Entombed deep in the earth, Prince Graeme chuckled. The Scepter of Kasmir was a potent earth aligned relic, drawing its power from the power of stone, and metal, lava and crystal. It was the mere possession of the rod that had prevented him from being crushed as the walls of stone slammed shut around him. Above, insulated by dozens of feet of earth, he heard the dragon roar triumphantly. Arrogant foolish creature, blinded by its own magnificent power.
Willing essence from the scepter to reweave the layers of earth above him, the Prince shaped a ladder, and a tunnel, and climbed up from what was to be his tomb in the cold earth. He clasped the scepter tight in one hand, feeling the thrum of power through the dark wooden shaft. He meekly lifted his head, and peaked about as he reached the surface, not wanting his exposed body skewered by a talon of the dragon, or to fall captive to the ogres who served the beast.
He stood up from the whole, the coast clear for the moment. He was struck with pain. The walls were scored, and toppled, pillars of smoke rose from the wreckage of the Imperial City, his Imperial City. His Calan, his Mistress, his one true passion. The Dragon would pay for its deeds, and the ogres would rue the day that they dared to raise hand against his city.
His eyes beheld a strange hue, a world that was overcast with shades of grey, and blue, a colder place. Those who yet lived gave off a strange glow, and the brightest, as if ia miniature sun, was the winged form of the dragon. He could see a streamer of darkness cast off from its tail, and he knew where he had struck the best. Shades flickered, and guttered above the corpses of the dead. They were lost and seemingly without purpose, the souls of the slain...
"Have I died?" he wondered aloud. His own body did not lie at his feet, or seemingly beneath the tons of earth he had just emerged from. He did not seem transparent as these wayward souls did, his feet were on the ground, the scepter glowing in his hand.
Nay, you still live after a fashion.
"I dont have time for riddles." Graeme said, looking at the particularly ragged shade who stood before him, dressed in tattered finery, in burnished armor, though his face was not much more than bones.
You hold the black spear and the scepter of Kasmir, and within you is the blood of the line of kings, though it is thinner than air now after these long years. Behold, I am your kinsman, dead now for an age. I too once held the spear, and smote the dragon.
"Yoiu claim to be the restless shade of a king of Kasmir?" Graeme said in awe and in suspicion. Lacking anything to loose, the dead were notorious liars.
The ten and sixth king of Kasmir. By the spear and the will of Chamo, Calan will become great as my Kasmir, and shall rise again the power of the sorcerer kings of old. In due time, you will join us, Graeme of Calan, to be worshipped and nourished by the ambrosia of prayer and offerings of burnt meat and incense. You will watch over your empire unto your death and afterwards as well.
"Your words are sweet, but poison seldom tastes unpleasant." Graeme said.
The pact has already been sworn and sealed, between you and Chamo. In the fall into the crevasse, the dragon has bequeathed to you a great tiding, the last needed to become a true and mighty sorcerer king, you have become one of the half dead, bearing a shard of oblivion within your living soul. This is the blood of the Kings of Kasmir, I make you no offers, no deals. I tell you what you already possess, you are prince no more, slay the dragon and claim the throne as is your birthright."
"Your words ring true, spectre. If there is deception in what you have claimed, I will find you and bind you into a terrible existance that you will regret until the world is unmade." Graeme said, bearing the scepter and the spear in equal strength. "It is time for the ogres to know a time of broken shields and shattered swords."