Heather sat with Frank at a small table at the inn. Across the table sat the smiling elf woman moon who stared at them both a calculating expression.
“So, your name is Moon?” Heather asked.
Moon nodded and then turned around and made a whistling noise. “Barnus, some drinks for our,” she paused and looked at Frank and Heather before finishing her sentence. “Friends.” A tall man with reddish skin and large arms nodded as he wiped out a glass.
Heather didn’t like the way she said that and paid careful attention to the woman as she sat back in her chair and resumed smiling.
“Governess Moon of Twilightfalls,” she said while placing the fingertips of her right hand to her chest. “This is my town. It was my dream to be the largest town south of Grayhaven, and hopefully, the first stop for players coming from the southern spawn points.”
Heather nodded as three glasses of a dark liquid were delivered to the table by a human woman with pink hair. Moon swiped a glass up and took a quick drink before leaning back again with the drink in one hand.
“Try some,” Moon insisted. “You will like it.”
Heather reached for a glass and lifted it to her nose. It smelled somewhat sweet with an herbal hint. She carefully took a sip and looked at Moon with a funny glance. “This is just iced tea.”
“Of course it is,” Moon said. “Were you expecting a hard liquor?”
Heather put the glass down and sighed. “I have no idea what to expect in this place. The one thing I should have expected seems to be the last thing anybody does.”
“And what is that?” Moon asked before taking another drink
“Nobody works together,” Heather said. “You're all so busy fighting one another.”
Moon nodded and sat her glass down. “It's every man or woman for themselves. This isn't a forum where the admin will ban you for bad behavior. I don't think the visitors even understand the concept.”
“I don’t think the visitors understand anything about us,” Frank said.
Moon somehow managed to smile with only half her face giving her a devious look. She stared across the table a moment in silent consideration, making Heather defensive. She took another drink and finally set her glass on the table but began to drum the surface gently.
“So you're a necromancer,” Moon asked as she drummed her fingers on the table. “You must be brave.”
Heather glanced at Frank, who looked decidedly uncomfortable both from the conversation and the chair he didn't fit in. He offered her no direction, so she decided just to be honest about it.
“I am a necromancer, but I have no idea why everybody thinks that's bad,” she said as she tried to look calm.
Moon's smile grew even more as she considered the response, and her eyes glanced over the panel Heather clutched to her side.
“You're a chosen, aren't you?” she asked with a direct tone.
Heather nodded. “I arrived just a couple of days ago.”
“And you have no idea why you shouldn’t be playing a necromancer?”
Heather shook her head in frustration.
“What about you?” Moon asked, looking to Frank. “You're undead, surely you know.”
Frank let out a raspy sigh. “I keep to my graveyard. I don’t risk coming to places like this to talk to people. The few people I have spoken to never mentioned this.”
“So, neither of you know. How interesting.”
Heather struggled to maintain her anger. She didn't like this woman stringing her along and keeping her in the dark. There was clearly some reason necromancers were bad, and Heather was tired of not knowing.
“So what’s wrong with being a necromancer?” she demanded.
Moon looked around the room to make sure nobody was listening and then leaned over the table.
“Your class is bugged,” she whispered.
“What do you mean it’s bugged?” Frank asked.
“A few years ago, some necromancer players banded together and formed an entire kingdom of the undead,” Moon said with another glance around. “They grew in power and reached some very high levels. Eventually, they attained a power nobody expected them to have.”
“What?” Heather asked.
“They could force a slain player to raise as undead and forcibly change their race,” Moon said.
Heather glanced at Frank, and he shook his head. “I remember reading about a kingdom of undead about a year before I joined, but it broke up before I translated in.”
Moon let out a quick chuckle before responding. “It didn't break up. It was destroyed.”
“Destroyed?” Heather asked with a terrible curiosity.
Moon nodded. “They didn't want to play nice either. Once they discovered what they could do, they went on a rampage turning players into the undead. They claimed they were going to turn everything into an undead world under their control.”
“Why does everybody have to be so mean?” Heather asked.
“Not everybody is mean,” Moon said. “One player stood up to them. He was a paladin and went by the name of Kevin. He befriended a dragon, and together they challenged the Necromancer Kings. They managed to form an army of players and break the backs of the kings, but not before Kevin paid the price.”
“Oh, they killed him?” Heather asked.
Moon shook her head. “No, they killed his dragon. They raised her as an undead abomination, and he ended up having to slay her to put an end to them. To this day, people call him King Kevin, the dragon slayer.”
“How awful!” Heather said as she pondered the thought. “But just because they made her undead doesn’t mean she wasn’t his friend anymore.”
Moon drummed her fingers again. “That's the second part of the bug. You see, if they make you undead, you lose control. The rumor was you lost your memories. Some people said you kept them, but the necromancers could force you to do thins. The problem is, nobody knows for sure.”
“What about the players they made undead?” Frank asked. “Surely they know.”
Moon laughed. “We could ask them if anybody could find one.”
Frank scratched at the top of his head at that comment, and Heather felt her anger growing.
