The First Lich Lord - C.178


As I see it we have two options, I said to Raven and Abimelech. I wouldve included Maxwell, but we couldnt afford to let his music lapse. We can try and retreat. Everyone but Maxwell and Raven are undead, so we should be able to simply march out into the lake. Im not a fan of this option, you never know what lurks in the depths, and wed be sitting ducks to anything that came after us.

And the other option is to attack before the army from the church arrives, Abimelech said.

Yes, because if we wait it will be too late, I agreed. Our magical defenses are strong but will not last forever. The rotating elemental zombies continued to power the ritual, but from the constantly lowering levels, it was already facing its last legs.

Why does it feel like were facing all of this alone? Raven demanded. I thought the friar was supposed to be helping us. Facing the kingdom forces is one thing, but the church and the kingdom together, its a bad match. freew ebnove

I know, I said. Things have been going well, and I assumed that was because Friar Brown was making issues in the south. But we faced both kingdom armies and church armies. I worry something has happened.

Regardless, Abimelech said. We must strike soon if we are to try and break free. If that army of players connects with the main army, we will be in even more trouble.

I looked toward the front lines which were now embroiled. Eldritch death knights clashed with knights as the bone guard and men at arms clashed around them. My forces had dug a series of trenches and barricades that hampered the forward progress of the enemy forces. On both sides, magic healed the wounded, necromancers and death clerics for me, regular clerics for them.

The necromancers also worked to raise any of the fallen they could. This further sewed chaos in the fight. The fortifications that had been created were not a straight line, in a straight fight my troops were not the equal of the living. The barricades and trenches were dug in a chaotic disconnected pattern to enhance our advantage. There was a solid line of defense farther back, but the front, and where the fighting was right now, was disjointed. The addition of newly raised zombies to that mess was the only thing keeping the fight from advancing.

You are right, of course, I acknowledged. Get the Dread Thirteen mounted up. Raven, when this starts stay with me, you are a strong fighter, but this is not where you are meant to be. She didnt argue, knowing I was right. Have the horde in the water come back out, well need a distraction.

The army Raven had seen was mounted and riding fast, we needed to act now.


The juggernauts smashed into the front lines along the southern side of the peninsula. Their bulk and weight had them tearing through the wall of steel. One of them picked up a knight and ripped his head off with razor-sharp teeth before tossing the armored body down with enough force to smash another knight into the ground.

The mindless horde surging out of the water hadnt accomplished much. Barely 2,000 were left, but it still had the enemy redistributing some forces to keep them at bay. The battle had not been one-sided if you didnt count the loss of the zombie horde. While the zombies themselves had only brought down a few hundred of the enemy, the ranged combat had swung heavily in our favor once the ritual was completed.

One by one, the catapults and other artillery pieces had been targeted and destroyed by barrages from either Elon and the eldritch cannons or Othniel assisted by Jiar, Tola, and Izban. Pulling the Dread Thirteen off the front line had weakened it, but we expected that. As my forces were pushed back, they retreated before being overwhelmed.

Maxwell had taken Snappy out into the water south of the peninsula. Five death clerics were crowded on the snapping turtle, providing heavy magical defenses so Maxwell could continue his music.

Behind the juggernauts, the flesh golems bounded forward. The oldest flesh golem was now the size of a small car. Their vicious fangs ripped and tore. Before they started, I had cast one more spell that gave all of my forces the ability to spread the zombie plague. It wouldnt have immediate effects, but I hoped it might buy us some time.

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I rode behind the flesh golems on Shadow accompanied by the Dread Thirteen, minus Abimelech. Raven rode behind me, letting her mount run along with Maxwells. Their horses were good mounts, but lacking in strength. We chose the south side because the players would be coming from the north, and I hoped we were lucky enough to break through before they got here.

Behind the Dread Thirteen the mounted portion of the bone guard rode. Getting through the defenses we had built wouldve been problematic, if not for the flesh golems bulk filling in many of the trenches as they bowled over barricades.

Behind us, the bone guard charged forward. Abimelech was in their midst organizing them. The bone archers and eldritch cannons waded into the water while the bone guard stayed on the land side. The necromancers, death clerics, and elemental zombies were the most heavily guarded since they were the hardest to replace.

