Art by jiashu xu ©

Kunchen’s mind was fixed on the task at hand: “The Giant Parodarsh is the protector of the King’s Tower. To look upon it is to look upon a mirror that reveals the true you.”

“From the look on his face, I’d say he’s already decided he doesn’t like me.” “Let’s hope that’s not true,” Kunchen answered, raising his lantern high overhead. The light spread across the stone plaza that surrounded the great tower, revealing a scene so shocking it capsized Sheridan’s feigned detachment. Littered around the plaza were heaped the bones of hundreds of men, their armor and weapons lying beside them where they had fallen!

Kunchen stepped squarely in front of Sheridan.

“Many have come this far only to find they could not face the truth of who they had become,” he said. His eyes locked onto Sheridan’s as if peering into his soul to see what ugly secrets might condemn him to the same fate as those that had gone before him.

Sheridan felt the cold blade of doubt cut into the flesh of his determination. He hadn’t hesitated to face the prospect of death in the grip of the whirlpool but the prospect of coming face to face with his true self gave him pause. He had his demons and could only imagine what sort of monster he had  become.

Art by Cornelia Kopp aka AlicePopkorn