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The King under the hill

Boo

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The prequel to this story: The catacombs of Huberhaptsreise.

*************

High King Keladon sat atop his throne, staring with empty eye-sockets in to nothingness. He had witnessed time itself come to his long forgotten halls, turning stone to dust, flesh to bone and iron to rust. His since-long dead court was still assembled down below. The unmoving forms of his most trusted warriors keeping him company and would do so until the end of time. King Keladon watched as dust settled in his throne room, the weight of the world pressing in, but these things did not bother him. The barrow was filled with the ancient relics of his once mighty tribe, offerings given to a king once feared more than the nightmares in the woods. In heaps they lay, his offerings. Gold, armour, swords glowing with a faint green and urns that were once filled with food. King Keladon did not care much about these earthly things.

No, he had other concerns on his mind.

King Keladon had felt a presence he could not identify. His skeletal form, hidden under layers of earth, stone and armour, could feel a entity probing and pressing in, trying to invade his mind. This was a mere disturbance for the mighty King, but as he had nothing else to do, this intrigued him.

Who was it that summoned him? Who had the nerves to disturb the king under the hill? He tried to catch the invader with his thoughts, but every time he had it cornered, it slipped away, only to return from another angle. King Keladon was not amused.

"Who dares disturb High King Keladon, the ruler of the lands between the River and the Mountains?" His ancient mind rumbling with all its might.

...

"Oh, high King Keladon, I seek an audience at your magnificent court. I've heard the legends of the King under the Hill, the tales of a glory lost to time, the stories of the most magnificent and uplifted King Keladon, ruler of the land between the River and the Mountains."

"Speak your name, intruder."

"I am but a humble servant, oh King of kings, bringing old memories to life, sparking a flame were it has died out since long, dusting off unused swords..."

...

"Go on..."

"The times has changed, king under the Hill, the moon have travelled many times over the sky above, your once glorious realm has fallen in to forgetfulness. No-one remembering the feared name of King Keladon."

"You liar!" King Keladons voice boomed as the ancient king rose to his feet. Dust falling from his shoulders, the king under the hill took a step down the stairs leading up to his throne.

"I am but a messenger, Mighty King Keladon, bringing you the words from a world changed beyond your wildest dreams. I am here to open your eyes to a realm since long forgotten by the people of Sigmar."

"Bah! Humbug! Sigmar is but a young whelp! He has no people but the puny Unberogen!" The furious King took another heavy step down the stairs. Below a ghostly green light flickered in the skulls of each and every member of his court. "Awake court of King Keladon, awake! Your King calls you!"

"I tell you words of truth, mighty King under the Hill. The world no longer fear you name, you have been forgotten forever. Passed down through history as no more than a whisper, a flame that has died out."

King Keladon now reached the table of his court, where he slammed his heavy fist hard in to the stone table.

"I demand your presence here, messenger. I wish to look upon you with my own eyes, to see if there is indeed truth to your words and if you have been lying to me, I will cut your treacherous head from your shoulders!"

The court began to stir, ancient hands gripping blades, bones creaking against leather and iron, dust falling heavy to the floor, the court of King Keladon coming to unlife.

"Messenger, enter my Court. Come see the splendour of my Halls, the throne room of King Keladon and tremble before me, like the world has done before you."

...

"Messenger? I demand an answer!"

"Oh but I am already here, your excellence." The voice of the messenger echoing in the halls of King Keladon.

As one the court of King Keladon rose, drawing ancient blades to protect their King.

The messenger bowed deep, his features lit by an unnatural light shining from the tip of his gnarled staff. He was swathed in a black robe, his balding hair was grey and when he looked up upon the court of King Keladon he was bent forward like twisted branch.

"I am Helmut Van Herrst and I am at your service, oh King under the Hill..."
 

Santawraith

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A very beautiful telling, keeping the intrest the whole way through. But one must ask so what next is there, there must be more. I am impatient really bad when waiting for a writter to finish another tale or another book. Still waiting for the last installment of the eragorn series. Great job boo I will post some more of mine now i think.
 

Knightofni

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That was a good read, and I certainly hope there is more to this story. Another great bit of writing Boo. :thumbsup:
 

Boo

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"Indeed you are, messenger." King Keladon boomed. "I demand you tell me more."

