The First Lich Lord - C.152


What do you think? I asked Raven when she came into the tent we had set up.

Raven examined the construct sitting before me. I think this is your best attempt yet, though it still smells wrong, she said. Lets see how it works.

I followed Raven through a gap in the wall. I was possessing a creation that was as close as I could get to the same size and build as Ravens lynx form. The two of us had snuck into a small city. The populace was only about 2000 strong, but since it was the closest to the marsh, the ratio of citizens to garrison was higher than normal.

I missed the step and a rock skittered across the road. Raven looked back and glared at me. I had practiced with the undead cat form in the marsh with her. It had been a good way to grow with the skills since the body was so different from my regular form. It helped me more quickly adapt to bodies I wasnt used to.

This construct was the first I had created with fur of any kind. Raven told me it would help me move quieter, so I had added it when we determined to try and scout the city together.

We were only on the outskirts but had already seen dozens of guards. The priests were especially worrisome, considering they might detect that this body was an undead construct. We were doing our best to avoid them. We split up, Raven flicking her ears in the direction of the temple where she was going to scout. I dared not go there. With effort, I flicked my ears toward the fortress, that would be my target.

Fortunately, the night was dark, a cloudy sky obscuring the moon. I waited in a shadow, and when the guards patrolling the walls passed by, I darted out. My claws dug into the stone as I climbed the wall. Knowing I was here for scouting, Id given this body extra sharp claws for this very reason.

Reaching the top of the wall, I poked my head over and looked in both directions. The guards were still just about to turn around. I hopped out onto the wall and did my best imitation of Ravens swagger.

When the guards turned, they saw me. What the heck, one exclaimed as they rushed over.

A spike of nervousness shot through me, but I tamped it down and forced myself to rub on the correlations like Id seen Raven and cats I had owned in the past do. The seemingly pointless move made one of the guards chuckle. How the hell did you get up here? The one nearest to me squat down and reached out a hand.

Again, imitating cats Id seen in the past, I acted like I smelled it and then rubbed it with my head. The guard cautiously pet me. It didnt feel like anything other than pressure, I did not have a full sensor suite after all, but it accomplished the purpose of letting the guard dismiss me.

After a bit, I sauntered off and the guards just let me go. It wasnt that the guards were stupid, its just that people have a tendency to dismiss things that arent a threat to them. They also didnt know my army was nearby. I was certain the priests would detect us shortly, but for now they hadnt.

I used my anonymity and freedom to move around as a cat to thoroughly explore the fortress as best I could. The walls were thick, and ballista were mounted on several of the towers. I was making my way towards the fortification directly above the gates when I had the unfortunate luck of a cleric stepping out of the door in front of me.

There was a moment when the cleric wore the same reaction everyone else had. Then, as if some internal alarm went off, his eyes sharpened and he pointed a scepter at me. I darted for the edge of the wall. A searing blast of white light scorched my tail as I leapt off.

It was a long fall to the ground, and when I hit, one of my legs broke, but I kept movingthere was no pain to slow me down. It was a good thing too. The spot Id landed in was hit by another blast of white light. I scrambled away from the fortress as alarms were raised and disappeared into the night, headed back for camp.


Stolen from Royal Road, this story should be reported if encountered on Amazon.

Did you not do what I told you to? Raven asked.

I did, I grumbled at her as I leaned over the cat form Id been possessing, working to fix the broken leg with death magic swirling around my hand. It doesnt work when theyre a cleric.

It works for me, Raven protested. Especially when theyre women.

Youre not possessing an undead construct, I shot back.

Well, you setting off the alarm ruined a perfectly good backrub I was getting. She had a blissful look in her eyes. They knew just how to scratch my ears.

Excuse me, next time Ill try and be more considerate about your time. Sarcasm dripped from my voice.

As you should, Raven agreed, completely missing the sarcasm. She walked out, her tail swishing happily as if shed just won an argument of some kind.

I shook my head and finished repairing the construct. Stepping out, I found Abimelech waiting for me. Do we have a plan?

