The guy who just put an indent on new paragraphs:
Undeath and Taxes
Prologue Chapter 3: Of Gods and Death
Morterran had long awaited this day. Ever since that bastard Antonius teleported him into the deadlands he had dreamed of sweet revenge. Fifty whole years gone from his life thanks to that pig and his fellows. He knew from the moment he was summoned that his arrival was a mistake. All the other “Heroes” were dressed like they just came out of the middle ages while he alone was wearing his favorite pair of black cargo pants and his oversized shirt emblazoned with a stylized skull.
Thankfully, he had been gifted a great deal by whatever quirk of fate or destiny that dragged him from his studio apartment. He also had been blessed with the knowledge gained from reading a great many light novels.
He knew there were certain things you had to watch out for. If the one summoning you was a morbidly obese wannabe pope who ruled a theocracy, you either had to hide your abilities or get the hell out of Dodge. Thankfully, his gifts allowed him to do both. Deceiving those potbellied priests was simple enough, it was implanting the idea to banish him that was the biggest hurdle.
From what he had gathered from the other “Heroes”, you had to be from the late Dark Ages to the Early Renaissance era and have amassive devotion toward a monotheistic God. Morterran easily understood what this meant, it meant the summoned individual could be easily controlled and/ or brainwashed by anyone who was a priest or holy man.
Morterran was from 2020. More specifically, he was from the U.S.A. and while not an atheist, he did believe that Gods and the supernatural had no place in the modern world. He had seen on the news how Islamic Radicals had caused the entire Middle East to implode. In his own homeland, Evangelical Christians would preach hatred and bigotry in the name of a “Peace-loving God”. He knew in his heart of hearts that religion had no place in the modern world and only served to drive people to more and more barbarous acts. While he hated being called a god himself, he knew this world was still stuck in a time where gods and devils were a necessary force. In Morterran’s eyes, gods fell into two large categories. Gods were either purely spiritual beings that never had a physical avatar or gods were physical beings that were so absurdly powerful that they were called gods due to their capabilities.
Morterran caught himself, he didn’t want to go down that road again. His memories of being teleported to the deadlands after calling out the “holy men” on their decadence and calling the existence of their god into question rang in his head. The memories of his experiments with the dead and damned that roamed the outskirts of the world were some of his favorites, though.
He thought back to when he had found the remains of the Primordial Dragon Tiamat, a creature thought to be a fairy tale. He remembered the long hours he spent pouring every bit of [MP] or [Mana] into a phylactery big enough to raise the beast, only to have it accidently go off prematurely and raise every dragon on Mundus at once. Being instantly connected to every dragon that ever lived was intense, it was a rush that had never been matched up until that point. Sure, raising an army of superhuman undead abominations was cool and having their senses connect to his felt amazing, but dragons had a range of senses that even his best work to date couldn’t top.
He had completed the phylactery for Tiamat when word reached him that the operation had been a success.
“Finally.” He thought.“I was worried that the shipment would be barred from entry. Despite having my Death Knights and Death Lords and Liches write those letters, I thought for sure they would notice something was amiss. I guess I got worried for nothing. Those people don’t care from whence the Spice flows, only that it does…”
Morterran leaned back in his throne. Fidgeted in his seat and then reluctantly got up. It was always a pain getting up while wearing his armor, or his “Divine Regalia” as his subordinates referred to it. True, it was as much a part of him as his own soul and he could summon, dismiss and alter its appearance at a moment’s notice but this second skin made him feel like he was in cosplay. He constantly had to put up with this appearance that made him feel ridiculous every time he stepped in front of a mirror.
“Seriously, I look like Skeletor, Lich King Arthas and Castlevania’s Dracula had a three-way car crash and ended up all sharing the same body...”
He turned to his throne, pondering whether he should sit down again before taking in the full scope of the construct. The throne was massive and sinister, a symbol of his might just as much as his giant form, his armor or his twin great swords. It was comprised of the stereotypical villain stuff. Bones from those he had personally dealt with, souls of so called “holy men” and nobles too stupid to flee or submit and a plethora of different varied phylacteries all melded together and covered in a Vanta Black metal he himself had made by combining a phylactery and some Adamantite.
