They entered his temple as they saw themselves: the Jester in his two-tone green belled cap, clawed hand clutching the skull-topped staff with its smaller belled cap. He stayed behind Mardis, who wore the Overlord armor with its iconic tri-horned helm. The wraiths escorting the pair were highly amused, and Doniel would have been shocked if there were no side bets on how they'd respond.
The confidence in Mardis's stance was proof enough that he expected to be met by the Forgotten God.
Understanding arrived: the Jester hadn't seen the Forgotten God's death. He'd fled before Doniel had blasted flame through the creature's mouth, before the mortally-wounded God had fallen into his pit. The Jester thought the hordes of wraiths were closing for a kill and was escaping so he and his Overlord passenger weren't mistakenly destroyed with them.
Both believed they were being brought to receive their promised reward.
Mardis faltered, stopped. The Overlord helm concealed his expression, but that made no difference to Doniel: his Overlordly predecessor was finally, truly among the dead, and as such his every thought was clear.
"Not what you expected, Mardis Theobrus?" Doniel laced his words with amusement.
In the hush that followed, Doniel could clearly hear wraiths snickering.
With nothing more than a thought, Doniel dismissed Mardis's Overlord armor. Beneath it he wore old, much-patched clothing that had been chosen for comfort under the heavy armor, not for appearance. Whatever color the shirt and pants had been, they were gray now, about the same color as Mardis's skin.
Without the iconic armor, Mardis was still an impressive man: tall and muscular, with gray peppering his dark hair, and eyes that glowed red in the dim light of the Abyss. He even managed to look regal while standing barefoot on the patterned stone of the temple. "I gave you everything you have."
There was some justification to that: had Mardis not chosen him to rebuild the Overlord's domain in his absence, Doniel would never have become what he was. Once, perhaps, he would have felt obligated to demonstrate gratitude. Not now: Mardis had used him as a tool. Former tools were not grateful, any more than former slaves.
"You gave me a chance, nothing more," Doniel said coldly. "In recognition of that, you have one chance now: you may beg for mercy."
Mardis had courage: fool's courage, perhaps. His jaw tightened and his eyes narrowed. Though he paled, he stood proudly and did not speak.
"So be it." Doniel gestured, summoning wraiths with a silent command. "Escort our 'guest' to his abyss. You may do as you please with him."
Every wraith in the temple froze for a moment, all skulls turned to the fortunate group around the former Overlord. Doniel could feel the envy rolling off them, but he waited until the lucky guard wraiths departed before he said, "Be it known that those who please me will be granted the opportunity to attend that abyss."
If he turned his thoughts to the abyss Mardis had grown with his deeds he could hear the man screaming already. The wraiths were... quite imaginative. Not being constrained by such things as their victim's ability to survive their treatment, they could do an impressive amount of damage.
That was one problem solved: the opportunity to visit that one abyss where they could torture their victim as they wished would guarantee the absolute loyalty of every wraith in every abyss.
Doniel turned to the Jester. The little creature's eyes had gone as wide as they could without being pulled from their sockets, and his ears were flat against his head. "Amuse me, Jester," he said in a bored voice although boredom was something he doubted he'd experience for some time yet. "Amuse me with your wit, or with your suffering. You may decide."
The Jester croaked out something that might have been a word, and fainted. The reek of ammonia rose from a puddle that formed where he lay.
So, the dead could suffer stress incontinence. Doniel threw his head back and laughed.