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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:04 pm 

Joined: Sep 22, 2013
Posts: 875
Just a Suggestion
by gamma-mage
Status: Public :diamond:

Mtata Palace, Residence of Nduma the Witch-King
The Kingdom of Zagora, on the plane of Stella.

The black-robed assassin pulled herself up over the ledge, landing on part of the palace roof. Two eyes appeared in the darkness ahead of her, glowing with a sorcerous yellow light. The assassin flashed her master"s insignia, and the gargoyle relaxed, its eyes fading to grey stone once more. The assassin stepped past the magical defender, pried open the window it was guarding, and slipped inside the palace.

Nduma the Witch-King tapped his dark-brown fingers on the armrest of his throne, frowning thoughtfully.

"Send him in," he said to the servant kneeling before the throne.

The servant stood and retreated from the torch-lit throne room, giving Nduma time to retrieve his expensive and rare leopard-skin cloak, and settle it around his shoulders. He made sure his necklace of spirit-wards lay on top of it, visible to all. He did not bother making sure his many bangles and rings were visible – most of those were just for show. He wore no crown. Nuduma sat down on his throne again, just as High King Cetasho strode into the chamber. Nduma noted with surprise that apart from the golden band on his bald, dark-skinned head, Cetasho wore no ornaments or talismans. Neither was the High King accompanied by any servants. It was as Nduma had specified, but he did not think that Cetasho would be foolish enough to actually follow his instructions. The High King did have an ornately carved blackwood staff, topped with a large pale-blue crystal that Nduma had never seen him with before.

"High King. it is an honour to have you gr..."

"Oh, spare me," snapped Cetasho, "We both know what you really think of me. What is so important that you need to see me in person?"

"There is word in the city that you have put together a sizable force of rhox and loxodon guards. They seem to call themselves "The King’s Fist"."

"This is what you summon me for? My guards are of no concern to you."

Nduma leaned back in his throne and steepled his fingers together.

"Perhaps they do concern me. You already have a larger than necessary contingent of human body guards. What do you need these creatures for?"

"I am going totem-hunting in the desert next month. The place is crawling with dwarves, and you know how much they hate us Zagorans. I need a strong force of bodyguards to deter them from attacking me."

Nduma sat forwards.

"Are you sure this is not an attempt to circumvent the ban against raising an army that we have placed on you? Perhaps you should disband this Kings Fist, and forget about hunting in the desert."

"I will take your suggestion under advisement," said Cetasho dismissively. "If that is all..."

"It was not a suggestion."

Cetasho"s eyes narrowed.

Nduma stood and two skeletal warriors stepped out of shadows in the corners of the room, moving between Cetasho and the only exit, the doors of the throne room.

"You are not foolish enough to refuse me whilst you stand unprotected in my throne room," said the witch-king smugly.

"I am far from unprotected."

The crystal on Cetasho"s staff glowed with a ghostly blue light, and a huge translucent beast appeared. Its claws made no sound on the stone floor, but a swishing noise echoed through the room as it flicked its long tail back and forth. It’s eyes glowed a pale orange. Light blue smoke wafted upwards from its body. The beast lunged at the skeletons, dismantling each with a swipe of a paw.

"Phantoms," said Nduma, genuinely surprised, "You resort to using the methods of our enemies?"

"Our enemies are not the same, Witch-King," said Cetasho, half-smiling.

Nduma raised a hand towards the beast, and a blade of darkness speared across the room. The beast disintegrated before the blade even reached it, and the blade slammed into one of the doors, slicing it in half. A clattering sound arose, as the skeletons reassembled themselves. A smile spread across the witch-king"s lips.

But before Nduma could recover from his spellcasting, a masked, black-robed figure darted from the shadows, and flung a golden-bladed dagger towards him. A sound like glass shattering rang out as the dagger pierced the witch-kings magical protections. Nduma toppled backwards and fell sprawling next to his throne, the dagger buried in his heart. As their master died, the skeletons at the doorway crumbled into dust, and an unseen wind briefly stirred the clothes of Cetasho and his royal assassin.

"Any difficulty getting in."

The assassin shook her head.

Cetasho walked over to the corpse of Nduma.

"Lax, my old enemy. When you steal something important, like a palace, make sure you change all the locks. And magical spells of protection."

Cetasho reached down, pulled out the dagger, and handed it to the assassin.

"Return this to the Witch-Doctor. Tell him I have avenged his daughter. Leave the blood as evidence."

The assassin bowed and left.

Cetasho extended his staff over the body, and spoke an incantation. The corpse coughed a few, times, then stood up slowly. It flexed its fingers experimentally, then looked at Cetasho. Its eyes glowed the same pale orange as the phantom beast"s had.

"You were right, master," said Nduma"s mouth, "This body is far more powerful than a dwarven shaman. Do you have a task for me? I am eager to test its limits."

The High King looked around the throne room and shrugged. The creature grinned evilly, revealing blood-smeared teeth.

"Master, if I might make a suggestion?"

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