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62 Drahma The Unfettered!

 At the Devastator's headquarters in the western Royal Palace, a meeting was convened. Led by Valentine and Warlord, the purpose was to share information and formulate strategies for the newly announced Underworld expansion.

"We only have three days, in game-time, and we don't even know what part of Conquest it's in!" The speaker, one of the sub-guild leaders, was in adamantine full-plate, a great-hammer strapped across his back.

Mr. Valentin was the moderator, "I have already given orders for all members to perform sweep searches of Conquest. When we find the portal we will move in full force to establish control."

Warlord pinged Valentin in private chat, "What about our sleeper-cells? Anything from them?"

"No. Either the other organizations don't have any information, or they haven't revealed it to our embedded- hold for a moment, I am receiving a priority message..."

As the debate continued around him, Valentine held a hand to his temple, a sign he was in voice-chat. A moment later he raised his head and nodded to Warlord.

Looking around at the arguing sub-leaders Valentin announced in a loud voice: "We have the location. The portal is in the Dark Threading dungeon."

The sub-leaders buzzed with excitement and avarice, and exclamations, "Here! In the northern Kingdom!"

Warlord private messaged Valentin again, "I thought the dungeon was peculiar, just stairs, abyss, and weird boss-room."

The commotion in the room swelled, claims to the portal, threats and counters were voiced.

"SILENCE!" Warlord spoke in his command-voice, quelling the uproar,

"Attention, we are mobilizing! All 'A' groups are to make for the Dark Threading dungeon immediately! 'B' groups will stay and act as the home-guard. 'C' groups will prep and load for raid and siege tactics, then follow us to the dungeon as support and supply.

"This meeting is adjourned. MOVE OUT!"

A full-scale campaign! The sub-leaders were messaging their guilds even as they rushed from the meeting-room.

Valentin updated Warlord as they moved, "The Underworld is no re-entry after dying, with respawn at the last set-point. I've assigned some 'B' groups to defend our respawn locations.

Warlord absorbed the information. Then ordered, "We go in with the 'C' group low-levels leading the way, use them like mining-canaries. That'll save 'A' groups from many of the traps and initial attacks."

Valentin winced. "We will, of course, say it more graciously...and compensate the volunteer 'sacrificial lambs' for their lost time, consumables and equipment, correct? Guild-master?"

"Yes, of course. Good catch. Thanks Valentin." Warlord knew he sometimes focused too much on a final goal, forgetting about the people.

Valentin held two fingers to his temple again, "Reports of a level-checker. A Greater Chaos Demon. Level 400. Our lowbie members won't be any help with that."

...

Lone Arrow stumbled on the tunnel floor. Again. She muttered curses under her breath. The tunnel floor was uneven, and the flickering torches were hardly adequate lighting. Lone promised herself she would buy a spell or item that worked much better than torches...for next time.

"You know, it's not gentlemanly to walk so fast." She groused at Dave.

"Never said I was a gentleman," Dave grunted, "In case you haven't figured it out, the whole damned game-world will be coming after us now. So we need to keep moving." He increased his pace.

"Huh, paranoid much? Why do you think everyone is out to get you?"

"The Server Announcement, remember? It put a huge target on our backs. The two guildies that died back there will tell their guilds about this place. My guess is we have about an hour head-start."

"Then what's the point of going any farther? There are high-level monsters ahead and players behind us, stuck between a rock and a hard place!"

"The monsters aren't the problem. It's the players I'm worried about."

"How are level-250-plus monsters not a problem...?"

Dave turned to answer her, and forgot...everything, caught in the symmetry and vivacity of her features. His chest clamped and his mind spun.

Is this what she really looks like? In the real?

Lone Arrow moved close, right up into his face, "Hellooo, ground control to Major Tom."

"Uhh, right. What were we saying?"

"I asked why you aren't worried about the monsters."

"I have my ways," he replied. The smirking draugr was back.

Dave exited the tunnel first, looking around for threats. The moment he looked up and saw the rift filled sky with the broken moon hanging above as if in mid shattering, he knew where he was. Generally.

He'd thought the Underworld was a cave system, but seeing the familiar sky overhead, the same one that he saw from the Bone Palace, changed that.

