- Chronicles of the War of the Hoard, final chapter: "Furibon must die."
In a magical land, far, far away...
Murmurin is at war! In a stunning move, the foul Furibon has kidnapped Lord Victor, first among all minions. The lich’s evil has swept across the land, corrupting all that is shiny. But hope remains.
Deep in his fiery forge, the great smith Barnabas forged a dragon-sized [Ring of Elemental Resistance] and a [Killer Scythe]. In them, he poured stat boosts, magical protections, and his frustration at working overtime.
A last alliance of kobolds and werewolves march against Furibon’s armies, and on the slopes of a fiery mountain, they fight for the great hoard. Wielding the master ring, the good King Vainqueur leads a desperate charge, determined to end the lich once and for all.
For Furibon must die!
That was it, Vainqueur thought when he hummed the smoke and listened to the drums of war. The final battle for the dragon’s way of life.
His heroic minion armies, led by the Kobold Rangers, used mobile wood bridges to reach the castle, fighting imps, and undead. Kobolds, werewolves, and undead minions fought together as one, under Vainqueur’s watchful eye.
The dragon statues protecting the castle fired rays of light at Vainqueur, who circled around the castle, blasting the defenders with his breath. The dragon majestically avoided them, taking the opportunity to show off.
“Brother, I’m flying!” said Chocolatine, being held in one of Vainqueur’s hands. As a good and loyal minion, she carried the scythe Barnabas crafted for Vainqueur’s chief of staff.
“I’m going to throw up…” Croissant the meat shield complained in Vainqueur’s other hand.
“[Spell Purge!]” Vainqueur’s Perk activated, and the great dragon radiated a dark aura, causing the magical barrier around Castle Murmurin to blink out of existence. With the defenses now exposed, Vainqueur crash-landed on the statues, blowing them apart and causing the castle to shake.
He tossed the fiends defending the entrance into the lava, then released his two werewolf minions in front of the entrance. The doors were open, the darkness unwelcoming. “Croissant, go inside and trigger all the traps while I finish off the defenders,” Vainqueur ordered. “Die if you must.”
“Can we skip the last part?”
“Die if you must!” Vainqueur ordered, the werewolf going in while whining. This Croissant was only good as a meat shield, as his chief of staff had warned.
The mere thought filled Vainqueur with fury. That abominable lich, it wasn’t enough to curse his hoard, he went the extra mile and stole his most precious henchman. He imagined Furibon heinously forcing poor Victor into minion recruitment sessions, or to bring him gold coins he could sicken.
Victor was part of Vainqueur’s hoard, the best chief of staff the dragon ever had. The Manling belonged to him, and no one else.
But Vainqueur had come equipped. On his right left finger, his new [Ring of Elemental Resistance] would shield him against the worst of the lich’s magic. This time, the evil Furibon would not escape him.
Vainqueur unleashed his breath against flying gargoyles and vicious creatures attempting to protect the entrance, his flames now shining with a bright, golden afterglow. All were vaporized instantly.
“[Fire Amp],” Chocolatine said, who cast spells on her King as he fought. “[Regen], [Strength Up]!”
Your fire attacks now inflict twenty percent more damage!
+4 Strength for ten minutes!
You recover one percent HP every ten seconds for five minute!
“No, Chocolatine,” decided Vainqueur, who could smell his chief of staff’s scent. He disabled his Spell Purge, so he could save it for later. “That would be the manling way, and playing by Furibon’s rules. We will find my chief of staff the dragon way. Blink.”
Vainqueur turned invisible, prepped himself up, and then solved the door problem the dragon way.
He charged the wall in front of him, powering through. The stones were no match for his strength, and parts of the ceiling collapsed behind him; roaring proudly, Vainqueur kept going, destroying wall after wall, stamping on fiends and skeletal warriors, and redesigning his future castle.
Finally, after a long charge, Vainqueur smashed his way inside a large, dark throne room, illuminated by ghostly candelabras. Six steel statues of armored manlings held next to ancient, ruined tapestries. His loyal chief of staff, bound and held hanging by chains from the barely holding ceiling, rejoiced at the sight of the wall collapsing. “Your Majesty!”
