Scholomance, the home of the Lich.
She had read so much about him. On how the brilliant alchemist and sorceror from Stromgarde heard the call. On how he tirelessly worked for years to complete the incantations and preservation fluids. How nobody paid heed to exactly what the mage was doing in his tower. On how he was carefully tying up loose ends, erasing any record of himself. Living, written or otherwise.
She had heard how he had walked to the ruined city of Stratholme to meet his king. She had heard of the blessed ground. She had heard on how he had stepped inside the circle and knelt down. On how he had cut his own throat and.. smiled. On how his spirit had shrugged off his flesh like an unneeded coat. On how he attained power unimaginable.
And now she was about to meet him. Ras Frostwhisper the lich. Ras Frostwhisper, the master alchemist. Ras Frostwhisper, who had unknowingly been her mentor for some time now. Shalkis had learned all there was to know of this careful plotter. She had uncovered things about his past. Things that would come crashing down on the lich. It was time the apprentice surpassed the master. She pulled the great doors open.
Frostwhisper's laboratory was indeed a sight. Half-finished .. things in jars. Assistants monitoring various experiments. The room reeked strongly of embalming fluids. The smell was everpresent in the School of the Dead, but in here it was almost intoxicating. And there, at the back of the chamber, was the alchemist himself, deep in thought in yet another experiment. His legs were nowhere to be seen. His skull and bones of his hands were still intact, but were licked by unnatural blue flames. He still wore his robe. The colors were faded, but the intricate wards and incantations were still barely visible. Around his chest and lower body, if he had one, were two interwoven sets of chains. They rotated slowly around him. Shalkis had heard of chains like these before. Warlocks used chains like these with enchants to enslave demons. But.. these were different. She could detect no magic on them. And Ras had chosen lichhood willingly. There was no need to bind him. Then she understood.
Ras Frostwhisper's body, if that it could be called, was held together by the power of his will alone. But that was not enough. The lich wanted also to show that this was no feat to him. The chains were a mental exercise to him. He could manipulate every link of the chain as he wanted. He had to maintain the concentration at all times. It was time to give the lich something to think about.
The assistants were eliminated quickly and quietly by her comrades. The lich continued to work. She stepped closer to him.
"I had been expecting you. His Highness has always use for apt pupils.", the lich said without turning. "But you have much to learn. Shed that flesh and sit. I will start the lesson soon."
"I dinna come here to learn, deadie. I've learnt much about ya, Ras Frostwhisper. Tings dat ya have forgotten. It is time for de pupil to surpass de teacher."
"And what I have forgotten?"
"A ting from yer past."
She held up a tattered and a singed book. The lich turned around.
"What is that?"
"Someting ya forgot to dispose of properly. Yer journal. Now let me give ya a lesson on de folly of forgettin' de past."
She opened the book. The chains clattered to the cold stone floor.
The lich wailed in agony. He lunged at Shalkis, who was keeping the open book open towards him. Just before his sharp fingers reached the book, they were deflected. The lich continued hacking away at the glowing shield. The shield grew dimmer and dimmer, until a sickly green beam shot from the opened book. Ras Frostwhisper looked at himself.
It was a human voice. Ras Frostwhisper the lich was no more. Grins spread on her comrades' faces. Except for one. Rhaeven Blackwood stood still in amazement.
To his credit, Ras Frostwhisper was no less deadly as a human. He held his ground for several minutes against the five. But fall he did. His battered and partially frozen body lied on the stone floor.
"I need his head."
The orc nodded and lifted his battleaxe. It fell effortlessly through the flesh and bone. Shalkis grabbed the head from it's hair and started walking towards the door.
"Thiss was quite.. interessting. There iss ssome loossse threadss I need to tie up ass well.", Rhaeven spoke, more to himself than to the others.
"Dere are many odder masters in here dat need lessons. Let's continue."
Scholomance, the home of the Lich.