Chapter 5: Tyranicus Doesn't Die

Emperor Tullegolar and Jeran Korak entered the Geneforge 4 Forum. Azuma and Nalyd were in the process of digging up a rat skeleton.

Emperor Tullegolar sighed. "No, no, no. Azuma, you're doing it all wrong."

Azuma looked stunned. "What do you mean?"

"Nalyd swore to serve you, so you should be making him do all the work."

Randomizer entered. When he saw the group, he quickly hid himself in a tree.

"That doesn't seem fair," Azuma said.

"You're the one who knows necromancy. Nalyd just desperately wants to. It doesn't have to be fair."

"Oh. Okay. Keep digging, Nalyd." Azuma put down the shovel and climbed out of the hole, still trying to understand the concept.

"Nalyd doesn't mean to be rude, but is your hat supposed to look like that?"

"What do you mean?" Emperor Tullegolar pulled his hat off and took one look at it. "My hat! It's ruined! But how...? Drew! He must be responsible, somehow. Jeran, help Azuma. I'm going to go deal with Drew."

Randomizer chuckled as Emperor Tullegolar stormed out of the forum.

"Uh, okay, you heard him," Azuma said, "You should help dig."

Jeran Korak swished his sword around. "No."

"Oh, well, okay. Nalyd, keep digging."

"Yes, oh great necromancer. It may be difficult, but the joy of necromancy shall outweigh the pain!" Nalyd shoveled furiously.

"Hey! You're getting dirt all over me!" Jeran Korak said.

"Stand back, then. Nalyd has work to do!"

Azuma heard someone coming. "Quick! Hide!" He shoved Jeran Korak into the hole on top of Nalyd and hid behind a rock.

"Ow! Jeran, that was Nalyd's head."

"Oh, shut up."

"Shhh!" Azuma said.

Slartucker and Tyranicus entered. Slartucker saw the freshly scattered dirt. "This is my forum, isn't it?"

Tyranicus nodded.

"Guess I'd better check it out."

Slartucker walked over to the hole. "What are you two doing? Is that a rat skeleton you're digging up?"

"Uh... we're playing hide and seek. Now go away, or you'll get Nalyd found."

Azuma stood up from behind the rock. "Ready or not, here I come!"

Slartucker facepalmed.

Randomizer jumped out of the tree, laughing. "It's okay, Slarty. I've got everything under control. They're digging up a few rat bones I need for a spell of mine."

Tyranicus mooed.

"Yes, I know we're busy. Well... okay then. Holler if you need me."

"No problem. Just give these to Dikiyoba." Randomizer handed Slartucker the quill and parchment.

"Wait." Slartucker looked at the quill suspiciously. "Is this from...?"

"No idea," Randomizer said.

Tyranicus mooed again.

"All right, I'm coming," Slartucker said.

---

Slartucker and Tyranicus entered the Nethergate Forum. Tyranicus mooed at Ephesos.

"How comes the working time?" Slartucker translated.

Ephesos shrugged. "I'm getting sort of close."

Tyranicus snorted.

"Oh, ignites. Nioca could learn the enchantment by now!"

Ephesos tossed the book at Tyranicus. "Well, you learn it then."

Tyranicus kicked it back and mooed.

"Right. Regret."

Slartucker handed the paper and quill to Dikiyoba as Lazarus and Nioca entered.

"Back again?" Synergy asked.

"Just passing through." Nioca tried to be casual.

"What are they up to, anyway?" Dikiyoba asked after they had exited.

"Well..." Synergy began.

"Don't." Ephesos said.

"Like it really matters who knows? Everyone will discover--," Synergy asked.

"It does," Ephesos said.

---

In the General Forum, Emperor Tullegolar tracked Drew down. "All right, what did you do?"

Drew stared at the slith spear aimed at his chest, then looked at Emperor Tullegolar calmly. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"My hat! What did you do to my hat?!"

"Hmm. You mean that's not some new fashion statement of yours?"

"Don't be ridiculous!"

Drew shrugged. "Well, you never know."

Andraste made sure Emperor Tullegolar couldn't see her and gave Drew a thumbs up.

Emperor Tullegolar lowered his slith spear. "I don't believe you, but I'll let it pass for now. Who else could it have been?" He pulled out the list of people he hated.

Lazarus and Nioca entered. Lazarus looked to Stareye. Stareye nodded.

"Hey, Zephyr, come here. We've got a job for you," Lazarus said.

"Really? What is it?" Zephyr Tempest asked.

"You'll just have to find out." Lazarus herded him out of the forum.

---

When Lazarus and Nioca returned with Zephyr Tempest, everyone in the Nethergate Forum stopped what they were doing.

"I'd better double-check to make sure everything is under control." Ephesos followed them.

Zeviz let the barrier he was creating fade away. "Yes. I should be there in case, uh, Zephyr Tempest tries something." He followed Ephesos.

Dikiyoba looked at Dikiyoba's watch. "Oh, look at the time. Dikiyoba should be out, um, er, watering the alchemical herbs." Dikiyoba exited as well.

Synergy looked at Slartucker. "To be honest, I'm just dreadfully curious to see what Niemand, Lazarus, and Nioca created."

"Me too," Slartucker said.

Tyranicus mooed at them as they left, but they ignored him. He snorted and followed.

---

In the Blades of Avernum Editor Forum, Niemand stood by a small platform. Zephyr Tempest examined it. "Hmm. I see some restraining runes, but the rest I am not familiar with. What are we doing? Some sort of summoning, perhaps, that you need my help?"

"Not really." Lazarus shoved Zephyr Tempest onto the platform.

"Hey!" Zephyr Tempest tried to jump off, but the restraining runes glowed red, holding him in place. The other runes glowed dark blue.

Ephesos and the others entered and watched from a distance.

"What are they doing?" Dikiyoba asked.

"Shh!" Ephesos said.

Zephyr Tempest winced and doubled over.

Nioca looked worried. "Did we know it would hurt him?"

"I knew it might hurt a little, but it doesn't look too bad," Niemand said.

Sparks flew off the runes and buried themselves in Zephyr Tempest. He yelled and fell to the ground, trying to shield himself from the sparks.

Nioca winced. "Well?"

A few moments later, the sparks stopped and the glow faded from the runes. Zephyr Tempest lay still.

Lazarus stepped forward. "How are you, uh, feeling?"

Zephyr Tempest sat up shakily. "None.. of your... business!"

Niemand and Nioca helped Zephyr Tempest off the platform.

"My... my... spells. My beautiful summoning spells. Gone!" Zephyr Tempest said.

"Come on. Let's go, before we're noticed," Slartucker said.

But Zephyr Tempest had already seen them. "Come to laugh at me, huh?" He pulled free and took a few steps before collapsing. "Get back here!" He staggered upright and shot a spray of ice in their direction.

"Moo!" Tyranicus dove aside.

Most of the ice struck Ephesos, killing him instantly. A few splinters hit Slartucker's arm.

Lazarus and Niemand tackled Zephyr Tempest. Nioca hurried over to heal Slartucker.

Zephyr Tempest kicked Niemand and tried to get back up. "You'll pay for this! You'll all pay!"

Tyranicus galloped in and knocked Zephyr Tempest unconscious with a single kick.

"I'll go find either Stareye or Drakefyre and see what we should do with him now," Lazarus said.

Zeviz summoned some copper and handed it to Lazarus. "Get Zorro to revive Ephesos too, please."

"Right." Lazarus left.