The mansion was still and deathly silent. Winds howled through the forest that surrounded the massive home. Moonlight shown through a skylight, illuminating a cloaked figure sitting in a large armchair. Cobwebs hung from the cowl of the cloak and stretched across the figures face. A thick layer of dust coverd everything in the mansion… The house was dead.
A jolt ran through the sitting figure as if suddenly woken from some strange dream or trance. Pelinos slowly wiped the cobwebs from his face as he looked up into the stars through the skylight, studying their positions, calculating the passage of time.
"9 weeks have passed…" he moaned as he stood up. His joints scratched and grinded as he moved about. Pelinos headed out of the room and over to his study, the only room in the mansion that is still used anymore. As he entered the room he stopped and looked up at the pictures hanging over his desk, he looked at them like he has thousands of times.
There were three portraits hanging over the large finely crafted desk. The first was of a tall man with a well kept beard wearing an expensively tailored robe and holding a bejewelled scepter. Pelinos sighed heavily while looking this picture over, he barely recognized himself. "743 years…" he managed to say.
The next picture was of a beautiful woman with long straight brown hair, wearing a gorgeous green dress. A tear would have formed if Pelinos' eyes weren't shallow pits occupied with a strange necrotic energy. He continued to stare into the picture, his head slowly cocked to the side as he desperately tried to remember the touch of her skin… The smell of her hair.
"Everytime," he thought, "everytime I look at these pictures it never gets any easier…"
The last portrait, a portrait painted by his once beautiful wife, was imbued with special magical properties. Lydia was an amazingly gifted artist, and sorceress. She crafted this painting to capture the current emotions of the person in the portrait… Their son.
The boy's face was pale, his hair disheveled, and his eyes stared off into the distance as if focused on nothing at all. A look of pain crossed his face, absolute sorrow even. The kind of face that is made when crying has ceased… only because it was too exhausting.
This portrait was once a happy one. The boy's face was full of life and laughter! What a bright young boy, excelled in all of his school work. Learned everything is wizard father could teach him. The boy was a sponge for knowledge and carried a mirth that nobody quite understood… Pelinos barely remembers those days… "743 years…" he mumbled again.
The ancient wizard shuffled his feet and walked over and back behind his desk. Sat down on a large chair, just below the sad and dark portrait of his son. Pelinos pulled out a small mirror from a desk drawer. Encrusted with jewels and magical runes, this mirror did more than remind the wizard of he shallow and dead face… It was his window to the world.
Pelinos unconciously mumbled the spell he's casted thousands of times before, and slowly the picture on the mirror swirled and cleared showing a view of a not too distant land.
"Soon they'll come for me. Once Castle Wingard falls, they'll come for me… Won't they?" He turns around and looks to address the sad portrait…. "Won't they, Oinos, my son?"