CHAPTER FOUR: In the Hands of Evil (4)

     “Why have you called upon me? This better be important,” a voice as ancient as the slime beds of the seas snapped angrily.

     “The goblins are scouring for the dwarf as we speak. They make their way to Snowberry, then to Rivenfeld where-”

     “I already know this information, because I recall tasking you to oversee the fulfillment of the matter. Was my faith poorly placed, Zed?”

     “Not at all, master,” he remarked hurriedly. “Everything is going according to plan; the goblins will lay waste to the countryside and attract the attention of adventurers, before being overcome and slaughtered . . . as you requested. They know to leave any dwarf unharmed and-”

     “You are certain this?” hissed the voice critically. It belonged to a peculiar shape portrayed within the dimensions of the disk; there were certain . . . skeletal qualities about the shape, or perhaps the indistinct lumps were scales? It was difficult to guess since, much like Zed, it too was draped in a shroud of shadow, (though it had enough light cast upon it to reveal the authoritative throne it sat upon motionlessly).

     “They are under our control. Rest assured, special preparations have been made. Any dwarf they find will be transported to your location posthaste. I,” Zed paused for a moment to search for the correct term, then continued haughtily, “enlisted some of the mountain trolls to ensure that the transitioning process will-”

     “Enough! You have one last opportunity to answer me. If there are no new developments, then why have you called upon me? Speak, or your insolence will be severely punished Zed.”

      He remained silent while he rallied his composure. It’d take a myriad of haunted houses and a vast necropolis of the risen dead before Zed would feel the slightest tinge of what someone might mistake for fear, but there was something about severe punishment being dealt by the demigod Dolmoroth that produced a sudden reluctance to irk the conjured. His reticence passed as he proclaimed confidently, “I only await further orders; to assist in your designs of destruction is not a labor, but a pleasure.” (It’s difficult to tell, mostly because of all the poor lighting the throat of an unlit cave tunnel provides, but if our readers could see through the darkness they might catch a glimpse of Zed’s nose metaphorically turning a shade of brown just now).

     Dolmoroth said sternly, “Seek out Widow and make use of your service to her, as she requires it.”

     He cringed behind a thin, pale-lipped frown. He didn’t just hate his master’s mistress . . . he loathed her with every fiber of his rotten being. “Very well,” he replied resentfully as the black shape vanished from the reflective fields of the disk before he could say anything else, leaving behind little more in the mirror than the image of a very sour faced Zed peering at himself. With the staff in hand, he bitterly wafted the magical mists about until they disappeared entirely amid the blankness of the atmosphere.

The End

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