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(Shadow Hold, Jaedenar)


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The stench of ash filled the air, as the braziers flickered along the walls.


An outsider, clearly human in appearance, made his way slowly through the underground conclave of warlocks. It was uncommon for someone other than an orc or demonic entity to have any reason for presence here. However, his robes and the voidwalker by his side identified him as a warlock of significant stature, and someone not to be stopped or questioned.


Attracting a brief glance from onlookers, the human arrived before the overseer of the stronghold, a towering dreadlord.


"Lord Banehollow, it's been a while since we last met."


"Indeed, human. I can sense you've grown in power. You still have much to learn though."


"Which is why I am here."


The dreadlord eyed the voidwalker briefly, then turned back to Ollie with a look of disdain.


"Of all the demons you've mastered, why oh why do you choose that one to serve you? The voidwalker is for defending a master who can't protect themselves. Do you choose him because you are too weak to protect yourself?"


The dreadlord sensed a brief flare of anger inside Ollie.


"If you think I'm weak, demon, try me."


Ollie's hand came to rest against the hilt of his mageblade. The dreadlord threw his head back and laughed.


"So easy to anger...you have the raw power, but you still haven't learned how to control it properly. Pitiful."


Realising his foolishness, Ollie released his grip on his blade and let his anger fade.


"For now, I will provide you with the knowledge you so desire. However, know where you stand, human. Your mind is too simple to comprehend the true nature of the Council."


Reaching into his robe, Ollie produced an old, blackened tome, handing it forth. Flicking briefly through the pages, the dreadlord stopped roughly halfway through, deep in thought.


Seemingly satisfied, he then closed the tome, then began chanting something in Demonic, causing the tome to glow powerfully red. As the chanting finished, the glow subsided to a much fainter one, before handing it back to the warlock.


"I hope this keeps you satisfied, human."


Ollie nodded. The dreadlord eyed him intently.


"Let me ask you this. What do you intend to do with all the power you accumulate? Do you seek to achieve some sort of end? Money? Artifacts? Social status? Or something else?"


Ollie glared back. "No, those things are all tools, forms of leverage."


"And to achieve what?"


"Complete control. The potential to manipulate who I want, what I want, where and when I want."


Without hesitating or so much as a goodbye, Ollie turned and headed off, voidwalker falling in behind.


A wicked grin spread across Lord Banehollow's face as the warlock disappeared from his sight.


"He'll be back for more. Just like the rest of them."

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