Having borne witness to the Sorcerer King’s power your whole life, you know that defeating him will be no small task. With this goal in mind, you throw yourself into drawing power from the Enixar. Ceassia claims to understand what you must do – at least at first. As the months pass though, she becomes more withdrawn from you.

Not that you notice.

The shimmering lights of the Enixar are all you see before you. You long for your next opportunity to draw upon its almighty radiance. You find yourself snapping at anyone who disturbs you while you are pondering the secrets of the artifact – and you are always pondering its secrets.

If only you had the strength to remove Gudrunn from the picture… then you would be able to study it up close. Then, you would taste true power! This thought is a constant companion to you, often making you shiver with delight at odd moments.

Soon, you tell yourself consolingly, very soon.

Over the next few months, Ceassia and her daughter constantly irritate you with their incessant demands for your attention. Eventually, leading you to concoct an alarmingly brilliant plan! 

You simply create an illusory copy of yourself that acts the way you think they would like you to and set it loose to placate them whenever necessary. While they are being occupied by your double, you seal your study against intrusion and meditate upon the truth of your power.

Expanding on this idea, you have the copy perform your functions as High Inquisitor as well, freeing even more of your time to spend gaining strength.

Then, early one morning, approximately a year since you began drawing on the Enixar, all the pieces seem to fall into place.

You have not eaten, slept, or even left your study, in days – yet you feel energized and refreshed! Your magic sustains you, allowing you to surpass the need for such petty mortal concerns. The doors to your study open themselves and you float out into the central area of your suite. 

Now is the time to take the Enixar from that old fool! 

You pause in mid-air, frowning. Had there not been a different reason? What petty purpose had set you down this path of enlightenment? An image of a pretty face enters your mind, accompanied by a name and a flurry of confusing emotions…

Liara… Liara Aincroft, you think, her husband was murdered… murdered by Shimran!

Your eyes narrow as that name enters your thoughts.

Yes, you would deal with the so-called Sorcerer King.

But first – you have some unfinished business to attend to…

You wave your right hand and Liara appears nearby in a swirl of blue energy. She stares up at your floating form, wide-eyed and utterly dumbstruck, still clad in her nightclothes.

“Liara, today is the day of reckoning for the one who took Jarett from us!” You proclaim. Your voice has a strange power-laden resonance to it.

“Wha- I, Xevan? What?” she finally manages to say as she looks around the room in a panic.

Liara finally notices her state of undress and tries to cover herself with her hands, but you have already stopped paying attention. You raise your left hand and a naked Shimran appears from a spiral of blue light.

“My Lord!” he exclaims, “Please allow me to-“

His protest abruptly ceases as he realizes that Lord Gudrunn is not the one who has summoned him.

His eyes widen as they fall on you.

“Hello brother,” you say, managing to make the innocuous words sound sinister.

Liara steps forward to glare at Shimran, all attempts at modesty forgotten in light of her hatred.

“You!” she shouts, pointing a damning finger at your half-brother.

His response is preempted by a bolt of lightning from your outstretched fingers.

The doors to your wife’s and daughter’s bedrooms open, and they step out in time to see Shimran writhing on the floor.

“Xevan! What is happening?” Ceassia shouts at you in confusion.

Without conscious thought, you conjure an illusion of yourself next to her that immediately begins to comfort and reassure her in soothing tones. She looks from it to you and screams.

The crackle of lightning from your hands combined with Shimran’s shrieks of pain and Liara’s cries of triumph drown out the sounds of confusion and protest from your family.

High Chancellor Shimran takes a long time to die.

You make sure of it.

When it is done, you float above the ruined shell of Shimran, parts of it still crackling and twitching at random.

Liara stands trembling on tiptoe, looking on with excitement and righteous fury.

Ceassia and Amadalia are huddled together against the far wall, clutching at each other and sobbing. Neither is able to turn their tear-streaked face away from the sight of your magnificent justice.

Not even when a loud, slow clapping echoes through the suite.

Goto: [ Chapter 18 ]