Sasha bade Lilith to step aside, and one by one she strung the chains through the rings in Zarrek’s back. With them she wove her long sashes of cloth, each one a different color, and each one stained with the black letters of the Abyss. They were the words of different chants and spells, and few besides her knew exactly was written on each cloth. When she placed the ninth chain, she stood up, and carried them back to Métius. Together they stared at him, prepared as he was like a puppet, and the Dark Lord grinned his terrible grin.
“Time to wake up, little prince!” His words were hardly more than a growl, and as he said them, he yanked back on the chains in his hands.
Zarrek’s body lifted off the floor, and as it rose, so too did a blood-curdling scream emerge from his throat. His head fell back, his mouth wide open, and he cried out in fury and agony. His eyes swelled with tears, no matter how hard he tried to hold them back, and he could not focus enough to move any other part of his body.
“Do you understand now how terrible it is to defy me?” Métius asked him once his screams died down to ragged breathing. He let the chains go slack enough that Zarrek would be able to breath, but remain ready to pull at them once again.
“You said…” the prince gasped, “that I could fight your wraith.”
“And you did,” Métius reminded him. “And you lost. You could not go on fighting.”
“Removing the chains… and I will show you how I can rip it to shreds.”
“You cannot even hold your sword right now; how could you destroy my wraith?”
“Give me the chance,” Zarrek insisted.
“I think not,” Métius said, his tone final. “The time has come for you to swear your oath to me and become my servant.”
“I serve only Onsira,” Zarrek spat back.
Métius’s frown deepened, and he glanced over at Elezar. It is not too late for me to kill them.”
“We have been through this already. Go back to the Abyss, and I will destroy your wraith!”
Métius did not take well to having the prince shout at him. He pulled the chains back, pulling more screams from Zarrek’s throat, and let go only when he wanted to speak again.
“Did you think that I would not use your rings, mortal? It has been so long since any of my followers who have then have defied me, I though that I would never have a chance.”
“If they are so loyal to you… Why make them pierce their backs?”
“Do you have any idea what true devotion is?” Métius asked him. “They put their trust in me, and prove to me their loyalty, and in return I give them the same thing you want: power.”
Zarrek snarled, and shot back words in Draconic that he never would have said in the presence of his beloved, words that she did nit need t hear, even if they were not against her. Métius pulled again on the chain, and began to walk towards Elezar.
“You put this man’s life in danger,” he said as Zarrek was forced to stumble along behind him.
Elezar looked up at his lord, holding his son tightly, the child clinging to him and hiding his face in his neck. “Why put yourself through this, Zarrek? Give him what he wants and we can all be done with this.”