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THE LABYRINTH OF TSAN-KAMAL

After what seemed like an eternity of walking in the burning sand, the party halted. There were faint whispers among the tribesmen. When they fell silent, the shaman walked up to him. As he stood close he could smell the potent fragrance of the amber torch clutched in the other's hand. 

"We are here," the shaman said. "You have arrived at your fourth and final test: the labyrinth of Tsan-Kamal. As you well know, you will need to reach the Great Pyramid which lies on the other side. Only there will you find sanctuary." 

A flaming sunset had come, and even in the shade it was still uncomfortably hot. Before him lay the enormous, dead blocks of sandstone that comprised the terrible labyrinth of Tsan-Kamal, flanked on both sides by impassable mountains. 

For the first time he felt unsure, relunctant to go forward; he had no idea of the extent of the task that now laid before him. Roughly two times his own height, the walls in the sand blocked the entire horizon from view. He was wholly unable to tell how far he would have to travel into the labyrinth, and once inside his only indication of direction would be the sun, now nearly set. There was no way to perceive the proximity of the fabled Pyramid, either. 

All he could see of the labyrinth was the unsettling entrance before him, and several of the ancient wallstones half-buried in the sand. 

"It is time," the shaman commanded, "to fulfil your destiny". He was pointing towards the labyrinth. 

He stood facing the entrance. Without turning, he stood and asked "Shaman, how far does the labyrinth reach?". There came no answer. All were silently staring at him. As he started for the entrance, despair took hold of him.