Graveyard Shift

      As the moon shone over the graveyard, a mighty warrior stood tall against his undead foe. With a mighty swing of his greataxe, the barbarian cleaved the last of the zombie horde in two, returning it to its eternal slumber. He stood with his back to his companions, the wizard and the thief, breathing heavily. Finally, he spoke.

      “Whoever’s idea it was to attack the necromancer in the middle of a graveyard is fired.” the barbarian said.

      “That was you, you moron.” the wizard replied.

      “We’ll take him by surprise, you said. He’ll never see it coming, you said.” the thief stated.

      “Alright, alright. Say, where is the necromancer?” the barbarian asked.

      “You mean you weren’t keeping an eye on him?” the thief shouted.

      “I was kind of busy with all those zombies and skeletons. I don’t suppose you managed to keep track of him?” the barbarian said.

     “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it was my job to keep track of the death-crazed nutjob!” the thief replied.

      “Hold it. I still have the necromancer’s ring. I can simply perform another scrying spell to locate the necromancer.” the wizard stated.

      The wizard took out some chalk and drew an arcane circle into the ground. After several minutes of chanting ancient words, a purple glowing line appeared on the ground. The line lead straight towards the nearby mausoleum.

      “This could be bad.” the wizard stated.

      “Oh, great. Now we’ll have more of them.” the barbarian sighed.

      “Wait a minute. Do we have to go in after him?” the thief asked.

      “What do you mean?” the wizard responded.

      “What if we seal him up inside there? There’s only the one entrance, so he shouldn’t be able to get out.” the thief explained.

      “So you want to starve him to death?” the barbarian asked.

      “I think he would run out of air long before he starved.” the thief replied.

      “It might not be that simple. He might be able to turn himself into a lich.” the wizard said.

      “What’s a lich?” the barbarian asked.

      “An extremely powerful undead sorcerer.” the wizard replied.

      “That would be bad.” the barbarian said. “How long would it take him to do that?”

      “The ritual is pretty involved, but if he has already created a phylactery it will only take him an hour. Maybe less.” the wizard replied.

      “Not long enough for him to suffocate.” the thief said.

      The barbarian thought for a couple of minutes. “I think I have an idea. Remember when we fought that evil pyromancer a couple of years back?”

      “You mean Baron Helmsley? You’re not suggesting what I think you are?” the wizard asked.

      “Well, if it doesn’t work, it will definitely flush him out.” the thief replied.

#

      The necromancer was kneeling in front of the tomb of the ancient king, chanting the dark words that would grant himself eternal unlife. The spirits within the mausoleum were soaring around him and through him, their very essences being captured by the phylactery. Before he could finish the evil incantation, the roar of flames behind him caught his attention. He quickly turned, seeing a fire elemental floating behind him. He let out a maniacal laugh.

      “You fools!” He shouted. “Did you honestly believe that this pathetic creature could stop me? I can kill it in an instant!”

      As the necromancer laughed, he heard a distinctive rumbling from behind the fire elemental as the door to the mausoleum slammed shut. Then, a sound as of metal scraping on glass could be heard echoing throughout the mausoleum as the entrance began to glow an eerie shade of green.

     “What is going on here?” the necromancer shouted.

#

      As the wizard completed his spell, the entrance to the mausoleum was sealed shut. When the glowing stopped, the entrance vanished, melding with the rest of the mausoleum. The entrance to the mausoleum was now sealed off forever. The necromancer’s screams of rage and terror were muffled by tons of stone.

      “Alright. Now he’s trapped in there. By the way, what will happen to the fire elemental when the air runs out?” the barbarian asked.

      “It should return to the plane of fire long before it becomes extinguished.” the wizard replied.

      “Yeah, yeah. What I want to know is, how long do you think the necromancer will last in there?” the thief asked.

      “Well, with the way he’s screaming, and the fact that he’s trapped with a fire elemental, his air supply should last about five more minutes.” the wizard replied.

      They waited until the screaming died down, and then started cleaning themselves off. As they began packing their gear so that they could begin the long walk back to town, the thief began swearing up a storm.

      “Now what’s wrong?” the barbarian asked.

      “We needed his body to be able to collect the reward!” the thief exclaimed.

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