In the Prison of Torture
...and now we meet Thalaba the Destroyer. He is shorter than most men, and clad from head to foot in old rags. He leads Thongor along by his chained wrists, all the while cackling and boasting of how soon Thongor will be telling him all he needs to know. Finally, they arrive in a room where Thongor is chained spread-eagled to a wall. Let the torture commence?
But no. We get more insane babble from Thalaba, who admits that he regularly drugs the Sark and then pretends to be God, issuing all kinds of divine decrees. He is the real power behind the throne!
Thongor attempts to break the iron chains with his mighty thews, but to no avail. Thalaba thinks this is hilarious, and now he reveals the secret of his infallible torture methods. He lifts his rags to reveal some kind of hideous fungal infection covering his entire body; all he has to do is infect Thongor, and not even amputation would stop the spread of this nasty disease!
Strangely, though, rather than use this leverage to actually get some information out of Our Hero, he seems keen to do the infecting right now, which would render the threat rather useless. The knife is out, his eyes gleam evilly etc... but hark! He hears a noise!
Apparently it's some mysterious dark denizen of the pits that Thalaba has no control over (the pits are ancient and full of monsters or something), and he gets a bit scared and goes away.
Thongor has another go at breaking his iron bonds, when he sees a dark shape creeping into the chamber.
Again the sound. A shuffle, as of footsteps carefully and stealthily approaching. Thongor set his jaw grimly. He feared no creature that walked or swam of flew - all he asked was a place to set his back against, and a longsword in his hand. But how could one fight like this, bound to a wall, prey to whatever eyeless, mewling thing that came slithering from the deep?