The First Lich Lord - C.157


When I came back to myself, I was surprised that I was still standing, having assumed I wouldve fallen down. The big raven on my arm cawed at me again, then flapped its wings, leaping into the air. The big raven circled once and flew towards the city.

I turned and followed. Abimelech took notice but I waved her off. I will be fine, have Tola and Izban render down that pile of corpses into component parts, theyll know what I mean.

Of course, my lord. I felt Abimelechs eyes on me and was pretty certain she would send one of the Dread Thirteen nonetheless to follow me in the shadows. Probably Ehud.

Whats going on? Maxwell asked. You got awfully still there for a moment.

I explained to Maxwell what happened. He got a contemplative look on his face. I actually recognize that name, Maxwell said.

Right, you did run in the underworld of Valdor, I said. I guess if a death god existed here, thats where you they would be known.

The raven flew over the city before it dipped down and landed on the jailhouse attached to the garrison barracks. When we approached, it flew down to the door where it pecked at it. We opened the door and followed it in. It did a half hop and flap of its wings to move around the inside. It quickly made its way to the cells where we were holding the temple staff that had surrendered.

Wed brought them here because I didnt know what else to do with them. My hope was when I eventually connected with Friar Brown, I could just transfer them to him. I didnt know if they would agree with the friar, but he would know what to do with them.

What is it doing? Maxwell asked as the big raven moved down the row of cells, stopping in front of each, staring at the prisoner, and then moving on.

Finally, it cawed at a cell. The man within was transfixed by the raven. From information wed gathered, he hadnt been a high-ranking member of the temple, he was more of an attendant than anything, not even a full acolyte.

His eyes were what stopped me. The pupils had fully dilated until his irises were barely visible. The raven dissolved into what looked like thousands upon thousands of miniature ravens. They flew through the bars of the cell and entered the mans eyes and mouth. He gasped and fell back.

His back arched as power flooded through him. What is going on? Maxwell asked. Did that raven just go inside that man?

Not so simple, I said. He was changing, becoming a living dead, but not by any means I understood. The power of the raven was coursing through his body, changing it. The power had a familiar feel, and it took me a moment to recognize itdivine power. The mans mouth was open in a silent scream.

This is messed up, Maxwell protested. I understand were not the good guys, but he was a prisoner, and not even a vile one, we cant just Just

Thats not what happened, I said. Im pretty certain were witnessing the anointing of a priest to Shadehki.

Youre certain its not a possession?

Pretty certain. I shrugged. But I cant be a hundred percent certain. Im pretty certain though that raven was looking for someone willing. Either way, this is not forced.

The process completed and the man went limp, he lay there for several moments before he stood. First thing I noticed was his eyes were exactly like the eyes of the raven. Hi, my name is Ulricus. He winced. No, that was my living name. My name now is Dagian.

Dagian, I said. Im assuming you follow Shadehki now.

Yes, Dagians voice cracked. I am now one of only a handful that follow the raven god. I have been instructed to first claim the temple, then help you with a task in creating messengers to spread the raven gods, and yours, message.

Let us then take you to your new temple, I said, undoing the magical lock I had placed on the gate.

We left and headed for the temple. The population of the city understandably steered clear of the place, the energy and magic there was dangerous.

Why did the raven pick you? Maxwell asked.

Thats hard to say, Dagian said. I never felt right in Olattee, but knew I was called to the divine. Evidently, I was just walking the wrong path.

When we were half a block away from the temple, Maxwell stopped, knowing better than to approach. He was strong enough to survive, but it would be rough.

Want me to cast a protection spell on you so you can come with us?

Na, Im good waiting here, Maxwell assured me. Besides, I will be a good litmus test to see if the living can approach the temple when youre done.

Walking into the temple with Dagian beside me, I saw a small horde of specters. They sensed our approach and had all turned towards us. The revenant on the altar released a wail that tore at the air. It did not affect me, though I could feel its power pulling at my soul.

