Bhaal sat on his most prized possession, a golden and ivory throne bought with the money he had earned during the adventures of his youth. It rose up from the floor like the stump of a once magnificent tree. Two huge armrests flanked each side of the seat, fanning out at the top to end in a smooth flat surface. Gold, etched with runes, spiraled and swirled through the structure everywhere. The sides were as the bark of a tree, rippled and pitted as if worn by time and water damage. The back reached up high enough to support his slender shoulders and bent back into a curl like the edge of aged parchment.
Bhaal, however, was in stark contrast to the throne. His once statuesque body had wasted away. He was nothing more than skin and bones. The stench of his breath was that of a carcass. The dark black orbs that were his eyes stared straight ahead from his skull into the hallway before him. He had the look of someone seeing into eternity. A tarnished bronze crown sat on filthy, dusty black hair. His tunic had rotted away to nothing more than tatters. A rusted shirt of chain mail rested upon it, torn away at the waist. His leather breeches had dry rotted away from the knees down. A rusted chain skirt covered his thighs. Its links were broken and jagged at the seams. High top plate boots, rusted from years of neglect, covered his feet. The heavy coating of dust upon him told those who looked at him that he had not moved in years.
It was hard to tell that Bhaal was still alive, but alive he was. He had somehow managed to live far beyond his own time, existing without eating or moving. The physicians had given up long ago on trying to figure out what it was that kept him so. Theologians had inspected him. Philosophers debated his refusal to die in his present state. In truth, he had not spoken in twenty years, even though the wilderness and upstart usurpers carved away at his vast empire until all he still owned was the small town of Nineveh that rested at the base of his small keep.
And then there was the sword. An elegant bronze and Damascus steel broadsword reaching up from the base of the throne to the palm of Bhaal’s hand. Its point made a gouge in the floor. Red rubies adorned the hilt and pommel, and even through years of non-use the whole sword was immaculately polished and clean. It was the sword that had carved out Bhaal’s once mighty empire, and thousands of legends were attributed to the revered artifact. Forged from pure dark iron found only on the plains of the Abyss, it was rumored to have dispatched more than one daemon from existence.
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