“The necromancer! The necromancer is coming! Faster, you thickheaded simplecog!” The gnome swatted the mercenary at the reins of his dogsled team–the last survivor of an assassination squad that had once numbered ten men–with his wand.

Looking back, the mercenary beheld their pursuer: a team of four skeletons, armed and girded for combat, lashed like draft horses to a floating disc of magical matter than glided silently over the deep Minotian snow. At their reins: a katana-brandishing figure with a dark cloak cast over one shoulder and a magnificent hat of the finest quality beside an overall-clad holy man wielding a rock strapped to a staff (both ablaze with the holy wrath of Clohl, god of light and potatoes).

The mercenary handed the reins over to the gnome and cast himself off the side of the sled, landing heavily in a snowbank and fleeing into the woods.

Vic Savage, master thief but definitely NOT a necromancer, drew a bead on the gnome’s sled with his bow. “S…sorry about this, Fluffy, Muffy, a-and all the…y’know, rest of you. You were good fuzz-type dog-sled-puller guys.” The dogs were in fact the same team that had borne them to the Lillandel Mines and the fabulous treasures which lay within (to say nothing of the fabulous treasure that was Sirea Lossberg’s ass), viciously stolen a month earlier.

“Wait just a moment,” drawled Cecil, one-time noble and now-time priest thanks to an unfortunate potato-related riding accident. “That there is against th’ teachings o’ Clohl. For it is written in the Book o’ Jehosephat (which is a real page-turner), Book of Canis Major, Canto 117, Line 32b: ‘And they shalt not slay th’ puppies o’ thine own self or Clohl, who smiles upon ’em as divinely as his potatoes.’ There’s some debate on th’ meaning o’ that there passage, especially on th’ subjunctive tense o’ th’ Old Runic, but…”

“Well…w-what should I, y’know, do instead?” Vic snapped. “That nasty…short…gnome-guy is, y’know, getting away-like. Fastly.”

“Here,” said Cecil. He handed Vic a portable hole, all rubbery and black. “The Book o’ Jehosephat is silent on that there flinging of puppies yea into holes.” He’d give the hole to Namor, Junior Bro of the Order of the Tri-Delts (a feeder organization to the Knights of Clohl), but that magnificent slab of barely animate meat hadn’t needed it.

Vic wrapped the portable hole around the head of his arrow and loosed it straight and true, which was a big deal considering how often he loosed pointy things any which way but straight and true. It landed just ahead of the fleeing gnome with a satisfying *schlopp* and the sled pitched into the chasm that opened suddenly before it.

Pulling back on the reins of his Dragon Tooth Warriors (which were not necromancy at all but simple automatons he had gotten as a birthday present before his family’s ruination at the hands of Lady Faxhall, the nymphomaniac hypochondriac universal spider of the Minotian underworld), Vic stopped them at the side of the hole. The gnome was fumbling for the wand that he had used in the assassination attempt earlier, the one that had nearly singed Sirea to death (in between beatings by Roxie the porcelain sex doll golem).

Cecil brandished his potato-shaped rock and holy symbol, reciting a verse from the Book of Jehosephat (a real page-turner) about how the blinding light of revelation from Clohl yea did scorch the unbeleivers and yea didst melt the eyeballs from thine faces. A blinding gout of holy fire sprang forth, engulfing the gnome and singeing off his magnificent beard (leaving only his much smaller and downier childhood beard beneath it).

“I surrender!” sputtered the gnome, struggling to put out a dozen small fires on his person. “I surrender!”

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