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Ozorne had always imagined, when he dared imagine it, that his death would be some suitably grand affair, full of weeping and gnashing of teeth and the whole of Carthak begging for the gods to spare him. Instead, it comes as a tawdry little affair in an uncollapsed storage room in the ruins of his grand palace, with no one around at all.

He first realizes that something is wrong when a blunt object impacts his skull. The world has suddenly gone a bit wobbly, and Ozorne falls, catching himself on his hands and knees.

Instinctively, he throws a wall of pure Gift at whoever is behind him.

His attacker clicks his tongue. "You really shouldn't have burned so much of your Gift off, fighting Daine's silly little skeletons."

They are hardly little skeletons, but Ozorne is not about to grace the scum with any response. He staggers with as much dignity as he can muster back to his feet and turns to face the man behind him.

Thom of Trebond stands just inside the doorway, looking far more unhinged than he has at any time during the entire visit. Ozorne reflects that the next time someone tells him there is insanity in a person's family, he will take the warning seriously.

Almost idly, the Tortallan takes another swing at him. Ozorne barely dodges, and falls flat on his back.

"You have a concussion," Thom notes, as if he has just realized this. "The accompanying vertigo is a bit annoying, isn't it?" His eyes are overbright.

He swings again, and Ozorne has just enough time to think that, for all the Scanran trappings to the ex-mage's borrowed superstitions, there is a solid Gallan core to it all that few are unlucky enough to ever see.

The stout Gallan cane comes down on Ozorne's skull once more, and there is darkness.

Thom of Trebond pulverizes the Emperor Mage's gilded skull into paste, frenetically cleans the carved cane with hands he doesn't know are trembling, then limps back out into the treacherous ruins of the Carthaki palace with no one the wiser, Roger's laughter ringing incessantly in his ears.