Friday, May 18, 2012

The Necromancer

The old Necromancer bade Alhazrad to be silent as he chanted an invocation to the Unspeakable Lord of Hali. The two wizards sat in an ancient graveyard on the outskirts of Mandore, protected by a magic circle drawn in their own blood. Alhazrad stole a glance at the necromancer's scrolls. Written in the magical tongue of lost Hyperborea, the scrolls contained secrets of life, death, and the undead.

The necromancer lit the wick of a stinking candle and sprinkled the essential salts over it. Then he spoke, "Now neophyte, watch as the dead rise. While the candle burns they know me as their master and before it burns out I will claim the most able and lay the carrion back to their graves with my art."

Spasms of fear ran through Alhazrad as the graves began to vomit forth the dead. They rose with moans of pain, angry at the interruption of their sleep. The eyeless sockets held nothing but grave worms, but to Alhazrad they seemed...hungry.

The Necromancer strode outside the protective circle and stood among the living dead. He gloated, "Fear them not, though they would devour us living were they not restrained by the candle. Now neophyte, tell me who is greater than he who quickens the dead to make them his slaves?"

Then a sudden gust of wind blew out the candle, plunging them into darkness. Alhazrad fumbled for his flint to reignite it. He heard the sounds of struggle, then screams of agony from his companion. After seconds of desperation Alhazrad restored the candle's flame. In that feeble flickering light, eyes wide with horror, he watched the dead feast on their former master.

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