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Chapter Twelve - Death rising
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Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:14 pm    Post subject: Chapter Twelve - Death rising  

I blame this chapter on caffeine. Lots of it.

Chapter Twelve - Death rising

The lich decided that if the world was his, then it would be easier to destroy later. "Build a decent fort up first. I want to have walls to shield us."

The skeletons nodded and started to erect simple buildings made of the wood and ore they had gathered. The lich then went about, looking at the corpses and various states of decay they were in. "Mm...This one could serve me...this one is too far gone..." He picked at a few, noting the insects and meat that were clinging to some bones, and others were simply too lightning-blasted to be of any use whatsoever.

By nightfall, the skeletons had a decent set of walls built up. By then, the lich had picked out a good thousand more corpses from his old horde that would serve him well. He clenched his fist, summoned black, unholy power, and thrust it in the general direction of the dead while intoning a spell.

"By my powers over death, I command your souls back to animate your bodies and do my bidding. The fallen shall arise and the righteous shall flee in terror. All ye dead, return!"

He got a lot more than he bargained for or even expected. What he thought he would have gotten was around a hundred skeletons or so, maybe a few zombies.

Apparently, the bodies were better off than he had thought they were. At first, nothing much happened. Then a bone shifted here. Rotting flesh twitched there. And then the bodies started to move, pushing themselves away from the charred ground. By the time the bones had stopped moving so much, the lich was in awe.

At least a thousand skeletons had heard his summons. Five hundred zombies stood, moaning a bit and clutching their heads. And every one of them was staring at the lich in turn, awaiting his commands.

The lich looked from the skeletons to the zombies, then back to the skeletons. "Um...Go and gather resources, to further improve the town. Bring back anything of use or interest. Scout the area for anything useful or any flesh-beings. Return by dawn, we'll have more work to do then."

As his minions set out, the lich felt a woosh of air behind him. He turned quickly to see several tall, pale, cloaked figures with very sharp fangs. "My lord of the dead, I, the lord of the vampires, extend my greetings and services to you."

The lich nodded. "What are your numbers?"

The vampire stood proudly. "My lord, we currently number twenty in our fine house. With the proper supply of young, fresh bodies, we might be able to attract or recruit more into our services."

"Indeed. How long have you been waiting?"

"My lord, we are the night and are always on the lookout for a new lord of the dead. The last one was over a thousand years ago."

"Mmm. I don't know how this transaction is supposed to be finalized, you know."

The vampire nodded. "You are young in the ways of undeath. Traditionally, the new lord of the dead enchants his followers with a spell to ward them from the damaging effects of the sun's rays. It will make most of your minions weaker, but for some of your followers, it will slay them outright. The spell, as I understand it, is Loct Solus Abartia, with unholy power throughout."

"Very well. Loct Solus Abartia!"

From the lich's hands came a wave of dark power that swept across the lands. It touched the skeletons, zombies, and vampires, coating them in a thin veil of darkness. The rest of the land felt his touch and trembled, for it knew a new lord of the dead had arisen.

"My lord, what is your name? I cannot swear featly to you until I know your name."

"My name..." The lich thought a moment, then dredged up an old word that was ready to have his power behind it, a name that would strike fear into the populace. A name truly worthy of him. "My name is Arch-Lich Mortalitas, and yours?"

"My name is Lord Arex, and for as long as I am leader of the vampires, then we are at your service."

Do not forget that not all the dead have a body.

Arex and Mortalitas turned around, looking for the source of the voice. "Show yourself, lest I blast you back to the pits of Hell!"

We've been there, nothing special. A form flickered into sight at the edge of the clearing. If not for the fact that it was see-through and was missing everything below the waist, then it might have passed for a human. Mortalitas thought a moment, his bony finger scraping on his skull. "Ghost? Wraith?"

Indeed, we are wraiths, commanded forth by your call. We wish to serve you as well. Let us drive your enemies before you in blind fear, let us hold them paralyzed as you strike them down. Let us remind them that death comes all too soon.

"Then you have made a bargain. I shall command my spell to shield you as well." With a wave of his hands, Mortalitas made good on his promise. "Now, I have been dead and on the run for a while, so I suspect that you two know more of what's going on in the outside world than I do."

The humans have hidden the incident. Officially, nothing happened. Unofficially, they've dispatched paladins and priests, hoping to put you to rest permanently. Your skull has a price on it, and bounty hunters will try anything to get it.

"The elves, however," Arex picked up, "Are unaware of anything happening, as is your body's old empire. The dominion of Deemer has crumbled and is under joint human and elf rule, but if you rode into Veks, then nothing could stop all those still loyal to Deemer from swearing loyalty to you. Massive uprisings would occur all over Deemer's dominion, and it would be yours in a fortnight."

Mortalitas considered. Deemer's dominion lay to the north-west. Veks would most likely be well defended, if not still concealed. However, as word spread through to the underground tunnels, then maybe some flesh-beings would attempt to raid the human and elf towns. Plus, the Shadow Dragon bodies were most likely still there. A lot of firepower to be gained from an undead dragon.

The humans were to the north, and they were very centralized. If he could take out their main town, then the attempts on his unlife that most likely would happen in the near future would cease very quickly. However, riding right into a city of the light is not a place a lich would consider going.

And then there was the elves to the north-east. They had dealt with undead for centuries. They would be a massive thorn in his side. But if they didn't know what they were dealing with, then most likely, they would be confused for a little while. If he built up his forces slowly, until he was certain that he could take the elves out all at once, then victory would be guaranteed.

Or he could keep altering the very Ley Lines of the land. Seeing as they were the lines along which life itself operated, the more lines that he directed to his new town, the more people would come to him, only to be slaughtered without knowing why they were there.

Mortalitas gnawed on his bony fingers...

So! A name. A mission. A campaign that is going to have to get kick-started somehow. And readers that are going to tell me how to do it!
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Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 612
Location: Not where I want to be.

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:12 am    Post subject:  

Cool story. I need to go back and read the previous chapters, i think, but this is pretty darn cool!

So, hmm, i think that armies are always great when they are large, so alter the ley lines further, build up greater might, and slowly start creating dissension amongst the living with small raids and what not.
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