Posted by davidludwig
Oct 26 2011

Patreus – Terra

“Fools! Tremble before the power of darkness!” Patreus laughed as he pummeled the room with wave after wave of negative energy. “Soon all the world will slip into oblivion! Your efforts are useless!”

The negative energy was feeding Patreus’ undead horde, while eroding the vital force of the Seelie Knight, Edmund, his fey companions and the energetic dogling, Horera. By waiting in the antechamber of the Crypt of Secrets, Patreus had arranged for the ultimate battle of attrition. His powers were amplified in this place—sacred to both the seelie and unseelie forces of the world—and it was only a matter of time before he wore the would-be heroes down.

“Your powers may have grown, Patreus, but our will remains steadfast!” Edmund stepped into the next wave of zombies, knocking them back with his shining shield. “We will neither falter nor fall, to you or your vile masters.”

Patreus sneered at the paladin as he unleashed a torrent of black bolts to seek out the living in the chamber. “You’ll be singing a different tune when I make your corpse dance for me!”

Patreus was gratified with the screams of the trio of flower-fairies, “Sir Edmund! I’m afraid we must withdraw!”

“Go, Lavender!” Edmund’s gaze met Patreus’ with steel in his eyes, “See to your injuries, we will handle things here.”

“That’s right, scum!” Suzie, the blue haired pixie, encased herself in a spear of Seelie energy before diving through a row of Patreus’ skeletons, the energy exploding out to fell additional ranks of undead. “Justice time!”

The powers of the fey were enhanced in this place too, but with hundreds more undead left to call upon, Patreus felt confident. And when he delivered the souls of these would-be heroes to his masters he would surely be rewarded with a position of power and prosperity in the world that came after.

“Arf!” Horera’s pained cry brought a cruel smile to Patreus’ lips.

The last two black bolts had pierced her chest and would begin corroding her body from the inside out. A moment’s hesitation brought on by the pain was all it took for the dogling to be buried in ravenous undead, and with her noble protector boxed in as he was, there would be no help for the little girl this time. Suddenly the heap of undead exploded outward, rapid spinning sweeps of the dogling’s blade combined with enough hand-to-hand maneuvers it almost looked like the weapon was wielding itself cleared a swath around her.

“Bark!” Horera began bounding and tearing her way through the undead straight for Patreus! “Bark! Bark! Bark!”

“Impossible…” Patreus watched with grudging admiration as the dogling smashed through his horde and straight for him. “I’ll have to kill you myself…”

A glimmer of unseelie energy lanced off from Patreus’ hand and caught Horera mid-leap for his position. Wimpering, the dogling fell to the ground and began convulsing.

“Horera can’t see!”

“Horera!” Edmund blasted his way through the undead with a sacred sword strike. He was down to his last one for the day. “Don’t worry, I’m here!”

“Here to die!” Patreus grinned as he summoned up the final surge of negative energy, reviving his undead horde and bringing even the paladin to his knees.

Suzie was caught in a zombie’s hand, too weak to escape, when there was a sudden flood of light in the antechamber! An overwhelming sense of peace filled the chamber and Patreus watched incredulously as his undead drifted back into gentle repose and his entire negative energy aura was extinguished.

“Rise, Edmund. This is a place of balance, and now the pendulum returns to your favor.” The voice of a beautiful winged woman with long white hair and flowing blue dress filled the chamber.

“Lady Althea?” Edmund looked up with wide eyes.

“Pretty Fairy!” Horera yipped, free of Patreus’ curse.

Patreus fell to his knees before the approaching lady. Who was this vision?







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