|The battles in Verdant Dell kept on with variable success. At some point it almost seemed that the Lords had succeeded in capturing the territory, and some quick mopping up would secure an entry to the crypt in the nearest time, but more and more raised dead were appearing, overrunning the front and pushing the valiant warriors and stern academics off and away the dark crypt.|
During one of such push-backs, a group of Lords retreated to the nearby ancient ruined constructions surrounding the crypt. A leader of one of the vanguards shouted commands to position and hold ground, on a fly in a panted fatigued voice. He and other leaders entered the ruins to verify its suitability for fortification and reliability in a possible siege combat.
What they saw inside shocked them. Several dozens of resting skeletons were inside, scattered across the ruin. The experienced lords immediately identified fine military equipment and weapons still resting on the age-old bones. But those ancient ones did not die of wounds, the way the bodies were found was enough proof to that. Some - grasping on their throats, others - squirmed, as if struggling an inhuman pain... But there was no time to think, the undead were approaching. Armies of the Empire took position inside.
A siege was held, and the Lords won their victory in turn. After exploring the ruins more closely the lords have agreed on the idea that those warriors were once treasure hunters, trying to venture into the crypt and claim trasures they would find inside. They found something terrible inside, something that would turn them back to flee and to seek refuge in a construction nearby, but even there could they not find salvation. The unholy powers of the undying venomancers reached them in their hideout and put an end to their lives in a terrible anguish...
The Lords shuddered. What would happen when they finally seized the region for their own and stepped into the crypt? At what cost would the cure for the Empress be claimed?
The unwearying academics seemed less troubled with these questions. They were examining the skeletons, exchanging weird scientific terms and taking notes on their folios. Perhaps, they had something on their mind that would prevent the Unholy venomancers from wiping out the Empire forces, but it was out of the Lords comprehension, unlike ancient weapon and armor samples of fine quality. Hours later they were already delivered to the Foundry, and the bellows hissed announcing production of the first batch of new artifacts that would soon appear in the shop.