The Conjunction

You walk softly in the guild courtyard, studying your magic and feeding your dark powers with meditation when a chill breeze begins to blow.

Taking a glance over the great forest to the west, storm clouds begin to churn in a formidable dance of blackness. The chilling breeze evolves into a cold wind, making even your black soul fall shivering. Some sort of primal instinct within your mind begins to scream. Shelter! You must seek shelter!

Shelter you seek, and shelter you find within the ancient stone halls of the guild. Looking out into the courtyard, you are joined by others of your ilk. Guild brethren who sense the same fear as you. The storm into a maelstrom. Trees crack from the intense winds and stones shudder from the mighty thunderclaps. Nothing like this in your memory has ever been. Such raw power. Such awesome energy. It would seem that the gods themselves, are waging war upon all creation. Fearful that such thoughts could come reality, you gather your cloak about you and simply watch.

Out in the guild courtyard, swarming with flying leaves and branches, and laced with strokes of lightning. Your attention draws toward the shrines. The holy places of each necromancer's power, the shrines begin to glow with a faint violet light. "This storm is of the gods." You hear in a raspy voice from behind you. You turn your face to see the solemn figure of Raylorn join the small huddle of necromancers around you. He seems to look directly at you when speaking again "It cannot be now! The time is not right! Tis the eve of our own destruction we face!" With that, a mighty stroke of lightning hits the center of the courtyard grounds and the earth splits apart! Small snakelike creatures that glow with an sickly yellow light pour forth from the fissure.

Not knowing what to make of the situation yet, you are shoved aside by the hulking form of a man-wolf. Brethren to you, but more ferocious than hell itself, the creature is followed by a frail-looking skeletal creature. Looking frail is only an illusion, for all know that the power of a lich lord resides in his magic. The two necromancers fly into the courtyard to face the yellow swarm. Magic flies in waves of cold as the lich calls forth his own storms of attack. Adamantite blades of crimson red are brandished by the werewolf, slicing the creatures as they appear. The battle rages on, but there are too many of the snakelike entities. A mighty howl of anguish and a scream of utter pain are all that remain of the necromantic defenders. Terror strikes through the entire guild. All eyes look to you. You know what must be done. With a confirming nod from the venerable Raylorn, you reach a cloth-bandaged hand toward the gate. With your ankh glowing brighter than it ever has before, you heave the iron gates. With a thunderous crash, the gates close. For the first time, since creation itself, the shrines are sealed off from the guild halls. You feel your strength drain, and you see your other brothers and sisters also taxed. It seems you are powerless, lifeless, helpless. Raylorn bows his head and speaks softly..."Our powers now go to our gods. May it be enough to defeat the swarm. Pray...pray".

Mortal, once again, the guild is tossed into anarchy. Friends and comrades in battle become fearful and terrified. Those few that remain strong of will flock to the windows. You, yourself, gather your composure and move to an open window. Helpless as an infant child, you watch out over the courtyard, as the purple haze covering the shrines grows brighter. The yellow swarm of hellish maggots grows larger, coalescing into a fiend of such vileness you shudder and look away. As your head involuntarily turns to the side, you think you noticed something within the great shine of violet coming from the shrines. You think that you saw shapes. Shapes that you know in your heart and soul. Shapes that represent the only force on earth that can save you and your guild...

You see the patron gods of all necromancers come to defend you.

With renewed faith, you gaze out into the black courtyard. Within flashes of lightning, you see the yellow fiend strike toward the mighty form of Joica. His quickness proves too much, as he turns to the side and grasps hold of the fiend with his skeletal talons. With a chilling blast, the patron lich damages the fiend in a howling rage. All is not as well as it sees though, for as the snakelike flesh cracks away from the fiend, it is replaced with fresh, blood and flesh! Joica is struck a devastating blow and crumples in a heap. His form is then tossed aside by the fiend and lays very still.

