The Grand Magus was awoken from his slumber by somebody knocking loudly upon the heavy wooden door of his private chamber. Setting his empty tankard to one side he bade them enter.
The door swung open and Sergeant-at-Arms, Hiascaus Wulfhakker, strode into the room, steel armour clanking with each step. He stopped in front of his master’s chair, stamped his foot loudly upon the stone floor and saluted. “Sir!” he shouted.
“For goodness sakes Wulfhakker, not so damned loud” grumbled the old man, rubbing his temples with one hand.
“Sir” barked Wulfhakker in reply, more quietly this time. He glanced at the door as it closed, then back at the Grand Magus.
“And stop calling me sir, we’ve known each other long enough now, call me Noah. Take a seat, pour an old man some mead and pour one for yourself.”
Wulfhakker grinned, pulled off his gauntlets and filled two tankards before handing one to Noah and sitting down heavily into the chair opposite.
The old man quaffed some of the mead before continuing. “I’ve summoned you here not just because of the intruder…” Wulfhakker’s face reddened slightly, and Noah held up a hand, “…but also because my scryers tell me that we’re going to have some more visitors soon. Quite a few visitors in fact.”
“Noah, we can’t rely on them to watch the palace, or even the city; you know that. They’re good for long range, and interrogations up close, but we need more guards and they need to be trained to look out for guerilla tactics like the ones that assassin employed. Did you know that bastard posed as a kitchen boy for years before he attempted this?”
“I have every faith in your ability to take care of these things while I get on with running the empire.”
Wulfhakker took a swig of mead. “So who’s on their way to kill you now eh?”
“So far, nobody nearby who could actually defeat me. There’s another assassin of course, a swordsman. Some faction or another seem to think that they can just arm him with a magic sword and that will do the trick; more fool them. They’re not who I’m worried about; there’s another who will eventually make their way here.”
“The other me.”