Ruler of the World, but the result was, well, graphic. He would be left in no doubt that they were annoyed. He might even go so far as to deduce that they were quite vexed.
    “But why do they give him all these jewels to start with?” he said, pointing.
    “Well, he is the Ruler,” said da Quirm. “He’s entitled to some respect, I suppose.”
    Rincewind nodded. There was a sort of justice in it. If you were a tribe who lived in a swamp in the middle of a damp forest, didn’t have any metal, had been saddled with a god like Quezovercoatl, and then found someone who said he was in charge of the whole affair, you probably would want to spend some time explaining to him how incredibly disappointed you were. The Tezumen had never seen any reason to be subtle in dealing with deities.
    It was a very good likeness of Eric.
    His eye followed the story onto the next wall.
    This block showed a very good likeness of Rincewind. He had a parrot on his shoulder.
    “Hang on,” he said. “That’s me!”
    “You should see what they’re doing to you on the next block,” said the parrot smugly. “It’ll turn your wossname.”
    Rincewind looked at the block. His wossname revolved.
    “We’ll just leave very quietly,” he said firmly. “I mean, we won’t stop to thank them for the meal. We can always send them a letter later. You know, so’s not to be impolite.”
    “Just a moment,” said da Quirm, as Rincewind dragged at his arm, “I haven’t had a chance to read all the blocks yet. I want to see how the world’s going to end—”
    “How it’s going to end for everyone else I don’t know,” said Rincewind grimly, dragging him down the tunnel. “I know how it’s going to end for me .”
    He stepped out into the dawn light, which was fine. Where he went wrong was stepping into a semicircle of Tezumen. They had spears. They had exquisitely chipped obsidian spearheads, which, like their swords, were nowhere near as sophisticated as ordinary, coarse, inferior steel weapons. Was it better to know that you were going to be skewered by delicate examples of genuine ethnic origin rather than nasty forge-made items hammered out by people not in contact with the cycles of nature?
    Probably not, Rincewind decided.

    “I always say,” said da Quirm, “that there is a good side to everything.”
    Rincewind, trussed to the next slab, turned his head with difficulty.
    “Where is it at the moment, precisely?” he said.
    Da Quirm squinted down across the swamps and the forest roof.
    “Well. It’s a first-class view from up here, to begin with.”
    “Oh, good,” said Rincewind. “You know, I never would have looked at it like that. You’re absolutely right. It’s the kind of view you’ll remember for the rest of your life, I expect. I mean, it’s not as if it will be any great feat of recollection.”
    “There’s no need to be sarcastic. I was only passing a remark.”
    “I want my mum,” said Eric, from the middle slab.
    “Chin up, lad,” said da Quirm. “At least you’re being sacrificed for something worthwhile. I just suggested they try using the wheels upright, so they’d roll. I’m afraid they’re not very responsive to new ideas around here. Still, nil desperandum . Where there’s life there’s hope.”
    Rincewind growled. If there was one thing he couldn’t stand, it was people who were fearless in the face of death. It seemed to strike at something absolutely fundamental in him.
    “In fact,” said da Quirm, “I think—” He rolled from side to side experimentally, tugging at the vines which were holding him down. “Yes, I think when they did these ropes up—yes, definitely, they—”
    “What? What?” said Rincewind.
    “Yes, definitely,” said da Quirm. “I’m absolutely sure about it. They did them up very tightly and professionally. Not an inch of give in them anywhere.”
    “Thank you,” said Rincewind.
    The flat top of the truncated pyramid was in fact quite large, with plenty of

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