...an evil artifact was created.
An item so mighty, in my hands...
...it would unleash a nightmare onto the land.
For 30 centuries it has remained hidden.
After pursuing every whispered rumor...
...and battling for 100 years through countless foul pits...
...its dark power is finally within my reach.
Now, retribution is at hand.
Nothing can keep me from it.
There is no path too perilous or hazard too great.
The specter of death does not daunt me...
...for I am already dead.
Giving birth to this nightmare is my most coveted dream.
I will see them all burn.
As my pain ends...
At last I am free of this undead curse.
The Orb of Falazure is mine.
What chance does Ismir have against me now?
Sir, the problem remains that Halifax has threatened not to sign your law...
...for the new sewer if you cut off the supply of wheat.
So, as you can clearly see, we must act now.
Are you listening to me?
All I do is listen.
My days are filled with nothing more than figures...
...and reports and compromise.
I'm growing as soft as the velvet cushions upon my chair.
Sir Berek, you are a minister in the House of Lords.
Urgent matters of state are at hand.
This should be your concern. Not some...
Have you forgotten all my lessons?
You parry when you should attack.
The captain of the king's guard should always press forward.
Fetch that rusty blade of yours and let us settle this in the battle circle.
Unless, of course...
...you prefer that I come up to your chamber...
...where we might joust with, um...
Men, this is Sir Berek.
Former captain of the king's guard and, at one time, my teacher.
Sir Berek, I sincerely hope this doesn't keep you from your duties...
...as royal tax advisor.
As of this moment, Valerious, the instructions resume.
Get him, Valerious.
I never would have believed it.
Bravo. Well done, Sir Berek. You have beaten me.
Barely. You are the most talented of all my students, Valerious.
The care of the king is in good hands.
Officers, prepare your men. We march at dawn.
I long to join you.
There's nothing quite like lying exhausted on the battlefield...
Your place is here. In Ismir.
On the contrary, my value lies in the field.
You saw the results in the battle circle.
I did. Unfortunately, you did not.
Instead of the plume, it could have been your head.
You let me win?
Berek, you will always be my captain...
...and I will never forget what you have taught me.
Especially this last lesson.
And what lesson is that?
...when it's time to sheathe your sword for good.
Damn it, Berek.
Now is that any kind of language for the wife of a lord?
I have picked up some dubious habits since we met.
Well, it's always been my ambition to sully the virtue of a well-bred mage.
Virtue is the least of my worries.
What's wrong, my love?
I bought this scroll from the Temple of Obadhai.
I've been trying to mend these gloves using divine magic.
Unsuccessfully, I might add.
- Divine magic? - Mm.
There are two different forms of magic.
Mages like myself work with the arcane.
Our power comes through knowledge and endless hours of study.
Divine magic is completely different.
It's granted by the gods.
Certainly nobody in Ismir can do it, which is why...
...if I'm successful, a position on the Council of Mages is guaranteed.
Well, don't let me stand between you and greatness.
Perhaps we were destined to remain in our current stations.
Is there something we can help you with?
Sir Berek, I have traveled from Saragasso.
- An evil has descended on our village. - What kind of evil?
It's something terrible. Deep inside Mount Hearth.
Two of our menfolk entered the cave on its slope yesterday morning.
They have yet to return.
Please, we need your help.
- Poison gas. - It is as I said.
Stay behind me.
Those holes must lead to some unknown source of evil deep in the mountain.
Unknown, maybe not.
Berek, do you know what this is?
When I was with the freebooters...
...we plundered the ruins of ancient Turan.
And there we discovered hieroglyphics which depicted...
...a colossal black dragon sleeping in the heart of Hearth Mountain.
- Then those holes... BEREK: Are not holes at all.
- They're nostrils. TIBIO: Please, Sir Berek...
...what are we going to do?
What shall I tell my people?
Tell them to flee.
The Tomes of Turan.
This is all we have left of their civilization.
Should we wake the Council of Mages?
No. Let's first find out if the Turanians can shed any light on this.
Are these similar to the hieroglyphics you saw in the temple?
Maybe the text is hidden. The symbols are jumbled the same way in the books.
- If we can figure a way to combine them-- - That could take weeks.
A vision spell might reveal how to decipher these books.
- What do you need? - Uh, four sticks of ivory and incense.
- The expensive kind. - Good thing I'm a lord.