[LUKDRASSIL, JOTUNBRUD; APRIL 08, 2019 (WR)]]
Her very presence profaned the hallowed Greathall of Lukdrassil, moreso than the thousands of war dead and ancient cadavers that were stacked against its walls like firewood. Three dozen candle-flames did little to brighten the temple, flickering against the cold and the dark.
With her wraith-like form, her stride was without weight but it easily carried the fullness of her will and her purpose. Sif the Fleshless gave up her mortal coil and much more than that for this — a terrible vengeance against the Luccari that had systematically annihilated her people and her faith.
Several years ago, her followers within the Creed of Kyras had dwindled to a few hundred when the Limper made her Lector’s offer: know that those that had crossed you and betrayed you will walk away freely OR give up your flesh and your faithful to be avenged.
It was not an easy choice then, nor was it easy resisting it and killing the Ishtari necromancer for as many times as she did. But one evening, after she heard of the Luccari’s victory against the Sun Empire with help from the other Wodenson faiths, she knew that revenge was beyond her and her order alone. The Limper returned for a sixth time and the Kyrasar took Lector’s covenant and she ascended to the greatest heights of power thereafter. At least half of her order recoiled from the offer, but they now served the Kyrasar in undeath.
As she approached the waterless Well at the center of the Greathall, her regrets fell away. As she walked past the shattered skulls of a thousand Luccari heroes, her power burned darker within her. Vengeance was not yet hers in full — the Luccari still lived, Sigwyn still lived and the Reclaimers still drew breath — but this was a victory she had never hoped to gain.
The mood of those surrounding the Well were less sanguine than Sif’s. The Wolf-Witch and the Cruacha still struggled with the displeasure of their new circumstances while the Assassin was dispassionate as a gravestone behind her cracked bronze mask. Unlike Sif, their new Hungering State was “bequeathed” unto them by Lector himself, though the glory of it was beyond them at the time of their fatal gambit upon Lukdrassil.
The Immortal shambled into the Greathall mere minutes later, a Twilight Elf’s spiritual projection and an executioner trailing behind. Sif and the others knelt at their approach, though the Cruacha’s own ghoulish arm had to drag her down before she finally bent the knee. Even the candles dimmed at the Eternal Devourer’s arrival.
For all the power he had amassed, all the souls he had devoured, Lector dragged himself forward not as a conquering King that he once was, but gasping like a man with a gut wound. This individual had killed giants on a whim while still alive and entire kingdoms after he had died. But now he was reduced to eternal pain and endless hunger.
It was enough to drive even a god insane.
Sif spoke first. “We await your return, Master. As you have commanded, the war dead have been gathered and placed all around us”
The Wolf Witch nodded, her displeasure vanished in Lector’s presence. “The heroes and the ancestors of the Luccari will soon be at your command”
“The Callasine still have the Blood Harbinger.” the Assassin in the cracked bronze mask had a voice as solemn as a casualty list. “Until our forces and I retrieve her from them, they will hear of this unless you ward this area, Master.”
The Executioner behind the Immortal scoffed, hefting his weapon that was mainly a gigantic blade. “Let them hear of it. A convict’s knowledge of the headsman’s ax will not turn it from their neck when it falls.”
“All have retreated to Vargheim, the Luccari, Fir’bolg, Dammerung and Wodenson — but they have left their dead to us” The Cruacha reported in a harsh whisper. “They gather their forces there to rally and recover”
The Twilight Elf’s eyes burned with a hunger for vengeance that Sif knew. Projecting from his post in the Ixian mountain, this Elf and his people were wronged, just as she and hers were. “One by one, the Kingdoms of Midworld will fall”
When Lector stood before Well of Lucca, he waved a bloodied, filthy hand and grunted. The Executioner and Elf’s projection fell to their knees as thousands of souls leapt from the stacked corpses and from the sanctified grounds to burn upon Lector’s hands and crown. The Immortal’s cudgel clattered upon the greathall’s floor as he suffered from the screams and the sorrows and the indescribable power. The candles flared and died in the wake of the deathly rush.
And when the ritual was done a few hours later, Lector made a ghoulish sound that was part laughter and part gasp.
“…Rise,” he wheezed.
“Rise!” he demanded.
“RISE!!!” he ordained.
The six around him arose at the last screamed command. And they all knew without a doubt’s shadow that every unsanctified corpse in western Midworld rose with them to feed their own Hunger as walking corpses or hateful wraiths.
The candles of the room flickered back to life, bearing an eerie blue light.
“Soon…” Lector picked up his cudgel with a painless ease, knowing well that the agony would return soon enough.
“I will kill Nihilus myself.”