Hand of Fate (and Foot of Balrom)
Darkness near the end of the Quest
Castle Darkness, a place of almost comical evil and a pleasant gothic charm nestles upon a thin pedestal of sculpted cliff-effect rock within a craggy ring of mountainous pinnacles (mined from a lost underwater world far to the west and shipped here specially), surrounded by a moat of molten lava. Lines of monstrous and not so monstrous creatures ascend like ants up a spiral path up to the wrought-iron effect Gate of Darkness (with authentic creak!). Red-eyed, bat-winged gargoyles crouch on the gateposts staring down upon the legions of creatures spread out on the plains below. A menagerie of flying beasts circle the towers, accompanied by the dark shadows of something altogether more sinister.
Lord Darkness surveys the scene, then turns away from the window. He glances frowning towards the great map spread out on a large table with hundreds of miniature figures carefully positioned thereon. Selecting one at random, he flicks a finger at it and it explodes into flames. A sour smile curls upon his lips for a moment before the frown returns and he strides across the room and throws himself grumpily upon a slick black throne. There is a knock at the door.
The door creaks alarmingly ajar and a small, hideous orange creature slides its bulbous mass through the crack.
“What is it, Kreach?”, Darkness enquires, irritably.
The miserable creature bows low to the ground and, continually bowing, approaches the throne.
“My Lord, I have news of the Questers.”
“Oh yes? Which ones?”
“The ones seeking the sword of Asnegar, my Lord.”
“Our guys or that other group?”
“The others, my Lord. The ones calling themselves Soeri, Dean, Erasmus Gildesprocket (the third) and Granny Ethel, Lord.”
“Oh yes? The ones with the sparkly gnome and the swamp witch?”
“Yes my Lord.”
“Well, come on Kreach, what news?”
“Well, my Lord, it appears that they have found the Sword, snuck into Belisaere, stolen one of your ships and are on their way to destroy you, Lord.”
“Oh. Well that’s a bit of a bugger, isn’t it? Are we sure it is the real sword of Asnegar and not just one of our decoys?”
“Yes, my Lord. All our decoys are accounted for and you will recall the disruption they caused at Vangelis last week. They must have used whatever they stole as some sort of tracking device, my Lord.”
Lord Darkness scowls.
“I don’t have time to deal with have-a-go heroes with magical swords at the moment, Kreach, there are more pressing issues to deal with,” he gestures to the map. “Have them delayed.”
“Yes, My Lord. Anything else, my Lord?”
“Yes. Have a worthless underling bring up some cushions. This throne is darn uncomfortable.”