"Yes oh ruler of all the lands between the river and the mountains. But I will not only tell you, I will show you so that you can see for yourself that of what I speak is true."

The court of King Keladon settled down, the balefires in their empty eye sockets flickering at the words of the man in clad in black. The barrow was filled with the sickening light from Helmuts staff as he made his way over to King Keladon, bathing the macabre forms of the king under the hill and his retinue with yellowish light. The man walked with a slight limp and the endeavour looked like it might just kill him. King Keladon stood unmoving, waiting for the man to approach him.

"See for myself? Surely you jest, messenger. I have not left my halls in ages and before I do such a thing there must be a more pressing matter than determining the truth of your words."

Helmut Van Herrst laughed a dry harsh laughter that echoed in the dusty chamber, the naked stone walls amplifying the terrible sound. At this the green balefires of King Keladon grew in intensity. Helmut cut his laughter short with a horrible cough.

"I jest not, my liege. I have searched far and wide for the chamber of High King Keladon. Trying my very best to find the since long forgotten Realm of the King of Kings. I've spent ages pouring over old tomes and scrolls..."

"One does not waste the time of King Keladon!"

"I'm terribly sorry oh King under the hill, I will get to the point. I understood that King Keladon would prove to be a mighty ally to me and my Lord, if I were to find you, oh king of kings." Helmut bowed deep. "The Realm of King Keladon..."

"Go on messenger!" The king under the Hill was not amused so far by the tale told to him.

"The Realm of King Keladon, the ruler of the lands between the River and the Mountains... have been conquered..."

King Keladons eyes flamed with a dire green light at the words uttered by Helmut Van Herrst. "Explain!" He demanded.

"The Realm of King Keladon is now a part of a United Empire. An Empire united under the ruling of the heirs of Sigmar. The land that once bore the name of Keladon is now known as Hochland..."
 

Santawraith

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ohh my goodness boo you have weaved this tale well, those poor hochland citizians. I Have always wondered about the time before sigmar but few stores are there to even hint at it. Now I must ask are you gonna make and paint a king keldon on top of this. I look forward to your next installment, each one keeps getting better.
 

Boo

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Helmut Van Herrst was cut short as King Keladon lifted the man from the floor. The skeletal hands gripping Helmut by the throat, lifting him as he was a mere child. The ancient kings voice boomed and the court of Keladon trembled at the fury of their king.

"That cannot be, you liar! My kingdom is mighty! My soldiers are plenty! Our swords are sharp and our will is strong!" The stone walls of the barrow shook at the force of King Keladons voice.

"My liege, I tell you the truth!" Helmut coughed and wheezed in Keladons grip. "Let me... show... you!" The cruel man squirmed, desperately fighting to get loose.

King Keladon flung the horrible man aside, drawing his sword as he did so. Helmut crashed in to a heap at the far end of the chamber. The cohort of warriors followed Keladon as the king strode out of the hall. His anger was barely containable as he walked through his crypt, King Keladon cursed the name of Sigmar twentyfold.

"Preposterous, the realm of Keladon cannot fall. No-one can conquer my people!" The king under the Hill walked up a long lime stone staircase. The dwindling stairs leading towards a hole in the ceiling. The ancient, dusty grave air was mixed with the fresh breeze floating in from above.

...

When Helmut regained consiousness he found himself seated at the huge stone table in the middle of the halls of King Keladon. As he withdrew his aching head from the cold stone, he noticed that he was surrounded by the skeletal form of Keladons warriors, their dark figures were lighted by the green balefires in their eyes, burning bright and menacing. Helmut groaned and straightened himself, leaning heavily on the stone chair he sat in. Suddenly he noticed two green eyes directly opposite him, on the other side of the table.

"I... my... It's all gone..."

"My lord...?" Helmut reached for his staff that lay beside him, when he felt it's comforting grip he relaxed and let the magical light shine upon his surroundings. It was King Keladon, his mighty form slumped on a chair.

"My kingdom. It's all gone. All that remains are dust and ashes..." The king under the hill suddenly stood up and pointed at Helmut.
"You! What is your purpose here? Are you here merely to ridicule me? This must all be some sort of trick? Explain!"

