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|An apparition flew at the top of its speed, passing directly through thick woodland. It was heading towards a forlorn hatch in the depths of Rogues' woods.|
Feurlis felt the need for a safe house after his encounter with the valet in the foreign councilors' mansion. He did snatch a moment when the other councilors were outside to search the living-room for any hidden beholders behind drawer chests and mirrors, or sound-absorbing crystals in candelabra and other inconspicuous places, and could not discover any more signs of being spied on. Nonetheless, his unflagging paranoia would not allow him visit the mansion on any important occasion. He had ventured into the outskirts of Empire Capital, and soon found a little haunted shack. Gaining control of the apparitions haunting it wasn't a matter of even one full minute, and soon, the necromancer had a shelter that only few of his most trusted undead knew the exact location of. He would not disclose it even to the courtesy-blinded councilmen, as he had named them.
"Well done. You are dismissed now", Feurlis praised the apparition for her delivery, and turned back to the cabinet he was sitting at to explore the object he had been given. A small mithril flask with runic carvings, a magnificent piece of handwork, and quite a treasure for those who travel much and drink regularly. Feurlis turned the flask upside down and rejoiced. A crafty two-line signature red:
"Happy anniv., uncle Tolgar!
Loving nephew A."
Feurlis carefully wrapped the flask in a piece of dark cloth and stood up from his cabinet full of triumph. He approached a dingy picture hanging on the wall sagged to the left side, moved it further to the left, and hid the flask in a cache behind it, then fixing the picture to assume flat position.
His network was working again, here, on this continent! A growing feeling of smugness was overtaking him. Through one little bribe and a couple of eavesdropping ghosts he soon found out the dwarves' agenda in the Steppe that led to crypt discovery.
Tolgar had dropped a family relic there, and was desperate to find it. The most confusing part was hearing the ghosts report that he dropped it there several centuries ago. The necromancer took a while to understand the meaning behind it: Tolgar, aged about seventy, still relatively young for a dwarf, had ventured into the Portal of Time and dropped the item in one of the battles with the Sentinels there.
Feurlis had gone for a risk by commanding a hundred of skeletons to dig through Southern Steppe while everyone was busy with the Unholy campaign; and the risk proved justified. Feurlis managed to forestall Tolgar in finding the flask, thus gaining a token of leverage against him and discovering the missing piece about the Dwarf's genealogy. He had no doubt now that the A. persona was the dwarf general who had the misfortune of crossing his life path with Feurlis'...
|It was time to go to the Capital to attend a reunion with Abu-Bakir along with the other foreign Councilors. The Court Wizard had something important to communicate to him and Bilir.|
Feurlis arrived just in time, his journey once disturbed by an unexpected encounter with a pack of poltergeists. Looks like some of the crypt undead managed to evade the military forces and spread out in the Empire...
He entered the Capital Library where the meeting was to be held, and saw his colleagues already present. He circled the great hall twice, palpating the backs of handwritten tomes with his look. Some of them caught his interest, and in a minute when the meeting began, he kept throwing wistful looks at those selected books: Abu-Bakir was even more boring than Bilir in his talks about magic. Why is it that wizards can never talk plain, so that their pointless smart blether does not arouse a wish to go back to unlife...
Soon though, the Court Wizard switched the subject to the Unholy and their perfected raising dead, and the necromancer instantly focused his attention. Could those be the magic arts that raised him back then?
Feurlis was puzzled about the nature of his existence after his raising. Soon after his reanimation he realised that his undead form had granted him quicker wit, resourcefulness and magical aptitude that he could never boast during his life. The only defect was worsened sight, fully mended with a pair of tasteful rectangular spectacles.
Also, the records of the Unholy would allow to gain control of, or raise as, the new alternative undead creatures which could be inconceivably opportune in creating his network. The poltergeists with an amazing talent of stealing, the dreadlords whose weapon coating could infect any living being with total lethargy with one slightest scratch... Yes, that opportunity had better not been missed out.
Luckily for Feurlis, the wizards themselves, with no regard for Sorish’s concerns, were eager to revealing the secrets of the Unholy and making them heritage of the Empire. Abu-Bakir spoke of some ways of supervising the use of Unholy magic by the Heroes and Lords to reckon whether the arts as perilous as those could really be coped with.
Triumphant inside, but serene and emotionless by the looks, he left the Library accompanied by Kh’Everst, demonstratively turning his back on Kalirosh. They headed towards their mansion to discuss the outcome of the reunion. Bilir promised to join them later, and returned to Abu-Bakir for another portion of conversations that only those two could endlessly enjoy...