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    Yeoldebard
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The Nekromancer - 82. Chapter 82

The lich sat in Sadira’s throne room, a bowl of water and a silver mirror set in front of him by one of the skeleton servants. Jakun had spent the last few days roaming the halls, destroying written contracts, freeing enslaved souls, and undoing most of the necromancer’s work. It sickened him how many people had given their souls for power. He had technically done the same thing, but at least the amurrun knew where his soul was, safely hidden in a phylactery until the day he would destroy it.

But now he could plan his assault on Loran. And Ivris. He needed a way to fight them one at a time; the lich knew he still wasn’t powerful enough to kill them both. But how would he pull this off?

Ivris was proud, but the ravener had been beaten by the catfolk twice now. Jakun doubted calling him out would work. Loran was another matter. It had been nearly four months since he had escaped the clutches of the necromancer. Four long months since Jakun had caused the destruction of Loran’s personal guard. He doubted his former master had forgotten or forgiven him for that.

His hand grasped the silver mirror as he spoke, energy flowing into the metal as the water rippled. Gathering his power slowly, the lich built up the spell, compensating for time and distance with a force that he weaved into the ritualistic casting.

“Ocuir Loran.”

The water darkened, his former master’s study appearing before him. Just seeing it again sent chills through the lich, painful memories rising from the depths of his mind like grass over a decomposed corpse. His master was laying across a desk, Theon’s pallid hands massaging the necromancer as erotically as an animated corpse could. The zombie’s flaccid cock lay across Loran’s bare thigh, Jakun turning his head away from the image that was near instantly burned in his mind. He had always suspected Loran of necrophilia, but seeing it was too much for the catfolk. If his new body could get sick, Jakun had no doubt he’d be puking after that sight.

Holding the spell, Jakun brought up a free hand, dribbling his energy into a message. This was a risk; the spell might not even work through the scrying, but he had to try. It wasn’t like the lich could just send a messenger to the man he intended to kill.

“Loran. I am coming for you. You cannot escape my wrath, no matter how many allies you have. I will have vengeance for my mother, and even your pet ravener will not stop me.”

He saw the necromancer flinch before the spells cut off, the catfolk letting out a satisfied breath. Let the mage fear him, as Jakun had feared all his life. Jeremy’s words came to his mind, but the lich pushed them away. He had spent his whole life fearing his former master, and it felt good to turn that around on the necromancer. Perhaps if the cleric had ever feared someone, he would have understood.

Rising from Sadira’s throne, Jakun moved through the fortress, locating the surprisingly large library she had collected. Scrolls upon scrolls filled the shelves within, the lich running his hands over rare tomes. This was definitely a place he would be returning to.

A hand caught on a book of necromancy, Jakun pulling it down curiously. Divine Spells and Their Uses? He carried it to a desk, assuming he had a few hours before Loran convinced Ivris to hunt him down again. The fortress was no defence against a ravener, and he expected to leave that night, but until then, the lich would enjoy the spoils of war.

He wasn’t sure what had happened to the vampires. Presumably they had felt their master’s death and been freed to find their own way in the world. Already Jakun was keeping his word to his friends, working to free the slaves he met, even if that hadn’t been his original intention.

“Daywalkers…?”

The lich stared at the yellowed page, thin writings in bloody ink covering the parchment. His eyes widened slowly as he read, the glyphs within slowly revealing a spell that would briefly return life to his body, including taste. Granted, it would remove the more beneficial effects of his undeath as well, but for a night out on the tavern, the spell would be perfect.

The book went beyond that, using the spell to show the resilience of souls, and outlining just how an evil soul could be returned to the path of good given the right conditions. Reading it, Jakun felt a pang of sorrow for Anya. He hadn’t destroyed her soul, that he knew of, but he had consigned her to aeons of torment and punishment in Pharasma’s realm.

It raised uncomfortable questions for his mother, and for Loran and Ivris. Could they be redeemed? Was he obligated to try? Jakun didn’t follow the gods, but even Jeremy and Amnor Sen wanted them both dead. If even the most religious men he had ever known believed the two to be beyond redemption, who was he to question it? Killing them wouldn’t be easy, far from it, but at the very least, Jakun believed he was just in his intended actions.

If nothing else, he had learned from Durand that the death of family could not go unpunished. Perhaps it was the wrong lesson to take from the dwarf, but then, it fit the moment.

A thunderous roar shook the fortress, sooner than he had expected, and the lich let out a shaky breath. He had one trick he intended to use, one spell that might end this fight once and for all, but to use it, he would have to brave the ravener personally, closing within feet of the beast. It was now or never, and Jakun knew that even if he could return after falling here, his friends would never let him come alone. No, he had to win today, for Jeremy’s sake.

Copyright © 2020 Yeoldebard; All Rights Reserved.
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