Lore:

Section I, Exorit 3:00 AM
The last stand against my army was the great kingdom of Hrocka Mag. Hrocka Mag's city glistened with wealth, and the city itself was the birth of the renaissance. I now looked down at my left hand, with several artifact rings attached, and remembered. I remembered for a moment the ancient history of when my now bony hand had flesh attached. Even then, the interest in power coursed through my veins! I had gained power of the underworld and the wind, and even began mastery of time before the blood stopped flowing through my now withered away flesh. I studied my fingers, impressed with how white they had become, from the bleaching of daylight during the pilgrimage through the desert of Calahan.

Twenty-five years of planning was now coming to an end, the task at hand was to destroy Hrocka Mag. Hrocka Mag knew the power I would achieve with the Barr Scrolls and would protect them, as well as his citizens. I have huge respect for Hrocka Mag, he is a master of battle, has high moral standard, and yields an amazing amount of control of the elements, even with the flesh still on his body. There are risks in this battle, but they have been calculated and weighed. The time for thought is over, it is time to battle. "Gahltor, begin the siege."

The undead army marched in the black of an overcast night during a new moon, under the guise of fog created by Exorit himself, towards the walls of the city of Hrocka Mag. Exorit masked his undead army from the clerics of Hrocka Mag by using amulets of concealment. Only three of these amulets were known to exist in the world, yet somehow Exorit had managed to obtain twenty-five thousand of them for his army. His assassins had killed the night watchmen minutes before the army would have been in sight of the city gates. Exorit reanimated the fathers of the cityfolk to assist in destruction of their children. The perimeter of the city fell silently for about an hour, as expected.

 

Section II, Hrocka Mag 4:15 AM
I knew that Exorit was near, and had my Clerics posted throughout the city, looking for any signs of undead. Exorit had been planning to take the Barr Scrolls, and with them, I knew he could cause instability of the very fabric that holds the world together. He has no regard for people, nor his own life, since he has not taken a breath for a thousand years. The demon wars of twenty years ago were nothing compared to what Exorit could conjure, as he is an impeccable planner.

My call guards checked all areas of the city and reported hourly that everything was clear. The fog had rolled in making visbility poor as I waited for news from General Talhon. I saw General Talhon in the distance running with fever and shouting. Moments later our battle trumpets sounded and at the same time the lights of the city fell into darkness. General Talhon, disclosed that the parameter of the city had fallen. I immediately conjured the light of day then rose above the city, working poorly as expected due to the fog. Calling upon the winds of the north, the fog drifted away from the city into the empty harbor, allowing the eery orb of light to give visibility to my troops attempting to organize. There was no time to ask questions of why we did not see his army. It was time to protect the castle, and evacuate the city.

Several earthquakes followed as unimaginable amounts of magic were unleashed, causing the older buildings of the city to crumble. Mages throughout the city unleashed fireballs and lighting causing ranks of undead to fall, yet more kept coming. Our newly dead defenders of the city were now fighting with vigor against their former friends, holding some warped segment of life, fighting us with twice as much vigor as they faught Exorit, twisted by reality of Exorit's vision. Knowing we were at our weakest now, I knew Exorit would call upon the heavens to smash what was left of the city. The night sky began to glow around the city as I pulled all of the elements, and wound them together to form a protection shield from the heavens. As they began to slowly weave together, I could barely maintain consciousness. Rushing the spell is no easy task, and maintaining focus to channel is a requirement, I had to back off on the speed for if I fell unconscious, the city was sure to fall.

The air became dry as the heavens opened above us, unleashing huge meteors, much larger than the ones I had seen from spells of this type in the past. The weave of protection caused the first wave to crumble, but the spell was not far enough along to provide full protection, and the weave too began to crumble. General Talhon had been barking orders, that my subconscious had noted, and I could tell the tides of the battle were turning in our favor, that is so long as the weave held, and it would not.

The second wave of meteors destroyed the weave, and destroyed the entire north face of the city. It was then that I saw my past before my eyes and shook in disbelief. Flying in from the north face came a replay of history 20 years prior. The demon army swept down, and began devouring both the undead army and my army, with no loyalty. We had banished the demons for a hundred years, there was no way they could re-enter this world yet here they were. To make matters worse, when a demon fell, it rose from the dead, focused to only kill our troops. Talhon had already acted on this and had clerics preparing their most powerful banishment incantations. The general also began moving an army around the battle lines to the far north in hopes of striking directly at the heart, the commanders.

The last wave of meteors destroyed all buildings without magical bindings, as well as 80 percent of my army. I watched in horror as I saw the secret escape route underground used by the citizens collapse from the incredible pounding from the heavens and knew the town was lost.

Exorit had made a grave mistake, I now had nothing to live for, and I had no escape route for my men. I ordered General Talhon to have the remaining troops retreat to the stronghold, as the city was lost. General Talhon and I then took steeds to join the troops to strike directly at the heart, knowing we would most-likely lose our lives in this effort. The light of day had now failed, and I had to save the remaining magic to destroy Exorit. I witnessed more lives lost as the last remaining troops, cut-off from supply fall to the demons and the dead.

In the distance I saw the unmistakable form of Exorit, streaming magic, allowing us a beacon for our mission. The magic was streaming upward to the heavens and I saw that the darkened new moon had become closer. The tide had swallowed what was left of the south face of the city leaving a small handfull of buildings on the west and east faces. Exorit was consumed in channeling a magic I had never imagined even being available. With great swiftness, my mages breached the weakly guarded lines on the rear flank behind Exorit with fireballs. We followed the fireballs with a stream of arrows and swords.

