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1st Annual Guild Wars Halloween Art Contest - Extra

Necromancer

She stared evenly at the frozen lake, illuminated by the soft glow of moonlight and considered her options. A burning sphere crashed into the snow on a faraway bank of the lake, and Cymae could hear the screams of the villagers as they burned and died. She smiled sardonically as she savored the fear and pain within those screams, and began walking towards the village. As she traveled along the bank of the massive lake, approaching the village, she examined the razor sharp black tinted nails on her left hand. Cymae was getting close; the air was thick with emotions. Perhaps she should thank the stone summit before she killed them, for giving her such a delicious feast this night. She approached the village, and assessed the damage. More than forty dead, and at least double that severely wounded. As she neared, two village girls spotted Cymae, and their mouths fell open.

The necromancer wore the armor of her foes, fragments of bone delicately woven into rows, covering her body like spider webs. A small skirt was fashioned out of chitin, decorated with black metal chords and studded with smaller chitin chips, all dyed green. Her shirt was fashioned from char hide, and fastened with the black chords that decorated the rest of her outfit. Cymae carried a Cesta, which was aglow with unholy fire, a beacon of light in the dusk. The most terrifying part of her appearance however was the dried Imp claw she carried, with a devourer sting protruding from the palm, her focus item.

The village girls dropped the healing runes they were carrying and attempted to flee and warn the other villagers. Cymae flicked a single delicate, lethal finger, and two bone minions ripped their way out of a nearby corpse. The girls’ screams never left their throats as the minions tore off their heads and tossed them on the nearby ground. They returned to their mistress, who smiled and extended a hand. With the devourer sting in her focus item, she cut a gash in her hand, and offered the welling blood to her minions. They glowed with strength, invigorated by the offering of the necromancer. Cymae stopped a small distance from the village. She raised her Cesta and her focus item, and levitated slightly with the strength of the spell, the spasms of pain associated with the summoning she had long since learned to ignore as minor inconveniences. Two by two she raised her army, feeding them her blood while gathering her forces. Seventy six minions in total, from thirty eight bodies. There were more in the village, not quite dead, but she need not bother herself quite yet.

Cymae tuned to the decapitated corpses of the two girls her first minions had slain. She knelt beside the first girl, and placed her mouth over the stub of the girls neck. She supped on the blood of her victim until she was completely renewed, and then proceeded to make a large offering of blood to her minions. She then sucked the body of the second girl free of blood, and rose to her feet, delicately licking her top lip, savoring the coppery taste of power. She turned to her minions and unleashed them upon the village, bidding them kill any living being within sight. As the villagers were destroyed, down to the last infant, Cymae created more minions, taking care to offer them her blood regularly and keep them animated.

Soon, an army of over two hundred minions left a desecrated village, inhabited only by nightmares and shadows. The army marched towards the Stone Summit galleon in the distance, at the command of their mistress, who watched as the panicking Stone Summit attempted to redirect the massive catapult towards the minion army. The Necromancer gave the call for them to charge, and the minions descended upon the horrified stone summit. She watched as the catapult was abandoned for swords and shields, and the summit fought the undead force. Cymae roared an incantation, and a spirit appeared by her side. The air grew cold, and a blizzard swept the area, halting as soon as it had begun. Ice covered the ground, and the corpses of the dead Stone Summit lay beyond the powers of their healers, but not beyond her powers. Her minion army grew as she summoned them from the corpses of her victims, feeding them with her blood, and feeding herself by taking their lives.

All of a sudden, a great wave of agony struck down a quarter of her army. The time had come for Cymae’s dreams to be realized. She possessed one of the dead stone summit bodies, and emerged anew, ripping away the flesh of the corpse she had appeared inside, and straightening, while a patronizing smile graced her beautifully cold and distant features. Not a word from either Necromancer or Mursaat master, the equal she had been long searching for, whom she would defeat, and claim the world of undead from. He nodded his head slightly, accepting her challenge.

His name was unimportant, as was hers. They had never met, and yet they knew each other well. The remaining minions circled around their necromancer mistress protectively, faithfully. The necromancer however, rewarded their loyalty with death, devouring the souls which kept them animated, immediately reducing her army to dust. This fight would begin on an even playing field. The massacre of the Summit assured for plentiful resources to accommodate this battle.

The necromancer and the Mursaat circled each other, both proud and confident, both certain of their victory. A bone fiend blasted its way from a nearby corpse and hurled a piece of stone summit at the Necromancer. She did not even flinch as two bone minions ripped from the corpse at her feet and deflected the blow. The first went to fight the fiend as the second attacked the Mursaat, only to be destroyed before striking a single blow. He sneered and they both turned to watch the battle between fiend and minion. Two more minions ripped out from the corpse upon which the Fiend had made its post, and attacked, overpowering and killing it before being destroyed by the spectral agony. A corpse near the Mursaat exploded, and he cried out in pain and surprise, and consumed the souls of the corpses directly around him. The necromancer did the same, preventing any fiends invading her casting area.

She gathered up her unholy power, and pointed her Cesta at the necromancer, and writhed in pain as the spell she had cast took its toll upon her body. The Mursaat shrieked, and she felt herself being strengthened as his life force transferred to her. At that moment, the curse of agony leapt from his hands, bringing the necromancer to her knees. She launched a direct attack at him, unholy power propelled through the air, striking him. He fell to the floor, depleted, and she roared in triumph. Two bone minions burst forth from a nearby corpse and attacked the Mursaat, ripping at his garments, groping for flesh to tear into. The necromancer’s ice coated laugh rang through the empty night, mocking his pitiful power. He was depleted, and only a few meager shadows remained to anchor his soul, which was almost hers for the taking. She turned away from the disgraced Mursaat and raised her arms in triumph before the night.

A sharp pain spread through her body like white hot needles, and Cymae lead out a blood curdling scream of pain and anger. A booming laugh reverberated off the lake, as the echo of the Lich watched his gift being used from the realm of shadows. She spun around, still under the curse of the spectral agony, and unable to do anything but watch her imminent demise. Time itself slowed under the gravity of the moment. The blast of unholy power came closer and closer, and the necromancer stopped screaming and fighting her fate. Instead, she smiled and opened her arms to embrace death, which had been her servant for many years. As the necromancer’s body wilted, her soul lingered slightly, and the Mursaat hovered. He tensed and rose from the ground, as he ripped her soul from the lifeless shell which was once her body, and slowly devoured her. She did not cry out, for the necromancer was still proud, but accepted it, because her soul was powerful enough to survive. Slowly she would regain her power, for minutes, days, years, until she was strong enough once again, and then she would destroy him from within. The battle was lost, but the war would not be conceded.