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Under the Plains of RustD&D Insider Article
D&D Insider Exclusive Fiction
By John Shirley

A mysterious tiefling warlock lies dying from a curse, and an ambitious, overconfident thief may be his only salvation. Or rather, a secret that lies somewhere in the Elemental Chaos may be his salvation, and the thief his only hope to retrieve it. If what the warlock claims is true, both of them can attain what they want; riches and glory for the thief, life and vengeance for the warlock. But that's only if they can trust one another, which is a big if . . .

"Come closer, young man," said the warlock hoarsely, shifting on the small bed in the corner of the dank, shadowy room. "And close the door. I have a mission for you." The tiefling's rasping voice reminded Gnarl of the filing of old swords. Seeing Gnarl's hesitation, the warlock scowled, the glow of his crimson eyes quickening like embers blown on a cold night. Trying to prop himself up on his pillows, Sernos gave an agonized grunt, and pushed back his hood, so that Gnarl saw that the tiefling's head was crowned by horns; his elongated features, always the color of a sunburn, were both noble and infernal.

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    About the Author

    John Shirley is the author of numerous books and many, many short stories. His novels include Bleak History, Crawlers, Demons, and the seminal cyberpunk work City Come A-Walkin'. His collections include the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild award-winning Black Butterflies and Living Shadows: Stories: New & Pre-owned. He also writes for screen (The Crow) and television. As a musician, Shirley has fronted his own bands and written lyrics for Blue Öyster Cult and others. "Under the Plains of Rust" is his first venture into the world of Dungeons & Dragons.

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