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Ward History

Chapter 12- A man against gods


Although equals and ruled by council The Edict of Dawn looked to the Holy Order for its leadership. It had been fighting the undead for the longest and knew many of their tricks. The Holy Order taught the rest of the Edict Council many way to fight the undead. With the combined might of the Edict and the knowledge of the Holy Order the second crusade to purge the Undead King from Westgard set out.


The Edict of Dawn was efficient and moved quickly, knowing to linger would allow the undead to regroup. The crusaders penetrated deep into the decayed lands of the old empire before a proper counter force could be established. The crusading army quickly pressed the undead back to Westgard. Trapped behind their ancient stone walls the undead regrouped. There was debate amongst the crusaders’ leadership on how to take down the walls of the old capital. The Holy Order knew all too well how crafty the old king could be if left to his own devices and they advocated for a full-on assault rather than an extended siege. But the crusaders were tired from the lightning-fast assault to the capital. The plan to assault the capital was a risky plan, as many would die in the assault, providing soldiers for the Undead King to bring back against them. Reluctantly the Holy Orders leadership agreed to siege preparations, but they knew this was a foreboding idea.


Preparations to invade the decayed lands had only begun when the word came to the Blood King. The Edict had organized a second crusade and was moving with haste to get to the Undead King. Anger took over the Blood King, he grabbed the messenger by the throat and with his other hand tore the messenger’s spine from his body, dropping the limp corpse to the ground. His war council had concluded weeks ago that with their mighty host they could shatter the undead army and capture the Undead King, forcing him to reveal his secrets so they might use his power of the undeath against the Edict, crushing their both foe in one fell swoop. Convinced the Edict must have heard of their plan he pressed his mighty army into service before fully gathering their full strength. At only half of its strength the Blood King set out with his mighty host to reach the Undead King before the Edict could capture his for themselves.


It wasn’t long after entering the Decaying Lands that The Pact met their first resistance. It was only a token force of shambling bones and nearly decayed zombies. The Pact hit the lines of the undead with such force the undead never stood a chance. As they continued their march towards Westgard the roaming bands of undead began to grow larger and larger. It was as if every undead within a hudred leagues of Westgard was being recalled. This did not sit well with the Blood King. He knew his forces at full strength could have handled the full strength of the undead army, but his host was not at full strength. They continued on despite the mounting resistance, but it wasn’t until they ascended the hills surrounding Westgard that they truly understood what they were up against.


The undead were everywhere and kept coming in an unending stream of shambling bones and rotting flesh. The Edict had been able to handle the occasional pack of undead as the siege had begun. But over the last few days the frequency of these encounters had become so common that it was more uncommon when they weren’t actively engaged in combat. Dozens then hundreds of undead kept appearing over the rolling hills that surrounded the siege camp. Soon the crusaders were unable to keep up on their siege works and had to focus on the undead attacking from their rear. This created the opportunity the Undead King was looking for. The massive metal gates that guarded the main entrance to the city opened. Thousands of undead began pouring out of the city. The crusaders were being attacked on both fronts and it seemed as if the end of all life would be snuffed.


From beyond the hills a distant rumbling could be heard. The crusaders feared what new monstrosity could be coming next. Already, they were trapped between two massive undead armies. The noise grew louder and took on a rhythmic beat of a drum. Monstrous battle cries erupted and drowned out the fighting. Then from the hill a horde of green skinned Orcs smashed into the side of the undead army streaming out of the city’s gates. The Blood King had seen his great enemies struggle and saw his opportunity to attack. With the massive metal door to the city opened wide he ordered his army to smash into the undead and capture the city’s gates before they could close the doors.


The Edict did not like the idea of being saved by the Pact. But in their moment of ruination even the barbarism of the Orcish horde brought back a sliver of hope to the crusaders. The combined forces of the Edict of Dawn and the Blood Pact races threw the Empire of the Damned into disarray. The Undead Kind had not expected the different races to put aside their centuries old feuds to form a unified fighting force.


