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The Unholy Grail

Published: 1962

There was a time when the Gray Mouser was once known as Mouse and apprenticed to a hedge wizard named Glavas Rho. He studied White Magic, tended plants, and undertook peaceful quests to advance his lessons. Then coming back from one such quest he discovers his master murdered.

The Unholy GrailTrembling, Mouse drew from the leather pouch at his belt a flat green stone, engraved on the one side with deep-cut alien hieroglyphs, on the other with an armored, many-jointed monster, like a giant ant, that trod among tiny fleeing human figures. That stone had been the object of the quest on which Glavas Rho had sent him. For sake of it, he had rafted across the Lakes of Pleea, tramped the foot-hills of the Mountains of Hunger, hidden from a raiding party of red-bearded pirates, tricked lumpish peasant-fishermen, flattered and flirted with an elderly odorous witch, robbed a tribal shrine, and eluded hounds set on his trail. His winning the green stone without shedding blood meant that he had advanced another grade in his apprenticeship. Now he gazed dully at its ancient surface and then, his trembling controlled, laid it carefully on his master’s blackened palm. As he stooped he realized that the soles of his feet were painfully hot, his boots smoking a little at the edges, yet he did not hurry his steps as he moved away.

In this origin story of the Mouser, events are pushed along by the cruel acts of men onto others, cruelty fed by hate and born of fear. We discover that fear may be transferred to another for a time, but this transference does not remove the fear. It is fear that gives a person power over another, however that same fear can make a powerful man powerless.

We learn a great deal about the natures of White Magic and of Black Magic through the teachings of Glavas Rho. Glavas Rho warns against the dangers of Black Magic. However the Mouser, here as Mouse, turns to Black Magic to avenge his murdered teacher.

Characters:

Duke Janarrl, Giscorl, Glavas Rho, Ivrian.

Cities:

City of Ghouls, Earth’s End, Quarmall.

Geography:

Cold Waste, Lakes of Pleea, Land of Lankhmar, Land of the Eight Cities, Mountains of Hunger, Sea of Monsters, Trollstep Mountains.

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