Helmut smiled. "Of course, my liege. The people of your realm and a dozen more were united by the warrior Sigmar, that was over two thousand years ago. All this time you have slumbered in your barrow, forgotten by all. Your name is no longer passed down from generation to generation. No one longer fear the wrath of King Keladon, the ruler of the lands between the river and the mountains.

...

"Yes. It is the truth. You have seen it for yourself." Helmut stood up. "I will show you something else, lord. My purpose here is to give you an army and propose to you an alliance."

The balefire in King Keladons eyes shone brighter. "Who sent you here, Messenger?"

"That will reveal itself in time. Follow me, oh king of kings." Helmut walked out from the halls of the king under the hill, followed by Keladon and his court. "I know why you linger in this world, my king. I know why you demanded eternal service by your warriors and why you had this tomb built." The king did not answer him and Helmut continued.

"You are a warrior and conqueror. Your soul belongs in the heat of battle. You were born with a sword in your hands and you died in your armour. To spill the blood of your enemies quenches your thirst and to burn the settlements of your adversaries sates your hunger. You seek glory, but it faded too fast. I can give it all back to you. I can give you a chance to re-write history. To bring back the fear for King Keladon, the ruler of the land between the river and the mountains. I can give you what you sought so hard, but death stole from you. I can give it all back to you. All I want in return is that you fight for my lord." Helmut climbed the stairs and felt the warm night air on his face. He took a deep breath and emerged above ground. King Keladon followed.

They emerged above ground in an old ruined tower that stood at the top of a hill. Helmut walked to the edge where the cracked stones of the old tower met with the green grass.

Helmut started chanting aloud. The horrible words draining all the warmth from the air. As he finished, Helmut turned to Keladon.

"I give to you an army, mighty enough to make the world tremble, oh king under the Hill."
 

Nikos

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Another good tale Boo, are all these all new or are you in a writing mood at the moment? Van Herst is already shaping up to be a sneaky character, it will be interesting to see where this alliance is heading. Good work :thumbsup:
 

Boo

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Santawraith said:
A very beautiful telling, keeping the intrest the whole way through. But one must ask so what next is there, there must be more. I am impatient really bad when waiting for a writter to finish another tale or another book. Still waiting for the last installment of the eragorn series. Great job boo I will post some more of mine now i think.

Thank you so much :) Your words warm my cold dark heart ;)

Knightofni said:
That was a good read, and I certainly hope there is more to this story. Another great bit of writing Boo. :thumbsup:

Thanks! There will be more, when inspiration strikes! ;)

Santawraith said:
Now I must ask are you gonna make and paint a king keldon on top of this. I look forward to your next installment, each one keeps getting better.

I will paint the king, but I have not found any worthy miniature to represent him yet. Got any tips? :)

Nikostratus said:
Another good tale Boo, are all these all new or are you in a writing mood at the moment? Van Herst is already shaping up to be a sneaky character, it will be interesting to see where this alliance is heading. Good work :thumbsup:

Thanks Nikostratus! :) This is the new fluff for my VC army. The old stuff I wrote just don't... fit anymore. :tongue: Van Herrst is indeed a sneaky person. ;) These are all new stuff, I was in quite the writing mood.
 

Santawraith

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Check out my xgamers pledge when reading your story I pictured duroun from reaper he is one of my wight kings. But Like I said its who I picture as I read your story. If not then give me a few days I can help ya come up with something.
 

Boo

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I've checked that model out and it does not quite fit with the way I imagine King Keladon... I'm not that terribly good at the different miniature dealers around... if you come across something that looks cool, Santa, then please I would be glad if you helped me out. :)
 

Santawraith

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well boo first tell me how you see him in your mind. Then I can find or make(converting) one that matches your minds eye.
 

Boo

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Oh wow... ehm.. how do describe him.. it really hard to do with words. I have the perfect image in my mind, but it's really hard to put that to words really... ;)

Almost what the king of the dead looks like in the Lord of the Rings movie. (Too bad that the model of him in the LoTR range looks like crap...) But a dead king, with a crown (Could just be a crown in a helmet or just a crown), heavily armoured, but not too bulky. His face is a skull, partually covered by either cloth or chainmail, could be half covered, almost like the old 6th ed grave guard. He is wielding a sword and has his shield slung over his back, or no shield at all.
His robe should be tattered.

