Vindolanda, Part Three - Draconus Mortis
Suddenly Achilleus stiffened, head cocked, and yelled ‘Flee! Save yourselves!’ The group noticed a shadowy figure in green robes dragging Ross away. As he did so, the hideous undead leader landed on the wall atop his nightmare steed. He raised his corrupted staff toward the companions, and they noticed a flash of movement to the side. The huge, glinting, draconic form of Ice swooped down from the south, parallel to the wall, and unleashed a billowing cloud of bitter cold along the length of the wall, covering it in ice and freezing Calais, the Scarack, the undead leader and his mount solid.
With a flap of his great wings, Ice gained altitude and flew to the north, beyond the Wall. Stunned, the companions watched his flight, as the green-robed figure rushed along the wall, melting the ice around Calais with emerald flames and carrying her away. The group heard a crash and saw the arm of the undead leader smash through the ice encasing him, holding his ghoulish staff aloft. Some of the friends targeted the rotting arm with arrows and spells, before hearing the sound of ice cracking from the Scarack’s position.
Those that had followed Ice’s flight to the north saw him bank and fly low, parallel to the Wall, breathing his freezing breath down onto the besieging army. Suddenly, from the low cloud above the battlefield, another huge draconic form swooped down. In a split second, those looking that way could make out that the second dragon was skeletal, and pulsing with necrotic energy, before it slammed into Ice from the side and knocked him from the sky. The two dragons crashed down, obliterating the gatehouse utterly and smashing down into the vaults beneath. The earth shock with a massive detonation, some of the nearby buildings collapsing under the quake.
Back at the western gate, the Scarack smashed his way out of the ice and leaped from the wall into the snow beyond, disappearing from sight. The undead lord raised its hands overhead and vanished. Raphael rushed over and climbed the wall, with Uther following, while the rest of the group sprinted to north gate, following Myrddin’s call to aid their draconic ally. As they did so, the druid called upon nature’s power to protect his companions from the ravages of necrotic energy. Guillaume de la Croix, aiding the Archbishop, followed in their wake.
Arriving at the remains of the north gate, the friends took in a scene of utter devastation. The fall of the dragons had left a forty foot breach and a massive crater where the gatehouse had been, with rubble and bodies strewn all around it. The two dragons had just clawed their way out of the crater and were rolling over one another, biting and breathing cold and death.
Storm hit the dracolich with a lightning orb, while Myrddin missed with a lightning bolt. Sophia focused her fear enchantment on the undead dragon, to no effect, while Tector charged forward. Behind them, the Archbishop arrived and opened his bible, a Latin chant filling the air as he focused his gaze upon the breach, holding his right palm up and forward, glowing with a golden light. A horde of undead was surging forward toward the rent in the Wall, but a barrier of golden light quickly formed as the Archbishop’s chant gained in volume. The undead lurching forward disintegrated into dust as they passed through the barrier, and the Archbishop continued his chant.
Raphael arrived, his boots carrying him with incredible speed from the western wall, and he struck the dracolich with a blessed crossbow bolt, blasting away some of the necrotic energies that held it together. The rest of the group targeted the undead dragon but were ineffective against its speed and ancient power, even as their old ally Hakan charged forward, only to be slammed by the bony tail of the dracolich and knocked backwards in spite of his great strength.
As Ice and the undead dragon fought one another, the latter seemed to pulse with deadly energy, which exploded outwards. The friends were thankful for Myrddin’s ward, which protected them as the necrotic energy washed over them. Again the friends sought to aid Ice, but save for Sophia’s arrow, which struck home, they found it impossible to pierce the dracolich’s defences.