25 Cycles after the beginning
Goldage Mountain, Highhaven’s Keep
The sound of siege weapons tore through the air in front of a snow capped mountain. They chipped away at its base and steadily degraded the wall protecting Highhaven’s Keep. Tedore stared into the lifeless eyes of a fallen soldier. The kid had taken a fire bolt to the chest and died almost instantly. Tadore smiled in delight as he had worked with less. He placed a hand on the kids’ head and prepared to summon a retainer to fill his corpse. The attackers had been sieging for 3 days and the battlefield was littered with broken trebuchets and mangled bodies. If there was a such thing as a Valkyrie, Tedore was the closest being. He didn’t take the fallen to paradise but he did raise them from the ground. Someone told him the comparison, which always amused him when he reformed the dead.
So many were strewn lifeless across the battlefield, and Tedore lacked enough mana to utilize them all. He could only summon a dozen at most, and different races took more mana than others. He would have to choose more carefully now. He found a large soldier with bloodstained armor, pinned to the ground by a ballista bolt. Tedore took off the soldier’s helmet and was momentarily surprised to see a woman. Blood leaked out of her mouth streaking her golden locks red. Tedore opened her eyes and gazed into the darkness of the husk. Suddenly, he heard a small wheeze and a little gleam filled her eyes. He couldn’t use a live person and was tempted to finish her off without anyone knowing. Tedore slowly pulled out a dagger from his belt and hid it behind his back. He placed a hand on her head and soothingly stroked her blood stained hair.
“I’m sorry my dear; you will be put to better use”
He placed the dagger at the brim of her breastplate then the last thing he ever expected happened. Tedore always hated when others took his prizes for their own use but it was a whole different level of annoyance when they were revived and free to live again. Yellow swirls of light swarmed around the woman, making her hover just above the ground. Tedore cursed under his breath and looked around for the cleric that was hampering his progress. The armored woman was now on her feet and holding a sword and shield. It was a stark contrast from her earlier disposition. She towered over him with a glare that could cut Dwarven Steel . She then leaned over to scoop up her helmet.
“I’m not dying today, Necromancer” She spat then equipped her helmet.
She turned around to face the keep. Then, with a cry, drove her armor-clad foot into the earth. A 12-foot clay wall rose in front of them. She jumped to cover Tedore then everything went dark. A few moments later, Tedore heard the labored breath of the woman. She slowly got off him, lumps of clay sliding off her back. She was back where she started with a ballista bolt piercing through her side. Tedore was too stunned to move for a moment then everything made sense. She had saved his life but the wall wasn’t enough to save hers. There were lots of situations when he should have died. In the end, he just wrote it off as death doing him a favor, but this was different. He was going to kill her, but she ended up saving him. The irony left him frozen in place. The woman tried pulling the bolt out of her side, screaming in pain but eventually losing her strength. She fell limp, looking up at the sky. Tedore clambered over mounds of earth and leaned over her. He took off her helmet and placed a hand on her head to summon a retainer. She looked the exact same when he found her the first time. Her eyes fluttered as a nearby explosion threw dirt into her face. With a face of resignation, she let out a quivering chuckle.
“I guess it’s my time” She said through gritted teeth. “When you take over my body or whatever, make them pay”
She locked eyes with him as if she was looking for confirmation.
“Don’t worry my dear” Tedore said softly. This time without a grin. “I will put you to good use.”
She looked up and at the sky and let out a muffled laugh, coughing up blood.
“Alright, I’m ready” She said then closed her eyes.
Tedore placed the dagger at the brim of her breastplate. He was about to finish her but a fleeting thought caught his attention. Where was the cleric. He glanced around the battlefield. Thousands of soldiers clashed and it was hard to tell what was what. He looked down at the woman and was prepared to take her life but his arm wouldn’t follow his order. He had killed countless people. Men, women, and even children. Some had it coming and others were at the the wrong place at the wrong time. Why couldn’t he finish the job.
Suddenly a piercing scream filled the air. Everything fell silent as a shadow dashed across the field. Every combatants head was to the sky and watched in horror as a titanic creature flew around the mountains peak. It let out another screeching noise then fear flooded the battlefield. Soldiers tripped over one another as they tried to escape the beast. Tedore looked up and saw an ice dragon, its white leathery skin shimmering in the sunlight. He cursed at the unfortunate turn of events. He got up and headed in the direction of the keep. The dragon had started swooping down and petrifying anyone unlucky enough to be in its path. The dragon was between Tadore and the keep. He had not only come for the dead that would be loitering the field but also for a rare item forged in the depths of the mountain. He looked back at the armored woman then shook his head. She was dead by now and there was nothing he could do for her. It took everything in him to not turn around and retrieve the warrior. She was no doubt skilled and only died because she was unlucky. He let out a long sigh then summoned four corpses to carry her. Maybe the rare item could be useful now.