The Dark-Threading dungeon is in the northern part of the Western-Kingdom. I was at the borders of the Eastern Kingdom when I first entered the Dead-Realm. That's a lot of travel time, all else equal.

"Is that the same sky as in your first Mr. Skeletal video?"

"Yeah, but I don't think we are near the Bone Palace. Look." He gestured broadly.

Light from the shattered moon revealed a vast lowland plain surrounded by distant mountains. The ground was barren volcanic rock and ash, broken here and there by tufts of hardy weeds.

Movement drew their attention to a herd of animals that stretched across a good part of the terrain.

Dave remembered a history vid-stream about buffalo and The Great Plains in 19th century America. The vid described herds of buffalo that covered the land from horizon to horizon in every direction.

Thankfully that was not the case here, and these 'buffalo' looked like overgrown goats with heavy wool coats the color of old blood.

The beasts closest to the tunnel had already noticed their presence and turned horned heads toward them to stare at them with strange eyes.

Dave didn't like the way the animals were focusing on them, he inspected one:

Capra Infernis (Demonic)

Level 150

80,000 HP

2000 DN

1000 MN

Skill [Charge] [Impale]

Shit, level 150. Much lower than the Greater Demon. But there are thousands of them.

The herd roused in a slow ripple as more individuals turned in their direction. The first few animals lumbered forward, more followed, then even more. The heavy thumps dinner-plate size hooves striking the ground increased steadily. The entire herd was reacting to them, starting to move in their direction.

Herd animals usually just watch for threats, but these 'goats' were coming at them...and they had too many teeth. The sharp, meat-tearing kind of teeth, not the flat grass-chewing type.

It makes sense. Nothing grows here but weeds. So, of course they are carnivores.

He winced, and removed an item from his inventory.

I didn't want to use this so soon. But needs must when the demon-sheep dance.

"Uhh, we need to get the hell away from here, Mr. Skeletal." Lone Arrow took a few steps back toward the cave.

"Don't worry, I got this." Dave activated the jewel and bright red light shone from it.

"You do know what happens everytime someone says that in the movies, right?" It didn't look like the goats-from-hell were going to stop any time soon. She edged away from Dave back toward the safety of the tunnel.

"Start throwing some damage, or you'll miss out on a lot of EXP."

She looked at him doubtfully, his casual responses were not reassuring her in the least.

The glow from the jewel grew brighter and brighter.

The jewel cracked, and the light disappeared.

You used [Anti-bully]

The Anti-bully charm is on a 4 hour timer. It has a 24 hour cooldown.

The summoned entity will not benefit from external healing effects!

A rift appeared in front of them, like a long vertical cut in the fabric of reality. Two enormous hands gripped the edges of the rift and tore it wide open from the other side.

A foot came through the opening, cratering the volcanic-rock as it stepped down. The rest of the giant figure stepped through the rift, the owner of the tearing hands and smashing foot stood towering over them.

Drahma the Berserker had come as promised.

Drahma the Unfettered

Level 550

Class: Berserker

Tier: Mythic

Rank (Doom Knight)

Danger Level: Friendly

Skills (???)

Hp(???)

Defense(???)

Drahma is one of the most powerful individual units in the Undead King's Legion, under the direct command of the Abyssal Knight [Dalga]

After the Undead King disappeared, Drahma was captured by the fallen order of the Black Skull. He suffered for years, tormented and experimented on, before going mad when his heart removed.

The Undead King's Blessing kept him alive but suffering even more torment. The rage he built over the years granted him a Power:

Even if I Fall into madness, I shall take you with me.

What is that doing here!" Lone Arrow backed quickly away from the giant, staring up at his brutish face.

"Don't worry, he's a friend. I helped him out once, he's returning the favor."

"I came to fulfill my promise, young Undead. What favor would you ask of me?" Drahma rumbled to Dave. He rested his giant iron pole across a shoulder.

He's gone up 50 levels. Heh, and his Berserker title changed to Unfettered. Nice.

"Greetings Drahma. We came to the Underworld to escape from adventurers that are hunting us. They are gone for now but soon they will be back, maybe with entire armies. We are not powerful enough to make it through the Underworld on our own. Can you help us?"

"Fear not. I am here for you, small friend."

Drahma swung his giant pole, Paste Maker, and struck at the first group of unlucky Capras.