“Do it, turn yourself against them. Do it,” the voice told him.
“No,” Leadore said through clenched teeth, the power of his necromancy spell merging with the two Necrothorpes.
“Reverse it. Turn your powers on them,” the voice in his head said again.
Leadore shot a sideway glance through the black hooded cloak at Cynthia, the Necrothorpe perched on a crumbling column of stone to his left. Her hands were withering to boney knuckles as the three Lifters of Death channeled their magic into the chasm. Cynthia’s hidden features aged like Leadore’s and Retis’, the third Necrothorpe. And though Leadore could hardly see Retis and Cynthia's strained faces as they ignored the destruction their magic had to the surrounding cliffs, Leadore could tell the two others were questioning his abilities.
It’s not your fault they didn’t ask about us, the voice in his head said.
“Shut up,” Leadore snapped, his contribution to The Summoning lacking for an instant. He clutched his staff, redoubling his effort.
The Muskegee needed the Dragon’s Spawn brought back from the dead before an entire division of twenty-five thousand Ogoki Mages leveled the Muskegee Army. Bringing a beast such as the Dragon’s Spawn back from The Undersphere required three Necrothorpes, and Leadore was the only other one within Parc City.
“Don’t think about the repercussions, just do it. End them,” the voice in his head said louder.
Leadore didn’t answer as he watched the dark sphere appear in the space above the crumbling chasm. The Undersphere. Bolts of lightning shot from The Undersphere as a colossal figure flickered in the chasm. Focusing on the magic Leadore channeled at the sphere, summoning the Dragon’s Spawn, Leadore's excitement spiked. He was doing it. His first time using his skills since the instructors forced him out of the Citadel of the Damned.
“Do it now,” the voice repeated.
Leadore watched the massive, horned demon pulsed into existence. The rotting flesh of its muscle-bound corpse striking a figure larger than the chasm. As the Dragon’s Spawn eyes glowed brightly with the powers the two other Necrothorpes fed it, lighting continued to crash around the beast. Opening its mouth, the Dragon's Spawn inhaled a massive amount of their energy. Leadore stopped contributing to the spell. He placed his boney hands on the staff, standing atop the sliver of cliff around his feet. Taking in the wonder of his creation, Leadore smiled at what he had accomplished. He'd proved the entire Citadel of the Damned wrong. Leadore was capable of controlling the voice in his head after all.
“Kill them now, while their weak,” the voice said.
Leadore glanced at Cynthia and Retis. They were shouting at him, but Leadore didn’t hear them over the voice in his head.
“Don’t stop now, you half-whit!” Retis yelled.
“You’ll doom us all,” Cynthia’s nagging voice cried over the howling wind.
Leadore flexed in frustration.
“Do it,” the voice said.
Leadore found his magic, but this time he didn’t focus it on securing the Dragon’s Spawn from The Undersphere. He turned it on the two other Necrothorpes, throwing caution to the wind. Crossing his magic with theirs, he shattered their connection with The Undersphere. Leadore vaulted himself off the pillar of rock, staff cocked, and aimed to strike them off from their perches.
The voice in his mind egged him on, “End them. Knock them into the depths.”
When he stopped, Leadore stood alone on the towering column of rock, hundreds of feet in the air. He was the last Necrothrope. The storm created by their magic and summoning The Undersphere had vanished. The chasm stretched out past the broken cliffs to an unobstructed view of the Muskegee Army. No Dragon’s Spawn stood to support their forces. The Ogoki Mages would overwhelm them by the end of the day. Leadore and the voice in his head had sealed Parc City’s fate and the fate of the Muskegee Army below.
“We never liked them anyway,” the voice said.
Leadore couldn’t help but agree. These abrasive Muskegee forced him out of the only thing he was ever decent at, all because they didn’t know how to work with him. They’d made him feel worthless for most of his life. They deserved what was coming.
“Oh no,” the voice in his head said.
“What?” Leadore asked.
“How do we get down from here?”