The evil Furibon waited on his sinister throne on the opposite end of the room, a paragon of evil and madness. In his dark eye sockets, Vainqueur saw no mercy, no hint of civilized intellect; only the bitterness of a pauper determined to ruin the rich and the wealthy.
“You realize I can hear you, Vainqueur Knightsbane?” the lich taunted Vainqueur, obviously lying. “You made a big hole in my wall, so you are not very discreet.”
Vainqueur knew it was a trap to imbalance him, and try to make him reveal his position. Chocolatine, who had ran after her master, walked into the room while panting. She used Manling Victor’s scythe as a pole against which to breath.
“I am saddened you skipped most of my traps, but at least we can have a proper confrontation.” The lich dramatically extended his arms. “You have done it, King Vainqueur. After all your sacrifices and your losses, you have reached your beloved lackey.”
“I can’t believe I’m the damsel in distress,” Manling Victor complained, ashamed of his weakness.
“At long last, I can unleash my greatest creation.” As Furibon spoke, a circle of dark energy lit up in the middle of the room. “Cower before the strongest undead I have ever created, from the far reaches of Hell! The Black Beast of Murmurin!”
An undead abomination manifested in the middle of the circle; a monstrous, grotesque, hound-shaped amalgam of white, fossilized flesh stitched together. Black stone coated the upper part of the body like a cuirass, and while far smaller than Vainqueur, the creature was big enough to challenge him without looking ridiculous. The titan wriggled with unholy strength, opening its eyeless mouth and revealing ranges of venomous teeth.
“And now, both of you, fight for my entertainment!” Furibon ordered.
The undead abomination did not move. Not even an inch.
The invisibility worked!
“I said, fight for my entertainment.” The lich twitched as the monster refused to move. “Is it broken? [Magic Scan].”
Words of purple light materialized in front of Furibon eyes, as he ‘glanced’ at his creation, and then around the room. “The [Deadfriend] Perk? You all have it?”
“Chocolatine, you have it too?” asked Minion Victor.
“Why, yes, how do you think I dispose of the bodies? It helps create strong bonds between the churches of Isengrim and Camilla.”
“That is highly disappointing,” the lich said, his empty, soulless eye sockets burning with fires that turned gold to lead. “Such a waste of good flesh. In that case, I will have ‘Your Majesty’ attack it first to trigger its rage. [Enthrall Monster].”
|[Enthrall] ailment negated by [Hunter’s Resolve]!|
“A dragon’s will is greater than yours, Furibon!” Vainqueur replied proudly, slowly tiptoeing around the corpse titan and toward the lich for a sneak attack. “I trained three days for this! Three days!”
“Maybe, but I too had time to prepare. [Za Warudo]!” To Vainqueur’s senses, time seemed to stop for a brief instant, and when it flowed again, Furibon had covered himself with multiple colored layers of magical energy. “I see you came well-equipped, dragon, but I have more spells than you have years.”
“Only a dragon will never know defeat!”
“Then let us dance like the damned.” Furibon rose from his throne, his hands shining with foul sorcery, “But know that you are too late to stop us. The Apple of Knowledge already belongs to my master, Brandon Maure.”
“Why would I care about a vegetable?” Vainqueur replied with arrogance. "I only eat meat!"
“Soon, you and all of Outremonde shall know iron and blood! [Ancient Met—” The dark lich stopped still. “You do not know about my master's plan?”
“I know of your plan,” Vainqueur replied, furious at the depraved plot. “To infect all the world’s gold with lead sickness, ending the dragon way of life forever!”
The lich tried to deny his culpability, “No, I do not… that would be amusing, but ridiculous.”
“Also, Your Majesty,” Manling Victor butted in. “Gold being turned to lead is not lead poisoning.”
What had that poison sauce have to do with this? The lich seemed as confused as Vainqueur. “If you did not come to Murmurin to stop my liege's from laying waste to Gardemagne, then why are you here?”
