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The king knelt at the feet of Azor, the alligator god, staring at the idol’s jagged teeth and narrowed eyes. Incense smoke shrouded the cramped stone crypt.
Azor’s priest, clad in black with an alligator tattoo on his right cheekbone, stood near the wall. “Drink more of the potion, Your Majesty. It will open your mind to the truth.”
The king lifted a silver goblet to his lips with trembling hands, never looking away from the god’s likeness. Embers burned in a hammered bronze brazier, casting more shadows than light. A witch, as shriveled as old shoe leather, sat on the floor behind the statue, chanting as she drew symbols on the floor with a charred stick.
“Azor is bright,” the king said. He set the goblet aside and reached toward the idol. “He shines.”