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Comments and rep very much appreciated, especially the latter! I posted this in the fiction forum but it disappeared and no-one viewed it really...
The time is Imperial Year 2409 and the setting sun blazed down across the desert land and even the sand appeared to glow red. There was blue sky all around with only the ruined rocks and tombs, the far-off ancient pyramid-shaped monuments and the occasional mirages as a constant reminder of reality. A small and dark individual, a contrast to the bright sands, gathered up his rags and shuffled along, the one sign of life in such as desolate place. An unseen aura of power surrounded him and on closer examination it could be seen that he carried a gnarled staff, a long, pointy hat and many other strange artefacts including a gibbering skull.
He was in fact fairly tall - almost six feet, with filthy long hair which had once been white. His body was battered by his long times wandering alone and the stench of death followed him around. Nobody knew what had happened in his past of hundreds of years. He had caused grand amounts of trouble in previous times and had disappeared and returned numerously.
The beggar-like man cackled evilly - he was the great Lichemaster Heinrich Kemmler, one of the most feared Necromancers of all time, and after eight years of unsuccessfully wandering the sands of Nehekhara he had finally found what he had been searching for. Most of the Tomb Kings that he had seduced for valuable information had banished him from their lands claming him untrustworthy, or had only told him small, unimportant information which had all led to his destination which he was close to reaching - the pyramid crypts of Tutana the Mighty, of which strong magic had been used to stop anyone without good reason to stumble upon them.
There was a cloud of dust and suddenly, in the distance, Kemmler sighted red-painted, gold-lined chariots racing towards him, with finely-clad Undead constructs whipping horses made of bones. If they were foe, he could have easily made the chariots burst into flames and sent the drivers 30 yards into the air to come crashing down to an explosive death with just a simple spell. But instead he would use his strong manipulation powers to bring him to their ruler.
Not long later, seemingly the most important member of the small group of Undead dismounted. It was carrying a smart shield and an embroidered headdress, and it looked exactly like a human bone structure, still in its prime days. It drew its rusted and curved blade and Kemmler felt a spell of protection being cast.
“Why do you trespass the lands of Tutana the Mighty, our sovereign?” it hissed, placing its sword against Kemmler’s throat. Kemmler focused on the skeleton and searched its magical defences. He found a small weakness and put much of his magical power on it, like water finding a hole in a piece of metal. They were all now at his command.
“I have a great prize for your nation - take me to her at once” he demanded. The group would have questioned him further, and most likely not to his success; if he had not attacked them then.
Without warning, the leading carcass spun round and knocked a chariot-rider off his platform, leaving it empty. Kemmler, knowing what he had to do, stepped aboard and let the bone stallion do its mindless will, carrying him towards the now almost-shadowed pyramid-like testaments. He knew that there was a Liche Priest nearby, influencing the Undead, but due to his power he in turn had a certain degree of control over it.
Once they had got to the entrance of the dark tombs, just the leader and Kemmler got down from their chariots. Kemmler could sense the Liche Priest inside, animating the unliving beings, and he could also feel the presence of Tutana the Mighty, high up, such was the power of her. Undead are so easy to trick, since they lack many senses, he though to himself. The same with men, but Dwarfs and Elves would never fight for a cause such as his, unless promised with immense riches and only if he disguised himself - well known was his reputation of inflicting vast damage to civilized worlds.
The walls of the vault were covered in strange markings and symbols, most of them relaying the long histories of the things buried there… or that used to be buried there. Nehekhara had once been full of men who had believed in strange gods and placed curses on their belongings and them. Now they had risen again, and their lesser forms, not found here - just normal warriors buried under the earth - were Kemmler’s tool for creating armies when no other being would follow. The most powerful incantation that all Necromancers were taught would suddenly bring the dead out of the ground to do his bidding; but if the caster was foolish it would send him into death himself.
Kemmler was memorising the dark passageways as he made his way up, flanked either side by well-armed Undead guards. Suddenly they were there, at a solid wall. One of the Undead chanted something in its foul tongue and it slowly opened inwardly. Tutana was there, and he soon had started a deep discussion with her. Half an hour later, he exited the room, his new-found spells engrained permanently in his head. He was escorted out, and was almost back into the strong sunlight, when a group of Skeletons pounced on him from a hidden doorway! He quickly summoned a spell, and dark magic leapt from his eyes, burning the bones and sending them back to the hell from which they came. He used the fallen frames to scour the pyramid, searching for the Liche Priest. He found it and locked it into a tight mental struggle, and its skull abruptly fell off.
He had this information - so much for the trap to stop him. Now he could wreak strong havoc on the Old World, establishing a cosmic empire for himself!
Last edited by Hex; October 14th, 2006 at 15:07.
"Well... that hurt" - Vampire Jon Skellan (Mannfred's right hand man) after being beaten up, falling down an underground waterfall and being impaled by a stalactite.
I enjoyed the story. It's an interesting take on Kemmler and his travels. And I like that you get to the action pretty quickly without a lot of dawdling around.
Some of the wording is awkward and could be cleaned up, but I liked reading it.