Week 97 - Battle of The Dead.

While the troops from Issia went Noth to the Goluskin Mountains, Rudy led rest of the army to meet the returning Conqueror. There were troops from Newhaven, Rostland, the Gronzi Forest, The Centaur nations, Pitax and Mivon all arrayed together. In the battle they would be under the command of so many military heroes – Lord Keston Garess, Lord Terrion Numesti, Lady Jamandi Aldori – supported by Ilora Nuski of Pitax and Aecora Silverfire of the Nomen Centaurs.

Rudy, Larran, Ox, Cassandra, Robert and Hebrin rode their Phantasmal Steeds above their Armies supported by Duron the Elf (the old ranger/wizard who is the only known survivor from the Conquerors’ first visit) riding a magical carpet.

They faced an enormous army of undead – ironically lead by King Surtova and his sister- both killed and animated as some sort of wight. Behind them were arrayed undead of every type - while the majority were zombies or skeletons, they were supported by Ghouls, Ghasts, and Wights of all types. They were interspersed with Incorporeal undead and even a vampire or two.

While the Army of undead could be dealt with - it was the undead dragon that flew above them that was the major risk. If that managed to get amongst the living troops the battle would be over, and the wights and vampires would be recruiting more followers from amongst the ranks of their enemies. The Conquoror had returned, bigger and nastier than before – and undead.

Larran lead the charge, straight towards Choral the Conqueror returned. Others cast spells before they deployed, which meant the dragon could catch them all with its breath weapon. Not enough damage to kill anyone outright, but sufficient to send a warning and destroy the phantasmal steeds. That was a problem for OX - as he had no other way of flying - fortunately Duron the Old came to the rescuer – diving after the falling warrior and bestowing a Fly spell upon him. It developer into a pitched battle with Larran and Ox in mêlée, Cassandra using distance attacks and Hebrin and Duron trying to get arrows through the dragons defences – all the time Rudy was piping the song that helped everyone hit their foe – and casting the occasional spell.. Robert and his summoned Archon were kept busy healing, because Choral was selecting one foe and concentrating all of his attacks against them. He was doing so much damage that the recipient of his attacks needed healing between rounds, for two successful rounds of attack would have been the end of them. Indeed Robert was only saved from certain death by the spells cast on him before the battle.

Then Choral switched tactics – and cast a greater dispel at Cassandra - suddenly her protective spells – and just as importantly – her overland flight spell was gone and she was falling towards the dragon’s back and then the ground. Rudy dimensioned doored to her and grabbed her arm (to attempt a rescue) just as Cassandra dimension doored to the rear of the battle. That took both of them out of the combat for a moment or two - but they returned just in time to see Choral defeat and killed a second time. However, as the dragon’s body fell, Robert saw a shadowy, insubstantial shape form and arrow back towards Skywatch. Which let him work out that they were dealing with a Dracolich – and that they would need to go to Skywatch to find and destroy the Phylactery.

However, the battle below was the immediate problem - so they descended and gave their support to the army of the living. Before long the battle was over - with many undead slain for a second time and pyres for burning the desecrated corpses starting up all over the place. Robert, ant the other clerics turned their attention to helping the wounded and dying - when they came across the body of Ilora Nuski, General of Pitax amongst the slain. Robert tried to raise her from the dead - but that failed as her death blow had been struck by a Dread Ghast and she was destined to rise again next day. However, once they had discovered this, they were able to prevent the rising and prepared for a full resurrection later . After all, it would be wrong to leave one of the women who had lead their army as either an undead monster or utterly destroyed and anonymous on some foreign battle field.

Soon it would be time to go into The Conqueror’s Stronghold at Skywatch – to find and finally destroy the lich …

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