The Crn Border
January 14, 795 TSR
A Dark and Stormy Night
Through the pouring rain, Necronis strove forward trying to put distance between him and his army. He had driven all notions of frustration from his mind. No reason to do that; he needed to concentrate on the task at hand: regaining control of his army. Another bolt of thunder crashed and the rain poured down even harder.
Chaaammmmpionnnn!!! A voice barreled out through the night. Necronis squinted and tried to find the source. What madman was this, outside and screaming in the middle of a storm. He almost tripped over the dwarf.
Champion. The dwarf clearly addressed Necronis. At the demihuman's flanks stood several short, gaunt figures totally covered in black robes. Necronis noted a small hole in the ground behind the assortment of miniatures, mostly because of the figure emerging from it.
A full-size man in a tattered black tunic climbed forth from the hole. He had long blond hair which was quickly becoming waterlogged. He looked up at Necronis. "Champion, come with me. My master wishes to speak with you."
Necronis started to say something, but the man had suddenly assumed the most horrid look Necronis had ever seen on any face in his entire life, alive or dead. The man looked as if his very soul were being pulled through a meatgrinder. He cocked his head to the side, quivering a bit. He seemed to resist the motion. Then his whole body fell limp and then took form again within the space of a half-second.
That will not be necessary, a decidely different voice chimed out, sweet like rotten honey, we can speak right here. I am glad that you have finally made it, Champion. Kurusk has been eagerly awaiting your arrival. He is anxious to begin his conquest of this pathetic little plane. I trust your army has arrived intact?
Necronis hesitated for just a moment as he assessed the situation and then answered, "Yes, my army is in perfect condition, just a short distance behind me. They are ready to conquer this plane and prepare its souls for the Clawed One to feast upon. I am ready to begin the assault as soon as Kurusk wishes."
Necronis pondered whether these creatures spoke the truth, or if they were trying to trick him and lure his army into a trap. Or maybe they wished to deceive him into letting his guard down, and then slay him and take over his army for their own purposes? But then how would they know of his mission and his worship of Kurusk, for all of the Klaw of Kurusk cult but he were slain in the battle with the Guild? No one yet lived who knew of his past or who he once was, and any other worshippers of the Clawed One outside the cult would have no idea who he was... So how did they know of him? Unless, of course, they were indeed speaking truth.....and Kurusk himself had commandeered his army, not some pesky mage or anything, but the Clawed One himself...
It was perplexing and odd to think that the Clawed One had other servants left on Phaema, and that they had escaped the Guild's attempt to wipe out all of Kurusk's followers on Phaema... Or maybe Kurusk himself saved them to serve him again at this time, foreseeing Necronis' quest to catalyze his rebirth with the souls of Phaema? Necronis decided these thoughts could wait. The conquest of Phaema was the only important thing right now, and he had to find out what these people wanted from him, and if they spoke truth, before he could do that.
Sweet-voice nodded. His eyes flicked to one side and the robed figures filed into the hole in the ground. His eyes rolled back in his head and the storm stopped, except that it did not stop, only the rain did not fall on the area where they were standing and an unnatural quiet had fallen upon it. He smiled.
Well then, champion, I trust you will be happy in the new base of operations. Taking Kaat'n should be a relatively simple matter. The place is barely defended anymore. Further, their pathetic leader is not presently there. We can send a small force in through Crn to their catacombs and secure the keep. Then it's just a matter of opening the front door. With the current residents removed from Kaat'n, we should be able to remove whatever it is that is preventing the Clawed One from his transubstantiation--
Sweet-voice fell silent and shifted the whole left side of his face down presenting a momentarily perplexed sort of expression. Then he laughed.
Ah-ha, Champion, I see. I see. I see now why you are the chosen one, and I think I understand some of the implications. Doubt everything but Kurusk and you reach the essence of purity, no? Ah, well, I will try to tender some meager explanation then.
