(Translated from the Book of Yng)


F.C. Adams

(The following is a verse by verse translation from the recently discovered Arabic scrolls of the Book of Yng. Words in parentheses are interpolations for those words lost in the original manuscript, or for those which have no literal English equivalent. -- F.C.A.)

Chapter XVII

1 In the city of Corbai, there ruled a (tyrannical) monarch by the name of Diartha, known for his terrible punishments. 2 In the fifteenth year of his rule, his queen, Naphiti, (falsely accused) the sorcerer Arkon of seducing her by means of a love potion, when in truth, he spurned her (amorous) advances.

3 Diartha had Arkon (brought) before him and had his manhood cut off that he might never taste of a woman's love again, and had his hands (cut off) that he might never mix his philtres again.

4 Diartha would have done better had he cut out Arkon's tongue, for with it, the sorcerer committed the most terrible vengeance. 5 He (determined) to speak the incantation which would summon Balgharta, He With Hands and Face of Flame, to do his bidding, knowing full well that his own life was (forfeit) in the bargain.

6 Arkon strode boldly into Diartha's throne room, and the cruel king and his cunning queen sat in their royal chairs.

7 "So, eunuch," said Diartha, "have you come to reclaim your missing parts? Why not cast a spell to get them back?"

8 Arkon spoke. "The words I have to say are not for human ears, tyrant." 9 So saying, Arkon recited the dread litany, and the throne room glowed orange as the marble floor heaved and bubbled, and melted away to leave a gaping hole.

10 Through this opening rose Balgharta. So awful was his appearance that even Arkon, (accustomed) as he was to the evil and the frightening, quailed (before him). 11 He was as a man, but much larger, and his hands and face were living flames.

12 Belgharta's voice range like the bell of Chaos. "What is your will, Summoner?"

13 With a steady voice, Arkon spoke. "Vengeance on a wicked (monarch) and his lying wife."

14 Balgharta raised his fiery hand and flame leaped forth, engulfing the dais and consuming the shrieking king and queen. 15 So great was the heat that molten gold and platinum ran in rivulets from the platform, 16 And the copper spears of the guards melted in their withering hands.

17 Then, Balgharta turned to the conjurer. "And now, the Debt of the Summoner, Arkon."

18 Arkon (strode forward) unafraid to the blazing god. 19 So resigned to death was he, that Arkon made no outcry as the all-consuming fire seared his flesh from his charring skull.

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© 1998 Edward P. Berglund
"The Debt of the Summoner": © 1973 Harry O. Morris, Jr. and Edward P. Berglund. All rights reserved. This is reprinted from From Beyond the Dark Gateway # 3 (April 1974).
Graphics © 1998 Erebus Graphic Design. All rights reserved. Email to: James V. Kracht.

Created: October 5, 1998; Updated: August 9, 2004