“To stop your sickening scheme!” Vainqueur replied, proud to fight for the future of his hoard.
“This..." the lich let out a deep, bellowing sound. "Why did you come here in the first place? The seal below? How did you learn about it? Did that dark woman send you?”
“We know about the treasure of the Ishfanian Inquisition you keep in your vaults,” Victor said. “That was part of the reason we came here. What? Aren’t you keeping it?”
“You believe an ancient lich wizard would spend a hundred years holing up in a crumbling ruin to keep a stash of hidden gold?” The lich disdained the dragon way of life, firmly cementing himself as completely irredeemable. “Do you even know what is down there, waiting?”
Manling Victor fell mute.
“You do not.” Furibon the Evil twitched. “Then, and this time you will answer or die, why did you come here?”
“We needed a castle where to stash His Majesty’s hoard,” Manling Victor answered with a pitiful tone. “Because the previous cave was too small.”
As the lich’s skull slowly turned to Victor, Vainqueur realized his lackey was distracting the lich for his master to deliver a sneak attack. Brilliant!
“Stash his hoard?” The undead’s neck cracked. “You attacked me, tried to take my home, and killed hundreds of demons, because you needed a place where to stash your gold?”
“A dragon does not go to the bank!” Vainqueur boasted, having circumvented the undead titan and now with a clear line of fire. “Only a dragon can be trusted with his gold!”
“Why did you not just bury it in your backyard?!” the lich snarled. “But, but… what about the demons? Why did you keep summoning them, except to thin the ranks of my master’s forces? Why did you create an undead army?”
“I kinda intended to sell the undead corpses for money,” Victor admitted.
“With a ninety-nine one-tenth going to my hoard,” Vainqueur reminded his chief of staff.
Furibon shook on his throne in envy and hatred of Vainqueur’s wealth. “I spent one hundred years keeping watch over this crumbling ruin, weakening the seal, preparing traps and monsters while praying Dice that a powerful adventurer would finally challenge my monotony… and the one who does, wants a bigger cave to stash his hoard?”
“The biggest hoard in the world!” Vainqueur boasted as he breathed long and deep.
“You… you…” The lich scratched his skull with his bony fingers with fury. “Argh!”
|[Taunt] successful! You successfully applied the [Berserk] status to Furibon! The lich is too pissed to spellcast!|
|Your [Witch Burning] Perk was super-effective!|
Vainqueur looked at the broken bones of his defeated enemy with smug satisfaction. “Blink,” the dragon revealed himself back in his full glory, freeing his chief of staff by biting the chains holding him. “Minion Victor, are you safe?”
“Yes, yes, Your Majesty, I’m fine,” the lackey replied, stretching. “Thanks for saving me.”
“Of course, Minion. You are the crown jewel of my hoard.” The minion glanced up at Vainqueur with happy eyes, warming the dragon’s heart. “You are my most precious asset and most loyal servant. I will never let you go. Ever.”
The minion blinked several times in a row, overwhelmed with emotion. “Oh gods,” he finally said. “You are never letting me go.”
“That was quick,” Chocolatine grumbled in disappointment.
“It is not over,” Minion Victor said wisely.
Indeed, in the blink of an eye, the evil Furibon teleported right next to his former corpse. His body radiated dark magic, as he pointed his palm at Vainqueur. “[Ancient Meteor!]”
Before Vainqueur could react, a huge, fiery stone hit him right in the eye before exploding.
Vainqueur learned a new sensation he never experienced before, which he didn’t like it at all.
|You have taken damage!|
“Then you will die disappointed once more!” Vainqueur replied by blasting his foe with his fiery breath.
“[Za Warudo],” the lich cast. In a blink, he had teleported out of the way of the flames, and spike of ice appeared out of nowhere to fly at Vainqueur. They bounced back off his scales harmlessly. “[Elemental Resistance]? Then I will weaken your flesh, and then blast you to death! [Black Curse], [Accelerated Superflare]!”