I raised my hand to cast a spell. I might be immune to their power, but even though he was now living dead, Dagian would not be. A hand on my arm stopped me. I looked down to see the raven priest walking past me with confidence. An aura surrounded him, and even as the specters bore down on him, whenever they touched the aura they stopped. Not vanished, not recoiled, the maliciousness in their nature was subdued.

It surged towards the raven priest only to be halted by Dagians words. Restless soul, your pain in this life has passed, what remains behind shall serve a new purpose. Be still.

Dagian reached the altar and knelt. I trailed behind him, inspecting the specters and finally the revenant. The revenant turned towards me and I could feel the malicious hate. It remembered me. It also remembered it could not hurt me.

Dagian remained kneeling at the altar for a long time. I stood near to protect him against anything that might interfere, though I doubted anything would.

There came a stirring, the aura of death emitted by the temple began to shift and change. An unseen wind blew through the temple, catching the specters and the revenant in its current. They became a stream of flickering etheric lights that channeled into the altar. The revenant tried to resist, its form struggling to pull free, but it struggled in vain.

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When the last tendrils of energy were pulled into the altar there was an unseen pulse as energy flooded out of the altar once again. The power emitted shifted, it wasnt a large shift, there was still an aura of death, but it did not carry with it the malicious insidious nature it once had. Instead, it had a feeling of inevitability.

When Dagian stood, I could tell he was both tired and had grown quite a bit in power. I guessed he had gained quite a bit of experience from capturing the temple. The revenant reappeared above the altar, having been transformed into a phantom. Phantoms and revenants both can evolve from spirits, but they are down different paths. The phantom could interact with the world in a more physical nature versus the revenants spiritual nature.

Out of the altar, several poltergeists emerged, the specters gone. Poltergeists were what phantoms evolved from, these would likely serve as the attendants and guardians of the temple, at least until other attendants could be recruited.

Maxwell walked in, showing it was safe to approach now. This is definitely a different feel.

I was already dead, and was certain the inevitability would have a different weight to me. It reminded me that there was a final death, but that hopefully would never come for me. Power from the altar was beginning to change things throughout the temple. Symbols depicting ravens and flight replaced where the symbols of Olattee had once been. The poltergeists began to collect the destroyed statues of Olattee, tidying up the temple.

How does it feel to be the high priest of the temple? I asked Dagian.

High priest only in title, Dagian corrected me. I am a long ways from the high priest in terms of power. But I still have enough to accomplish my next task. I can leave this place now, though I should come back.

By the time we made it back to where this tangent with the raven had begun, it was dark. Torches had been lit to illuminate the area. Despite the general lack of need for everyone involved, I still appreciated the warm light. Raven sat with the others of the Dread Thirteen. I noticed Ehud rejoining them.

The pile of what had once been corpses had been reduced to four different piles of materials, flesh, bones, skin, hearts, and brains. I looked in surprise when I noticed a fifth pile, it was full of black feathers.

What is that? I asked. f reewe bnovel

As Tola and Izban, were casting, an unkindness of dozens of ravens dove into the spell, Raven said. I take back everything I said about ravens being smart.

The raven god knew you would need the materials they provided, Dagian corrected her. They were following the commands of the raven god.

Why did I need material from ravens? I asked.

We are here to create messengers, Dagian explained. The ravens that sacrifice themselves will allow us to create their counterparts of the dead.

Im assuming you have a spell for this? I dont know how create ravens. I can create other flying creatures but not specifically death ravens. I eyed the new raven priest.

Dagian nodded and began to cast a spell. I studied what he was casting. It was very similar to spells I used, but there was an aspect added to it. I was pretty certain I was supposed to help. After I understood his spell, I began to build my own using pure death magic and death energy like the raven priest. The part of his spell I could not help with was the divine magic he was weaving into it.

It didnt take long for the two of us to finish building the combined spell. I had quite a bit more death magic and death energy available than he did, so my power supported the potent divine energy he was pouring in. The spell collapsed in on itself before expanding back out into a completely black orb.

