ne break had passed, and the enormity of the task was not lost on them. Digging directly into sand brought more sand down into the hole, meaning their descent required an area bigger than you might think. “We are deep enough, we have enough shelter from any winds
” Ralari instructed, taking out the first corpse to be raised. Kaladis would watch and learn, his mentor took something of academics view of raising the dead, being very methodical. Whereas Kaladis considered it more a musical art form, which explained the differences in practical necromancy and bonesong well in his mind.
The corpse he took from his pack, was a cleaned, polished and well prepared skeleton. A third shovel, again having cost Kaladis a further gold nel was readied for the thrall. Two men digging in the desert would take forever, a small group of undead doing it would never tire and never stop. “Cave ins will never matter to us again.”
Ralari spoke solemnly, he and Kaladis both knew the perils of them well from their past. Thralls being crushed would only be a temporary setback, friends were irreplaceable. The only thing holding them back was how many tools they could afford, and how many skeletons they could obtain.
“It is almost time.”
His mentor quietly advised. The bones of the skeleton were fixed together with care, an adhesive substance helped give them their initial connection, it would not be required once the ether took form around them. Ralari was careful if nothing else, slow but careful.
aladis had gathered several dead sand beetles on their journey, three or four could fit in the palm of his hand, he had eight corpses at his disposal, a very small swarm of his own to maintain. Not useful for digging, or offering much protection, but very useful for scouting across the desert's floor. While his Mentor drew the ether to his will, pooling it around the skeletal body. Kaladis began to sing a low hum to the beetles, feeling the same ether fill his vocal chords and echo outward in a swaying melody. If he had been any good at singing it might have been hypnotising, as it was, it sounded like sharpening swords at the forge. When his voice reached a crescendo, the beetles began to twitch, righting themselves and lining up for his command. The young necromancer sang outward, for them to scout around the digsite and to the stone below, seeking out cracks or looser pieces of stone, weaker areas to begin with. Realising he could cover more ground, he separated them into two tiny swarms, for a total of four thrall's worth of concentration at his command.
Ralari’s undead sat up with a jolt, clicking its bones fully into place. At his will it stood, and snapped its joints once more, like a man clicking his knuckles to make ready, only every bone at once. Taking a shovel, it was given a simple mental command to “keep digging till it reaches stone”
, removing the sand out of the hole as it went. As an important afterthought, Ralari added, “unless one of us is in the way.”
Kaladis raised his eyebrows, glad that he wasn't about to be hit with a shovel.
Back to work, plus one pair of bony hands, and a fist full of beetles.