“Will you just tell us straight. What happened to them?” she asked.
“Nobody knows,” Moon said. “When they were slain, they didn't respawn.”
“That's impossible,” Frank interjected. “Everybody respawns.”
“Kevin’s dragon never did,” Moon said. “Lots of other players say they had friends who got turned and eventually slain but never respawned.”
“The dragon wasn’t a player,” Frank said. “She wouldn’t have respawned.”
“Ha, tell Kevin that. To this day, he insists she was a player,” Moon replied. “He was so angered at what happened he banned Necromancers from the lands he controls, and most of his neighbors did the same. Those that wouldn't agree to ban them were plunged into wars. Kevin is still fighting some with distant lands to this day.”
Heather picked up her tea and took another sip as she considered the story. Necromancers were banned because they could turn players into the undead. Once undead, those players didn't respawn when they died. In retaliation, other players banned together to eradicate them. This, of course, raised another question.
“The necromancers were players so they would respawn, right?” Heather asked. “So, where are they?”
“Gone,” Moon said. “Keven found their lairs and their dungeon hearts. He destroyed them all and forced them to reset. Once they were level one again, they were repeatedly hunted down and killed until they finally changed classes or managed to escape.”
“Escape where?” Heather asked.
Moon swung a hand wide. “Out into the world,” she said. “It’s a big place out there. Nobody has seen the borders yet. Some people think it doesn’t have borders.” She paused and glanced around the room again before lowering her voice. “But the rumor is one of them is still out their slowly rebuilding his power. People say he will come back one day and make Kevin pay.”
Frank shifted nervously in his chair and looked around the room. “You need to change your class before you level up again,” he said.
Heather looked at him with surprise. “But what else am I going to play?”
“Play the flower singer or an actual sorceress,” he suggested.
“I think she should stay a necromancer,” Moon said. “It suits her.”
“If people find out, she will be hunted down and repeatedly killed until she resets,” Frank insisted.
“So don't let anybody find out,” Moon replied with a half-smirk.
“We already told those people on the street,” Frank pointed out with a clawed finger.
“I can make sure they keep quiet,” Moon said. “Besides, your offer is too good to pass up. You provide the town a place to adventure, and we will keep your secret.”
“I don’t like this at all,” Frank sighed. “I don’t want a mob of angry paladins to come looking for you.”
“That one paladin on the road already thinks I am a necromancer,” Heather said. “If they are going to come looking for me, they are probably already doing it.”
“He might not be part of the kingdom,” Frank argued. “And he probably realized he was wrong by now.”
“Somebody else knows about her?” Moon asked.
Frank threw up his hands. “It was just a random player on the road. She wasn't even playing necromancer back then. He assumed because I was with her, she was a necromancer.”
Moon tapped her fingers and nodded in contemplation, making Heather uncomfortable again.
“He was probably unaligned then,” Moon agreed. “Still, you should try harder to keep what you are a secret.”
Heather leaned her head back and sighed. “I was just going to the spawn. I didn't even know what he was accusing me of.”
“Well, that one can't be helped. With any luck, nobody else knows,” Moon said and went back to her drink.
There was a sudden rumble, and everyone looked at Heather.
“There, there,” Heather whispered as she patted her stomach. “I am sure we can find you something to eat soon.”
Moon let out a laugh and called back to the bar. “Barnus, bring the lady something to eat.”
Heather watched the same red man with big arms nod and go through a door into a back room.
“He will bring you something out,” Moon said with her crooked smile.
They spoke a little more about the graveyard and the plans to make it larger. Moon told them about the town and how people moving in helped her level it. She planned to make it into a small city with farms and cathedrals, but the constant raids prevented it. As they spoke, a bowl of green soup with two slices of bread arrived at the table. With an audible grumble, Heather's stomach demanded loudly to be fed.
“Alright! Shut up already!” she scolded as she reached for the spoon.
As they talked through the night, Heather began to grow tired. She leaned on one hand, pleasantly fed, and smiled as her eyes got heavy.
“Somebody looks tired,” Moon laughed.
Heather yawned. “Doesn’t anybody else sleep in this world?”
“Why don’t you two stay the night in the Inn,” Moon suggested. “You can finish your shopping in the morning.”
Heather nodded with another yawn as Moon got up and arranged some rooms. A few minutes later, the red man led them upstairs to two bedrooms. Heather was overjoyed to see a sizeable thick bed and fell face-first into its wool blankets.
She dreamed of texting a friend to meet up for pizza and trying to decide what she wanted on it.
The knock at her door shattered her dream of the normal world. She sat up and had to brush her hear out of her face. A particularly stubborn strand of hair had to be hunted down and wrestled away as the knocking continued.
“Heather?” Frank called from the hall.
“I was sleeping!” she scolded as she wondered is maybe this was the dream.
“You have been asleep for ten hours,” Frank said. “The sun is going to move to noon soon.”
She sighed and tried to straighten her dress as she realized she slept in it. “I need a dry cleaner,” she mumbled to herself and walked past a mirror on the wall. With a start, she stepped back to stand before the mirror and groaned. “I need a bath too!”
