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He was a giant of a man, covered in black armor and a black cloak.  Even though he sat in a chair at the head of the stone table, he towered over most of the others there, who were still standing.  There were seven other men, all wearing black cloaks, all eyes on a large map in the center of the table.  The map showed the eight lands that made up the old world.  The four lands of dark–those who worshiped the great Fanquizar, and the four lands of light–those who worshiped the pathetic Fa’Aln.

The giant at the head of the table listened as the seven men argued over strategy and tactics.  They were human, and that made them weak, but Azoth needed them.  He needed them to lead his human armies.  He needed them until his victory had been assured, and then he would destroy them as he would destroy all the pathetic humans on this world.  He smiled as he thought of how they would suffer.  The Fa’Aln, the O’orn, the Bryn, and the humans, would all beg for death before he was through.  They argued over strategy and tactics as if it mattered.  It didn’t matter.  His Chumra, led by a few of his dead but undead disciples, would sweep over the world of light.

The room the eight men were in was a large stone chamber deep beneath the heart of Azenaria, and far beyond the world of mortal man.  It was a forbidden place that knew nothing of time or space.  It existed when Azoth needed it to, and ceased to exist when he did not.  In the day these men had been here, years had passed in the world of man.  When these men returned to their world, they would return to the very day they had left it.  They did not know this.  Their human minds would not be able to comprehend it.  Only Azoth knew the truth.  He smiled again.

The map on the table came to life.  The water of the oceans swayed in a gentle breeze.  The forests, mountains, rivers, and deserts all came alive.  Azoth stood.  He was at least nine feet tall.  He leaned over the table, and the other men, and watched the map.  He watched as a wave of darkness appeared from within a mountain range on the eastern side.  The wave of darkness spread across the map, moving toward the four lands on the western side.  A few moments later, the wave crossed the large ocean that separated the people of Fanquizar from the people of Fa’Aln.  As the wave moved inland, into the land of light, the living map became black and lifeless.  Within minutes, the entire half of the world was dead.  Azoth smiled as he reached into his cloak, removed a large dagger, and plunged it into the map, in the center of the blackness, and into the stone table beneath.

Azoth pointed to the blade and said, “O’orn.  All others are yours.  O’orn is mine.”  He then sat back down.

As he thought of his coming victory, and the sweetness of it, he began to laugh.  He would not destroy them.  He would allow them to live forever.  Lord Fanquizar would grant him that power.  He would let them live forever and he would flail their bodies and their souls until the end of time.

 

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