In the darkness of the evening even murkier than in Knockturn Alley, a round fellow with a bushy beard and bowler hat to hide his baldness can be seen nervously fidgeting. "Aye, I did 'as he asked and found the Rain Man. Tell Sanderson, we 'ere good now," Gittins said in a boisterous, quivering voice trying to act as though he wasn't pissing his pants.
Gittins turned to flee when an arm as thick as a post grabs him by the collar. Gittins almost chokes at the sudden pull as a voice sounding like grating rocks says, "Now, wait here just a minute, Gittins. The boss said ye were to come with us."
"No, I possibly couldn't," Gittins chocked in protest as his face turned purple.
"Ye don't have a choice," growled the other beefy man.
Gittins weakly nods as the bull sized wizard releases Gittins as he gasps for air. Glaring at the two giant wizards before him, Gittins numbly rubs his reddened neck. Somehow, he just knew that he'd have a thick circling bruise around his neck the following morning.
The two burly wizards' glance at each other than at the single room shop that has a brightly crimson painted front door. "Are ye really sure this is the place?" Threatened the wizard with a large forehead and arms as thick as posts.
"Aye, I'm certain!" Gittins huffed at having his credibility questioned. Okay, maybe, he'd cheated a few times here and there. But never the boss! At least not after the first time.
"Hyde, I think this is the place," said the other burly wizard with beady eyes as he glanced down at a scrap of paper in his beef palm.
"Aye, Floyd," said, the bull sized wizard named Hyde. "Let's go." Gittins loudly yelped as Hyde grabbed him by the arm and easily dragged Gittins behind him like a doll. Nearly tearing Gittins arm off by the sound of his pig-like squeal.
Floyd moves to knock on the door as Gittins futilely struggles to pull his arm out of Hyde's grasp to no avail. However, Floyd freezes with his arm in the air as the crimson door lets out an eerie sound as it swings open on its own. Gittins lets out a whimper at seeing nothing but pitch-black darkness beyond the doorway.
Not knowing fear, the two burly wizards' step inside dragging the most reluctant pale-faced Gittins behind them. Gittins flinches as the crimson door slams behind them plunging them into utter darkness. Suddenly, Gittins's eyes smart as hundreds of candles burst into flame lighting the room. The candles erratically flicker to an unseen breeze casting moving shadows across straw-like dolls pinned to the walls.
Gittins flinches at seeing more than one doll shadow move on its, before tearing his horror-filled eyes to meet that of ancient wooden masks and skulls strewn across the room. Unable to scream, a kind of high-pitched squeak is heard as Gittins feels remarkably lightheaded. And to make matters worse, there are hundreds of neatly dressed dolls scattered about the room that all seem to be slowly turning their heads to watch them from the corner of his eyes.
Suddenly, recalling the muggle faith of his muggle-born grandmother, Gittins begins to mutter a pray under his breath and crosses his hand over himself. Despite himself, Gittins's eyes are drawn to the intricate spells drown on the walls in white-colored chalk, before falling them to the ground below. With some relief, he shifts his gaze to feet only for his eyes to bulge at seeing a dark ink substance. Scrambling back, he almost trips over his own feet but finds that the entire floor is covered in thin dark lines to create a giant spell matrix.
Heart pounding, Gittins almost screams in fear as he looks up to see a sitting figure that had not been there before. A gurgle like sound escapes from him as he tremblingly manages to stay on his feet and not faint. Because he knew with absolute certainty that if he fainted, he'd be left behind.
Hyde and Floyd, not much ones to be afraid glanced at each other and nodded. They had a mission to complete. The bigger of the two wizards, Hyde, straightens to his full height to stare down at the sitting dark-skinned man in a crimson turban, who paused amid his card reading.
Annoyed, the long piano like hands gently gather the cards and stack them in the table. With deliberate slowness, the dark-skinned man raises his gaze to meet that of theirs. "And to what do I owe this unexpected honor," the Rain Man sneered as he crossed his white-robed arms across his chest. "What could the great Sanderson possibly need of a little old sorcerer like me?" And as if in an added jeer, the many-colored beads across his chest rattle as if in laughter.
Not one to be threatened, Floyd narrows his beady little eyes into points. "Ye best remember sorcerer, who first permitted ye to come into these lands," Floyd carefully reminded him. "And hid ye from thine enemies."
The Rain Man's lips tightly press together unable to refute the truth of the statement. "I have not forgotten," the dark-skinned man answered through clenched teeth. "But any question that is asked must be paid for in full," causing both burly men's muscled arms to bulge in response.
"But I do not make the rules," the Rain Man quickly added. "This is always how it has been done. And the Spirits will not accept any other way."
"We understand," Floyd said with a blank face. "Now ask, sorcerer."
"And what is it that Sanderson seeks to know?"
"Strangers appeared in our territory," Floyd grunted. "The first folly was forgiven, but we could still sense them moving about unseen within our territory as if searching for something. But come early spring, they all but seemingly vanished. We know that they came to see ye, Sorcerer."
"And would Sanderson like to have revealed that which they came and asked?" The Rain Man innocently said with a wave of his hand.
"We do not have time for your trickeries, Sorcerer!" Hyde roared as if seeing some vile creeping thing.
"Then answer my question," the Rain man barked back flashing his white teeth.
Floyd glares at the burlier wizard reminding him to control himself. Hyde sneers at the dark sorcerer but thankfully remains silent. Turning back towards the Sorcerer, Floyd finally answers the question, "What is the identity of the Dark Lord and his followers?"
The Rain Man's eyes flash with an unfamiliar emotion that is just as fleeting. "Are you certain this is the question that is to be asked?"
"We are certain," Floyd flatly declared.
"So be it," the Rain Man said as he rose to his feet revealing his dark bare feet and began to softly chant in his own language.