The Dream of Manuul Pergam
There was a time when Manuul Pergam, Sixteenth God-Lord of the Eight Houses of Sorrow and King Errant of the Crystal Moon of Ulemek, sat in his pleasure chamber in silence. He ignored the sumptuous feasts and the delights of the flesh, for which lesser men would give all that they had and would ever have, and for three long days he simply sat and stared. On the third day, his chief love-manager Ioreth came to him and asked what troubled him so.
“One day, a gift will arrive, Ioreth my beautiful thing, and that gift will devour all that I am.”
Ioreth, who knew of his master’s dark visions and the black moods into which they drove him, did not question this pronouncement. He merely waited.
“They say, gorgeous Ioreth, that Hansa once was given a gift by YISUN. When Hansa unwrapped this gift, it was a diamond of unearthly beauty and delight, within which danced the flame of all-color, and which made the gods weep just to look upon it.”
“Hansa, surprised and shamed by this magnanimity, prostrated himself before YISUN. ‘Lord, I am not worthy of such a gift as this,’ he said.”
“YISUN nodded, ‘Very well,’ and the diamond was no more. And they spoke not of it, though Hansa longed to see such a thing as that once more for all of his days.”
“They say that on another day, YISUN gave onto Hansa a cursed object. A bauble of such malice and hatred that it burned the skin and choked the heart just to look upon, and made all who looked upon it tremble with terror.”
“‘Lord,’ Hands pleaded, ‘I do not deserve such a curse as this.’”
“YISUN nodded, ‘Very well,’ and the bauble was no more. And they spoke not of it, though Hansa’s dreams were never the same after this.”