The night air was crisp, and Feldyn could see his breath as he crept through the cemetery. He had decided to come after hearing about the treasure hidden deep within the tombs. Normally, he would never stoop to stealing from the dead. But this particular cemetery wasn’t normal. Most of the dead here were of the walking variety. And besides, he had been down on his luck most of his life anyway, and if he could catch a break by finding treasure in a tomb, then that would make him and Fate closer to even.
Feldyn let out a deep sigh. He had been out here for several hours, and had nothing to show for it. “That’s the last time I take advice from a drunken old man in a bar,” he grumbled to himself. “One of these days you’d think I’d catch a break.”
Feldyn stopped suddenly. The familiar sound of combat could be heard nearby. He slowly made his way towards the sounds of the skirmish. What he saw next transfixed him. A graceful elven warrior stood locked in combat with a hulking zombie. With lightning quick reflexes, the elf dodged out of the way as the zombie bore down. With a duck and a lunge, the warrior’s sword sliced the zombies leg off, sending it crashing to the ground.
The elf drew up to full height, said a quick prayer and turned to leave, which is when Feldyn noticed two things. First, that this was no ordinary elven warrior. The figure moving towards him was a beautiful female elven warrior. And secondly, the zombie, thought by Feldyn and by the elf to be finished, was not yet through with the fight. It pulled itself up, and with both hands folded together into one fist lunged at the warrior. Without thinking, Feldyn uttered a few quick words and thrust his hand out. The elf’s skin instantly hardened into stone, and the zombie’s blow glanced harmlessly off her. With one fluid motion, she spun and severed its head from its shoulders. The lifeless body stood for a moment, then crumpled to the ground.
The elf turned towards Feldyn, and a warm smile crossed her face. “Thank you friend.”
“T’was nothing, merely a reflex. Still, it gladdens my heart to see you leave the battle unscathed.” He folded one arm in front of his stomach and the other behind his back and bowed. “Feldyn, at you’re service,” he introduced himself ackwardly.
She giggled at his attempted chivalry, and then bowed back to him. “Caecara Kaletasere. So then Feldyn, what brings you to this place? Can I assume that you’re here to find the necromancer responsible for these monstrosities and slay him as well?”
“Uh…right. Necromancer” he stammered.
“Damn that old man,” he thought. “He hadn’t said anything about a necromancer.”
“Well,” she said, “as it seems our paths lie together for the time being, perhaps it would be wise for us to work together. What say you?”
“I don’t like the thought of having to match skills with anyone who works with the dark arts,” he thought. “But if she’s right and there is one here, then he’s bound to have something worth salvaging with him.”
“I think it would be a very wise move. It would be my honor to fight along side you Caecara Kaletasere.”
For the next few hours the pair stalked through countless crypts, tombs, and mausoleums. They fought off countless zombies, pushing themselves to keep searching, but found no sign of a necromancer or his treasure.
“Well Caecara, it looks as though nobodies home. Maybe he’s no longer in the area. Or maybe you received some bad information. Or maybe,” he started, before being sharply cut off by the elf.
“I did not receive bad information,” she said pointedly. “If Llandrien says there’s a necromancer here who that scaring caravans from passing through the region and disrupting trade, then that’s how it is. He personally verifies every piece of intelligence we get before sending any member of Twilight Raven out on an assignment.”
“Look, all I’m saying is,” but before he could finish, the huge stone doors of the mausoleum were splintered in sunder with a deafening boom.
A mammoth shadowy figure stood on the other side. Slowly it
shambled forward, having to duck as it made it’s way through the doorway. It was another zombie. But not one like any of the others they had encountered. It was a zombie raised from the corpse of a giant.
Caecara drew her sword and charged the zombie, trying to take it by surprise. But it was ready, and knocked the warrior aside, sending her sprawling to the ground. The zombie loomed over her, and slowly bent down with both arms outstretched. Feldyn franticly searched through his memory trying to recall what spells he hadn’t already exhausted.
“Stone skin…no, I’ve already used the last of those. Wait! I could freeze its tongue over with ice! No, that wouldn’t help you fool. Think!” Then it dawned on him. “Of course, how did I not think of that first?”
He began chanting. The air in the mausoleum began to swirl, slowly at first, but it rapidly increased. The zombie, about to grasp Ceacara, stopped and looked up. The winds began to churn violently directly in front of Feldyn, and then suddenly stopped. Caecara thought she could barely make out two red glowing eyes in front of the mage. Feldyn tilted his heard forward and whispered a few words. A rush of air flew across the room slamming into the zombie, and began pummeling it. Caecara rolled out of the way and back to her feet, not sure exactly what was happening. The zombie looked perplexed and began swinging wildly in an attempt to fend off whatever its attacker. Taking advantage of the situation, the elf snuck behind the distracted zombie, and with several quick precision strikes, sent it toppling to the ground in pieces.
Feldyn sank to the ground with relief. With a flick of his finger, he dismissed his unseen aid from its service.
“It’s worse than I feared. Only a necromancer of immense power could create a zombie like that,” she said, pointing in the direction of the now dismembered corpse. “Llandrien shall want to hear of this. I will have to take my leave of you Feldyn. It’s imperative that he receive word of the happenings here as quickly as possible.”
With that, she gracefully turned to him and bowed low. “My deepest thanks to you for your assistance.” She turned to leave, stopped for a moment, and turned back to Feldyn. “You know, I believe that Llandrien would want to meet you. He’s always on the lookout for promising new talent, and your skills have proven to be quite impressive. Our divisions main interest is the exploration of new trade routes, but we’re able to find time for treasure hunting occasionally as well.” A smile came over her face, and she winked at him knowingly.
Feldyn smiled back. The tide had turned.
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