(For KIng's contest, takes place in Manvadrasia)

Corlieus Wells didn't quite know what to make of the situation. There he lay, bleeding out, as some shadowy asssassin began to clean up the place to hide evidence. "Sorry sir," the assassin spoke softly, as if telling a child to go back to bed. It was so soft that the mage couldn't even tell the gender of the speaker. "But you shouldn't have done that to the ashlander, nor spread it out like a blight across this country." The light started to fade from the room and Corlieus' eyes began to close.

Corlieus open his eyes to find himself lying there, but he seemed to no longer be corporal. Indeed, he had become a ghost. Fear had a hold in the mage's mind and he shivered in place until Death had arrived. The god appeared as he usualy did, the black cloak around his body, his red eyes peering from the hood.

"Seems your time has run out," he said as if it was a rehearsed speach. Still, the voice made the ghost jump, and a wimpering noise arose from his ghostly throat. "Oh come on, don't be such a baby." Death put his hand to his face, Couldn't the mortals face Death with courage? The mage spoke up.

"Oh! Your most excellent! Please have mercy on me!" The mage took in a deep breath. "Please, oh great one! If I must go on to the next plane, at least let me see who it was that has slain me!" Death smiled. He didn't know why the mage was talking as if he had memorized an entire thesaurus, but he did enjoy the ego stroking.

"So, you want to find out about the man who killed you? Well, I could just simply tell you... but that's no fun. Tell you what, I'll give you a choice of three... let's call them suspects. I will show you what they did five hours before your murder, and if you guess the right one I'll take you to heaven."

"A-and if i lose." "Then you go for the place you are already destined for." Corlieus smiled now. He was a good man, wasn't he? Either way he gets to go to heaven.

"Alright, I will play this game." The room faded to black. 

"Okay, these three people have a motive for your murder. I'll give you a play by play of what that is for each one. Ready?" The mage nodded quickly. Death waved his hand and three images appeared. The first was a human male, brown eyes and slightly unkempt hair. Corlieus recognized him as an associate of his, Matthian Reylin. The second was a young female beastmen, long dark hair, two cat ears on the top of her head, piercing blue eyes and a face that looked as if it had never smiled. He had seen her before, one of the children that lived in the Warrens. He also saw her around Matthian, he always seemed to be the charitable sort.

The last one was an ashlander, Corlieus's own servant, Moria. When he saw her he had to stifle a laugh. That collar he gave her should have locked all thoughts of this sort away. That left him with the mage and the beastwoman. "Would you mind telling me why they would do this to me?"

Death smirked. "Well then, let's start with your associate. As you may know, he always had a healthy interest in magic as a boy." The room changed into some villiage, with a child reading a book. Then the boy looked at his other hand and created a simple fire spell. "And as he found out that he had a natural talent for it, he discovered it's terrible power." The scene changed into the same area, but everything, besides the boy, was on fire. Corlieus rolled his eyes, whom thought letting a child play with fire was a good idea, he swore he heard so much propaganda from the government about this sort of thing. "Knowing magics great power, he trained until he could cast spells such as Silence, in order to train himself to become a sort of anti-mage."

This caught the ghost's interest. "He wanted to be able to use his talents in order to stop mages that went rouge. Now, as he was rasied in the Eastern Lands, he would consider demons as people. And your work on taking away free will from them... well it's easy to see why he would want you gone."The Mage sighed. So that man was one of the fanatics. Shame, he seemed like a bright fellow when he first met him.

Death continued. "The Beastwoman's name is Madeline Iverine," The room changed once again into a small farming villiage. The girl was at some sort of picnic with another beastman and two demons. "She was rasied by her mother and father, along with her sister, until..." The image changed, everything was on fire, as the beastwoman and Succubus tried to get away. Suddenly the demon was caught by some sort of trap, the smoke covering it from view. "Her sister was captured and parents killed before her eyes. So she has come to this city to enact revenge upon those who orchestrated the event."

The Mage thought for a minute. "She wants me done in because it was a slave raid."

Death nodded. "Yes, now for Moria." The room changed once again. Ash clouded the sky, making it look like a storm could begin at any moment. The ground looked no different, the plant's looked strange and alien. He looked and saw structures built from obsidian , and the Ashlanders seemingly going about their day. "She used to live here as a child." A child came out of a building, and Corlieus recognized her as Moria, at least when she was young. "But, like in the cause of Madeline, her peace was cut short." The image shifted into a wooden cart, carrying the Ashlanders in chains to thier new dwelling places. The girl was still sniveling. She looked like she was about to burst at any moment. "Then she arrived in your city, where you bid for her." The Mage remembered this well; he had to outbid a woman who had apparently fallen in love with the Ashlanders cute face. Luckily he had managed to win. The woman would have just turned her into some glorified pet, while he on the other hand had work that needed to be done.

"Then she slaved away for you, and you used her as a guinea pig for your magic experiments. Until one day, you gave her the first ever slave collar. And the rest is history."

The mage simply said. "I see..." And turned his thoughts to the crime scene. "May I see the area of my death?" Death nodded and the room went back to normal. He found his body, with a nice big gash upon his neck. He looked over to the only entrance, a locked door. It was supposed to be locked at this time for his privacy. He noticed that it had been opened, and only he and Moria had a key, but he supposed that a lock pick could have opened the door. there didn't seem to be anything that would suggest spells were used. "Interesting..." was all he could say on the matter.

"Just a heads up here, I'm giving you a few more seconds until you have to decide."  From what he knew, he tried to pick the most likely candiate. Death smriked as he got what the mage would expect was the correct anwser. "There was one person who entered here tonight, but she wasn't the person who did me in. The Beastwoman manged to sneak in and ordered my servant to take a knife from the drawer, and to slash my throat."

Death clapped slowly, and the ghost had thought he won. "Good guess, Good guess." The Ghost froze. "What?" Death chuckled and waved his hand. "You see, you were right about their being more than one person involved but it was three who had played apart in your death." The room changed into his living room. "I think I had forgotten to mention that Madeline and Matthian are both assassin's for the Order of Visdotth." The two of them cam in from the window as quietly was possible. Moria was already there sweeping."First, they used your slave to open the doors to your room, The beastwoman stayed back in case of anything that would require her help. The Anti-mage cast Silence on you, you didn't even hear him as he slit your throat. He then whispered those words to you, and left with his partner and your slave in tow."

He watched as the images in the room repeated the actions as death described. He had lost. "But... why didn't he just cast an unlock spell or pick the lock?" "Simple, it would imply that your servant did you in, so the local guards would bother looking for him or his partner. They are planing on taking Moria back home. You on the other hand..." the room changed for the final time. "Are going here" The room was now a vast place, red rock and fire as far as he could see. "No! I was a good man, I don't deserve this?" Death shrugged. "That's what they all say, but most of them didn't invent the most horrible thing to happen to this world." he began to fade. "Now, I must be going. Enjoy your stay."

And so The mage wandered Hades for all eternity. Lamenting them for his sins.

The End

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