he had used his tricks. That was not your fault, Master. He could
use the full power of the Red Sapphire and you were limited in
your output from the Blue Sapphire because you do not have the
matching staff for it to give you access to its entire might. It would
even heal your wound permanently. With the proper staff, you
could kill the fox and save your lands.”
The crowd cheered again. Mandrean used his hands to gesture
to them for silence. He looked at Necromancer with curiosity.
“Before you openly criticized my fighting abilities and said I could
not defeat him even with the proper staff. Your change in opinion
leaves me skeptical of your motives.” He bore in mind Gramlick’s
“I was rash in my statements before,” the wizard pleaded. “I
trust you have enough savvy to devise a way to vanquish
Grithinshield if your magic is even.”
“You said before that you could not find the staff. What has
Necromancer smiled and produced the ancient garment from his
pocket. “This has changed the dynamic of the situation. Rub this
magical garment over the Blue Sapphire. The stone has been in
contact with its staff before. Some trace of it should have been left
on the gem.”
Mandrean did not fully understand but took the cloth anyway.
He polished his prized possession and returned the woven material
to his court magician. Necromancer smiled his most insidious
smile and hovered over the map of the world on the floor.
Necromancer closed his eyes and fell into a trance. Without
warning, his body began to glow and change shape. The
metamorphosis looked grotesque. His body shifted and twisted
before the amazed onlookers. When the light from the magic
faded, Necromancer was an old man in appearance. Disguised as
Gallatrium he proceeded to speak to the cloth.
“My old cloak, that magic stone has touched the staff that
makes it whole. You have touched it. Now show me the location of
the staff so that they may be reunited.” He cast it high into the air
and cried out, “Show me where the blue staff is located.”
The cloth flashed a blinding white light as it landed on the map.
Mandrean joined Necromancer beside and watched. The fabric
grew into a vast moving picture on the floor with a view
descending through clouds. Such speed and imagery was similar to
what might be seen while falling off a cliff. In fact, a violent wind
blew over them with just such a force. When it seemed that they
would be blown away, the picture finally focused on the location
of the staff. The image centered on a structure.
“Now show us who possesses the staff.” Necromancer
The picture changed, and both men smiled at once. They looked
at each other and for the first time ever had the same goal.
“That is amazing,” Mandrean muttered.
“I never would have looked for it there,” Necromancer said
“Now that we know where it is, I have a job for you,
Necromancer. A scheme is coming together in my mind that is
perfect for this. I could not have planned this better. Our troubles
are about to end.”
“Indeed they are,” agreed Necromancer.