Verily, it is told that one Qarsythian Shah, a lettered man and scholar of the mind, had built a labyrinth without equal. It is said that Master Abdelkader himself toiled on its construction, after which, he was thrown in the dungeon to keep its secrets. The labyrinth was a subtle and maddening torturer, ever leaving glimpses of unreachable hallways and impossible exits, illusory walls, rearranging stairs and leaping flames. There, the Shah would confine men for his amusement.
One time, he had confined an Emshi frontiersman, who had failed to pay his debts. The frontiersman wandered in the maze for days, his intuition finally suggesting an exit. He was hauled in front of the Shah, who asked his prisoner about the experience. The frontiersman said that truly, the Shah's labyrinth is magnificent but it pales in comparison to another, in which he was once trapped. The Shah ordered his prisoner to show him this labyrinth and the frontiersman obliged.
For days, they rode into the desert, until one by one, the Shah's honor guard began to die and run off. As the Shah looked up with parched lips, wondering whether to continue, he saw the prisoner, who had somehow gotten free of his restraints and sitting astride his very steed.
"O glorious Shah," said the prisoner. "I vowed to show you a much better labyrinth, infinitely simpler but infinitely crueler than what you could ever conceive. For my labyrinth was built by the almighty."
He took his waterskin and rode off, leaving the Shah and his men to die of hunger and thirst among the sands. Glory to the Ones that Do Not Die.
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