The First Lich Lord - C.142


I dont like being used like a battery, I grumbled as I funneled power into a ritual. I almost didnt even have to push it out, the ritual was nearly ripping it from me.

Quit your complaining, Vito said from where he was controlling the ritual. I even went to the effort of making sure we didnt need as much of your mana as normal. Do you have any idea how complex an eldritch converter is? Even the purest unattuned mana?

I looked down at the ritual in front of me and saw where my power was being channeled into a spherical gyroscope of spinning rituals. My purple power flooded into the bottom while pure azure blue of augmented mana flowed in from the top. They merged, and eldritch magic flooded out from the sphere in all directions.

Yes, I guess I see that, I admitted. How did you get that built in time? Though the gyroscope was less than half a meter in diameter, the complexity of it was massive and wouldve taken me a long time to create.

Ive been working on this on and off ever since he first became a Lich, Vito told me. Less when I lost track of you, but once I got here, it has been my primary project outside of building this fortress.

My mana pool bottomed out, and I felt the mana headache as my body was depleted of power. I drank a mana potion and was about to pour more and when Vito indicated he had enough.

Vito and I were in an adjacent small cavern that Vito had dug a direct tunnel into from his fortress. It is now inaccessible due to fully blocked small tunnels that had once connected it. Vito had then completely smoothed the floor. Counting the current ritual, there were five different rituals etched into the floor. The cavern was lit up by sconces on the wall and ceiling that burned with azure blue flames.

Vito stepped away and walked around it to where I was standing. In his hand he held a mana crystal that glowed with eldritch power. Reserves, Vito explained, so I dont need you to do it again. It will degrade over time and need replacement, eventually.

Would it be possible for you to learn eldritch magic that is similar to mine? I asked. Like Kellnock.

I do not know the answer to that. Vito shrugged. I doubt it would be as similar as Kellnocks is to yours, but you and I have a bond, so it might work. Truth be told, Id rather not learn eldritch. Lichs and unique beings like Kellnock are some of the few things that can more easily resist the madness that comes with eldritch magic. Even then, more often than not, the Lich still goes mad.

I wouldnt want you going mad, especially since youre the one holding onto my phylactery. I watched as the ritual picked up power and began to collect material stacked around it, mostly bones, but other ingredients and reagents that Vito had provided. fr

The worst I would do is try to turn you into a megalomaniac to conquer Tehomal. Vito paused as if thinking about it. You know, put that way, maybe I should go about learning. Our bond would prevent me from hurting you. I would just be trying to help and be mad so you couldnt blame me.

Im sure someone out there would love to see that happen, I said in a deadpan.

The ritual was now in full swing, death and eldritch magic mixed along with death energy. The materials combined, and the creature formed at the center. Once finished, it stepped out of the ritual. I figured the Dread Thirteen could use mounts, Vito explained. I repurposed a ritual I had been building for this. The modifications were simple.

Now that he pointed out, I could see that the ritual was indeed meant for making monstrous creatures like the one I was beholding. The rituals went for making a variety of creatures with a modular system that would utilize a variety of different materials.

The creature that walked out was made of black bones. It took me a minute to recognize the shape. It looked like a dinosaur, maybe a velociraptor, but those were too small. Where its torso turned into a neck, it was a head taller than me.

Down its spine ran black spikes, with a clear area where someone was supposed to ride. Instead of a tail of flame like a nightmare, this mounts tail was long and covered in blades. It reminded me of a picture I had seen of a sword that had been broken into chunks with a cable running through the middle. When the cable was pulled tight, it was turned into a sword, but acted like a whip while it was loose. The blades tapered from forearm-length to hand-size.

The neck was long and ended in a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. The skull, I guessed, was from the lizards Vito had killed. It had an elongated snout. Its eyes burned with eldritch light that slowly dimmed as the excess power bled off. Back from its head, laying along the neck, was black material with a purple pattern in it. I was about to ask what it was when it flared forward surrounding the head in an almost umbrella, like where the eldritch runic pattern glowed.

It had two powerful back legs it stood on, balanced by the long, heavy tail. Its front legs were more like arms but ended in razor-sharp talons. The joints flared with magic every time they bent. I pulled up a description.

Undead Eldritch Exterreri-Dilophosaurus

Level: 100

The exterreri are powerful saurian. There can be as many variants to exterreri as there are types of magic in the world. They get powers based off of the magic that they embody.

This exterreri is a rare breed. Undead exterreri are already exceedingly rare to see since the conditions for creating them naturally rarely happen. However, this exterreri has been further amplified by the presence of eldritch magic. This basically is impossible for it to have occurred naturally, and means that this nightmare was created by a creature with control over eldritch magic.

Like all exterreri the power of this amount will grow in changed as it grows in level and power.

I blinked in surprise. if I remember correctly that was basically exactly what shadows description had said except for instead of nightmare it was exterreri. I guessed that that was just the saurian version of a nightmare.

The ritual continued to work, pumping out twelve more of the exterreri. It was a mighty sight to behold. I was going to fuel small writing amongst them on shadow. But I would take shadow over these any day. He had grown with me as well and I hoped he was getting close to no longer being classified as undead.

Okay, so I know what this ritual was for, and I know what those are for, I indicated the ritual that had just finished and the three others that I could tell had created the different troops. If you know how to read rituals are fairly easy to see. Whats that one for? It looks like its for another soldier type, but its fundamentally different, and not like how the life ritual is different than the bone guard one.

