His blackened claws clacked on the hard cold flagstones of the corridor, his pace was determined yet unhurried. With a flick of his gnarly, ancient fingers the double wooden doors creaked open revealling a spartan room, its only decoration was a large throne made of wrought iron. The educated observer would have recognised the throne as an imitation of the throne on which the Kings of Cormyr of centuries past had been coronated.
Gathered on either side of the throne, were a dozen abominations, twisted parodies of their former selves. To the immediate left of the throne was Malvaar the Minotaur, a fallen Paladin so filled with self-loathing that his very form had been corrupted. Crouched next to Malvaar, chattering insanely to itself, was the Spider. A half arachnid half Goblin monstrosity that had ruled the Spiderfell for hundreds of years since the Great Cataclysm...half a dozen more watched the figure's approach to the throne...the softly wailing Banshee, the White Witch, Ghuralli the Mad, Manaam of the Great Spear. On the right side of the throne stood a single figure. Tall, aristocratic, imperious and elven, Rhoubhe Manslayer stood silently by himself, none daring to approach he who was second only to the Gorgon.
All eyes watched as the creature approached the throne, stopping at its base and bowing his granite armoured head as if in deference for what the throne represented. It intoned a solemn verse, its voice like two boulders grinding together, yet the words spoken so ancient no one present understood them.
The figure slowly ascended the two small steps upon which the throne sat. Once seated, the figure cast his eyes over the gathered figures and like a chasm yawning open, it smiled, where once bright white teeth had resided, the creatures mouth was now filled with yellowed stalactites and stalagmites.
"We have toiled for longer than most of mankind can remember and soon we shall be triumphant, all of Toril shall be on bended knee, our names on their trembling lips!
"But there is one who would see our work undone...one who calls itself the Warlock, a new awnshegh, weak in its power it is seeking allies, trying to establish a powerbase and in doing so has attracted the attention of the humans and their allies...it must be crushed before we are discovered. Who here will take this task upon themself?"
A dozen pairs of eyes looked about the room, wondering who would be foolish enough to volunteer. After a lengthy pause a tall figure to the throne's right stepped forward. With scorn literally oozing from ever pore, the Manslayer barked, "Gorgon! I will eliminate this Warlock, for the humans must not learn of the Red Shadow." The other creatures, awnshegh all, withered under the Manslayer's baleful stare, each one knowing that he could destroy them almost without thinking about it, but each one secretly plotting how they could best him.
"See that it is done." Intoned the Gorgon.