“. . .you think I hold the people in bondage as mindless slaves. Not so; I unite them in a common purpose under one banner. Think back over the years, when each kingdom had its own king. They fought each other, not only between kingdoms, but within kingdoms. They had no unity, no peace! Every kingdom wanted something another kingdom had, and rather than share, they fought! There was greed! There was strife! There was war and there was death! That my hypocritical, judgmental friend, constitutes the highest form of slavery!” ~Ryadok, Barren-Fel’s last great sorcerer, Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel, Book 1 of the Dark Lords of Epthelion series.
Handsome. Cunning. Calculating. Seductive. Deceptive warmth covering an icy, heartless core. Ryadok, Anhuapta’s favorite, the last of Barren-Fel’s malignant sorcerer kings–and the most evil. He looked like an angel–blue-eyed, blond haired, slender, a benevolent expression lighting his fair face.
But beneath the facade lurked a steely demeanor as fearsome as the visages of the four serpents adorning his staff. Ryadok wanted it all and cared not how much blood he must spill to get it. By his late teens he had become skilled in the Black Arts and possessed a charm that captured people’s hears. For this reason he received more supernatural power from Anhuapta than the six sorcerers before him combined. Ryadok used these powers to full advantage. Unsatisfied with a mortal army, he conjured his own mutant host. Through his persuasive powers he enslaved minions, and even–it seemed–Anhuapta himself. Six kingdoms staggered under his oppressive regime, and the kingdom he chose as his crown jewel suffered the most.
Yet even tyrants reap what they sow, often at a terrible, terrible price.
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