Mansemat watched the sparkling bolt streak towards him, and readied his blade. With one swift chop, his father’s spell was destroyed.
Shaddad stared in disbelieving horror. “No. No. No. This… no.” He gulped, the tears streaming down his face. “I… this will not end here. No. I am too great to die like this!” Shaddad’s sword was shaking in his hand. “I… Anibal and Amilcar died, but I lived. I lived! I LIVED! I LIVED, AND I WILL NOT DIE NOW, I WILL NOT DIE EVER, I WILL LIVE!” He took a deep breath and charged at his son. Mansemat easily side-stepped him.
“I am better than you!” shouted Shaddad, as he prepared another wild swing. “Stronger! I--I gave up all the weak things you believed in. I gave up justice. And honor. And pity. And love. And… that made me strong!” He stared at Mansemat, his expression tormented, as Mansemat continued to effortlessly dodge his undisciplined attacks. “Do you understand me, boy? Do you? You--you have to be strong if you want to live. And I am strong.” Mansemat struck his father’s hand with Murgleys’ pommel. Shaddad’s blade fell to the ground, dropped from nerveless fingers. Shaddad stared at it for a second, then collapsed to the ground himself. “So strong. So very strong. Not weak. Not weak at all. No. Strong. Not weak.”
Mansemat stared at the man he’d feared for all his life, as he lay on the ground crying. Shaddad sniffled, then gave his son a bitter smile. “Ha! You--you can’t finish me, can you? Can’t kill your old man!” He gulped, then laughed again. “I knew you were weak! I could do it.” He glanced down at the ground. “Not that I had to. Lord Nerghal did that for me. Killed my father. Killed my grandfather. Killed my brothers. They died right in front of me. Amilcar and Anibal. Amilcar fell. Anibal rushed back to get him. I kept going. Because I was strong.” He blinked several times. “Oh, Lady, WHY?” he whined. “Why did you do this to me? WHY?” He buried his face in the ground. “I just didn’t want to die…”
Mansemat turned away, a strange mixture of disgust and pity making the ruin of Lord Shaddad simply too… humiliating to watch. He listened to his father’s sobbing… and then suddenly it stopped. “MANSEMAT--LOOK OUT!” came a shout, even as he was beginning to turn. He saw him clearly, as he pivoted. His father had drawn a knife and was trying to stab him, his face a mask of hatred, rage, and self-pity. And then Shaddad’s hand jerked back, even as Mansemat slashed at him with Murgleys. As Mansemat watched a reddish wound blossomed in his father’s stomach, and then Shaddad fell once again to the ground. Mansemat turned to try and see who had warned him, even as he told himself that what he thought was impossible…
His sister stood there, unsteadily. She looked at him a moment, and smiled. “I… I thought he killed me, but… I guess he…” Mansemat looked at her chest, and bit his lip nervously. Morgaine followed his gaze, and then blinked. “Oh.” She stared at the strange gaping hole, empty and black that lay where her heart had been. “Oh.”
Lord Shaddad looked up at his children and sobbed to himself. “No fair,” he whined. “No… fair!” And so Lord Shaddad died as he had lived, railing against how unpleasant the universe was being to him.
When Nisrioch found them, the siblings debated what to do with his body. They decided to leave it where it lay.