The First Lich Lord - C.193


Only a single gate led to the altar of purity. I was building up power in Mercy, hoping to repeat the effect of blowing down the city gates. Only, the massive gates, tall enough the juggernauts could walk through, were already open.

A figure stood in the gate, facing the inside. A melee was taking place as other figures fought to hold the gate. They all wore robes that marked them as followers of Olattee.

The lone figure, swathed in black armor, almost single-handedly keeping the defenders at bay seemed familiar. We charged through the gate just as their line was about to break. The weight of the charging Dread Thirteen broke through the enemy lines and the juggernauts arrived moments later.

I wheeled around. “Thank you, whoever…” I trailed off when I saw the open visor. “Tyler?”

“One and the same,” Tyler said.

“You brought the zombies,” I stated.

“Indeed, I did.”

“Are you a death paladin now?” I asked and saw Friar Brown charging down the street, his cart blazing the way. “We need to move.”

Tyler saw where I was looking and nodded. “I’m not quite a death paladin. While Olattee is no longer who I’m sworn to I’m only partially sworn to a death god, Shad’ehki, with the understanding that I would follow the friar no matter what.”

“How does that work?” I asked. The question about how the clergy who had sided with the friar still had access to divine power bugged me. I understood some of them did simply because they had been strong enough, but many, including Tyler, weren’t at that level, or so I thought.

“Truth be told, I’m not certain,” Tyler said. “There is a note in my character sheet saying that part of my divine power is suppressed, but still there. I can access small amounts of purity type divine energy, but it’s like the source is limited.”

I wanted to ask more questions, but the friar arrived, and not far behind him the stronger players were rushing forward. The mounted grave guard were just beyond them. We did not have time for this discussion.

“I still hate you, even if you’re working with the friar,” Raven said from the back of Shadow.

Tyler did the smart thing, he didn’t respond. He simply bowed his head showing he accepted that. I turned Shadow back towards the fight and charged away. “Tyler, don’t stand around, we got some killing to do,” I called back.

I expected to face hordes of blood zombies, but they were being funneled up the steps of the massive altar. I then realized it looked an awful lot like a ziggurat. We clashed with the acolytes and clerics.

The friar did not follow the main road since we were already on it, circling around the compound to approach from a different angle. The players did the same, going the opposite direction.

When our momentum was spent, we dismounted, continuing to press forward. Behind us, grave guard spilled into the compound. Inside the massive walls of the altar of purity was a sprawling compound of different buildings that served one purpose or another for supporting the church. Everything from office buildings to ritual halls to barracks, I guessed this was where cells the clergy lived in resided.

The main road we were on led straight to the base of the altar at a steep white marble staircase. I could see clear to the top, where the final blood zombies were disappearing. The magic building there was immense.

Black lightning crackled out of my left hand as eldritch lightning flickered out of Mercy held in my right. The Dread Thirteen tore through the religious forces before us until we came to a line of paladins.

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There was something different about them. They alternated, one would be glowing with blinding white light and the one next to him would be shrouded in darkness so absolute they look like a living shadow. I scanned one of the dark ones.

Knight Paladin of Olattee Divine Dark Elemental

Level: 120

Knight Paladins of Olattee have taken the second oath to the god of purity. They are only allowed to do this if they have walked a path he has approved of. They are now one step away from becoming a true paladin in service to the god.

The paladins of Olattee are powerful. The god of purity is very picky about who he elevates and allows to take the oath to become a paladin, first requiring them to spend years in service and have taken a prior oath to him. The result is their faith and power is amplified.

This servant of the god of purity has made the ultimate sacrifice in giving up his mortal form and soul to his god. In return they had been infused with immense divine power and transformed into a new creation.

Divine elementals are only ever seen when a follower of a god allows them to pour limitless divine power into them. Their existences are short, but their power is terrible. When the divine power fades, so does the body and soul of its host.

Immediately things went wrong. Despite being higher level than the divine elementals, we were stopped cold. Their attacks were punishing and terrible.

It was an advantage for us that half their number were less effective, but the light reaped a terrible toll. Samson was sent tumbling back, a smoking crater in his chest. Necromantic energy filled him a moment later, healing the wound, but it was still alarming.

In a moment of clarity and genius, I knew what to do. I stretched out my will to establish firm connections to all of the Dread Thirteen. Then into each of them I poured three points of tier 2 death energy. After all, this is why I had saved up the potent power.

The Dread Thirteen moved and struck with blinding power. Between the massive amplification from the powerful energy, which was a fair counter to divine, and all of the buffs they received from fighting together and fighting with me, we shifted the fight.

Expending that much second tier death energy all at once left me a bit shaken. I’d never done that before, and was surprised there was a physical feeling to it. I hadn’t realized the potency my body gained by just having it inside. It wasn’t a listed effect, but I felt stronger with the power in me.

Three points of tier 2 death energy was more than what their bodies needed. The excess energy filled their every attack, leaving behind streams of devastating power. Samson’s weapons, Abimelech’s blasts, Jepthen’s arrows, and even Othniel’s eldritch power were laced with second tier death energy. Every attack tore at the elementals.

The power had been enough to equalize the fight, but not win it. The necromancers arrived and filled the area with regeneration spells that further enhanced the Dread Thirteen, but the divine elementals felt no pain or fear.

Mercy formed into an eldritch plasma blade. I drove the eldritch blade into the side of an elemental who Gideon had just stunned. The eldritch power tore at the magical nature of the creature, but failed to penetrate the glowing armor of the paladin underneath. When I fell back to avoid being struck by a series of attacks, I noticed the elemental was leaking energy.

Othniel noticed as well. The two of us began to cast a spell, not needing to communicate the plan. A spell formed between the two of us. Normally my power was the main juice behind the spell with Othniel’s serving to support it. But with his power laced with the tier 2 death energy, I had my magic take a backseat to his. I laced my own magic with tier 1 death energy to further support his.

The tumbling ball of magic formed quickly, and we lobbed it up over the top of the divine elementals. It hovered there a second, then eldritch power blazed from the ball in an artificial aura that was directed downwards. A zombie that was caught in the spell burst into eldritch flame and was torn apart. I saw several grave guard having the same happen to them as they were also effected.

The effect was even worse on the divine elementals and their allies. Barriers around some of the clerics and acolytes flickered and held momentarily against the power. But the eldritch power from Othniel was laced with so much second tier death energy that it ripped apart those barriers and the victims burst into eldritch flames.

The elemental zombies arrived and began to pour power into me. I directed all but five of them to focus on Othniel. His eldritch power was so amped up right now, that it was better for him to have it. I could’ve done the same to myself, but I had a feeling I would be needing that later.

Then coming down from the top of the ziggurat I saw something I had hoped I had been wrong about and that we would not be seeing: tall figures with wings, strange vertical mouths, and whose bodies were half-white and half-black.

I told Abimelech to handle the rest. I could tell she wasn’t thrilled by it, but she understood. I needed to get onto the other side of the front line. As I turned, I saw exactly what I needed and smiled, exerting control over the special regiment, and the specter knight slapped a salute.

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