How a Dread Knight spends his time...

Having received the answer he most expected, Vader turned and spit.

"You speak in circles, but I catch your meaning. Very well. I will waste no more of my time on this matter," Vader said and left.

As he traveled to the entrance to the crypts, Vader shook his head. He wanted nothing more than to find his wife and daughter and to protect them. Alas, he doubted the rest of the Fellowship, Glenn included, could understand.

The long walk, deep into the bowels of the catacombs, did nothing to lighten his mood. Rather, it became more dour and grim with each step.

Crossing the bridge to his home, he could hear the demon wailing down below. No doubt, it was cursing the metal giant who had come in and thrown it out like so much trash. Hearing the creature's impotent anger did lighten his mood a modicum.

Inside, the skeleton stood staring at him. Scraps of leathery flesh and bits of hair still clung to its skull. The last remnants of a white, now brown dress hung from one shoulder. Though it had no eyes to do so with, it still managed to look at him longingly.

"You were on the furniture, weren't you?" Vader asked.

It looked down and tapped the tips of its fingers together nervously.

Vader sighed, "Just don't do it again."

Then he slumped down into the dead witch's chair and slid a book from the nearby end table onto his lap. Naturally, it was bound in human skin and written in blood. The incantations, spells, and recipies contained within were demonic in the extreme. From what he could tell, the witch was probably working with forces far beyond her ability to control.

He supposed it served her right for meddling with such forces. He tossed the book to the side and picked up another. ...and then discarded it as well. The third one, however was a book of simple necromancy. Chapter one: how to summon a level one skeleton. Hmmm...

Since his re-un-birth, Vader's mana pool was pathetically small. But, he had just enough to attemt the spell.

...now had Glenn said something about not disturbing the graves? Bah, he couldn't remember. Once the man started rambling on the way all living creatures seemed to, Vader usually stopped listening.

"You! Make yourself useful. Bring me a corpse from the crypts," he ordered.

The skeleton seemed almost giddy as it hurried off out the door. About thirty minutes later, it returned with the rotting corpse of some former noble in its arms. Reading from the book, Vader held his hand over the pile of grotesque body parts. A pale green light enveloped his fingertips and the body began to shiver. Then, all at once it jumped up. The remaining carrion sloughed off, leaving only the skeleton. At the same time, Vader's mana reserve dropped to zero. Then one, then two, as it slowly refilled.

"Huh...," he muttered to himself as he inspected the skeleton.

As a level one skeleton, it was practically worthless in combat. But Vader had other thoughts.

"Clean up this mess. Throw it down into he pit," he ordered, pointing to the worm ridden mess around it's feet. "And you, bring me another."

Both skeletons immediately obeyed. He noticed that the freshly raised one had a more mechanical nature to it, where as the one he'd found in the catacombs seemed to hold a modicum of personality to it.

By the time a second body had been retrieved, his mana had refilled. So he repeated the procedure. By the end of the night, he had two skeletons straightening up the house and a dozen out building earthen fortifications around the entrance to the cave. They could only follow simple commands, though. Anything that required much thought also required supervision.

The skeleton he'd found however, was capable of more complex tasks. So he raised a few more skeletons and...

"Do you have a name?" he asked.

Vertebrae creaked as it slowly shook its head from side to side.

"I see... then I'll call you Adora. Live up to the name. It once belonged to someone important to me," he said.

The skeleton jumped and clapped its hands.

"...By Greyskull, just take these skeletons and explore the rest of the cave," he said.

By now it was approaching early morning. So he dumped the book into his inventory and began heading back towards the surface.

...Better not tell Glenn what he was up to down there. Vader was sure he'd said *something* about the graves.

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