I've forgotten most of life before I came into the Clawed One's service, but I do remember how heart-wrenchingly boring it was. Then I found his book. I learned a great deal from his book. I learned that it was not really a book, but one of the last remaining access points Kurusk had to this existance. I learned of the futile struggle that put Kurusk in his current position. I also learned how all of that would soon change. I learned that Kurusk would make his return. I learned that his power would be forced into the body of a pathetic mortal and trapped there until his Champion could free it and realize Kurusk's true and total dominion. I then learned that others would soon be learning the same things, and that they would gather, and wait. Wait for the Champion. We would know him by sense, sense of his full devotion to Kurusk, emnating from his very heart. And now you are here.
The Clawed One's victory lies shackled within the walls of Kaat'n, Champion. Kaat'n is weak. With you, we are strong. Victory is at hand.
Sweet-voice's pupils dilated and then continued to expand until his eyes were dominated by oily darkness. A book took form in his hands and he handed it to Necronis. The cover read "Häs Naledák." Necronis felt like he had just passed through a very dense pocket of time. The dwarf slowly turned his head and looked at the still stormy horizon for a few seconds. Then he scampered into the hole. Necronis's army approached in the distance.
(ooc: Sorry it took me a few days to respond, I've been busy and couldn't think of anything to post. End ooc.)
Necronis thought for a moment and said, "I see. Then I shall lead my legions northward to Crn, and from there proceed through the catacombs to the stronghold of KAAT'N. And then its halls will run red with the blood of its inhabitants."
Then the army's vanguard, the werebeasts, approached. Necronis walked up to Fenris, who was walking point.
"Fenris! It is good that you have arrived, for now we must march the rest of the way to Crn, and from there, to KAAT'N! It will be but the first stronghold to fall in the face of Kurusk and us, his servants. And we shall move out immediately, so that we may awaken Kurusk as soon as possible and bring about the Dark Genesis!" said the necromancer. The man-wolf stopped in his march for a moment and looked at the necromancer.
Yes. We march on Crn. The master calls to us. We listen, and obey.
And the werecreature once again began to march, the rest of the army following him. Necronis looked at them questioningly, then turned to face the person he had been talking to. "Hmmm.... Shall you be accompanying us in our march, or meeting us in KAAT'N? Or must you leave now? In any case, I was wondering if you could restore my control of the army now that it has succeeded in drawing me here? I cannot very well command my army and direct it if I do not still possess any control over it." he asked as he turned around.
Sweet-voice seemed to smile with his eyes.
If I had taken control of your army I would return it to you, but I think that they are simply heading the Clawed One's call in the directional sense. I suspect that you will be able to control them once they reach their destination or before then if the necessity arises.
I apologize for my lack of clarity, but it would take a great deal of time to send an entire army through the catacombs and into Kaat'n; there is quite a bottleneck. I have a few scouts and they tell me that the more common entrance to Kaat'n was recently made unavailable. Apparently, a bridge blew up. As your army passes over Crn lands there should be some dwarves joining them. I will be taking a different route. The hole behind me is an entrance to the tunnels of Crn. I am proceeding with a small contingent of my own to the catacombs. My plan, unless you note any flaws Champion, is to bring my small contingent through the catacombs and into the castle at night, open the doors to the castle and the two walls that surround the castle, and create a bridge much wider than the original (he grins). Then your army should be able to storm through the place and crush any pathetic resistance that may have arisen by this time. Perhaps you would find it more interesting to accompany me?
OOC: [Might want to check out my response to your last post (above) -- has useful information about Crn/Kaat'n]
Necronis nodded. "Yes, I suppose I shall accompany you. As my army follows the Clawed One's calling, there is no need for me to lead them to our destination, and I shall not be needed until the battle nears. Fenris and Ven'rathil, my generals, can handle any meager resistance they may run into along the way. I can probably accomplish more by delving into the catacombs and routing out any resistance there," he paused, then added "Your plan will do. This region is one of the few I had not yet visited in my travels, and am not yet familiar with. So I shall follow you into these catacombs, until we are inside KAAT'N, then I shall resume command of my legions and eradicate the defenders of KAAT'N. I am ready to proceed as soon as you are prepared." the necromancer said.
Sorry I haven't responded already (got attacked by my job suddenly and unexpectedly). Will try to post something either tonight or tomorrow night.