A dark aura covered Vainqueur, who suddenly didn’t feel so well, and then an explosion detonated in front of him. Once again, that strange itching, uncomfortable sensation filled his scales.
|All enhancements removed! All stats diminished by one stage! You can no longer recover HP while [Black Curse] is active!|
Sweet Chocolatine, who had immediately taken cover behind her invincible master, tried to support Vainqueur with spells. “[Curse Breake—]”
“[Accelerated Silence],” the lich cast, robbing sweet Chocolatine of the ability to speak before she could finish, “Out of my way, mortal! [Hasten]!”
Furibon began to move at greater speed, dodging a fireball by running around, while firing green, jagged beams of light at Vainqueur; the dragon retaliated by firing fireball after fireball, blasting walls and statues.
“Guys, stop, you’re going to collapse the castle!” Manling Victor shouted, as the explosions caused debris to fall from above and Vainqueur’s flames spread to the tapestries.
“Minion, do not distract me while landscaping!” Vainqueur replied, as he fruitlessly tried to smash the lich, who kept teleporting around before the dragon could put him in range of his [Spell Purge].
“Fine!” Furibon snarled, his mouth moving so fast Vainqueur could barely understand the words. “I would rather turn that castle into a crater than surrender it to that dragon!”
“Your gold-destroying plan will be stopped, Furibon!”
“I do not... you wyvern imbecile, gold is nothing compared to arcane secrets!”
Vainqueur’s eyes flared with rage. The lich had gone mad. Not only did he use the cursed W-word to demean a true dragon, he also sprouted insane nonsense.
Vainqueur decided to fight seriously, and destroy this lich with extreme prejudice. “[Spell Purge.]” The dragon activated his Perk again, extinguishing one of the explosions as it entered his antimagic field’s range.
|Charisma check successful! [Black Curse] lifted by: [Spell Purge]!|
“You will run out of SP for that Perk before I exhaust mine, wyvern!” Furibon snarled.
It didn’t matter. The lich may be a wizard with shiny spells, he would become a powerless skeleton once Vainqueur caught him in range of his [Spell Purge]; while he would stay an invincible dragon. He just had to catch him.
Vainqueur lunged at the lich.
The undead teleported out of the way before Vainqueur could get him in range.
The dragon roared furiously as he kept trying to trample and bite Furibon, who dodged each of his attempts. The more he did, the more Vainqueur grew furious. It was like playing catch with a frustrating goblin.
“Foolish!” Furibon taunted him, his hands cackling with unholy power. “Your brute strength is no match for my mastery of magic, Vainqueur! I have peered into the abyss of time, overcome death, and become power incarn—”
Then his own undead abomination caught the lich in its jaws from behind.
Vainqueur, who had been entirely focused on the evil Furibon, noticed his scythe-wielding lackey riding the abomination’s back with Chocolatine.
“Who is a good undead dog? Who earned a bone?” Manling Victor told the abomination, who kept shaking Furibon in its jaws like a dog with a mouse, “Who earned a treat? That’s you! That’s you! There, throw it to your friend.”
The undead hound tossed the angry lich at Vainqueur. “[Telepor—]”
Vainqueur caught the foul lich in his hand before he could cast his spell, negating it at once.
The dragon glanced down at his captive with smug satisfaction. “Good job minion,” he congratulated his lackey, who earned it.
“I knew [Monster Rider] would come in handy,” Minion Victor said, his monstrous mount scratching under him.
“[Teleportation]!” Furibon cursed, but nothing happened.
“Manling Victor,” Vainqueur said. “You are now promoted to my royal executioner. I know you must still be reeling from the torture the lich inflicted on you, but you will pass judgment on him at once!”
“He didn’t torture me. Actually he was quite chatty, in a creepy undead way. I think he really needed somebody to talk to after a century alone making traps, like a middle unlife crisis.”
Poor minion. The pain had broken his mind, forcing him to sympathize with his abuser. Vainqueur would make sure to give him the caring needed to recover.
