The days have passed slowly to Vividos, since he entered the Upper Catacombs, four days ago. It seemed to be an eternity. The catacombs were in chaos, now that Lithos had lost his powers. Many ghouls and skeletons had turned around and attacked Vividos, and he has been in a lot of trouble since then. A year ago, this task should be easy for him to handle, but now it looks like almost impossible to accomplish. All of that started five days ago, when he heard the Mountain King's call. The very earth spoke, after a small quake, and His voice was heard.
"Necromancer, I am requesting your presence. Come now to the Hall of the Mountain King, and bring all your goods with you, once you will never return to the Tomb of Moriens while you live. It is an order!"
And so, the earth shook again. Vividos said nothing. He took all his talismans, as well as food, water and clothes, and a staff, and began his painful journey. He proceeded to the small shrine and opened its entrance, as usual, but he noticed that something was different. This time, he couldn't feel comfortable in there. The presence of Lithos had gone, and so, all of his courage as well. He felt like an apprentice, in his first days as a follower of Lithos. He walked between the ghouls, avoiding the traps and the skeletons, running at full speed. He had to fight several times, and got some scratches as a result. His blood was covering his body, and the smell of iron could be felt, more and more. Vividos, now, was afraid. The fear was embracing him completely. He reached the cave to Stone Cove, but he had almost no energy left on his legs, so, he could barely walk. Then, he had a vision. He could see Lothian, sat in a throne, and several other thrones by her side. Many men and women were sat down there, and he was knelt before her. Behind them all, the Mountain King was just watching everything that was happening. Lothian broke the silence.
"Stand up, my apprentice. You are quite injured, as I can see... do you want to join me that soon?"
Vividos replied, still without understand what was happening, but conscious of the place where he was: City of Dead.
"Master Lothian... what am I doing here? A... Am I supposed to be dead???" - asked him, with a peculiar tone of fear in his voice
"You are not dead, Vividos... yet. But your spirit is about to quit your mission. Do you want this to happen? I think our king had requested your presence, or am I wrong? He said that you must meet him in the Hall of the Mountain King... but you are weak! You can't stand these difficulties! Where is your fiber, your faith?? You are not the same Vividos that I met, and learned to respect. Vividos... wake up! Lithos needs you. Be a honorable servant. Be a necromancer!"
And, with these words, Lothian raised her hands in his direction and he woke up. He was on the ground. He had fallen unconscious after suffering a knockdown. He was inside the cave, and still far away of his goal. Strangely, his wounds disappeared, and he cleaned his clothes before carrying on his mission. "Lothian is right... I am the Necromancer! Moriens never was afraid of his destiny, he did what he had to do. I must be strong... as I was years ago! Lithos... I am going..."
And so, he started to walk again. Thanks for the recent earthquakes, the holes were covered and he found no difficulties to get to Stone Cove. Once there, he used the Key of the Necromancer to open the double doors and, so, gain access to the Hall of the Mountain King. He caught some breath before he could enter, and, as soon as he did it, he looked for the sign of Lithos, on the ground. Soon, he found it, and stepped in.
"Now... this is my addiction to Necromantic magic!" - He picked up a veil of blood, a pile of bones and a pile of blackmoor, mixed them all in a separate bag, and invoke some words, in a low voice. The Necromantic magic worked farly well, and, after that, he picked up a talisman is his bag, a one that resembled a brown diamond, in shape, but a small one. So, he shouted some words, invoking the power of his spell, Rock travel.
"Van Por Ylem!!!" - And, by doing that, his body melted with the very rock itself, and he traveled inside the rocks, until the other point, near Lithos, where that sign was placed on the ground. As soon as he arrived, he ran to see Lithos. Strangely, the corridor of corpses who used to exist was not there anymore, and just a large room was left there. When he stepped into it, Lithos formed from the rocks, and started a conversation with Vividos.
"Finally, you arrived, living one. Long time I have waited for you. Kneel before me, now! - Screamed Lithos, seemed to be very angry. Vividos did it, and silenced. He waited for another reply of Lithos, in vain. Lithos kept silenced also. Then, when Vividos was about to speak, Lithos interrupted him.
"Do you fear me, Vividos?" - He asked, curious.
"No, my lord. I worship and respect you, and, most of all, I understand you"
"You understand me, worm? So... can you tell me the reason of my calling? Are you aware of what is happening?? Fool! You don't know a thing! Now, silence!" - He screamed, and the earth shook again. And Lithos continued.
"I don't have my powers anymore, Vividos. I am dying, but I don't care. For long I have been imprisoned in this form, and it took me some time to understand it. Now, I desire to be free, like my sister, Stratos. But my time hasn't come yet. I must play a major role in the events that are going to occur, and you, Vividos, is my key to do it" - Lithos stated.
"And how can I help you, my Lord? My life is yours to spare. I'll do anything in my reaches to serve you."
"Ah, you don't change, don't you? I have accepted my fate. The age of mankind is coming, but there is one living one who wants this not to happen. This one's name is Snik-Poh. He is Zealan in origin, and is threatening the course of Titan's existence. He is feeding the powers of Hydros and Pyros, and making them alive once more, and, with this, they are enslaved to him. I would never accept such a thing! The Mountain King owes allegiance to no one! I chose to die, instead, but, as I said before, I will play a role, at some time. Now, I will retire to City of Dead to rest, waiting for the right moment to interfere. Don't be afraid, living one. You will see me again before you die. I will do that because I hate Hydros, that stupid Lurker, who insisted on stealing my followers and had taken many of them to her own army, which displeased me. The other reason is because I hate Pyros in the same degree, because he made the same thing, as the daemons are nothing more than people consumed by his wicked flames, and, the third reason is..." - he makes a pause - "Is because I am a little bit in debt with all Pagans. They worshipped me for a long time, offered sacrifices to me and honored the pact, except for a few ones. They deserve my help one more time, and that's it. Now, listen to my final words, Vividos. I will grant you more power, so you will be able to reach the others in the Lost Vale. Also, you will fulfill my prophecy, one that I made after had sealed the Lost Vale. I said that no Pagans would step in Zealan ground while I was reigning supreme over earth. But now, my reign is almost over. In fact, I meant that this "Zealan ground" would be the Titans' sanctuary in the Lost Vale, and the door that leads to there is sealed. Only one key can open it... and the key is that one."
