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The Price of Pain-Ease

Published: 1966

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser pull off one of their most audacious thefts ever when they steal a house. One night while very drunk and walking along the aristocrats quarter they take a fancy to a garden house on the estate of Duke Danias. Two-score of brawny loiterers are hired with coin and drink to carry the garden house while blind-folded to the lot behind the Silver Eel.

The two quickly settle in and enjoy the house’s delightful store of food and wine, a library of erotic literature, a hidden library on the subject of death, and a luxurious copper tub. The lot behind the Silver Eel is ill-chosen though, as it is the same spot that their great loves, Vlana and Ivrian were killed many years before.

The twain become haunted by the ghosts of Vlana and Ivrian. They do not tell each other about their girl-ghosts. Over the course of three moons the two heroes individually consult every expert possible without any results.

Finally Fafhrd seeks out the help of Ningauble, and the Gray Mouser, Sheelba. Or perhaps they were summoned? Each, quite apart from each other, agree to serve their respective wizard for no more than three moons out of thirteen for the rest of their lives in return for either bringing back their dead loves or getting rid of them altogether.

Also as part of their agreements, they swear to retrieve the Mask of Death from the Shadowland no matter what the obstacle, and to kill anyone who should prevent them, whether that person is friend or foe. Again, the agreements made with the wizards are done independent of each other.

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser ride off to the Shadowland, apart from one another, on quests against Death, and on missions directly and fatally opposed to each other. Along the way, their girl-ghosts are confronted.

Characters

Atya, Braggi, Duke Danias, Fralek, Fro, Ivmiss Ovartamortes, Ivrian, Karstak Ovartamortes, Ningauble of the Seven Eyes, Sheelba of the Eyeless Face, Vlana.

Cities

City of Ghouls, Ilthmar, Sarheenmar.

Distance

It's a good day's ride from Lankhmar to Ningauble's cave.

Geography

Cold Waste, Great Salt Marsh, Jungles of Klesh, Land of Lankhmar, Outer Sea, Parched Mountains, Poisoned Desert, Sea of Monsters, Shadowland, Sinking Lands.

Gods

Death, The Great God, Tyaa.

Languages

High Lankhmarese, Ithmarish, Quarmallian.

Places

The Golden Lamprey, Marsh Gate, Plaza of Dark Delights, Rainbow Palace, The Sea Wall, The Silver Eel.

Streets of Lankhmar

Bones Alley, Carter Street, Cash Street, Causey Road, Cheap Street, Dim Lane, Gold Street, Plague Court, Street of the Gods, Wall Street, Whore Street.

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