Working his scythe in a rhythmic pattern of lights and colors, the great reaper lord lulls the fiend into a semi-state of peace. Seeing their chance, the twin sibling gods, Lyrra and her brother, the Great Spirit lunge forth. Too late, they realize however, that they have been duped. The fiend reaches forth from the feigned sleep and clutches both gods in its massive claws. With a howl of rage, the fiend then throws the necromantic saint vampiress into the shrine of Silthos. With a thunderous explosion, the shrine is no more, and Lyrra lays very still upon the shattered stone. Her brother, the Great Spirit of the Beast is hurled into the shrine of Veilmont. A second massive collision and the proud shrine of the ghost lord is destroyed. Laying upon the rubble, the Beast Spirit does not move. Silthos gathers his faith, for only he and his brothers Veilmont and Tsumekah remain. You look over to the side and see your patron hastily discussing something with the lord of the ghosts. Slithos avoids a blow from the fiend and looks over to his brothers. They both nod solemnly and suddenly you know what must happen.

Silthos stands tall and erect, facing the ultimate evil that is the yellow swarm. He hold his scythe firmly and screams a mighty howl, his silver blade leaves his hand and falls to the stone ground in a clang of steel and an scream of blood. In a mighty arc, the fist of the fiend finds its mark. Silthos is struck. His frame crashes to the ground. And he lies still. The fiend cackles gleefully as it howls in triumph. All is lost. Only oblivion remains as the creature will proceed to destroy the guild, and then. The world. Your hope is all but lost, when out of the corner of your eyes, you see your saviors...

Veilmont and his brother, they have their time. Their reaper brother's sacrifice was not in vain, as a bright violet beam shoots forth from the hands of Tsumekah, striking the fiend in the torso! Joining the energy pouring from the mummy saint, the Patron ghost begins his assault. Striking from the opposite side. The ghost lord holds up his arms as a bright purple beam joins that of his brother. The fiend screams in pain, but begins to resist. The brothers look at one another nod. Pain streaking each of their faces, the brothers make a final lunge at the fiend. Meeting head on, they impale their undead being, nay, their very souls upon the fiend! What results is a cataclysmic explosion of such magnitude, that the very earth seems as though it would shake apart. You look at your hands, and see the cloth bandages fade away, leaving the dark flesh of a death mage. Only then, do you realize the truth...

The fiend fell silent, solid stone it was. The storm broke and the clouds began to dissipate. A crack here and a faint creaking there, and suddenly, the statue of the the fiend cracks apart into dust. All around, the necromantic saints began to rise, one by one. All were weakened by the battle. Joica helps Lyrra to her feet, then walks over and helps his brother, Silthos. The Spirit rises to his full stance and joins his brethren. Two are unseen though. Two have fallen. No trace remains of Veilmont, or his brother, Tsumekah. The saints all look toward the form of the fiend, the last remains of which drift softly to the ground, draping themselves upon a lone figure that seems strangely familiar to you. Moving closer, the patrons lift the figure, which is humanoid, to it's feet. The creature can be seen covered by a dark cloak, which hides its face. Pulling back the hood. You know... Veilmont, the mighty lord of all ghosts, and Tsumekah, the desert master of all mummies, have both sacrificed their undead nature in order to save the guild. In doing so, they have thusly sacrificed their very souls, for they have summoned the Ancient One - their progenitor, the first, and until recently, the last of the Pure Necromancers.

Recognizing their lost brother, the saints embrace him as only gods could. They turn their heads and look at the fallen shrines of Silthos and Veilmont. The powers of the undead have been wounded, and the apprenticeships of the saints have been severed. Time heals all wounds and time will heal these. Lyrra, closest to her brother, Tsumekah, whispers to Silthos and then walks westward to the desert shrine and makes it her own - her last testament to her lost brother. The Great Spirit then howls in mourning and fades into the wind. Joica looks over at Silthos, gives a nod, then moves eastward into his home, his form fading from view more and more with each step. Silthos, his home destroyed, graciously takes Lyrra's offer and turns northward, making her home his own. All that remains now is The Ancient One.

The Ancient One walks toward the guild, toward me. The iron gates swing open, and lock themselves in place. The powers return to the guild, save those of the greater mummies and necromancer ghosts. Their power is now a new one to learn, but not so new, for their master is that of the Ancient One. As the corporeal form of the ancient saint passed by me, he took my hand. Leading me up the guild stairs, with my former mummy and ghostly brothers and sisters, the Ancient One led us into a new age of magic. An age long forgotten. An age that will live on and breathe new life...

That age, is that of the Pure Necromancer, and I will lead them forth.

I will be their patron.

Rachlan the Pure, and Saint of the Dead

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