Materials were pulled into it from all of the piles. But only a small amount from the four regular piles. All of the feathers were taken. Nothing happened at first, then a raven flew out of the circle, soaring high up into the sky where it circled above us. When I finally managed to get a read on one, I wasnt surprised.

Death Raven

The only real difference between a regular raven and a death raven is that the death raven feeds off the loose death energy and not the flesh of the fallen, though it does still consume it. They are also adapted for living in death biomes, though they can live in either.

When the spell ended, a flock of ravens soared in the night sky. They divided into three groups and flew out into the night. They will deliver the message that Shadehki welcomes all, and that the Lich Ezekiel brings with him order and freedom from the shackles of Olattee. Dagian headed back towards the city.

When he was gone, Raven looked at me. Well, that was dramatic.

It was a little, I agreed.

Lets get to work, Maxwell said. Its going to be a late night. His band had come out with him and been waiting for us to start before we got distracted by the raven god.

I nodded in agreement and began to draw out a ritual in the packed dirt. Tola, Izban, Othniel, and Shamgar all began to help, understanding the runes we were working with. I was trying to teach Jair when I had the time, but she was learning slower than expected.

Maxwells music sped up the process along with helping us keep clear minds and steady hands. It still took us several hours to complete. Mana crystals from Vito were used to store power for the two rituals. I debated making a third to create my own controllers, but decided against it. Vito was right, I could not integrate them into my army, not correctly, and I was certain I would be receiving more from him along the way.

We activated the two rituals. The material was consumed, with far more of the bone going into one than the other. That one was by far the most complex, but that was to be expected.

We had in total the bodies of nearly six hundred soldiers. The ones that become zombies we had left alone, and there had been hundreds that surrendered. It still amounted to a decent amount of material.

I crushed a bag full of death cores as I flooded death energy into both of the rituals simultaneously. The rituals pulled the death energy in, more than I had used for the same constructs in the past, even accounting for the fact that we were making several of each. That was on purpose, as the excess energy would mix with the creation process to enhance the final product.

The ritual which took the vast majority of the flesh was the first to spit out a creature. A flesh golem stepped out, smaller than Chompy had been, even at his start, but the power contained within was greater. I pulled up its description.

Flesh Golem

Undead Construct

Level: 92

Created by: Ezekiel Vernizac

This is a flesh golem. Highly resistant to bludgeoning damage, and in general just hard to kill. Anything it devours will be added to its bulk, further increasing its strength. It has a poisonous bite and its claws leave behind deadly poisons that will raise anything that dies. The zombies will be bound to it and serve it.


I had debated about giving it the ability to absorb material to increase its strength, remembering what happened with Chompy, deciding it was worth it in the end. I was certain I could maintain control and they were significantly weaker in comparison to me than Chompy had been. It would take them a while to overtake my strength. The addition of the ability to control the zombies it created was Tolas idea. As it turned out, it was relatively easy to work in.

By the time I was done reading, the bone ritual was producing its first. I pulled up the description.

Mobile Eldritch Death Bone Cannon

Advanced Undead Construct

Level: 92

Created by: Ezekiel Vernizac

This is a powerful undead construct created and designed by Ezekiel the Lich. The cannon mounted at the top releases a combination of eldritch and death magic in a devastating blast. Its powerful legs and numerous eyes give this creation incredible accuracy.

I had not made any changes, there was no need to improve on the design. Unfortunately, the ritual only created two of the constructs. Id hoped for more, but two of the mobile cannons would have to suffice.

When I looked at the amount of bone involved, I guess it made sense. After all, I had slaughtered an entire floor of the lizards and only got one the last time, I should be thankful I had two.

The flesh golems were a different story. In total I got ten, due to their being smaller than the flesh golem I had created from the lizards, and I had cut down on the amount of excess flesh added. I had done that last time to use up my materials, now I made it more efficient. The eldritch cannons would be added to the ranged battalion and the flesh golems would augment the bone guard platoons.

We headed back to the city, the new constructs already being shepherded away by the bone guard.

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