Id like to see if they want to surrender, I said.

My lord Abimelech paused. Idont.

Relax, I was kidding, I assured her. Though I am planning on a straightforward approach. There is nothing there that we cant handle, and even if they hold up inside the fortress, we can bring it down. They dont have the magical support to resist us.

Tonight? Abimelech asked.

I dont see why not. I smiled. The undead dont need any sleep anyways.


Harold stretched and let out a tired yawn. What are the chances that William is just claiming that an undead infiltrated so he can get a promotion, he grumbled to Jeffrey.

The two of them had been rousted out of their barracks as the city had awoken with an alarm in the middle of the night. William, a man who everyone thought was wound a little too tight, claimed hed spotted and driven off an undead creature from the walls of the fortress.

I wouldnt put it past him. Jeffrey stretched and yawned as well. They were members of the garrison of the City of Ostia. Their armor consisted of a steel breastplate, helmet, light grieves, and chain mail shirt sleeves. Each man held a long, heavy spear over their shoulder and had a short sword belted at the waist.

Hopefully the sergeant will let us get some more sleep, Harold said wistfully. Otherwise, Ill fall asleep at my post.

Best not to do that, Jeffrey chided. The sergeants always looking for a reason to rip you a new asshole.

Aint that the truth. Harold shook his head. I dont know what I did to get on his nerves, but he hates my guts.

Shit man, I dont know. Jeffrey tried not to chuckle. Maybe it was when you put honey in his helmet.

Hey, theres no proof that was me, Harold protested.

Except for your dumbass face when you watched him put it on. Jeffrey eyed him, shaking his head.

Whats up with this fog? Harold suddenly said. It wasnt here a moment ago.

As they had been patrolling one of the outer roads of the city, a fog bank had rolled in. Like a thick wall. The torch Jeffrey held illuminated the fog as it rolled over them and it became hard to see. There was a coldness, and Harold coughed when he inhaled the damp cold.

I dont know, Jeffrey said. I hate when the fog rolls in from the marsh, lately its carried a vile taint to it. fr

No doubt from that dungeon out there, Harold grumbled. I dont know why Friar Brown had to stop Theonis, that fat old fool.

I heard some of the stuff the friar said last time he came through, after stopping Theonis. Jeffrey shook his head. Theres something to what he saying about Olattee losing its way.

How can you say that? Harold demanded. Olattee shows us the path we are supposed to walk on.

Jeffrey rolled his eyes. Hed paid his dues to Olattee and did his best to follow the tenets of the church, but he was not a religious man. He had been about to respond when he heard something. Harold was about to go on one of his rants about how they all needed to find their path to follow Olattee. Be quiet, Jeffrey hissed. Do you hear that?

Harold snorted. Afraid of the fog that much? Then he heard too, a soft whistling.

They turned and looked out into the fog where a rhythmic sound was coming down the road. The torch they held made the thick fog all but impenetrable to their eyes. Then they saw a swaggering figure. It was small but humanoid, a tail swished behind it.

As the figure came into the light, they saw she had hair that was a mixture of gray, brown, and black with large, pitch-black cat-like ears. Her thick tail was also pitch-black. She was the one whistling, and behind her, Jeffrey saw shambling movements.

What are you doing out here all by yourself on a night like this? Harold asked, his voice like you would address a cute lost child.

The werecats violet cat eyes looked at Jeffrey, who was staring out into the fog. Were here to kill you, of course, she said, her voice not matching the gravity of what she said.

Jeffreys mouth opened to shout an alarm, but the werecat moved first. Her arms, which had been folded behind her back, snapped out, each holding a deadly sickle. The two guards were close enough together that she was able to hook a blade around each of their throats, and in a flash, she ripped them open.

As the two guards grasped at the ragged wounds in their throats and collapsed to the ground, Raven continued to saunter, whistling as if nothing had happened.

Behind her, as the torch flickered out, zombies stumbled into the city. As the guards bled out, necromantic magic found them, and their bodies stirred to life once again.

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