The apparition hung in the hallway like a corpse from the hangman’s noose. Its open eyes stared resolutely at the floor, as if ashamed of its fate.
The King, ashen, turned to his court magician and asked, “Is this a portent of my death?”
“My Liege, this is but an illusion, concocted by your Majesty’s enemies to rob you of your confidence before the coming battle.”
“But are you certain?”
“I have used this spell myself; it can be quite effective. But this is only a trick. What we will send against them will be real, and decidedly deadly.”