Maxwell began another songThriller. But there was something slightly different. It took me a moment to recognize it. He had developed his death lullaby, but if I was being honest, it was not his style of music. Though he had found a way to work the same effect into other songs. Despite the upbeats tune, the effect was immediate. The living forces became sluggish and some even began to wither.

The effect was the opposite on my troops, it sped them up and healed. I was glad Maxwell saved that particular trick. Once the song was over, Maxwell would be spent. Hed been playing nonstop for hours and whatever his magic was it did take a toll.

The juggernauts took a hammering, but that was the point. I focused on throwing healing spells at them as I rode, Tola and Izban did the same. The three of us rode on the water side of the formation. The melee-focused Dread Thirteen protecting us. Magic from Othniel and Jiar also supported the juggernauts, protecting them from incoming attacks. fr(e)

A beam of eldritch power blasted out of Vhytloss eyes, and eldritch flames sprang up in a winding path as she ripped the beam through a series of what looked like command tents. We were almost through when the players arrived.


Icarus, while annoyed about being blown away, was enjoying himself. His guild, when it landed, rushed back to the fight. They arrived just in time to see the Lichs forces trying to break free. That made no sense to Icarus. The Lich seemed intelligent, and they had built a defended position, why would they be leaving it now?

Truly, Icarus did not care. The music was fun, though he could see it having a negative effect on the soldiers. He guessed they werent protected by the clerics in his guilds casting area of effect buffing spells to counter the bardic magic. Around them, soldiers recovered as the players rushed through, eager to join the battle.

The Lichs army was vulnerable. The juggernauts at the front were nearly through, but the rest of the army was still trailing. A running line of combat had formed. Icarus reached the front line, stabbing a newly raised zombies through the head as he and his elite squad charged the Lich.

Whatever the guards were protecting the Lich, they were powerful. He expected them to go down easily, but as he watched, one of them dueled a swashbuckler in his squad. The two of them both wielded twin blades and even though they were both mounted they exchanged a flurry of blows so quick that he could hardly track. Icarus saw his man had come out with the worst in the exchange, several deep gashes on his arms.

An arrow fired at close range dropped the horse out from underneath the swashbuckler. A storm of arrows began to hammer out. They were all coming from one individual. His aim was incredible as he wove arrows between his allies, taking out horses and enemies alike.

It didnt matter though. Icaruss elite squad was comprised of multiple of the better groups in his guild. When they charged in, all of the tanks had gone to cut off the Lich and his entourage. Regardless of how good or powerful the escort was, they would be slowed down in dealing with the heavily armored forces.

The maneuver worked, and the Lich and his entourage were brought to a screeching halt. The fleshy monsters and juggernauts continued on for a few moments before they stopped, an unseen command letting them know something had changed.

Leaping off their eldritch mounts and turning them loose to wreak havoc in the battle dissolved in the chaos. Icarus used the opportunity to go after the Lich, he was the key to everything.


I cursed these players and their annoying timing. We had almost been free when they arrived. Now the battle was going to go very poorly very quickly.

I saw the man that I was pretty certain was their leader charging towards me. Shadow was off causing chaos while my army tried to recover and rebuild its momentum. Huge explosions of eldritch magic rippled out from the juggernauts as they struck out with their power, but it would not be enough.

I was mentally connected at some level to everything around me. I formed Mercy into its blade staff form with the blade about equal lengths with the shaft and rushed to meet the oncoming player. A makeshift arena formed around us. Was it stupid? Yes. But it wouldnt slow anything down and I wanted to beat the shit out of this guy.

As I stepped into the circle, Icarus paused and looked around in surprise. I am Icarus, shall this be an honorable duel?

It will be as honorable as I can afford, I grumbled. You ruined a perfectly good plan. I just want to personally beat the shit out of you. My name is Ezekiel.

An understandable desire and position, this is war is, no? Icarus saluted with a saber. I have heard tales of that name, of an NPC Lich who claims he is not one, that is too preposterous for me to believe, nonetheless, I shall savor this duel.

Fiery magics rolled around Icaruss left hand as he took up a dueling stance. He was a battle mage, his armor was light, but looked strong. I had no doubt it was all heavily enchanted. I struck first.

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