Monday, March 23, 2015

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 57

In the city of Sunn seneschal Valerian has spent the last few days trying to learn more about the undead and their intentions in the city. Partly it is out of curiosity and partly it is because grandmaster Fal-Adar has left him responsible for their actions as he is leaving the city together with the mages of his house on an errand unknown.

The following night both the seneschals and the undead are rounded upby Gamaral who claims to have important business to discuss. The mood between them is not very good but Gamaral explains it is necessary that they cooperate as the legions of Merga - his master - is closing on the city. They have already used the mountain pass to reach Pantoria and while this is why the mages are leaving Sunn Gamaral knows that it is a diversion for a smaller force heading towards Sunn as they speak. As the undead do not want the orb to fall into the hands of Merga they agree to a temporary alliance with the humans, who have plenty of reasons to prevent an undead lich from conquering parts of the Empire. Being the best negotiator Zantana hurries off to the castle to persuade the guards that an attack is imminent while the others head over to the wizard house as Gamaral suggests there might be some artifacts there which might allow him to challenge Merga's control over his minions.

The wizard house looks abandoned at first, but as they enter they are quickly surrounded by mages left to guard the place. Valerian convincingly speaks about the upcoming attack and soon the mages have agreed to help them rather than stop them. With the added hands they begin to look for artifacts while Azela and Geb sneak off to the magic library.

Zantana successfully persuades the captain of the guard that the city really is in danger and then hurries back to meet the others at the docks as they suspect the undead will try to enter the city via the river. When she arrives she finds small bands of undead already attacking panicked citizens who frantically try to escape into the city. Realizing she could make this work to her advantage she sets fire to some warehouses to create a barricade, slowing the undead. It is a mere coincidence that the buildings happen to be run by some of their merchant competitors.

Having taken what they can in the form of artifacts and usefull spells from the library the others soon hurry to face the invading undead. They join up with the soldiers who defend the main streets leading north from the docks to keep the undead contained. Unannounced, Gamaral marches in and start taking command - achiving this through an unusual show of authority and an apparently excellent knowledge about tactics for combating undead. While he remains with the defensive lines he sends Valerian and Sikra with a force to push the attackers back, with Azela joining them as a scout. Soon they begin to encounter hordes of zombies, but the soldiers hold their ground with the aid of the mages and by exploiting their uncoherrent attacks manage to win ground. Eventually the city's defenders push the invaders far enough back towards the river for Zantana to rejoin them - she however has no lust for battle and stays back to observe.

An hour later most of the zombies have been destroyed and as more members of the wizard house return to the city the battle is soon won. Zantana desperately tries to convince Gamaral they should all sneak away but he refuses and soon they all, with the exception of Azela who sneaks away, face grand master Fal-Adar who demands and explaination concerning the attack. Gamaral offers to do so, contrary to Zantana's opinion. The others are free to return to their lodgings provided they do not attempt to leave the city.

The following morning they are summoned back to the wizard house. Having spoken at length, Gamaral and Fal-Adar seems to be getting along well and have some sort of plan together. Good or bad, Fal-Adar at least seems convinced the undead are not part of or helping the force which attacked the city and thus he requests they put their knowledge at the disposal of his country to help combat this enemy. He points out that not helping could raise great suspicions against them and that they would of course receive some sort of payment for their services. Realizing they really haven't much choice they all agree - and Gamaral seems strangely content concerning the development so far.

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