While Lord Dothan could raise the dead to do his bidding, they were simple creatures that could only obey the most basic of commands. Tactics beyond an inhuman wave were ineffective, and Dothan found himself still reliant on his living acolytes for much of his combat strength, which meant more resources and logistics were required to move them.

In years’ worth of experiments, building upon the libraries he had captured as well as experimenting on prisoners taken in raids, Dothan gradually uncovered his answer. When slain, a person’s life force would dissipate. But it could be siphoned off and placed into a holding device and fueled with further energy taken from the living. The energy could be formed into matter of a sort, if enough of it were present, and it required neither food nor rest.

Instead, the life force constantly ebbed away and could be replenished with further infusions. A campaign of conquest with a force of these revenants at its heart could, then, use the power of its enemies’ life forces as fuel for an infinite campaign to bring the world to oblivion.

Lord Dothan created a variety of terrible ‘revenant engines’ to serve as his commanders and elite, warriors with bodies resistant to damage and untiring. But it was for himself that he devised the most perfect revenant engine of all: a series of gems that, fueled by the life force of his most devoted acolytes, could sustain Dothan far beyond his natural lifespan and allow him to complete his oblivion crusade.

The force that marched out from the ruined gates of Vaaj had only a few living among it, mostly scouts and spies and a few cooks to provide for them. The others were revenant engines or the shambolic dead, with a dark figure at their head: Dothan himself, reborn as the ultimate revenant engine, ready to sow oblivion as a balm over a suffering world.

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