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Tales of a Stranger, Part I
It was in a time of dread that a stranger came to our lands. More dead than alive was he when he was found in the desert, and the merchants who found him took pity on him and brought him hither. But how great was the amazement and the wonder when it turned out that he wore a birth-mark on his neck that looked exactly like a scarab! The crowd was struck with awe, and it was soon decided that he was to be taken to the priests, so that they might ask the gods for an omen. And so it came that while the man was still lying in a slumber full of delirious dreams the priests burnt incense and performed the ancient rituals to ask the gods for advice and for guidance. The high priest climbed the highest pyramid and called for the knowledge of the wind and the wisdom of the sand. For three long days the stranger was caught in the perilous lands that separate life from death, and for three long days the priest was haunted by visions. But when those days had passed, everything changed. All of a sudden the stranger opened his eyes and looked around in amazement, and it was that very moment that the delirious priest began to utter a prophecy.
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