person. Necromancer was in the midst of a fit of rage in his study.
He upended his worktable and scattered the papers everywhere.
A goblet of wine spilled on the floor. Picking up a chair with
surprising ease, he smashed it to the ground. His horrified
assistant, Mordane, stood in a corner and watched the tantrum with
the look of one who has seen the play before and still did not enjoy
“I am so sick of this miserable existence—that I must serve that
ignorant slob of an emperor. He orders me around like a common
soldier. Fate must be teasing me. Otherwise, he would realize the
powers he is dealing with and beware.”
“To have but one day of freedom… I would take the stars in my
bare hands and smash his useless skull like a grape. With just a
moment’s reprieve, I’d turn his body inside out until only his
bones showed. Then I would slowly squeeze his heart in my hands
until it crushed under the weight of my fingers. Do you hear me?
Can no one grant me the vengeance I so rightly deserve?” His fist
slammed against the wall.
“What a joke this is! Somewhere someone must be laughing at
me. They must think this is a clever ruse indeed—that I could be
yoked like oxen and driven to do the most menial of tasks all these
years. And though the oxen hate the farmer, they must serve or
die.” He kicked at the papers on the floor.
Mordane stepped out of the corner and bowed before
Necromancer. “Master, there is no one laughing, and the only joke
is how foolish the Mandreans have been all these years in their
treatment of you. You will do the laughing, Eminence. You will
laugh when you are free again.”
Necromancer threw his head back. “Oh, to be free once again.
How marvelous it would be to go where I please, not to sit in this
vile dungeon and wait to be called to play court jester by a man not
even worthy of being one.”
His assistant tried to calm his master. “My lord, you are the
“That is a slave name.” Necromancer screeched in a higher,
more sinister voice.
“Forgive me, my lord. Still, no being in the world could
compare to you. Your powers cannot be matched. As you always
say, your day will come and then all will shudder in fear of your
power. That day is not far off. You have waited so many years. A
few more will pass before you know it and…”
“But how long until that day comes, Mordane?” he said in
frustration. “I have been patient. I have waited and waited and still
I wait! I will not wait another year or another day. Mandrean must
die! I must free myself of this torture.”
Mordane knew his master was furious but also knew that there
was no way for him to change his circumstance any time soon. He
had heard the speeches before. In spite of the fact that each
instance sounded more desperate, he expected little more than for
Necromancer to eventually settle down with a cask of wine for the
“You know the consequences you would face if you dealt with
Lord Mandrean yourself,” Mordane said while kneeling at
Necromancer’s feet. “Calm yourself or Mandrean wins!”