So, Vito was retrieving his gyroscope. I just finished that. Youre right, it is far more complex and I am pretty sure it too and I need to refine it more, but thats for the controllers I talked about for controlling huge amounts of undead. They will fall into the role of a sergeant, but unlike if they were commanding troops like I have already created, these will build the command hundreds of simple mindless undead. Between your zombie disease and large-scale battle you will have likely too many undead for you to know what to do with.

I can create controllers myself to alleviate that. Whats the difference? I knew there had to be a difference. Vito knew I could create controllers, and I knew this ritual was not for his project of getting something to lead the undead to me. It lack the complexity something like that would require.

Specifically, what you can do is mass control. These will allow mass control inside of a hierarchal military structure. Thats quite a bit harder to do. Vito explained.

I nodded, kind of understanding, how can I help?

Well, its already finished, Vito said. But you can definitely help me go over it. I needed the eldritch power from you anyway to make it work and, he paused and glanced at me, any brains from intelligent creatures.

I close my eyes and sighed, of course you do, at least when I go kill some despicable elves Ill make sure we get some preserved brains for you.

Dont worry, Ill take care of that, Vito assured me. The only reason why having got them yet is I didnt want to start a fight with the elves just yet.


I sat atop Shadow flanked by Vito on his skeleton horse and Maxwell atop Snappy. We were on a small rise in a medium sized cavern. Down the main tunnel leading was the cavern that contained the elf city. Raven was scouting the tunnel to make sure we were not detected. Before we had entered this cave, Raven Vito had snuck in and stealthily killed off the elves stationed to keep a watch on this cavern. It was one of three main routes from Vitos fortress to the city, it was not the most direct route, which is why we had chosen it.

Below me on the cavern floor, my army layout in neat columns and rows divided up into squads, platoons, companies, and battalions. Each section had a numbered banner and a symbol showing its role. For each operational unit, they carried a marking showing which of the larger units they belonged to.

The ability to be a commander came when I became a Lich. It wasnt a listed benefit but it was one that was just a fact that I could command the undead. Id had no opportunity to use before so Vito had helped me set it up, provided the black banners with the eldritch purple symbols. Pulling up a menu that I had known about before but never used, I glanced back over my army layout.

Army of Ezekiel the Lich

Commander: Ezekiel Verniac

Chief of Staff: Maxwell Cromwell

Operational Units:

Field Armies (3-7 corps): 0

Commanders: 0

Corps (3-10 divisions): 0

Commanders: 0

Division (3-5 regiments): 0

Commanders: 0

Regiment (4-6 battalions): 1 and 1 auxiliary

Commanders: 1 colonel; Abimelech commander

Auxiliary Commander: 1 colonel; Othniel Commands the auxiliary regiment which consists of the auxiliary battalion, special battalion, and a squad of unassigned lieutenant colonels.

Battalion (3-7 companies): 3 regular, 1 special, and 1 auxiliary


Melee: Lieutenant colonels; Shamgar and Gideon

Ranged: Lieutenant colonel; Elon

Special Melee: Ehud - Commands a battalion of 200 life thieves.

Auxiliary: Lieutenant Colonel Jair Leads an under-strength company comprised of advanced greater elemental zombies.

Company (3-7 platoons): 10 regular


Melee: 10 captains; 10 advanced greater zombies nexuses

Platoon (4-6 squads): 65 regular


Melee: 40 lieutenant; advanced eldritch death knights lieutenants

Ranged: 25 lieutenants; advanced eldritch bone archers lieutenant.

Squad (10-20 troops):

Commanders: 0

Total Soldiers in Army: 2316


Mindless Undead

Zombies Trash Troops: 0 (0.1 command points)

Ghosts Trash Troops: 0 (0.1 command points)

Undead Troops

Bone Arches: 500 common troops (.5 command point)

Bone Guard: 1500 common troops (.5 command point)

Life Thief: 200 uncommon troops (1 command point)

Advanced Greater Eldritch Death Elemental Zombie: 25 rare troops (1.5 command point)

Undead Officers

Lieutenants: 40 advanced eldritch death knights, 25 advanced eldritch bone archer. (1 command point of lieutenant rank)

Captain: 10 advanced greater zombie nexuses. (1 command point of captain rank)

Living Dead

Living Dead Officers

Lieutenant Colonels: 11 exalted living dead (1 command point of lieutenant colonel rank)

Colonels: 2 exalted living dead (1 command point of colonel rank)

Commander: Ezekiel Lich (command point not needed)



Specialist: 1 Raven Werecat (1 specialist command point needed)


Chief of Staff: 1 Maxwell Cromwell (1 staff command point needed)

Note on non-fully autonomous troops and officers: The command limit for the troops is a hard cap. Troops exceeding the values will not be able to receive commands or follow them but the troop command point value is reduced by one rank. The horde type troops, mindless zombies for example, need special types of controllers to integrate them into any kind of army unit. Non-fully autonomous officers do not have their command point value reduced but still cannot operate in a cohesive unit outside of command limits.

With the officer corps, I could command quite a lot, though from the note, getting those controllers for the mindless undead had now popped to the top of my priority list. The army was not efficiently laid out. In particular, was Jair commanding the elemental zombies. It was less than half of what she could command if Id had the appropriate ranks below her. But without those ranks, there wasnt much we could accomplish.

The lack of the sergeant rank alone probably cuts in half the number of total troops I could have in my army, but that was not something I needed right now, and I was pretty certain I would be able to create sergeant type commanders.

I nodded at Abimelech and Othniel. And within moments my army was marching towards the tunnel. It was time to go pay the elves a visit.

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