“Kill me,” Furibon let out a furious hiss, like the wounded snake he was. “This day cannot get any worse."
"After we find your phylactery," said Manling Victor.
The lich let out a chuckle. "Do you take me for a fool? I moved it a hidden crypt on another continent when the dragon threatened to destroy my castle. I will return, and when I do, no more games. I will rain spell after spell until you are all dead.”
“You know, I somewhat sympathized with you until that last part.” Minion Victor glared at Furibon with the same disdain as Vainqueur, before swinging his scythe. “If I understand it, your soul returns to its phylactery when your body is destroyed, allowing you to create a new one."
"Yes, this is called immortality," Furibon replied with a patronizing tone.
"Which means that your soul inhabits your body right now. Otherwise, if your current vessel was an animated puppet, I don't see why you wouldn't abandon it right now instead of waiting for us to destroy it. Ever heard of the [Helheim] Perk?”
The lich fell silent, then finally said, “It will not work.”
“Let's find out, shall we?”
“[Enhanced Teleportation]! [Teleportation]!”
Minion Victor swung the blade, cutting off the lich’s skeletal head.
The lich’s bones crumbled instantly, a specter of black energy escaping from them; it silently tried to flee out of the room, only for a dark force to drag him inside the scythe. Right afterward, the blade reflected Furibon’s screaming face within.
“Poor choice of last words,” said Manling Victor, as he swung his scythe again, Furibon’s ghost silently snarling inside the blade. Chocolatine looked at the scene with gleeful eyes. “His silent screams are so sweet.”
“You sealed him, minion?” Vainqueur asked, his lackey confirming with a nod.
"I think his soul will return to his phylactery if the scythe is destroyed, but for now, yes, he's sealed."
“Finally, his evil will never befoul my wealth again.”
Congratulations! For sealing the evil Furibon in your minion’s weapon, and claiming the Castle of Murmurin as your dungeon, you earned a level in the ultra prestigious [Kaiser] class!
+30 HP, +10 SP, +1 STR, +1 VIT, +1 SKI, +1 AGI, +1 INT, +1 CHA, +1 LCK!
You earned the [Dungeon Owner (Castle of Murmurin)] class Perk!
[Dungeon Owner (Castle of Murmurin)]: you are magically tuned to your dungeon. You can instantly teleport in any place within the confines of the Castle of Murmurin at will, and you can navigate inside with perfect awareness of your path.
“Minion Victor, you will have Barnabas forge me a dragon-sized crown, after we find a way to cure my gold.”
“Actually, I think I have a solution,” Victor said. “Your Majesty negated the lich’s spells with [Spell Purge], so you should cancel—”
“I can cure lead sickness!” Vainqueur interrupted his lackey, overjoyed.
At long last, the hoard was saved.
And so Furibon, enemy of all that was good, was destroyed by the same obsession that fueled his bottomless evil: his hatred of gold. Once again, the forces of greed prevailed, and the dragon way of life endured.
Through the blessing of King Vainqueur’s [Spell Purge], his wealth was returned to him, and so was his faithful minion. Croissant the useless, who survived every trap only to find the battle done, was mocked, and wept. A great feast was ordered. Sheep were eaten. Using their entrails, demons were summoned. They, too, were eaten.
And so peace returned to Murmurin. In the depths of his castle, King Vainqueur gathered a great hoard, one hoard to bind them all. Lord Victor alone, to atone for his capture, carried the burden of keeping the pauper Furibon sealed.
I, Pink Ranger, was tasked by King Vainqueur to write the glorious chronicles of the Great War against Furibon, who was evil and had to be destroyed. I swear my words are the truth, the official truth, from the mouth of King Vainqueur himself. May his glory shine through the ages to come.
And so, remember, always, that in the darkest times, even in face of the most sinister of evil...
The wealthy always win!
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Bio: I'm a European warlock living in the distant realm known as France, spending half my time writing and the other half managing magical websites. I post Magik Online on my main website and RR both on Wednesday, and Vainqueur the Dragon twice to thrice weekly.