“You need what?” Frank called from behind the door.
“I need to wake up,” she mumbled and went to the door.
Frank stood in the hall, hunched over with his yellow eyes looking up at her.
“You look tired,” he said.
“That’s why I was sleeping,” she groaned.
“You should have picked a race that doesn’t sleep,” Frank said.
“I happen to like sleeping,” Heather argued. “I need a race that sleeps all the time.”
He scratched at his head as he thought about it. “I heard dragons sleep for hundreds of years, but you can’t play a dragon.”
“Moon said Kevin's dragon was a player,” Heather pointed out smugly.
“That’s just a rumor. Some of the NPCs are very convincing. They act a lot like players do. Somebody said the visitors model them on players.”
“So, you can't tell?” Heather asked.
“Sometimes, you can. They repeat themselves a lot, or they do the same routine over and over. But some of them seem to learn like the goblins.”
Heather thought back to the goblins and realized she couldn’t tell the difference.
“So, the goblins are whatever an NPC is?”
“It stands for nonplayer character. Anything that isn't a player is an NPC.”
She was grateful something finally had a simple explanation, but that didn't soothe her mind. The goblin queen behaved like somebody grateful for being saved. Heather would never have guessed that wasn't a living breathing intelligent being.
“I went out into the town and found a shop you might like,” Frank said, drawing her from her thoughts.
“What kind of shop?”
“Come on,” he said with a wave. “I will show you.”
Heather grabbed her panel and followed him down the hall and out into the common room where she smelled bacon cooking. She practically begged Frank to let her get something more to eat and eagerly handed the man a gold for a huge plate of the meat. After she was satisfied, they finally made it out into the street, where he took her to a shop on the corner.
“They sell soap!” she squealed as she ran inside the shop named the soap bubble. An hour of smelling soaps later, she walked out with a dozen different bars.
“Why do you need so many?” Frank asked.
“Why don’t you understand that already?” she replied as she shook her head. “You men will use the same generic bar of soap all your lives. A woman likes to change things up and try new scents.”
“I always just used Irish pond,” he said.
“Exactly my point!” she groaned. “Have you ever tried anything else?”
“No, but I don’t need to.”
“It’s not a matter of need,” Heather protested.
“But it’s green,” he argued.
“We should go in here,” Frank said as they passed a small show with broken windows.
“Why?” Heather asked as she struggled with the bars of soap in her arms.
“They make baskets. Let’s buy one so you can carry your soaps in it,” he suggested.
“What a good idea,” she said with a smile and went inside. She took another half hour looking for the perfect basket from what was left and eventually settled on a large woven picnic style basket with a firm handle.
“Much better,” she said with a smile as they walked on. They searched the rest of the market to discover the only tailor's shop was ruined and abandoned.
“I will never get another dress,” she sighed as they looked through the broken windows.
“Trouble with your shopping?” a familiar voice asked.
Heather turned around to see Moon in red pants and a flowing white shirt. She had a red hat that ended in three points on her head. She had almost a swashbuckler look to her appearance.
“I need something more to wear than this,” Heather said, throwing her arms wide.
Moon nodded. “Pity you didn't come a week ago. Felicity's shop was open, and she made the most beautiful dresses.”
“I am late to everything,” Heather groaned.
“Hmm,” Moon said with her familiar half-smile. “Come with me.”
Moon led them to the edge of town where a modest manor looking house stood.
“This is the town hall,” she said as she led them up some stairs. “It’s the building I had to place to start the town. The raiders never seem to attack it.”
“Why wouldn’t they attack it?” Heather asked.
“Probably because they want the town to stay so they can keep raiding it,” Frank said.
“My thoughts exactly,” Moon said as she opened the doors. “If they burn the town hall, the town goes away. If they did that, they would have nothing to steal.”
The inner hall was an open space with polished wood floors and a towering ceiling that wen up easily thirty feet. Moon led them to a back room where an iron door was secured with several locks.
“This is the town's strong room,” she said. “When people are reset and don't come back, we take whatever is left behind and store it here.”
Heather stood by as the locks were opened, and the door swung aside.
“Wow!” Frank said as they looked inside.
Moon smiled her crooked smile and tipped her hat.
“As you can see, we have quite a bit to share.”
Support "Heather the Necromancer"
- Eastern United States- Thats all your getting.
- newbie writer, wise old story teller.
I am a fan of fantasy and romance stories. I have been writing from a very early age and love to tell stories. I lack a good education in grammar however and I have been struggling to teach myself.
I love dragons and have for years been working on a story where they featured heavily. This is the culmination of that work. I hope it measures up to some kind of standard and that you the reader deeply enjoy it.
I have no awards to brag about. I have no education to brag about. I haven’t written any award-winning books or articles in major publications. I am just an obscure storyteller shouting his story from the void in the hopes that somebody will hear it.
Thank you so much for reading my story. Sharing what I have and finding a way to focus on it for the future is all I ever wanted to do.