Morbat the Magician sensed something was wrong. That there had been some fundamental flaw underlying the transformation which lead him here. He could not quite pin it down — and it itched at him.
Having slid down behind the girl on the trail of light into the Hypogeum, the magician got the impression not all of him had quite made it. When he finally put his skeletal finger on the difference, he realized what must have happened. His flesh had dissipated somehow in the transition; he was but a grinning skull atop a jangly assemblage of long, skinny, rattling bones, wrapped in a grimy, tattered, threadbare cloak which he sensed had not always been soiled.
Presently, though, he could not call to mind a time when it wasn’t so. Nor a time prior to having been standing in this dark cave. Nor when he didn’t hear that dreadful sound: a hum in the distance, a torrent of gushing air, a peal of bells, drumbeats on crystal…
The hooves of the Resistor sounded, Prince of the Dark Wood, striking the back and belly of Acho, playing his bones like xylophones summoning the dead, dying, and never-having-lived, as he traversed the many worlds closer and closer to this place.
Where there had been neither portal nor passage prior, a light shone suddenly, and into view of its threshold could be glimpsed the form in outline of Anthuor.
“Who come ye here without summons?” boomed the voice of Anthuor in the dark echoing rock chamber.
“I am called…” Morbat wrestled to remember his name.
“I am…” he paused for a long time.
He sensed a great weight pressing in on him silently, and inexorably, from all directions at once.
“I am unnamed.”
“It is so,” said Anthuor.
“Or come you not to this place at all.
That you’ve lost both your
Name and flesh in the passage speaks volumes to me.
You who swore oaths upon me
And then knelt at the Ruined Altar,
To bid another undo each one.
You sacrificed your self truly then,
This end today an end you created.”
“Behold now, this sigil.”
The sign of Anthuor hovered in the darkness, self-illuminating.
“Make now three decisions
upon this tree of forking branches.
Choose now three emblems
whose names will become your own,
and the forms of which shall determine
through which door you shall leave this cave,
if leave it you ever shall…”