[For the October 29th highlight, click here.]
The penultimate chapter of Zelazny’s novel clarifies the parameters of the Game and establishes the stakes for the players. Snuff explains: “Those of us who remain will gather atop the hill at midnight. We will bring kindling, and we will cooperate in the building of a big fire. It will serve as illumination, and into it will be cast all the bones, herbs, and other ingredients we have been preparing all month to give ourselves an edge to confound our enemies.” The participants will encircle “the Gateway–which we have already determined to be the stone bearing the inscription.” The Opening and Closing Wands will be wielded. Things could get physical, and “psychic attacks may be shot back and forth. Disasters may follow. Players may fall, or go mad, catch fire, be transformed.” And eventually, “at the end of our exercises, which may take only a little while, though conceivably they could last until dawn (and in such a stalemated case, the closers would win by default)–the matter will be decided. Bad things happen to the losers.” All this stage-setting for the Halloween night mayhem represents the highlight for October 30th.