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Watch it, you uncouth minion!” The Warrior Priest’s voice rang out in the darkness, startling Ibin from his nap. “Your lackey nearly trod on me! Why do we have to wait around in the dark for anyway? Turn on the light, that we may face our enemies boldly and watch them fall before us!”

“Oh, of course your worship, now let me see…” The Merchant began to feel about for the lantern, muttering curses under his breath.

“Ibin, you fool, do not light the lantern, we need the proper ambience for Hasvel’s ritual!” hissed Fontane. “As for our supposed enemies, I can see quite clearly in the dark and will tell you where to strike if they attack. That is, if I leave any alive for you.”

“I do not know why I agreed to come on this mission with such as you and Hasvel, Fontane Von Cartel! Sometimes I am not so sure which side you are really on. Sigmar protect me, I am in the company of a Vampire and a Necromancer and a fool!” The priest’s warhammer collided violently with the stone wall beside him, setting off an echo of thumps which grew fainter and fainter down the long corridor from which they came.

“Ha-haa, you old devil, do not forget Ivan and Theo, they have saved our lives tonight more times than you can count!” Ibin rumbled, then started the process of lifting his bulk from the floor, which he completed only with the aid of his aforementioned lackeys.

“Saved your life, you mean! You hide behind them like an old crone, and a well-fed old crone at that!” Gerant’s laughter resonated around them.

“Are you calling me fat? Fontane, did you hear him? I demand that you…”

“Silence your whining, mortals, I hear something.” Fontane crouched and turned his head to the side. “Demons! The final battle has come to us it seems, brought by your foolishness. Prepare yourselves, I shall defend Hasvel until he has time to finish the ritual. Fight well, and this may not be your last day in this realm.”

Fontane moved over next to the quietly chanting Necromancer, and saw that the elaborate ritual was nearly complete. Green mists were beginning to form at his feet, and a cold wind blew through the corridor. Hasvel stood, leaving a bowl of blood at his feet and cupping his hands together as if something more precious than jewels were held in them. Fontane saw movement out the corner of his eye and slashed at the Daemonette who had lunged at him. As she fell, there was a rumble and the ground shook; flagstones near the Necromancer cracked open to reveal bony hands clawing at the air. A Skeleton heaved itself out of the ground and joined in the fray, attacking the demons bearing down on them. Hasvel seemed to see for the first time where he was, and readied his sword.

Fontane was being hard pressed by three daemonettes, and could see his comrades further down the corridor doing their best in the dark. With a click of his fingers, a pile of rags and bones beside him became an ally, the newly formed Skeleton distracting the buxom demons while he quickly slid away to light the lantern. The stare that followed his retreat would have bored into his soul had he still possessed one. Hasvel’s look of jealousy was quickly replaced by one of calculating thoughtfulness, as he remembered that once this final combat was over, there would be no need for this ridiculous little truce within the party…


Necromancer story by Wendy Brown.