By Avram Davidson
He used to be a grasp in arts magical, yet no longer but Incantor et Magus.
Now Vergil Magus, the robust sorcerer-poet, returns within the long-awaited prequel to Avram Davidson’s best-selling novel of delusion and magic, The Phoenix and the Mirror. right here, Vergil’s notable adventures start as he trips into the hideous middle of evil and darkness….
Enter the very wealthy urban of Averno and find a position of untold riches and untamed lusts, of orgies and drunken revelries, of insanity and human corruption. here's a decaying city of wizards and warlocks, the place previous crones spin webs of cruelty and deceit, and hell lurks in a labyrinth of underworld caves. Vergil has come to Averno to discover the key of its everlasting fires, the very heart of its wealth and prominence. yet as he explores the internal sancta of this old and heartless inferno, he reveals, too, the fiery mattress of Poppaea, the gorgeous spouse of the city’s such a lot influential Magnates. With this forbidden excitement comes forbidden wisdom, and Vergil is drawn right into a net of intrigue that threatens to show the bad strength of Averno opposed to him.
For centuries, the lords of town have thrived at the bloody sacrifice in their personal humans. Now they're made up our minds so as to add another identify to the scrolls of Averno’s dead...and to forged Vergil, now an outlaw, into the burning pits of the loss of life empire.
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Extra resources for Vergil in Averno: The Sequel to the Phoenix and the Mirror (Doubleday science fiction)
How did Vergil, how may well Vergil understand, that they weren't purely inventing, filling a vacant mouth with lies to be able to fill a vacant abdominal? Had he started with them, these, the castoffs, he couldn't have recognized. through having began with these whose curiosity it was once he may still recognize the reality — the magnates — he had for that reason a bit of of an inventory to envision opposed to. And . . . between these on the backside . . . or as almost about the ground as they can get with no attending to the head of the bone-pit . . . it was once curious to work out how indifference of 1 might occasionally, frequently, more and more usually, swap to curiosity while listening to what another outthrown needed to say — “Nuh! Nuh, grasp! Julius was once Emp’ro’ once they stream them paintings to South Gorge. Him’s mistaken” — gesturing to a different. And: “War! I say, used to be conflict! ” used to be the other’s response, he having acknowledged not anything in any respect approximately battle until eventually then, and who overlooked his attainable errors in re the identify of the then-emperor. “War in Parth’a, was once, ‘en they circulate them rich person Muso paintings, South Gorge! ” And his vehemence died off right into a cough, a trickle of a few inclement ichor oozing from his sticking out and pendulous lip, down upon his trembling chin; nor used to be it wiped away. when Vergil speedily scrawled all this, but a 3rd, who until eventually now had yet stared vacantly, relocating slowly around and around and watching in basic terms on the refreshments, as if he knew no longer what elements they may be or what function to serve, this yet-a-third may crick again his head and glance down his nostril from wide-rolled pink thick-rimmed eyes as a way to upload emphasis to what he had simply recalled from the fragments of hell that made up his prior — ”Feast! ‘Ey gived a dinner party! T’Big Slave ‘e comed out an’ ‘e gived us each one a section o’ meat! ” (He repeated this reminiscence of a phenomenon. ) “A why? . . . piece o’ meat . . . vast as . . . tremendous as my hand! A why? . . . T’Big, ‘e say, grasp gived a banquet wit’ Consul Livio, come from Rome. As we ‘feated t’Parth’ans! Oh, whudda ‘feat we gived ‘em! by means of ‘Cbatan’! So, yeah, uh . . . uh …” the sunshine of his recollection dimming quick, he became to the stranger who had quickened it. whatever else appeared now approximately to emerge. Vergil waited, marveling a lot that when — how lengthy? two decades? twenty-five? — the reminiscence of a dusty conflict on frontier should still stay within the brain of this human damage simply because he had bought, of the leftovers from a ceremonial dinner in pleasure of it, a section of meat as huge as his hand. And as he waited to listen to what else be imminent, the remembrancer stated, “Master . . . ‘as y’ obtained a nub o’ garlic witcha? ” This modest delight in Vergil was once obliged to disavow, yet gave the yet-a-third his dole, after which scribbled a line or extra within the aromatic wax. ultimately this would become Fires at multi-millionaire Muso’s works decreased, requiring stated works to take away to South Gorge; Julius was once Emperor: fee yr of Livio’s consulate with defeat of the Parthians at Ecbatana; and, Fires in South Gorge; and, Muso’s Works — the place formerly? . . . etc. etc. And as in case you will possibly not consider the names of monarchs, consuls, wars, defeats, of foes in Asia Magna — or who, as most probably, had by no means recognized — it was once important to have discovered, from a few scrap picked up by means of the dripping waterbridge, a few incident that had burned like fireplace into even the main eroded brain; to find a way, therefore, to inquire, “Was this prior to or after Vitolio murdered his spouse, his daughter, his steward, and his son?