The Principal Instructor sat in his private chambers, pawing a map of the continent, greed boiling in his heart.
He was surrounded by opulence. The finest tapestries hung on the ornately paneled walls. He sat on a cushion embroidered with the finest thread. The greatest luxuries shipped from around the world were piled about him. All had been bought with coin squeezed from the wealthy families that sent their sons and daughters to the College. Vast sums (and promising students) had been loaned to the dwarves of the Iron Empire for their forced annexation of their gnome cousins, and those investments were beginning to yield a return. Should he live another 150 years, the Principal Instructor would never want for wealth.
And so, the old magician's eye had slowly turned from his accounts to the map that now lay before him. His eyes had wandered first to the west, to the city states of Myralon. But who would want to rule over such a place? The Myralonians were too independent. Too headstrong. Too used to making their own decisions. The Thralish, however, had lived and died under the rule of the Thrailkill dynasty from time immemorial. The common people would little notice a change in sovereignty and the nobility would bend the knee to whoever sat the throne if it meant keeping their fur collars and paltry chains of office.
The Instructors bony finger guided a long and manicured nail across the velum map tracing an invisible route north from the College to Thralish capitol.
He would not challenge them openly, his pride prevented the thought that he could not. He would be subtle. Beyond subtle. His hand would guide events to create the situations he necessary for success. And of course he would be successful. How could he not? This was his way, he was a gentle conqueror. As he had ascended to the head of his school, as he had ascended to the head of the College, as he would ascend to the throne of Thralia, those he would rule would come to beg him for authority.
He opened a drawer and produced a piece of fine parchment, and reached for a freshly cut quill.
It would begin as it always began: with a whisper. The right whisper, delivered to the right ear, at the right place, and at the right time.
When he had sealed the letter, he sat back and looked upon his work and recalled his first lessons.
"We do not kill. We plant the seed that grows the tree that falls on the house that kills the foe."
He would plant the seed and after a summer, reap a crown.