The half-elf panted as he finally pushed past the last of the trees hiding the monster’s keep. Oathbow in hand, quiver strapped to his back, Vorpal shortsword on his side, a dagger on either calf, and Sagit Mundy was finally ready to destroy the fiend that had destroyed his entire home. His face was set in grim determination and utter hatred as he gazed upon the deteriorating and decrepit stone dwelling. From what the locals of the nearest town said, it used to be the home of an Elf Lord who was so greedy and wanting of the world that he gave his soul, mind, and body for eternal life, becoming the Lich Lord of Oiraeffírië. None of it mattered to him.
He looked down at the bow held tightly in his hand, memories crowding his head for attention and grief followed at the heels of the recollection. Sagit swallowed it down and closed his eyes. He could drown in his sorrow later. He had a task to finish. A hunt to see through. Only after would he allow himself another tear.
There was nothing to be done but march forth, using his experiences adventuring the last six years to hide in the shadows of the dungeon. Like a silent breeze he came through each hall and dispatched every underling of the Lich’s with a satisfaction bathed in the righteousness of the slighted. He sneered from the cover of darkness, Elven Cloak hiding his form even further. Disgustingly idiotic goblins and orcs. Kobolds and skeletons. Minor minions dispatched with nothing more than a slit throat with a dagger or a beheading with the Vorpal blade or a well-placed hit against a devastatingly sharp decoration of the stronghold itself. Groups were broken apart by distractions. Tossed pebbles were laughably easy in breaking apart a group's focus, having them each wandering off on their own only to be picked off by the cold steel of Sagit’s need for revenge.
He made it to the center in no less than an hour, cooling carcasses left in his wake among the dust of shattered bones. Not a single object or loot was taken from the bodies. Sagit wasn’t here for something as low as glory. He wasn’t here as a thief or a looter. He was here because this was where his prey had decided to hide like the fiend they were. He paused at the large oak doors before him, dark iron ring handles seeming to taunt him. Sagit wasn’t tired but he was winded with minor cuts and scrapes here and there. He opened a pocket and dug down deep into it, a 5x5 inch pocket easily holding his arm as he searched deeper and deeper. Finally he found what he was looking for and pulled out a potion of Minor Healing. The top was popped and he drank the glass, draining it until not a single drop was left. Warmth spread over the surface of his skin as his wounds began to knit themselves back together. The half-elf watched a particularly nasty one fade on the back on his hand with a dead gaze.
Sagit raised his eyes back to the door. His anger and hate bubbled higher the longer he stared until he was snarling at it, glass nearly breaking in hand with how tightly he was holding it. The bottle was dropped back into the pocket with very smooth and controlled movements. He walked up to the door, tension dripping from his frame and loathing seeping into the very air around him like a cloud of acid. When he opened the doors, he pushed with all his might and the oak flew open, banging on the walls.
The room was large and long, a threadbare red and gold-lined rug leading from the doors down to the end where it led up a dull stone dais and stopped at the feet of a heavily tarnished throne. The room was leached of colors and slowly crumbling to nothing over the years. At one point, Sagit was certain this was once a grand hall. On the walls were tapestries whose images have been long since lost, windows with only a few sparse colored shards and rusted framing wires to hint at the vibrant portrait that had once been there, and trophies of exotic and common weapons all tarnished and rusted to the point of being useless. Stone columns rose along either side of the rug a few meters out at equal and even paces, leading up into the graceful network of arches and slender support beams high, high above and reminiscent of the architecture in the Elven capital. The throne itself had to have been awe-inducing and a piece of wonder during the days it saw proper care and glory. Now though, it was little more than a disgraced seat for the damned.
Sitting in it was a grey figure clothed in beautiful red and gold robes. It slouched in the seat, an elbow on one of the arm rests, head resting in the palm, a bored look of condescension being placed on Sagit. It only fed his creeping rage.
Sagit made his moves and intentions clear as he calmly took his bow in hand and reached for an arrow. The Lich’s dry and bone-like lips creakingly curled into a large smile, sharp teeth bared. Just as slowly as Sagit lined his bow did the Lich begin to stand, confidence lining every move they made. The bow faithfully whispered to Sagit as he nocked an arrow of slaying and began to draw it back.
“Swift defeat to my enemies.” The elvish words were heard only by Sagit’s ears. The Lich began to step down from the throne, each footfall echoing in the cavernous audience chamber. Sagit spoke over the sound.
“Swift death to you who have wronged me.”
As the words rung over the sound of their footfalls, Sagit basked in the gleeful pleasure he felt as the Lich’s face visibly turned to one of panic. Anger swiftly replaced it but Sagit knew what he saw. This legendary Lich was afraid of a half-elf. Terrified of a scum half blood farmer-come-adventurer. It fed the Ranger something darkly powerful.
The bowstring thrummed as he released it and for that one glorious moment, time slowed. Sagit watched as the arrow left his bow, its shining black head promising the Lich pain and agony. He watched as the Lich began to move a hand in a circle, speaking a semi-familiar spell. A translucent white shield of energy formed as the arrow flew closer, closer, closer. Just as the shield formed, the arrow came into contact it with it. For an instant, the arrow faltered. Then it began to slide through the shield, trajectory changed for the arrow to only glance the creature’s cheek but enough to slice ‘skin’. The Lich howled in devastation, the wound beginning to rot and spread to the entirety of the cheek. Flesh fell and revealed the dark bone beneath.
Sagit’s smile turned sharp, dangerous, predatory.
Arrows of Undead Slaying.
Not even a magic shield could completely keep it. And with his Oathbow and aim, it would never miss. At this rate, this battle would be over in less than an hour.
