"What is it now."
"The documents I found are really old, and almost destroyed, especially after we razed the guard tower to the ground. It took a while for me to restore it, but not everything was able to be saved.
The person who wrote the documents left quite a severe warning behind, and he had written it in ancient Gondi...…..Giant language."
"That's impossible Malek, the giants are extinct, and they've been extinct for a lot longer than two thousand years. The humans made sure of that when they went to war against them." I said to him, confused about this new development.
"I understand that my lord, but that's what I found. The document, the whole of it was written in ancient Gondi, a really old and archaic version of the language. Almost as if the person didn't want to make it easy for whoever finds it: or to make it short and simple, the document was encoded. The fact that it was written in a dead language is all the proof we need." Malek explained.
"And how the hell do you even know this dead language?" I asked him.
"The Ausolon coven are keepers of historical records. Yes many of them has been lost due to our long years of captivity, but knowledge such as the spoken and written languages of different civilizations are taught and passed on to every Ausolon youngling from the moment they can talk, write and read. I can speak and read all 477 indigenous languages on Shearath, and four hundred of those languages are dead languages. Civilizations fall and rise, and many are annexed during wars and takeovers, over time as they become part of a new people, their language disappears. But Vampires just like elves have long memories, its easy for us to remember and record things like this."
"Okay I get it. You're the leader of a coven of vampire nerds, now what is this warning you're talking about."
"The documents: apart from giving directions, also spoke of guardians. Or to be more precise three layers of guardians, before we can reach the array, and some other big secret that's been sleeping here a lot longer than we vampires have been prisoners. He called the first layer guardians the íkú-démī. That was written in the Vampire's old tongue, and it means 'Death Is Here'. The vampires name for the living dead, and the unskinned undead. Monsters born from one of the vilest magic to exist in this universe...…"
He didn't need to complete his words, I knew exactly what he was talking about and even as I called it out, I felt a shiver run down my spine.
"My lord the documents say there are millions of them in there, a legion of undead being led by a lich. To be honest killing undead wouldn't be a problem for us, even if they're that much. But should they escape their confinement when we're not ready, they kill us all. And every vampire that falls becomes another undead within their ranks, and full dead vampires as the living dead, as zombies! That would be a total nightmare!"
"Calm down Malek, you say they're three layers. What's the second and the third?"
"It gets worse my lord. The second are not as much the legion of undead, but I'm afraid they're just as dangerous if not more....the second layer of defense are demons! And to make matters worse, they're pit demons. Primal, powerful, ancient, and completely unintelligent. True monsters!"
This was getting completely out of hand, all this layer of protection for an array? Sure the array in charge of the seals was valuable. If we break it, we become free, and we can rain fire and brimstone on the surface and all of Shearath in vengeance for everything that's happened to us over the years. But this level of security was insane! Should we get free, the council of light was more than capable of fighting back and even winning against us without spending too much effort. So I refuse to believe they were so afraid that they put living skeletons and zombies, and then demons before us an the array. Something was up.
"What's the third layer of guardians?" I asked Malek.
"I don't really know my lord. When I read through the document, the only thing it said about the third layer, was that its guardians were called the 'Old Ones'. I have no idea what it means, since there's no record about any old ones in the Ausolon archives. We would be going in blind in regards to that."
"There's something else hidden within that tunnel isn't there? It was just a convenient place to put the array, but all those layers of protection are not for it."
"I've come to the same conclusion my lord. Maybe we should take some time and investigate, just to be safe." Malek said to me.
"You know we don't have that much time on our hands, the seals could be triggered at any moment, and you of all people know what happens when such a thing is done. If that array is there, we can't seat still and twiddle our thumbs. We have to get in there."
"I understand my lord, what would you have me do?"
"Call a council, and tell them we're meeting at castle Sarang. Also tell Asare to gather every able bodied fighter we have, from every division and prepare them for war. Call Kodak and Teluna back from the black district, and Gus back from the green. Have Farina organize a supply chain, because we really have no idea how long we're going to be fighting, and the living dead don't get tired. Also you have to do everything in your power to make sure we're geared up and strong enough to win this fight. You can go."
Malek bowed and left my office to carry out his tasks. I felt my heart beat inside my chest as worry began to seep into my mind. This was going to be a war, just as we've all expected and are preparing for. The only problem I had right now, was the fact that it wasn't against the enemy I expected, but there was no problem, no fuss. Because whether it's humans, elves, undead or demons, we'll fight as hard as we can for one reason and one reason alone...….we could not afford to lose.