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The Pillar of Dominance

Chapter 18
Escape from Augend City
"What's this you've brought me?" asked Prince Coonan Malden. His
face was turned away, but his posture and tone was visibly displeased.
The guards shoved a hooded man to his knees before him.
"We found him just outside the city, your Majesty," said a guard, and
threw back the hood.
The prince smiled, and the guards took a step back from the man.
Bloom looked up at the prince, and then at the guard who held his staff.
"It seems," said the prince, "Tigorious has not been as thorough as he
claims." There was a threatening note in his voice.
“Surrender the Seer and the young wizard and I will leave you be,”
said Bloom.
"Odelious," continued the prince. "What a rare opportunity. I have
heard many impressive things..." he trailed off. "Bring me the crolackrolite,"
commanded the prince abruptly to his guards.
The guards did not dare approach the wizard. Bloom shifted his
weight as he conjured a spell. The many reflective surfaces of the great hall
reflected the light pouring from the old man's hands. "Razarvarr!" he uttered.
Immediately, the guards around him were blasted ten feet away as if by a
powerful invisible explosion. A set of new guards rushed toward him. A
single, pea-sized crolackrolite bead fell from Bloom's palm and rolled away
from its master across the glassy floor. Bloom glanced at it in horror. He
reached after it desperately as pain contorted his ancient face. He tried to rise
from his knees. A dozen guards surrounded him, pointing their gleaming
spears at his throat. One of them picked up the bead and hesitantly brought it
to the prince. Bloom gritted his teeth to keep from calling out, and fell
forward onto his hands. With every step the guard took, Bloom's pain
seemed to double. The wizard appeared to be ageing rapidly as the stone
moved away from him. Struggling to breath, he collapsed, looking wearily
up at the prince with a trembling, continually shriveling face.
"Perhaps luck is on my side today," smiled the prince, looking at the
shiny black marble in his palm. "This mishap has worked out in my favor
after all. Now that I have a stone that contains the life force energy of the
most powerful wizard who ever lived, I can finally wield the power I have
always deserved." He brought the bead to his eye for a closer look, and his
lips curled into a grin.
Tigorious bounded into the hall.