This short story is a conversation between Velsyph and Argantin. Many details were removed because they reveal too much about what’s coming, so it’s a bit vague, but I think it’s still a fun piece.
As an aside, this was the first piece where Velsyph appeared in writing. In my first drafts of Folly, Velsyph remained firmly out of the scene, leaving Lindin to reference him but never interacting with him. It was only later that Lindin would interact with his former mentor.
Power. It was incredible. Such power! Such command! Argantin looked out with his mind’s eye across his empire. Never had such power flowed among the mortals, his children. His heirs. He came to them, and gave them all that they wanted. And it still wasn’t enough. They needed more. He needed more. The gates of the heavens could not keep them from the unlimited power held by the gods. The selfish, greedy, uncaring lords of the World that spurned Argantin, cut him off. They would pay for their crimes.
Argantin dared not tread upon the physical plane any more. His mere footstep could destroy all reality, such was his power and majesty. The physical was not worthy; it was weak. He dwelled in his temple amidst the power of the arcane, reveling in its perfection. Around him, he felt the thoughts of his servants go back and forth, keeping the empire’s affairs. Many of them had already been blessed for their efforts, freed from their frail bodies to work without weariness. They could interact in the physical plane when needed, of course. But such was not the desire of the All-Powerful.
One of Argantin’s servants called for his attention, appearing before him. He bowed to Argantin, intoning the words of worship required before hearing the voice of the God of the Arcane. When finished, he stood straight, tall, proud in his own right. Here, Argantin mused, was one truly worthy of his blessings. “My lord Argantin,” he began slowly, surely, his every tone filled with conviction. A true envoy of the All-Knowing One, indeed. “All has been accomplished as you instructed.”
“What of the invaders?” Argantin asked, even knowing the answer. This one truly was magnificent, he mused.
“They know nothing of our plans.”
“Excellent, Archmage Velsyph. Send the command to open the nexus crystals to the spellweave. The gates will open, and my will shall be enacted across the World at once.”
Velsyph bowed deeply. “To your command,” he intoned. As he stood, he formed a question in his mind. Argantin knew the question, and expected it. To do less would admit he was not all-knowing. “My lord, where will the gates open? What power source exists that we do not possess in full? The forests, the elements of the world, even the void is ours. What more could there be?”
“There will be time enough to answer your questions later,” Argantin smiled. “But continue as you have, Velsyph, and you will stand at my right hand as the World is remade in the image of its true master.”
Velsyph paused before speaking. Argantin did not mind the delay when his subjects pondered their words. None but himself were perfect, after all. “I am honored by this gift, my lord,” he said at last. “I had not anticipated such an honor.”
“One who has proven such loyalty should earn no less.”