherl! Down with you; into the sea! Recover the Perciplex!” Osherl descended to look diffidently into the water. “Where did the creature fall?” “Precisely where you stand. Dive deep, Osherl; it is by your negligence that we are here today.” Osherl hissed between his teeth and lowered a special member into the water. Presently he said: “There is nothing to be found. The bottom is deep and dark. I discover only slime.” “I will hear no excuses!” cried Rhialto. “Dive and grope, and do not show
dream. Morreion, am I dreaming?” “Come, Mersei,” said Vermoulian suavely. “I wish a word with you.” “Stop!” spoke Morreion. “Magician, stand back; this fragrant creature is something which once I loved, at a time far gone.” The girl cried in a poignant voice: “A time far gone? It was no more than yesterday! I tended the sweet red rose, I looked at the sky; they had sent you to Jangk, by the red star Kerkaju, the eye of the Polar Ape. And now you are here, and I am here — what does it mean?”