Victory was at hand. The undead were failing under the combined might of the two unlikely allies. Orcs had entered the city. Then it came, a thick green cloud spewed forth from the city’s gates. All of the blood thirsty battle cries from within Westgard turned into sympohony of choking and then silence. From the thick green cloud a figure emerged, the Undead King. He let out a loud and terrible scream before raising both arms into the sky. Suddenly, the sounds of shrieking roars echoed across the skies. The sky darkened and hundreds of undead dragons flew out of the caverns below the city. The dragons spewed out unholy green flames onto the battlefield, engulfing both living and dead alike. The Edict returned fire, sending 4ft bolts infused with holy magic into the skies but the dead dragons scaled has been bound with thick metal plates that deflected the holy bolt. The Blood Pact fired dark arcane magic into the air. The dragons answered by drenching the sorcerers in the scalding flames of undeath. Nothing seemed to slow down the armored engines of death that now roamed the skies above the battlefield. Defeat was inevitable. The Edict of Dawn and the Blood Pact were losing too many troops to the Damned and the Undead King was raising the fallen soldiers to tip the scales even further.

From across the sky a burst of beautiful cosmic energy streaked. It radiated and swirled with every color and some that had no name. In an instant the beam of energy exploded into hundreds of smaller light beams. The beams of light struck the undead dragons and the cold light of the dead left their eyes. After striking the dragon the beam reformed into one large orb of light in the sky and slammed into the ground. Hundreds of undead were incinerated in an instant. The orb of cosmic energy lingerd for but a moment and then began to take shape. The shape was massive, and from the cosmic energy emerged the Eternal Dragon, a colossal Humanoid dragon covered in golden armor and long sprawling wings.


Enraged by the disgrace the Undead King had exhibited by daring to resurrect his mighty kin the Eternal dragon launched and assault against the Undead King. But the Undead King barred his path by commanding hundreds of skeletons to create a massive bone wall in the Eternal Dragons bath. The Eternal Dragon smashed into the bone wall as if it were made of nothing but twigs. Taken back by the monstrous power of the Eternal Dragon the Undead King commanded every undead on the battlefield to attack it. Tens of thousands of undead surged towards the Eternal Dragon but the clamoring bones and other unholy abominations were nothing for the might the elder dragon now possessed. Whist the dragon was busy with his legions the Undead King drew his sword. An item not of this world, for it radiated pure corruption, the kind of corruption that had once been wielded by the Demon King before he and the rest of the demons were banished back through the Hell Gate. The Undead King lunged at the beast and ripples of energy erupted as the Undead Kings sword clashed with the claws of the cosmic being. Cosmic energy and unholy power swarmed the area surrounding the two powerful entities.


Terrified and amazed by the two mighty beings the High Priest of the Holy Order could not help but admire the former King. For once he had been only a mortal man like himself and now, he was contending with the will of a beast created by the combined cosmic magic of Gods and dragons. Until now he had never doubted his faith. But after seeing the power men can possess he began to question the power of his own worship. However, as strong as the Undead King had become, the Eternal Dragon was still too powerful and ripped the Hell Sword from his grip and crushing him into the ground. With his body broken and his sword gone, the Eternal Dragon bound the Undead King in chains of cosmic energy. Knowing the sword must never fall into the hands of another the Eternal Dragon left Ward seeking the riddles of the sword that almost killed him.


Bound and broken the Undead King was taken into the custody of the Edict of Dawn. This did not sit well with the Blood Pact. They wanted the Undead King for themselves and were convinced the Edict of Dawn would use the power of the Undead King against them. But the battle had left the Blood Pact much worse off than the remaining crusaders. Vowing they will get what is rightfully theirs, the remaining members of the Pact retreated to Thul. Knowing the power of the Undead King is too much to resist the Edict determined to not return to Cathedral of Dawn with the Undead King, but instead headed into the icy wastelands of the north. They traveled to the edge of the map and then more. For months the crusaders toiled and dug deep into the hard frozen earth. There they dug a hole so deep nothing would ever be able to find the remains of the Undead king. The High Priest then created a sword of pure light and pierced the Undead Kings heart, blocking his ability to control the undead for as long as the sword pierced him. Chained, pierced, broken and sealed away in a thick iron tomb enchanted with the most powerful sigils known to the Holy Order the Undead King was gone. Near death themselves, in the frozen wasteland of the Everfrost the remaining crusaders set off for home.


Aimless and with no master to keep them bound together many of the weaker undead began to collapse and fall apart. But the stronger undead creatures were not unbound and were free to seek their own destinies for good or for ill and live a second life in undeath.

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