They had just been young boys, young rascals out for a lark, screwing around and playing games. He bowed his head, his iron grey hair falling down past his face. He raised his red eyes and peered out across his lands. Lands that were supposed to have been his son's. Gnarled fingers clenched against the stone railing.
He wasn't terribly old, but sorcery had burned its way through his blood far quicker than he would have liked, leaving tiredness and grey in its wake. These lands, these slaves, this keep, was supposed to have been his son's. His wife had died quicker than he was, and his nieces and nephews lived under the sun. He had no one left to leave the reins of the estate to.
He watched the slaves at their tasks, bored and only vaguely interested. He saw only the thoughts within his mind. He was the last of his line bereft of legacy and a last moment with his scion. His eyes unfocused as he thought back on his short life and the shorter life of his son.
Slaves scurried away from him, and his unseeing eyes let them pass. His head was wreathed in a corona of heat haze, and fire licked at his fingertips. He had nothing left here in this cave, and no one to give it to. He could feel his life ticking away, one sizzling drop of sorcerous blood at a time. There was one course of action left to him.
He went to his study and collected his staff, his rings and bracers, all the items he would need to make war and shed blood again. He was old man, but these caves had not been conquered by kind words or indulgent smiles. It had been his hate and bloodlust that had done that, fueled by the immense sorcerous power within his ancient bloodline.
Let his brother sing and play the mercenary murder, let his nephew play the games of a politician. He had been a soldier, and though he found the work distasteful, he would take up his trade one last time to see that his line well and truly died, or that those that had ended it paid with their blood.