Gothin the Holy and I began the incantations necessary to banish Exorit from the world. With Exorit wielding unimaginable magic, he would not be able to defend against the banishment. Our troops had formed a circle of protection around us, and our surprise attack that had moved us within range of Exorit. We were now surrounded by the strongest of undead. Our troops defended with the strength of ten men, as they knew living at this point was not an option. We had no escape route, just like our citizens. With the incantations completed, Gothin began chanting the beginnings of the banishment spell. Ten minutes had passed and there was only a handful of troops left defending us, we would be taken soon. I prepared and casted a concussion spell, and it hit Exorit squarely, disrupting his powerful magic and causing him to stumble to his knees. His undead puppets fell to the ground, returning back to the dead.

Before Exorit had time to recover, Gothin the Holy had completed his banishement. Normally when the undead are banished, they fade within seconds. Exorit looked at Gothin, knowing he had been beaten, reached out his undead hand, and it reached 300 yards to where we were standing. It grabbed Gothin's soul and pulled it with him, banishing Gothin to the same place that Exorit had been banished.

The night sky was now lit up as if by daylight, and I looked up, in time to see the moon one last time and knew mankind had just been set back a thousand years.

 

Section III, Sharroth 1000 years later Midnight
The full ghost moon allowed for excellent hunting, but tonight was different than others. The forest was deafening quiet. I requested that my owl Iion to scout around the countryside in search of the source of such unrest. Viewing through the eyes of my owl, I saw that a great fog was approaching. Iion flew closer to the edge of the fog, but stayed very high, as the fog made him uneasy as well. The fog covered both low and high land equally, seeming to stay well attached to the ground.

I consoled Iion and told him to fly closer to the center of the fog to find the cause. Reluctantly, he agreed but stayed very high, above the range of most arrows and spells. At the center of the fog Iion saw the heads of horses, and a carriage with elaborate gold trim. Iion was very frightened and I told him to return, although I did want to see more. Iion began to turn peering back. I saw a glow from within the carriage. Suddenly, I could no longer feel Iion's thoughts! I saw through his eyes that his wings were no longer flapping, and he was headed towards the ground at an alarming speed. Looking closer I saw something odd about Iion's feathers. They as well as he, had turned to stone!

 

Section IV, Lyria 12:30 AM
Sharroth screamed out, "Iion!". Tears formed around her eyes and she turned from us abruptly. She had sent her owl on reconnaissance, and from the sounds of it, Iion turned out for the worse. She stated that we should take refuge in the stronghold as powerful, and evil magic was walking through the land.

Where there is magic, there is always a chance for a hefty profit. Just as in gambling, if you don't take the risk, you can't reap the reward, and I had been on a lucky streak!

Today had been a very good day. We had made our way through what was thought to be the first floor of an ancient stronghold called Hrocka Mag. While I'm not interested in history like Kalen, I still find it eerie that we are walking through a place that many lost their lives in a conflict a thousand years ago. Nonetheless, we had found very abundant spoils, and I had stashed some additional ones too.

As my friends walked to the ruins of Hrocka Mag, I snuck away, dashing quickly through the night towards the fog. I had to climb trees to peer above the overwhelmingly thick fog layer in hopes of finding the center. A procession must be traveling from the north down the well traveled road of Yekna. I could hear the clopping of horses in the distance and found a pit near the road and lay down on my belly which concealed me in shadow.

As the entourage approached, I became sick, and suddenly felt that I should not be doing this. I discarded these thoughts, as I had to at least see what was causing me to be unnaturally uneasy. The horses came with knights in full plate, old plate, older than that of the ones we just found in Hrocka Mag. Peering my head above the darkness veil and fog to get a better look, I saw an intricately carved carriage, pulled by 12 horses. It was magnificent, and as the carriage moved closer, I noted the most beautifully sewn robe on some old withered man. As usual, money is always locked in the withering and dying, where it does them no good.

I inspected the march of the horses and the draw of the carriage to make my plan, studying the direction that everyone was looking including their patterns. The knights would certainly kill me, if spotted. I'd just have to make it obvious real quick that I was not a man, and play dumb if caught. I then studied the riders as they passed and strained for a better view into their helms, as something about them felt lifeless. The captain was approaching and I was relieved that he did not have a helm, as I needed to see a soldier to put my thoughts of what was behind the helms at ease.

My blood stopped as I saw the undead captain, peering with empty sockets, march past on a steed that I realized was uneasy yet paralyzed by fright to throw his rider. I dropped my head back down into the veil of darkness recollecting my thoughts. Lacking better judgement, I peered back up, having to see the carriage as it drew near. I leaped up, grabbing the upper portion of the carriage, hoisting myself onto the top of it. My lucky streak was still on, no one had noticed and I silently slipped back into the safety of shadows.

Looking down I noted that the old man was not old, he was as dead as the rest of them, and looking at him caused me to shake uncontrollably. I had to hold it together for this noise could get me caught, and I don't think my sexy moves would work against the dead, but I suspect that even dead men still have desires. I saw a small strand of swamp grass in a pot to the left of my ancient friend in the carriage. The grass was glowing, and appeared to be dancing. I waited until the ghost moon light was shadowed as we passed under large trees and rolled off the carriage, reaching in on my way down, removing the dancing strand of grass. I dare not try to run, laying flat on the ground until the procession was no longer in sight. I wanted nothing more than to get far away from the fog and the thought of the dead. Over an hour passed before the shaking subsided, and I could finally breath easier. My friends would not see me tonight, I had to make haste to town and sell my largest bounty yet!

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