Cagestruck!

A Sorcerer's Summons
(or, The Infernal Bet)

“The ground rules, again: six individuals, none whose souls have already been sold either to High or to Low. None who bear pledge to liege and lord. None who have borne or sired a seventh son. None who have worn the Rose of Ashara. None who have wielded any of the Infernal Devices. None who have bathed in the waters of the Styx. And all must be young, and inexperienced with traveling the multiverse beyond their own world.”

Sargan nodded in reply; his head was throbbing from the festivities of the night before.

“Get that, old friend?” a subtle chuckle came from the shadows in the corner, where a pair of blazing red, pupil-less eyes glared towards the old Human sorcerer.

“Are you sure all of that was agreed to?” Sargan groaned, pressing his knuckles to his temple and wincing.

“Aye, and if you’d like I can have Liesa replay the entire conversation for you, right now.”

Sargan grimaced.

“Alright. It’s a wonder that they say the devil’s in the details, isn’t it? Here we go.”

Sargan placed the six jewels within the summoning circle, one at each point of the star he’d drawn in green chalk moments before. A pale green glow surrounded each as his fingers drew over their surfaces. The sound of rushing wings began, softly at first, then becoming louder.

“I will see where all of this leads from the comfort of my hall,” the voice in the corner rasped, and the red eyes winked, and were gone.

“I—I’m not sure I can do this!” Sargan muttered, stepping back from the circle, then screaming as the invisible wings tore at him.

Blood splattered over the walls as Sargan’s form was buffeted and ripped to shreds. When the wings grew quiet, there was nothing left to be seen of the old sorcerer’s mortal form.

And somewhere in the Abyss, a devil laughed…

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