In one of Larry Niven's most famous sword&sorcery stories, The Magic Goes Away, a warlock captures a demon in an intricate tattoo on his back and uses it as a guardian for centuries, until at last the demon earns his freedom in a fierce battle with an enemy sorcerer. In the next story (What Good is a Glass Dagger?), the tattoo trap, having stayed empty for centuries, is then used by the Warlock to capture another demon, a group of sinister skeletons conjured up by another opponent.   

All Vanceans are of course familiar with the following quote from the Eyes of the Overworld :

Fianosther pointed across the way to a man wearing garments of black. This man was small, yellow of skin, bald as a stone. His eyes resembled knots in a plank; his mouth was wide and curved in a grin of chronic mirth. "There stands Iucounu the Laughing Magician," said Fianosther. "In a short time he will come into my booth and attempt to buy a particular red libram, the casebook of Dibarcas Maior, who studied under Great Phandaal.

The short description of Iucounu is so masterful that I had no problem picturing him in my imagination. No drawing needed here! Sometimes however it happens that an image turns up that almost exactly matches the mental picture one has of a certain character. In this case, it seems to me that the Laughing Magician has followed the Warlock's example, and has hidden two of his own semblances (mixed up in a curious way, no doubt to confuse his opponents) in a tattoo on a beautiful lady's back :

Die farbenfrohen Bodypaintings lockten tausende Besucher an. Quelle: dpa




Ambulo, ergo sum!