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Ishrakon, the Restless King, sat on a throne of coal-gray basalt rock, his attendants about him. A dense ocean brume poured in through the broad windows of the dome, soaking all surfaces as thoroughly as waves. The King’s attendants wore their conventional sealskin suits, gleaming purple-black, but Ishrakon, stubborn as he could sometimes be, hunched in a miserable state, his cotton clothing stretched like seaweed on his form. From far beneath the palace, from beneath the hovering island itself, there came an avalanchian rumble—the sighing groan of the leviathan clinging to the island’s vine-draped root. All those present looked uneasy, even Ishrakon, who knew that concealing his trepidation at such a moment would only convince his subjects that he was mad. It was common knowledge that the leviathan, the pale blue dragon clutching the underside of the island like a hungry snarl of hair, was a knot of Chaos itself. A rather pleasant one, as dragons went, but its consternation was never something to bear calmly.


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