Zad’s men had hunted him down. Caught him in an ambush. Over a dozen men against him alone .. no chance. Two days hauled behind their horses. Hog-tied overnight. They were leaving nothing to chance. Rough on him, the soldiers knew Zad would not complain. Zad had sent them out for him. Once caught, they were taking no risks.
Earlier she had come visiting. Down in Zad’s dungeons. Dar had been restrained behind unbreakable bars. She smiled. As if pleased to welcome him to Zad’s dank dungeons.
“It is your secret,” she explained .. the reason he had been caught. “You talk to the beasts. Zad has promised the Darklord that gift.”
Dar stared across the chilly darkness of Zad’s dungeon, frowning. Amused at the thought.
“In return Zad has asked the Darklord for a gift.” The sorceress paused before she explained. “Zad has asked for eternal life.”
In the chill of Zad’s dungeons, Dar’s hard-muscled torso shivered. But at Zad’s foolishness he scoffed. “He’s off his head. Lost his senses.”
The sorceress ignored Dar’s jeers. She repeated. “In exchange for your secret .. communicating with the beasts .. Zad has promised himself life everlasting.”
Dar leaned his head back against the chilly dungeon wall. He laughed. “He’s lost it! Out of his mind ……”
The sorceress continued unabashed. As if he’d not denied the facts. “Zad gives him the secret. The Darklord controls the animals.”
The sorceress shrugged. “The Darklord calls the beasts to do his bidding. Plaguing humans. Bringing them under his control.”
She smiled through the bars that could keep Dar imprisoned without chains or guards. A subject of Zad’s implacable will. “What is there to mock? What is so mad?”
She smirked back. Countering Dar’s scoffing. “The Darklord sends in the beasts. A pair of tigers will soon get people doing the Darklord’s bidding …..”
She smiled. At the gift she was giving her king. “And Zad gets to live forever. What is there to mock?”