This prompt is by request. Your wish is my command, neenerpants.
Lichlord By Scott Haring
I hear them coming. No, not hear … sense. As the decades pass, my awareness extends ever farther, beyond this cave, beyond the tunnels that wind upward, out on to the flat bright lands I can no longer countenance. I no longer need simple magical alarms or groveling spies. I just know.
Who shall it be this time? A young warrior, trapped by his own drunken vow and now regretting every step? A fevered mob, hoping to make up in numbers what they lack in strength? Or perhaps a grim veteran, with magics of his own and allies strong and brave?
It matters not. I will prevail, and I will have more subjects for my work. They do not understand the line between life and death, and how you can walk it like a tightrope and even step back and forth from one realm to the other, with a strong enough will and the proper preparations.
I understand. I remember when I was trapped on the living side of the barrier, studying death and wondering why everyone was so afraid, why they had to invent so many fanciful tales of puffy clouds or great drinking halls or golden streets to make it all bearable. Foolish sheep, all of them. You do not cower from death, you take it on! You grab it by the throat and force it to give up its secrets! And so I studied and learned, first in the temples and the colleges, then on my own.
I am not done learning. The forbidden books I found and deciphered spoke of rituals and formulas and sacrifices, but the most important element was force of will. To become what I am now, I had to make the simple decision to not die. To refuse to die, even as my blood poured out on the altar, drawn by my own hand. I had to cross the great barrier, yet not die. I had to.
And so I did. That same force of will is why I live to this day, why I grow in my mastery of the line between life and death, and why those who are coming, whoever they are, will not prevail.
I hear them coming. And I am not done learning.
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