Soon, from the ground, a key emerged. It is made of bones, and has a peculiar shape, being large as a man's arm. Like the other necromantic keys, it has a skull in one of the edges, but that one is made of bones, and it has shining blue eyes. There are some runes engraved into it, too.
"This is the Key of the Lithos, and you must open it only after you have found the Ceremonial Shield of the three. You don't have a clue of what is it, but your friends do know, so, go and meet them. Ah, there is another thing that I must deliver to you."
And another key emerges from earth, much like the Key of the Necromancer, but made of diamonds.
"This is the Key of Master Necromancer. Now, I am entrusting you my powerful spells. Take these scrolls"
Some scrolls suddenly appeared, from the earth itself, in a number of three. "Here lies all the lessons that you must learn in order to reach Lost Vale quickly. Now, go. You must travel to Pit of Dead, to a point where you can see the bridge and a fence, that is impossible to get across. Go through the fence using your powers. There is a way that leads to Lost Vale. Go, Vividos, and honor me as a true Necromancer!"
And, with this, Lithos vanished. Vividos, still shocked with all those incredible news, just replied: "I will, Lord Lithos... I will..." - and so, he grabbed all the keys and scrolls, made a signal of respect and started to walk back to the earth sign. So, he started to read the scrolls, which contained these words:
First scroll - My life is short, so that Lithos told me. He cannot extend my own life, but I have studied Earth Magic long enough to know that it is possible, but not easy to do. In fact, it is possible to ressurrect the recently departed. I never tried this, since Lithos has not allowed me to do, but, any Necromancer that will come after me may need this, so, I keep here, in this scroll, the way to accomplish this. Hold in your hand one vial of blood, one pile of bone shards, one pile of Blackmoor and just one Executioner's Hood fungus. Mix all the reagents in a bag, using the appropriate magic key in it, while you speak these words of power: Kal Vas Ylem Corp. Then, a small talisman, similar to a heart will appear, replacing the reagents. I, myself, call this ritual of "Raise Dead", and, if I am correct, it can restore life to the dead ones. I hope that my spell can be useful someday.
Second Scroll - In these first years as a Necromancer, I have experienced a lot of things, but, certainly, one of the most awful was to get injured during my trips in the catacombs, specially in the lower catacombs, in an attempt to find the lost treasure. The Necromantic lineage cannot take any risks of have any members dying before your useful lifetime goes over, so, in order to heal the most terrible wounds that could put the life of Necromancers in danger, I developed this spell. You must hold in your hands one vial of Blood, one pile of dirt, one pile of wood and one pile of blackmoor. Then, put all the reagents together in a bag and use the magical key upon it, speaking the words of power Kal Vas An Corp. Then, a small talisman, similar to an open palm will appear, replacing the reagents. This is what I call Blood Restoration, since it restores the blood of the victim, healing her, so, it is the only healing spell of Necromancy. I am still too young and, with time, I am going to improve it a little more.
Third scroll - I have experienced a exciting life aside of my master Kalen in these last years. He is kind and good to me, and I am feeling very happy with this life. Secretly, I developed this spell, but I haven't had time to test it! In my pilgrimage, I stated that there are other places here in Morgaelin that cannot be reached, because there are too much rock obstacles on the way. Thinking about that, I studied hard all these years, putting aside the other spells, to concentrate only on this one. One of my objectives is to reach the Vengeance Bay, traveling by the mountains. I want to do that because I believe that I can find some clues about how to beat Hydros. The Lurker is really a problem to all the people, and I want to do something about it, so, I developed this spell. I believe that this spell will allow me to travel onto the rocks, turning me a part of the stone itself, so, I can pass through a wall easily, becoming a part of it! I call it "Rock Stride". To do that, you must hold on your hands first one vial of blood, one pile of wood and one pile of blackmoor, and put all these reagents in a bag. So, you must use the magical key upon it, while you speak the words of power Des Sanct Ylem. So, a small talisman will appear in the bag, replacing all the reagents. This talisman will have a shape of a mud ball, and you will be done. I hope that I can use it soon, before the Lurker be able to discover my plans.
And so, after reading that, Vividos realized that no other Necromancer, even those who had created the spells were able to use them.
"Moriens... a spell made by Moriens! And Lord Kalen... he was not allowed to use it by Lithos, and neither Alexia had time to do this, since the Lurker discovered and, because of that, she killed Kalen's apprentice. I have an incredible power in my hands..."
Vividos took a breath, after these new informations. He stepped onto the sign and used his spell again, going back to the entrance. When he found himself at the Stone Cove, he wandered around, picking up some reagents, and then, after that, he produced, by the first time, one talisman of each spell he has read on the scrolls. He used the Key of Master Necromancer to do this. After that, he entered on the Pit of Dead. He walked to the point that Lithos said to him and saw the fence. He thought about using the Rock Stride spell, but, as soon as he arrived, he noticed that the fence was opened. A huge fissure was placed there and he could pass easily. He followed the path, and spotted a stairway down. He took some breath and started do descend the stairs...