I sat amongst a pile of satin cushions and rugs in my private audience chamber, waiting for the ghoul to arrive. My guards stood just outside the door, ready to act if anything untoward should happen. While I was confident in my own power to overtake a ghoul, I had no illusions that my rival, Elaheh, would leave me be if she learned of the meeting. Brightly colored mosaics depicting concentric geometric shapes covered the walls of the room, drawing the eye and making the large room seem full. In one corner stood a stone carved image of an angel with a cat-like form and large wings sprouting from its shoulders. I particularly liked this piece, rumored to have been in the palace since before the current Caliphate had control.




Being the Prince of Baghdad had its perks, private rooms, power, and an endless supply of followers bowing and scraping trying to earn favor. It also had its drawbacks, like Elaheh. She wanted my power, and was willing to kill for it. I just had to be faster than her.





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