Vordakai sat on his large stone throne, a grotesque statue, still and silent, its single red eye staring beyond the darkness of the room. His foes had assembled at the gates of his ancient abode. Through the eyes of Horagnamon, his loyal familiar, and the visions granted by the Lesser Oculus, he had followed their journey from the moment they had entered Varnhold Pass. Apart from the one who perished by the maws of the Worm, there were left six heroes: the Queen, the Shaman, the Mage, the Lightbringer, the Destroyer and the Shadow. The Cyclopean warlord and sage had tracked their accomplishments, continuously balancing their potential value against the danger they presented to his plans. The knowledge he had sucked from some of the Varnholdian minds had offered him glimpses of the current state of the world, of Brevic politics, and of the lay of the Stolen Land. As such, he planned to recruit the Queen as the face of his imperialist design. His eldritch domination of her mind would be strengthened by her own expansionist desires. Eventually, after a few years of patiently and secretively building his forces, an army of the living and the undead would engulf Brevoy – a divided nation that was ripe to pluck anyway – laying the foundations of a new Casmar Empire.
As usual, Vordakai’s mind dwelled on the Great Observatory. From the bits and pieces he had scrapped from the brains of the Varnholdians and the information Horagnamon had gathered, he had concluded that some unknown force had taken over the Observatory. That force had been able to use the powers of the Greater Oculus – to some extent. The wizard’s cautious nature had prevented him from probing deeper into the Observatory’s current state of affairs, let alone risk a teleport to the place. First he had to consolidate his position in the Stolen Lands. No one should know of his existence until he crushed the Ruby Throne under his Cyclopean weight – which brought him back to the party that stood uninvited at his door.
Vordakai admired the boldness, tenacity and creativity of his foes. These were qualities he sought in living minions. However, they also showed a tendency to be ill-prepared and to act with ill-considered haste. A dangerous flaw that the wizard would exhaust to its fullest. The group was not prepared to face an opponent such as himself. At no time they would present a danger, as his spells could utterly destroy them, and his undead qualities would protect him from most of the damage they would inflict. But even if they realized this, they would not simply surrender. The Shaman and Lightbringer were driven by principles that would necessitate the warlord to dispense with them swiftly. The Destroyer and the Shadow could be swayed more easily if their lives were at stake. The Mage… perhaps he could be turned by a promise of ancient lore and power… yet he also displayed a stubborn loyalty to the Varnlings. Remained the Queen. She would probably give in if she realized that she would lose her life and that obedience was the only way she could keep her realm. In the beginning she would fake her loyalty, of course, but in time she would become entangled in his dominion. And if she refused… he had other means to convince her.