O Espectro da Rosa Negra

Upon a dais shrouded in the hall’s deepest shadows sat a worm-eaten throne, and upon that throne hunched a suit of armor. The plate mail appeared empty, deserted. The once-bright metal was blackened with soot and age. Tatters fringed the purple cloak draped over the armor’s shoulders. The tasseled helmet drooped forward. Only the faint lights flickering in the helmet’s eye slits betrayed the fact that something lurked within that fire-blasted metal skin.
“On your knees,” Azrael said, and the skeletal guard forced Gesmas to the dirty stones. The dwarf turned to the throne and bowed with overstated deference. “As you commanded, great lord, I have brought you the stranger.”

The banshees ceased their keening and turned to the dais. Their faces grew even more horrible with anticipation. The skeletal warrior, Soth’s loyal retainer of old, seemed to share their anxiety. Gesmas felt its bony fingers tighten on his shoulders.

Finally, Soth stirred upon his dilapidated throne. The twin flickers of orange light that were his eyes flared. Or perhaps the hall grew suddenly darker. All heat, all hope, drained from the room. It was as if those things flowed into Soth, fuel for his terrible gaze.

“Tell me my story,” Soth said to the prisoner. “Tell me who I am and how I came to this place.”

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