[Prologue]

My vision slowly came back into focus. My surroundings were mostly shrouded in darkness. From what I could make out I was in an empty room with no discernible features, nothing out of the ordinary to give me any clues as to where I was. There was only a single door in front of me and a lonely bulb swinging above my head that flickered randomly, casting a dim luminance over me. Once my senses had finished rebooting I tried to move.

Tried and failed. Clearly my senses weren't completely fired up as they overlooked the fact that I was chained to a wooden chair, held in place by a pair of manacles clamped around my wrists. And I was topless.

"Oh this isn't good," I said. Or at least I tried to. I think it sounded more like, "Hm fizznt goo."

My mouth hurt like hell and my tongue tingled with the coppery, sickening taste of blood. Then out of nowhere something struck me. Pain spread like wild fire through my jaw as my head jerked to one side from the impact.

"Good, you're finally awake Wizard," bellowed a deep accented voice from the patch of blackness to my left, "I was afraid you had died too soon. We would not want you to miss all the fun."

"Please," I said, spitting blood out of my mouth "Don't hold up your plans on account of little ole me."

"Oh but I will," the voice replied, "You see once you have told me everything you know, revealed all your little secrets; I want you to see your final moments coming. So you can have a sense of honour at the end."

A lump of fear swelled in my throat. I swallowed it down trying desperately to keep calm.

Oh crap.