In a- alley!

With a- small dog!

While a- dark elf curses!


The right hand rule, Drixxt was certain, was leading him in circles. His native ability for navigating in the dark, being a Dark Elf, was failing him because this place, despite being allegedly on the surface had levels of darkness below and beyond[1] the levels of ‘stygian’. Drixxt suspected this was the sort of darkness you got before light had come by to make things all cheerful and disgusting.

“Wot’s a feller like you doin’ inna place like this then?”

Drixxt turned, weapons ready, to face his foe. Mighty would his blades flash and flood the already soggy streets of Ankh-Morpork with the blood of–

A rather disreputable-looking wire-haired terrier.


Drizzt relaxed, but did not lower his guard. “Begone, mongrel.”

“Right 'nuff for you to talk. D'you got any idea where you are?”

Drizzt blinked. The only other being in this alleyway was the dog. It couldn’t have possibly…

“'Course dogs can’t talk,” said the dog. “You must be havin’ a wossname. Dee-loo-jun.”

“Delusion,” corrected Drixxt. He had to take the dog’s word for it, otherwise he’d believe he was mad.

“You must be right brave,” said the terrier who didn’t. “Walkin’ into the Shades like this.”

Drixxt stopped. He’d heard about the Shades. The place where only the cruelest and most cunning survived. Where newcomers to the city came to die.

“How many are following me, Dog?”

“Who said I could count, mister? Lots.”

“Curses,” muttered Drixxt. This was going to be a hard fight.

Getting into the Shades was easy. The tricky part was getting back out again.

[1] A surface-dwelling species would have said 'above and beyond’.

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