Something like that. I will roam the net in search too... but so far I have not found anything good. :)

Thanks for your help Santa. :)
 

Santawraith

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what about the old merp range of figures have you tried them Middle earth role play. (ya this tells you how long i been gaming)
 

Boo

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Hehe, no I have not tried them to be honest. I'll google that right away. :) Thanks for the help.
 

Bartel

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Will you continue this? I like it very much, I do.
The resurrection of someone from before Sigmar is well done
and a thoroughly well written piece of work too.
 

Boo

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Cheers guys, thanks for the kind words. :) And yes, I will continue this. :)

*******

King Keladon and his cohort stood in silence and watched as the army assembled. It looked like the earth itself came to life, crawling and shaking like a huge entity. Swords poked through the moist earth, skeletal hands gripping the ground, dragging themselves up from their earthly tomb. In silence the army assembled, standing in formations since long forgotten. Lipless mouths met with rusted horns that made no sound, ancient warriors standing at attention in front of their king. Chill winds caressing white bone, rotten banners flapping in the breeze. It was an army, a legion worthy of a conqueror. King Keladon turned to Helmut van Herrst.

"My warriors... they all fell here? You've brought them back for me..."

"Yes my lord, it was here the final battle stood. The invading force of Sigmar the backstabber was met with the glorious army of King Keladon. This was years after your demise sire. Your warriors fought valiantly but in the end they were overwhelmed. The battle lasted for hours ending only when the last king in the Line of Keladon was slain and his last warriors butchered. This is the army that fought that battle, ancient and bitter. And they are yours to command oh King of kings."

"Tell me, messenger, what is this alliance that your lord wishes of me?"

"Oh king under the hill, my lord wants you to restore your kingdom to it's former glory, carving it out from the lands stolen from you."

"These are my lands and has always been. Who is the puny lord ruling stolen land?"

"His name is Aldebrand Ludenhof, the false elector count of Hochland, my liege." Helmut said and bowed.

"I will take back what is rightfully mine and all the people of sigmar shall suffer for their insolence." As Keladon finished his sentence he drew his blade and strode down the hill. Keladons cohort followed.

Helmut hurried after him, the twisted man panted as he trotted downhill, supported by his gnarled staff. King Keladons elite guard had formed a unit of their own at the front of the army. The king stood with his most trusted banner bearer, their eyes burning bright with balefire, Helmut bowed as he approached them.

"Messenger, tell me, what is the closest settlement?"

Helmut drew a few strained breaths before he answered.
"It is the town of Hovelhof my liege, it is 40 leagues to the south. I will guide you there oh King under the hill."

************'

More is coming, I'm thinking about introducing the army of King Keladon in the Shadow of Drakwald "campaign" that me and one of my mates has going. :) we will see what happens. ;)

Thanks for reading.
 

Nikos

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Nicely done Boo. I like that Keladon isnt a stereotypical evil doer but he is just continuing a grudge against the lands of Sigmar after his death. And being manipulated by Vann Herrst. Well thats how I read it anyway. Good work and lets have some more :thumbsup:
 

Maelstrom

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very very Well written fluff Boo, I like how Keladon is actually sad when he finds his lands have been conquered adds a lot of character to him :D The opening segment with him telepathically communicating with Helmut is a very nice touch

looking forward to the next installment and the eventual unveiling of Helmuts master :)
 

Santawraith

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You inspirned me to write a campain boo the story is great. I too love how you have given Keladon such a personality. I have major writers block right now, but soon that will change I think. Thanks for the inspiration on the campain.
 

Boo

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Nikostratus said:
Nicely done Boo. I like that Keladon isnt a stereotypical evil doer but he is just continuing a grudge against the lands of Sigmar after his death. And being manipulated by Vann Herrst. Well thats how I read it anyway. Good work and lets have some more :thumbsup:

Thanks Nikostratus. :) Interesting how you interpreted it :) Keladon has evolved as the pages go on, getting a little life of his own as I write.

