“How could anyone worship a fool?” Ezmereth said under his breath.
“The true lord of magic demands that you disbelievers vacate his holy temple,” replied the ghastly voice. “It has no place for those who are steered wrongly by the shadows.”
The voice spoke of Shar, the only deity allowed to be worshipped within Netheril. She who had saved Shade Enclave during the kingdom’s fall by bringing it into the Shadowfell, leading to its return to the Material Plane over a thousand years later.
“You are the one who is steered wrongly,” responded Ylormik, “for this true lord you speak of was naught but a fool who could not handle true power.”
“Is that what you were led to believe?” The retort of the voice echoed through the chamber. “I am afraid you are gravelly mistaken. Lord Karsus exists still in death in the Astral Sea. The divine spark has not left his essence and in time, he shall return.”
“You speak foolishly!” yelled Ezmereth. “This temple shall be converted to the worship of a more appropriate deity and taken back to Shade Enclave.”
“Ezmereth, it might not be wise to anger the…”
Ylormik’s attention went from Ezmereth to the centre of the room, where a semi-transparent apparition appeared before them by the altar. The graying creature was humanoid in shape, but lacked any distinct features to be able to tell what sort of humanoid it was. It lacked both arms and legs, and no visage could be seen on its head. It reminded Ezmereth of someone who had put a tattered blanket over himself to stay warm.
“Your life essences shall be taken and used as fuel for the resurrection that is to come,” the apparition said, despite its lack of a mouth.
The creature floated up into the air, arms suddenly appearing at its sides. It brought them up, gesturing them as though performing a ritual. Suddenly, eight rotting corpses emerged from the ground, growing like plants out of the stone floor, and grabbing at the old wizard and his pupil.
“I hope you are happy with yourself, Ezmereth,” said the master. “You will have yet another opportunity to hone your skill with that blade.”
Ezmereth merely winked at Ylormik, unsheathed his sword, and leaped into battle.