Component 37 - Down in Flames

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Angon, Gavin, and Hero entered the chamber of creation with Tricia behind them. The scene before them was chaotic. On one side of the cavern stood a black-cloaked figure with rotted gray skin; on the other was the orc woman holding the mostly restored Soul Rupture; and between them was black bolt of lightning crackling and lashing out wildly.

Angon's head went back and forth between them, while Gavin did the same with his bow. Hero began to snarl, and Tricia whimpered, running and ducking behind a stalagmite.

The undead turned to regard the trio, with narrowed eyes, and Gonzeelda cried out, "Tricia!"

The cloaked one snapped back his head and sent a surge through the lighting bolt, taking advantage of the orcess' distracted state. Soul Rupture flew from her hands and landed on the ground between them.

Gonzeelda and the undead glanced at each other, and in a sprint Gonzeelda ran. She dove for Soul Rupture, but the rotting one was ready. He held out his hand and the scythe flew into his grasp.

The orcess scrambled to her feet, eyes widened with fear. A wicked grin spread across the undead's face and he pointed Soul Rupture at the woman. She cried out and a blue beam of light blasted straight for her. As quickly as she could, Gonzeelda dove to the side, but the beam caught her hip, spinning her around and slamming her into the cave wall. With a great thud, the woman went down, and lay still.

"Mommy!" Tricia cried, and started to run from behind the stalagmite. Gavin threw up his hand to stop her. She gave a slight nod, and went back to hiding.

"Who are you?" Angon demanded of the undead.

The creature turned to the trio and glared at them with pinprick eyes.

"My name is Lord Reischerr, one of the Lich Brotherhood, and—"

"Blood Tomb." Gavin furrowed his brow. "So it's true. You're back."

Reischerr chuckled. "In truth, we never left."

"Then what happened?" Gavin asked. "You killed so many innocents around the world and then just vanished. Victory was ours, and I dare not complain, but I would have loved the satisfaction of putting an arrow through your skull."

The lich lord burst a mad fit of maniacal laughter. "Victory? You did not achieve victory that day! We left the mortal plane to ascend to the heavens. We succeeded in our goal to gain more power. The victory was ours!"

"These are the ones who took down the good gods." Angon said.

"Wrong again." Reischerr held up a long bony claw and wagged it. "Our masters took them out. There was no room for righteousness, or justice in the celestia any longer."

Gavin nocked his arrow, and aimed it at Reischerr. With a sigh, the lich wagged his finger to the side and Gavin's bow flew from his hands.

"As much as I'd love to fight you myself, let's test out the power of Soul Rupture." The lich exclaimed.

He swung the scythe down and it struck the stone floor. The cave began to shake, with small pebbles falling from the ceiling. Twin circles of light formed on the ground, and from within each, a head rose out; followed by shoulders, and then the entire bodies of two gray-skinned figures.

The trio stared at the pair that had appeared; they were none other than zombified versions of Budge and Weiggs, Gonzeelda's minions.

"He can raise the dead." Hero breathed.

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