The Path of Kings

The Wrath of a Cyclops Lich Scorned

Plan B

The Cyclops lich was displeased. He had underestimated the brazen audacity of his foes – especially the sacrifice of the halfling and the warrior-priest, which had enabled the rest of the group to flee. Furthermore, unexpectedly, Hegelinde’s willpower had withstood his potent enchantment. His plan to command the Stonemark through the dwarf proxy had fallen apart. Moreover, the Stonemark leaders now knew his true nature, his powers, and his secret abode, and it was only a matter of time until they would knock at the door of his tomb anew, perhaps with an army and mighty weapons designed to defeat him.

Vordakai strode through his tomb until he arrived at the room he had started to call, mockingly, the Hall of Feasts. Despite his undead character, the cyclops had kept his cruel sense of humor. The bronze door opened onto a short dais looking out over a large chamber. Thick pillars ascended to a twenty-foot-high ceiling, while a wide stone staircase climbed to a darkened gallery above. The purpose of the chamber was apparent from the great stone table running across its center. Dozens of seats had been set about this massive affair and propped upon them was a feast of horror. Each chair held the corpse of a human locked in its death throes, its mouth agape in anguish, the top of its cranium brutally removed, and the brains within excised.

The lich grinned. He had dined well with his Varnholdian guests. At the head of the table Maegar Varn was seated. The governor’s memories had served Vordakai well, allowing him to get a grip on Brevic politics and the general lay of the Stolen Lands. With the cyclops’ failure to recruite the Baroness of the Stonemark, Varn would have to serve another purpose. With ease Vordakai plucked Maegar’s corpse from its chair. He would need a powerful spell to infuse the body with life, a spell that allowed the corpse to regain its mental powers while keeping its human form. The governor would return to Varnhold, reclaim his dominion, and rebuilt its strength. He was the rightful ruler of the Nomen Province, after all, the lich chuckled. Meanwhile, Vordakai would raise his own army and crush the irritating horsemen. It was, after all, no coincidence that the hundreds of cyclopes who were entombed in the Valley of the Dead were buried with a black onyx gem clutched in their fist…

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