followed from the other side. “Sire. It is Fendri. May I approach?”
“Enter,” Mandrean replied.
A rather plain looking fellow entered the room. He had a simple
quality, which bespoke of being even tempered. There was nothing
of note about him physically. Although he wore an outfit that
clearly placed him as a servant, his threads were laced with gold
and decorated tastefully with small jewels.
“I see you are taking to the wardrobe I ordered for you,”
Mandrean noted with an approving nod.
“The clothes are most appreciated, my lord. But they seem to be
a bit much for me. Do they not seem to be too ornate for your
“They do not,” Mandrean answered. “Your position in this
palace is demanding of respect. You will wear clothing in that
“Accept my gratitude once more, lord.”
Mandrean rolled over to the edge of his bed and drew his
power-rod from its resting place. From its far end protruded the
Blue Sapphire. It was the wicked equal of the Red Sapphire in
every way. Mandrean was the perfect master to wield the stone.
His twisted, ambitious personality meshed perfectly with the
mandate of the gem. That mandate was to prove that evil was
stronger than good and that a single person with great power could
He spun the rod in his hands. As he stared at the gem, he asked,
“Are my territorial governors here for our meeting?”
“As you had commanded.”
“Are they waiting in my court?”
“As you commanded, Sire.”
“Excellent, Fendri. Tell them I will arrive shortly and then wait
for me by my throne.”
Fendri bowed and turned to leave.
“And one more thing,” Mandrean added, “on your way see the
master-at-arms and have four of the top soldiers from the imperial
guard assigned to guard my quarters, immediately.”
“Of course, my emperor. Shall I have the ones out there now
Mandrean squeezed the rod. A blue aura surrounded him for a
moment and then passed.
“There are no guards to reassign,” Mandrean said as he pulled
his feet from the water. Fendri was confused but did not question
his master. He bowed again and opened the door to leave.
As soon as he left the room, he saw two small piles of ash on
either side of the door. Fendri looked at them curiously at first. It
seemed strange that he had not noticed them upon his entrance to
the room. In a moment, his expression turned to horror when he
realized what the mounds represented.
He cast a frightened look back into the room. Mandrean
gingerly stepped to the door and looked at the ash. “I do not take
kindly to being anyone’s amusement.”
Fendri swallowed hard and walked briskly away. Mandrean
only smiled and closed the door.