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    Yeoldebard
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The Nekromancer - 14. Chapter 14

Jakun sat on his bed, spellbook open on his lap. He was slowly figuring out some of the words of the ritual. Things like undead, calling, a name of some sort. After an hour spent going through his spells, the cat's mind felt like mush. But at least he had Anya to help him again.

He could hear the moans from the room next door, moans that had him standing in horror at first, thinking zombies had gotten to Jeremy and Amnor Sen. Anya had explained the noises, laughing at his confusion even as she urged him to continue his practice.

"Ivris… where have I heard this name?" the werewolf grumbled.

The words appeared to be Draconic, the words just scrambled in a magical code that made reading it next to impossible without one of Anya's gifts. Even then, the meaning of the ritual escaped the cat, his mind not ready for the power it held.

Nonetheless, he had to perform the ritual. After what he'd been through, what he'd endured… he needed to have this leg up on Loran.

"It really is a simple ritual in terms of material. And it's not harsh with timing, so you can focus on clear speaking," Anya pointed out.

Jakun nodded, finger running over the words again as he tried to figure out this one word… call forth? Something about calling forth power? He couldn't determine what was being called forth.

"Best performed in an open area…" Anya read with a frown. "Outside for sure, but how open does it need to be?"

'If there's one thing Loran taught me, open doesn't necessarily mean… well, open,' Jakun said mentally. 'If we destroy a building or two, wouldn't that be worth the power we gain? It wouldn't be too hard to fix them after.'

"Spoken like a true lich…"

Anya stalked across the room, her solid form filling much of the space. Sticking her ear to the wall, she gave a sniff.

"They're asleep. Jeremy must have tired out pretty fast," she noted. "Let's get this over with."

She flowed back into Jakun, the amurrun lifting his book. He cradled it in his arm, picking up his rush candle to light his way through the inn.

It didn't take them long to set up the ritual outside the inn. There were a surprising amount of people still outside in the dark, until Jakun recalled that most of them were undead. Light likely was not beneficial to them.

'That is something to think about. If we do this, will we be allowed in the light?' he pointed out.

'I don't remember anything specifically about undead that make them light repulsed. Well except vampires of course… Besides, nothing in the ritual says we're becoming undead. Maybe we'll gain power over undead,' Anya suggested.

Jakun shook his head uneasily as he set a simple chalk circle up. He'd have to pay Jeremy back for the chalk at some point. But that was the least of his worries as he copied the shape of a… summoning circle?

'Anya… this isn't making sense…'

'You're the summoner. You'd have control over whatever you summon, right?'

'Right… unless I make a mistake,' Jakun said uncertainly, looking at the perfect circle on the ground, a full fifteen feet in diameter. 'What are we summoning?'

'Ivris, I believe. Sounds draconic.'

'Draconic and undead? This is getting even better. I don't think I want to go through with this.'

'Don't chicken out. Maybe all we have to do is convince this Ivris to destroy Loran's house.'

'How? I'm not giving my soul to a dragon.'

'Well obviously… look, it's almost midnight. Can we get this over with?'

Sighing, Jakun knelt, placing his hands on the circle.

"Ivris, si relgr wux forth ekess faestir ve!" he said loudly and slowly, carefully enunciating every word.

There was a moment of deathly silence.

Then the skies exploded, a giant white beast appearing above the circle. Powerful wings flapped, keeping the wyrm aloft, a wall of energy locking it to hover directly above the circle. A battle of wills began almost instantaneously, a battle Jakun lost just as fast as it began.

With a scream of agony, the amurrun fell back, away from the circle, as his mind was invaded, torn to shreds. The dragon searched each minuscule thought within him with a contemptuous snort, laying bare Jakun's every hope and dream and fear.

"I thank you for granting me entrance to the city, cat. You shall live, for now. In fact, why don't I give you what you seek? The knowledge alone will be maddening…" Ivris snorted.

A razor sharp claw touched Jakun's forehead, blood trickling down his face. Even worse was the information that flooded into his mind. Murder of someone dear… soul torn out… the discovery of one's true name, binding the lich to an unchanging eternity, forcing the lich to live with his memories, knowing he could never atone for his sins against the gods and against nature, never become good.

"Enjoy your power," the ravener grinned darkly.

He took off, cutting through the walls of the ritual with ease as an alarm bell rang in the city. The sounds of battle followed soon after, a frigid coldness sweeping through the city. Jakun shivered as he curled up in the alley, staring in blind horror at the visions in his head. Screaming children, murdered by the dragon in his own quest for immortality… a clutch of eggs smashed, a mother grieving before being put to the claw… the beast's true name, an unpronounceable mash of draconic words that Ivris had spent a lifetime learning to ignore…

He had no idea if the memories were the dragon's gift, or it the murder running through his mind on repeat was just a side effect of contact with the dragon's brain. But the cat knew… if this was the price of undeath…

…he had already paid the worst of it. There was no going back. Jakun would continue down the path started when he had murdered his mother. If it meant revenge, if it meant he could make Loran suffer horrors untold, the cat would ruin his soul to bring the necromancer down.

Copyright © 2020 Yeoldebard; All Rights Reserved.

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As I expected, this was a very bad idea. Needless to say, since the dragon knows everything Jakun knows, it makes Jakun particularly impotent.

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