Hogwash scurried to a safe distance, bowed, said, “As you command me lord,” and hastily departed as fast as its little legs could shuffle. A moment later it joined the countless goblin ranks that were slowly spewing out of the demolished opening.
Zed tossed the flap of his cape to one side and retreated deeper into the shadowy tunnels beneath the mountain. The menacing monsters, marching to the beat of complete chaos, took great care not to stray too near him. In fact, as fearless as this wild mob was, not a single goblin dared to venture even the quickest glance at him. He strode with a confident swagger further into darkness. Where mortal eyes, even the keenest of dwarf miners or night elves would struggle to see, Zed’s guided him with ease down into a dreadful passage.
When he was certain there were no goblins around, he extended one of his hands and summoned the forces of arcane power into his fingertips. “Ghruu Naka Luu Nuudra,” he shouted, then a flash of light and a puff of smoke appeared from nothingness. Instantaneously a green disk sat floating in midair before him.
Although this disk was comprised of little more than continuously evaporating magical mist, it was as reflective as a well-polished mirror. Zed approached it and his image became visible in the disk; his cold eyes were narrowed, his sloping brow was wrinkled, and his expression was fixed in a state of permanent distaste. (Distaste for what, you may ask? Oh, I don’t know . . . maybe for the pungent stench of goblin that lingered everywhere around him and overpowered his sense of smell with total domination. Maybe for the brightness of day and the annoying way that thing called a ‘sun’ likes to shine and give his eyes a migraine, if possible. Maybe distaste for the gleeful laughter of children at play, or for color in general. Maybe for the way the wind blows through the trees and caresses your hair, or for anything that is good, fair, and considered beautiful. It’s purely speculation at this point . . .)
He was wearing the grim attire that villains usually dress in; his long, hooded cape was woven with magic stitching and had esoteric runes or unholy hieroglyphs hemmed into it, his shirt and trousers were a matching pitch black which were concealed here or there under thorn-studded leather armor, his staff suggested that any subordinate think twice before bothering him and it looked more like a scorpion’s tail poised to strike than anything else. The amulet that dangled from around his neck had too many spikes to be worn for purposes other than unbridled evil. All of this went unnoticed to Zed, however, who hadn’t the slightest bone of vanity in his body. He was too busy conjuring a figure in the reflective fields of the disk to notice his own image, (and whatever was stuck between two teeth from his most recent meal). It grew faint then completely faded away. Now he was staring at . . . not himself, but someone else within the disk.