Dal Riata Short Story Chapter Four – Deadly reprisal

Alok slipped quietly past the skeletal guard patrols with ease. Some of them looked strangely familiar.

The cistern was far bigger than he had anticipated; quietly he scaled the green walls of the abandoned cistern for a better view.

The cistern had a huge central platform, joined by two stone bridges. One was connected to the entrance where he and his team entered, undetected. The other had piles of bones, and strange sickly green glow bathed the bone piles. He motioned for those on the ground to wait for his call.

Lelldoren signaled back.

He wanted more time to inspect those bone piles; something felt wrong.

As he scaled across the cistern, and neared the central platform, he could see the necromancer addressing his acolytes.

“Patience, Acherus,” the necromancer said calmly, “your brother did not fail us.”

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Alok continued further, and came to the second stone bridge. Before he could approach the platform at the end of the cistern, he could hear a huge clamor from the entrance. Alok turned around and could not believe his eyes.

“They are already here! Lets start before they do!”someone shouted.

Over thirty wardens, from an assortment of clans, charged into the cistern atop their mounts. Startled, Alok’s team too came out of hiding, to attack the undead.

The wardens are strong, and they have the advantage of surprise and numbers. Alok thought to himself. Surely …..

“See? Your brother have delivered.”

The necromancer’s grim smile froze Alok’s blood. The necromancer gestured and green runes danced in the air. In a split of a second, Alok had already let loose a barrage of arrows at the necromancer to break what spell he was casting.

The arrows never made it.

They bounced harmlessly off an invisible shield surrounding Efnisien. The necromancer did not even turn to look at Alok, but continued his spell. While the warriors clashed with the undead guards at the entrance, rogues leapt past them and went straight for the necromancer.

A flash of white light engulfed the huge room. Alok instinctively swung himself below the bridge, and felt a wave of cold as he did. He swung back up immediately, arrow nocked. He was not prepared for what he saw.

All the rogues that got close to Efnisien were lying motionless on the ground. The necromancer had taken out a fifth of the wardens with a single spell.

Behind him, the bone piles glowed even brighter. Squinting his eyes, Alok could finally see what they were:

An army of ghosts rose from the bone piles, and begun to move across the bridge.

Alok muttered a prayer under his breath, and hoped for a swift death.

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“The Wardens, they took the vaults map and dispersed.” Warden Oisin said gravely to Lord MacLir.

“They are on the way to vanquish the necromancer then! We just lost the catacombs to an Avatar of Donn! He is raising an army there to attack all of Lirs Reach before laying siege to Castle Farcrag….Wait, did you say ‘dispersed’?

“Yes…. The clans divided themselves…” Warden Oisin’s voice trailed. “At least they did not kill each other…”

“No… Divided they are not an army…And we need an army to defeat one!” Lord MacLir shouted at an esperated Warden Oisin. “Once they fall, all of Dal Riata is doomed!”

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“Gather all we can muster, Captain, we must save our heroes at once!”

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