Is he dead?
Yes, your highness.
Is there no one who knows his secret?
No, your majesty.
In the crypt…?
The screams persist. Less often now than before, but they persist. And weeping.
Why did he have to die?
The wizard was an elderly man, your highness.
He should have lived…he should have lived…if…if only to put an end to this damned guilt.
You need suffer from no guilt, your majesty.
Easy for you to say. You don’t have to face the screams of your brother every night, echoing through the dark corridors of this castle, the dark corridors of our mind…
Pardon, you majesty, but…your brother was a regicide. He deserved his fate.
He deserved death, not…not this.
…ah…there may be a way of granting him death, your majesty.
What, have you become a wizard now?
No, your majesty, but I do remember the tales of my youth. Silver is a powerful pure metal that can be used against magic. We will drill a hole in the top of the crypt, fill it full of molten silver. It will burn the flesh, consume the bone.
That will be agonizing!
Only for a few moments, you majesty. Then the mortal remains will be consumed, turned to ash, the curse lifted from your brother.
And our guilt?
Lifted from you as well.
…very well. Take what you need from the royal treasury. See to it that this is done quickly!
So it shall, your majesty.
Are we really going to fill her brother’s crypt with silver?
Of course not. That’s a foolish waste of precious metal. No, I think plain lead will do. The silver may stay with us, for safe keeping.
Do you really believe what she says?
If she tells me her brother is trapped in his coffin because of a curse she laid on him seventy years ago, I will absolutely accept that as fact.
If anyone else claimed such a thing, we’d call her mad!
She claims such a thing, but we call her queen.
Keep an eye on those two, see that they do the job.
Yes, your majesty.
We suspect they may try to cheat us.
That will not happen, your majesty. I guarantee it.
Text © Buzz Dixon art by Harry Keen & Harry Clarke