Maelstrom said:
very very Well written fluff Boo, I like how Keladon is actually sad when he finds his lands have been conquered adds a lot of character to him :D The opening segment with him telepathically communicating with Helmut is a very nice touch

looking forward to the next installment and the eventual unveiling of Helmuts master :)

Cheers Maelstrom. :) Helmuts master is a figure that has once been mentioned in fluff on this site, nothing much in depth or describing, just a short segment, I'm sure you can find it if you poke around this sub forum ;) That is if you are interested, of course.

Santawraith said:
You inspirned me to write a campain boo the story is great. I too love how you have given Keladon such a personality. I have major writers block right now, but soon that will change I think. Thanks for the inspiration on the campain.

That sounds awesome, I'm glad I inspired you Santa. :) How is your campaign going to play out?

And here is more fluff...

*********************

The night was dark and cold. A cool breeze had swept in from the mountains bringing with it heavy dark clouds that now obscured the moon mannslieb high above. The town watch had to carry torches on their rounds, so deep was the darkness. Not one hour before midnight the clouds had silently drifted in, covering the area like a blanked. As the first guards had switched in the little town of Hovelhof the wind began to grow stronger. This was that kind of night when men would be wise to stay indoor, never the less someone had to keep guard. Sergeant Olaf Petri reached for the torch handed to him by watchman Gruber.

"Have fun tonight sarge." Watchman Gruber grinned a toothless smile at the Sergeant. There was no surprise the filthy and repulsive man usually worked nights. As Gruber wandered away from the watchtower Sergeant Olaf Petri growled and lifted the torch to begin his round. As he stepped out from the warmth indoors he stopped one moment and listened to the wind. The surrounding forest was like a angry beast, branches trashing wildly in the wind. Eerie howling sounds were made as the breeze rattled the leaves, and ran through the cracks and holes of the ageless trees. Olaf shivered beneath his red and green tunic. He should had worn more clothes, cursing as he remembered what his wife had told him prior to his shift starting. The tunic offered no protection to the chilling wind and his steel breastplate felt like a block of ice. The Sergeant cursed again as he made his way towards the south guardhouse. The howling wind blew straight through his clothes and he could barely wait until he got inside again. At the south guardhouse everything looked all right, Hanz was on his post and the man had graciously shared a little dried meat with Olaf. The guardhouses were little else than a small shed with a fireplace and an alarm bell on the outside, designed so that if any threat was spotted the town watch could quickly raise the alarm. Sergeant Olaf Petri had reluctantly walked out in to the night again after finishing the small meal.

He wandered down the road leading to the small guardhouse at the very forests edge to the north. It was Aldred who stood there tonight, a sturdy man that always had a flask of ale with him. Olafs spirits rose at the thought of ale. As Olaf approached the guardhouse he could feel that something was not right, he had that feeling in his gut that made him uneasy and alert. This had saved his life on several occasions and therefore he always trusted his instinct. His torch danced a wild dance in the wind and Olaf peered his eyes at the guardhouse. There was no light burning inside.

He called out his mates name.
"Aldred...?"

...

"Aldred?"

There came no answer, all he could hear was the eerie howling of the forest. Olaf drew his blade silently. Slowly he rounded the corner of the guardhouse, carefully avoiding the bell used to alert the garrison.

"Aldred?" He whispered. Still there was no answer. Suddenly Olaf tripped and fell over something on the ground, dropping his torch, the flame that previously had danced in the wind died out as it landed in the mud. He hit the ground hard, cursing his ill fortune. Any enemy would have heard that. He lay still for a moment, carefully listening for any movement in the dark.

Now the forest was silent, the wind had dulled down and the clouds above split apart, allowing the light of mannslieb to illuminate the surroundings. The sight that greeted Sergeant Olaf Petri was like something taken from his worst nightmares. There stood an army of the dead, ancient warriors clad in rusted armour. Their bleak bones a stark contrast to the surrounding forest. There were ranks upon ranks of them standing silently waiting. Olaf just lay there, unable to move, dumbstruck by fear. But when a mighty warrior strode out from the army of the dead, his eyes burning bright with green balefire, drawing a viciously shining blade Olaf scrambled to his feet. When he got up, Olaf noticed that the thing he had tripped over was the corpse of Aldred. With a cry of fear he hurried to the bell...