“Beloved. You are marveling at your throne?”
A voice he knew all too well came from behind. It was sweet and sultry with a hint of barely disguised lustful reverence.
“Worry not, I feel as you do. I often come here while you are elsewhere to marvel at it. Truly, it can only be made more perfect with the remains of the so-called saints that reside in the gilded garbage pile.”
“There is no need for such praise, my love. Besides, if all goes according to plan, I won’t be sitting here for much longer. Soon this throne will be yours and as much as I love you and desire to remain here, I cannot. I have spent much too great a time away from my homeland and I cannot rule here forever as I have obligations back on my world that need to be fulfilled.” (Morterran)
“And yet you use large amounts of your [Mana] to create an ever-growing nation and even have begun to raise the Primordial Dragon herself! Do you truly intend to pass all this to me or is this just a clever ruse? While I would be honored to reign over this world in your name, I think it necessary to ask whether you really want this.”
Morterran looked at his first ever “perfect” undead, a fem fatale of immense power and who was utterly devoted to him. It took him over 45 years just to get her right. Of course, his cheat abilities granted by fate included [Space-Time Manipulation] so while the lands of the living only experienced 50 years, he had already been through over 4 centuries. He even named her, granting her exponentially more power. She was a fusion of the genetics of countless races both living and long extinct and had the capabilities to prove it. He had started work on her the day after he had found Tiamat and even incorporated the dragon god’s DNA into her along with that of Ancient Elves, Elder Dwarves, several varieties of Lizardfolk and multiple strains of beastfolk just to name a few.
As attractive as she appeared, looking like a cross between Sylvanas Windrunner and Sarah Kerrigan, Morterran had no desire to bed her. While this was a great dismay to her, Morterran had two big reasons for not doing so.The first and most important reason was that due to his previously being a human, he viewed necrophilia as a niche fetish and one he did not have. Second, even though he was a “perfect” undead, he was merely a prototype and an unknown flaw had made his sexual capabilities and appetites nonexistent. He often made the joke in his head that even an overdose of Viagra couldn’t “reanimate” him.
Her full name was Nisha Felfrost Demise and she was his most prized creation. He had poured his heart and soul into her. You could even say that was literally what he had done, as most people believed that [Mana] was something tied to the soul and generated by it. Morterran had calculated that the amount to raise Tiamat would be astronomical, but the amount he had spent to create his Empress was even greater. The process of creating undead was relatively hard, the process of binding said undead to you will was even harder. If you could unlock the secret of life you could make the most powerful yet loyal undead, or at least that’s what the wisest of necromancers would say.
Being from a time when knowledge about Cells, DNA and biology and chemistry were easily accessible and taught in almost every school helped a lot. Most undead jerked around and were shoddy constructs at best, but knowing about stem cells, Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid and that nerves and brain cells functioned via electrical impulse and chemical reaction allowed Morterran to create undead that were almost indistinguishable from humans save for their skin and eyes.
Morterran returned from his musings on the origins of his Empress and replied to her query.
“My love, I have nothing to hide from you. While there is a part of me that doesn’t want to leave, I must return home. My investigations have all lead to this, if I don’t leave now I may have to wait for millions, perhaps tens of millions of years before I can return. There may be nothing for me there, my possessions sold away and my home owned by another but I must go. I will not leave this work unfinished, however. You are the closest an undead can be to a living being. You are just like me in that regard. A “perfect” undead. A God of Death.” (Morterran)
Twenty-eight days, would be all it takes. It would be time enough for his forces to array against the Holy City and time enough for the plague to do its work. He only needed twenty-seven days to fully raise Tiamat, and he know that the cry that comes from a newly born Zombie Dragon can scare living creatures miles away so much that they void their bladders and bowels uncontrollably.
Morterran realized something else important.
“Oh, and all this just in time for the next summoning, too. I wonder if the newbies will put up a better fight than the ones who were summoned with me.”