Who did this man think he was? This foolish Daniel thought that the Babylonian Empire would end that easily? That it could not withstand the might of the Persians or the Medes? If he wanted use the gold and silver goblets from Jerusalem’s Solomon’s Temple to drink with his nobles, wives, and concubines, he would. They belonged to him as King of Babylon. Why was this Jewish exile the only one able to understand the words written on the wall: Mene mene tekel upharsin. Why should he believe Daniel when he says that the Jewish God had numbered the days of his kingdom and brought it to an end? Who was this God to weigh him and find him wanting? Who was this God to divide his kingdom and give it to Balshazzar’s enemies?
Balshazzar paced through his room. He had already prayed to his Gods and an idea was beginning to form in his mind. Growing up he had been tutored in the ways of magic from his mother’s father. Talents his father would never possess ran through him. Magic had always been a part of Balshazzar’s life and he used it to bring fear to those fool enough to stand in his way. Nothing was going to end his empire!
His grandfather who did most of his magical training had cautioned him not to follow the dark paths, but he was a fool. Balshazzar was a ruler who was not easily told “no.” When his foolish father left to worship the moon god, Sin, the kingdom was left to him to rule. He was not going to lose his kingdom to this false god of the Jews!
Balshazzar pulled out his notes. He was going to make sure that any attempts to bring him down failed. He was going to survive death. Nothing was going to stop him.
“Bring the girl in,” he ordered his guards. The young Jew was wide-eyed and tried to escape with the guards as they left the room of their ruler. All believed that this girl was to be a new concubine of their leader, but Balshazzar had other plans. “You are going to save my country girl. You are nothing and I am everything. Your life will allow me to live forever!”
The frightened girl tried harder to reach the door, but Balshazzar had already stunned her. As she crumbled to the ground he finished his preparations. A potion had been used by his family for years to allow them to see their souls, to separate from their bodies for short periods of time. He had discovered by accident that killing another person caused the soul to fragment. A gold scepter lay next to that potion. Next to the scepter was another potion used by his ancestors split the souls of animals they killed to offer to different deities. He hoped it worked as well on himself. His plan was to drink the first potion, kill the girl, drink the second potion, and then use a transportation spell to put the soul fragment into the scepter, binding it to the object with spells used in his religion to bind animal souls to objects for protection.
Balshazzar drank the first potion. It was now or never. “Avada Kedavra,” he said when he saw his soul shining out from his body. He drank the next potion and pain worse then anything he could ever have imagined passed through him. It was purely the strength of his will that allowed him to finish his plan. The spells worked and he collapsed onto the floor as pain continued to roll over his soul.
Balshazzar’s plan worked, he survived the collapse of his empire, a literal shadow on the wall, unable to reconnect with the remaining piece of his soul that hid within the scepter. His body was destroyed during the final battle. He spent many years trying to figure out how to reconnect with his soul. Then he watched in horror as a religious man who came with the conquerors of the kingdom destroyed the scepter because it “felt evil.”