I was recently reminded of the advice of King Gorice to Lord Juss in The Word Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison:
"Thou art a man wise and fearless. I counsel thee, and all these that be with thee, turn back from Carcë. Well I see the blood thou didst drink in Melikaphkhaz will not allay thy thirst, and war is to thee thy pearl and thy paramour. Yet, if it be, turn back from Carcë. Thou standest now on the pinnacle of thine ambition; wilt leap higher, thou fall'st in the abyss. Let the four corners of the earth be shaken with our wars, but not this centre. For here shall no man gather fruit, but and if it be death he gather; or if, then this fruit only, that Zoacum, that fruit of bitterness, which when he shall have tasted of, all the bright lights of heaven shall become as darkness and all earth's goodness as ashes in his mouth all his life's days until he die."
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