Time caught up and Sagit quickly nocked another arrow, this one with an enchantment to enhance the damage dealt, and fired it just after the other landed. This one never made its mark but it was of little consequence to Sagit. Even as the Lich was beginning to fire another spell, the Ranger could see the damage the arrow of slaying brought on the Lich creeping out further among their face.
Magic missiles formed in front of the Lich, five in total. In one instant that were coming towards Sagit and the next he was making a dodge last second right after his last quick attack. Just as his arrow had barely skimmed the Lich, the Lich’s missiles only barely glanced off of Sagit’s calves. It threw off his dodge and instead of landing behind a stone column, he was rolling in behind it. The wound smarted him as he stood up but it was manageable. He’s dealt with worse.
“Did you feel anything at all when you burned it to the ground?!” Sagit called out in outrage, spitting venom with his words. He let his head fall back against the pillar as he heard the Lich begin to recover from the shock. “Did you enjoy their screams, you demented creature!?!”
Sagit quickly slipped around the stone with another Arrow of Slaying already nocked.
He let it fly. This time the Lich was smart and dodged but still Sagit’s aim rang true and it sliced a hole through the Lich’s robes and left a scratch somewhere Sagit couldn’t see. All the same, the Lich flinched and growled. It went to open its mouth and uttered another spell. From behind the throne emerged three armored skeletons with swords and immediately they were sent to rush Sagit. Already he could see the Lich preparing something more but Sagit growled and used the moment to cast his own spell as the Lich was beginning the formation of his next attack.
Muttered beneath his breath, Sagit breathed magic into the air swirling his finger in front of him. Immediately, a cloud of fog began to form. One so large, it filled the hall in its entirety. Into seemingly thin air, Sagit vanished, leaving the skeletons to simultaneously attack a pillar and miss their intended target. Sagit heard the Lich curse as he crept by just as silently as before. The half-elf was just about perfectly in place as the Lich dispelled the fog cloud. Barely half a second later, Sagit was summoning two swarms of poisonous snakes to preoccupy the skeletons with the simple command of constrict and hold. The Lich quickly turned around and shrieked.
“How dare you! You are nothing but a lowly half-elf Ranger. You disgrace the pride of Elves by stepping foot on my grounds alone.” They snarled and lifted a bony finger pointed straight at Sagit’s coldly determined form. “You. Shall. Be. MINE!”
Finger of Death.
Sagit glared even as he moved, pulling something from an inner pocket and tossing it in the air. Immediately it was set ablaze as it took the spell meant for Sagit himself. Even as the cinders began to form, Sagit was nocking another Arrow of Slaying and letting it fly, the arrow nearly whistling as it zeroed in on its target.
“This is for me Mum.”
The second followed not even an instant later.
“And me Da!”
The Lich tried to dodge but again, the arrows skimmed. One landed right at the wrist and Sagit felt a sick satisfaction as the wrist began to turn to nothing from the arrow’s magic effect.
The hand fell with a wet thump on the stone floor.
This monster had burned his home to the ground, destroyed the barn and the small farm field his family had, leaving nothing but a land unsuitable for any life. Sagit could never return and rebuild what was lost. This fiend had made sure such a dream would never be achievable for the next few centuries and Sagit would be long dead by then.
With its minions hampered by the snakes, the Lich was left on its own as it fell to its knees with a choking gasp. It sat there stunned and forced into submission. It offered no more words or answers. Something dark, cold, and insidious gleamed in Sagit’s hazel eyes. This was the Great Lich of Oiraeffírië? This pathetic thing? He had been tracking it for nearly a month after he had found out the demise of his home. It had an additional month before that to rebuild its strength and this was all it could muster.
Sagit silently nocked one last arrow. It was a normal arrow, nothing special about it.
The Lich chuckled and finally lifted its head to look at Sagit with a manic grin. They both knew this would be the Lich’s final action before it left this realm. For good this time.
“Congratulations, adventurer,” it rasped and sat back on its feet, still down on its knees. The Lich slowly swung their arms out to their sides.
“You’ve done something any other before you have failed.”
Sagit didn’t answer, only keeping the arrow nocked.
“You’re the first in the history of this land to battle a Lich on your own and completely succeed.” A passive kind of magic filled the air and Sagit felt as it made a faint link between he and the Lich. What he felt from its side did nothing to make him flinch or his conviction stutter. “I hereby name you my heir, Sagit Mundy, Half-Elf of the Elven Forests. Everything that is mine will now be yours to command, keep, and do with as you will it. From henceforth you will be known at Sagit Mundy, Lord Drelnoir, Lich Slayer. Such it my will. So mote it be.”
The Heir Pact solidified with an almost suffocating intensity and the faint bond broke, its deed completed.
It was a slight of the highest order. The Lich knew it. Sagit knew it. And he hated this creature all the more for it because he would be able to do nothing with everything given to him. He could not sell it. Could not grow anything on it. And it’s reputation would keep him from giving it to anyone else. It was a final death wish.
The wood of the bow creaked in Sagit’s tightening grip.
Instead of aiming it at the monster, Sagit aimed for the lofty ceiling.
The arrow disappeared as the magic from one last spell filled the air. Sagit returned his eyes to the fiend. He snapped his fingers, pointer finger landing to point right at the Lich, and hundreds upon hundreds of copies of the single arrow formed twenty feet in the air above the Lich.
The Lich closed its eyes and turned both its palms and its face up to the arrows as if to welcome its demise.
It didn’t last for a second before slumping, body turning to ash before that too disintegrated.