Watchman Gruber tried to fit his key in his keyhole. The damned door would just not stop moving and he could not for the life of him figure out which of the three keyholes his key would go in. He steadied his hand with the help of the other and tried again. Curse that innkeeper and his delicious ale, he thought as he struggled with his key. Suddenly the night was filled with he frantic ringing of the guardhouse bell. It rang for a few seconds, loud and clear before it was cut short and the dark grew silent again. Gruber stopped the fiddling of his keys and looked dumbfounded up in to the night sky.

Bells be damned too, Gruber thought. He had been hearing music in his head the whole night, he was glad the ringing had stopped, now he could concentrate on getting his door open...
 

Nikos

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Gruber, you're fired! xD Another good read. :thumbsup:
 

Santawraith

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Gruber is kinda dense how hard is it to unlock a door, owell most people facing undead run away, and become undead after that mistake. Death to the living and more writing boo I want more. Another great tale. Looking forward to it.
 

Boo

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Helmut stalked through the burning town, smiling. In his hands he clutched a book. Holding it close, like he was cradling an infant. Carefully he lay the book down in the middle of a market square. All around the ground was littered with the dead and dying as the undead warriors ravaged through Hovelhof. With his gnarled staff Helmut drew lines in the dirt and placed himself within a newly formed circle.

As the last dying screams of the unlucky denizens of Hovelhof sounded Helmut Van Herrst started reading aloud from his terrible book.

A foul mist formed around him, shooting outwards from his magic circle. The mist swarmed the streets, infusing the deceased with new life.

The dead rose. Empty eyes staring hapless in the dark. Still bleeding carcasses hefted themselves upright, moaning. For a second they stood there, motionless, before bearing down upon those who were still alive. Fathers butchered their families, sons killed their parents and the long dead rising from the cemeteries joined in. Helmut smiled again as he witnessed the carnage. His master would be proud.

The sound of shuffling feet brought Helmut Van Herrst from his thoughts. The dead assembled in front of him. From all corners of the town they came forth. King Keladon and his elite host and the freshly raised. All gathered at the market square. The skeletons stopped and stood silent at attention while the zombies moaned and shuffled around aimlessly. King Keladon walked up beside Helmut, the man bowed as the king of old approached.

"Yes my liege?" The necromancer said.

"They are all dead, except this one." King Keladons mighty voice boomed in Helmuts mind. The king threw a beaten soldier on the ground in front of Helmut. The man squirmed and rolled around in horror. He was as unpleasant a sight as the zombies that stood only a few feet away. The man stank of alcohol. Helmut shook his head at the man cowering in fear.

"My warriors found him hiding in the pigsty. I say we let him live and tell the tale of what happened here on this night."

"Let him live, my lord?" At the words of the necromancer the man shone up. He got to his knees and crawled forward and tugged at Helmuts robe.

"Yes, m'lord. Let me go. I'll spread the word of this, I swear it, as sure as my name is Gruber!" Helmut spat at Gruber and kicked him in the chest, with a wheeze of pain the man rolled away.

"I did not speak to you, worm. Besides, mighty king, should we not keep a low profile and take our enemies by surprise? That was the wish of my master."

The balefires in king Keladons eye sockets shone brighter.

"No! We need to instil fear in our enemies." Keladons voice chilled Helmut to his core and the necromancer knew he could not refuse the wish of the King.

"As you say, oh king of kings." Muttering, Helmut turned to Gruber. "Then run you coward. Run as far as your legs can carry you. Do not turn your head back this way. Go on! Run you dog!"

Gruber quickly obeyed and not before long the foul man had made his way between the lines of undead infantry and left the town. Helmut closed his eyes for a moment and contacted his true master. Would the king prove to be a worthwhile ally or would the pride and iron will of Keladon prove to much of a burden? The thoughts of Helmut wandered far and wide.

It is done, my master.

Excellent, I will join you shortly.

There is however a minor thing that has come up, master... Keladon allowed a survivor to escape...

I know. Not to worry, I will take care of it.


******

EDIT: Updated with more!
 
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