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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

The Book of Ataniel


Tarrin breathed a sigh of relief as the last of the interlocking puzzle pieces slid into place and the double doors swung open. He never was a fan of Diarian riddle locks, and this one had taken him a good forty-eight minutes to solve. It was especially frustrating because Tarrin was pretty sure most of this was just being pulled from his own psyche anyway. Why would his subconscious mind go out of its way to annoy him with tedious puzzles he wasn’t good at?

Shaking his head, the traveling psychiatrist passed through the double doors and into an outdoor courtyard much like the one in Rumi. Tarrin hoped this didn’t mean Goatboy was going to try and hang him again. “Tarrin Illiesiri,” said a well-dressed Diari man leaning against a hickory tree. “Welcome to Minn Srajhan.”

Tarrin frowned. That meant ‘House of Destiny’ in Old Diari, but he had never heard of such a place before, and Tarrin was well-versed in Diari history. “Thank y--” he started, and then gasped aloud as he recognized the stranger: Talakan, betrayer of Pysyri.

“Charmed,” smiled Talakan, tipping his hat sardonically. “Looks like you’ve got quite a choice ahead of you... countryman.”

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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

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