The despotic Baron Mandrol demands that guests at his grand balls wear masks. Death masks-containing the images and magically trapped ghosts of murdered freedom fighters. Tonight, Mandrol wishes to relive the night when, ten years ago, he killed the heroic sorcerer-warrior, Viktor Falsche.
But Viktor-a dead face alchemically grafted to a terrified peasant-somehow comes fully back to life, back to the hour of his failed rebellion. This time he succeeds in escaping the baron, and flees to a monster-haunted wasteland. He is determined to have vengeance against the despot who killed his sister, kidnapped his lover, and enslaved and slaughtered his people.
He has no idea he's a rogue puppet, a necromantic parasite possessing an innocent, a demonic mask that is fraying. Or that in only days, Viktor Falsche's reborn soul, memory, hope, and revenge will be mere rags in the gutter, tattered shreds scattered in the wind...
The Face of the Dead...
The face twitched. The nose wrinkled and the mouth opened and closed. The chained prisoner's eyes bulged as he watched the mask continue to make a pretense of life.
G'Meni allowed him to gape for several seconds. "It is fascinating, is it not? The power of magic and the knowledge of science combining to create this!"
"Mother of God..." the peasant was finally able to whisper.
"You will be Viktor Falsche, my loutish friend, and you will be as he was...until he died."
G'Meni pressed the underside of the mask against the peasant's countenance. There was a muffled scream that quickly faded.
The false face stretched and remolded, shaping to conform to the contours of the host and still retain the features with which it had been instilled.
At last, the rippling and twisting quieted, leaving what seemed an entirely different man. Even unconscious, the figure chained to the platform shifted to a more defiant, arrogant position, as if ready to fight even in the land of dreams…