​Background: Naptaan Magic

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  • Background: Naptaan Magic

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    We’d fought for most of the day to reach their mage,
    a desiccated woman, shrouded in tattered silk
    and surrounded by her honour guard. As we rode,
    hammers raised, towards that final confrontation,
    I felt my throat parch. Magic, of some unknown
    kind.
    I was nearly thrown from my horse. Looking
    down, its forelocks were sinking into sand which
    had until moments ago been firm. I pulled the reins
    and my horse struggled free, moving slower now.
    The group of soldiers loomed larger, perhaps twenty
    sun-bleached skeletons decked out in ill-fitting armour.
    In moments we were upon them.
    I crushed two beneath my hammer, feeling their
    bones shatter beneath each blow. The long forgotten
    scent of cardamom filled my senses and my limbs
    became weak, drained by more Naptaan sorcery.
    Looking around, I saw my comrades stagger under
    the weight of the same witchcraft. I thank the gods
    we had destroyed so many, or in that moment we
    might have been overwhelmed.
    Behind me, I heard Klaus cry out: “Father, they
    are rising from the dead!” I realised in horror that
    he was right. As the silk-wrapped corpse before us
    croaked her dry words, the shattered bodies of her
    guards rose again and staggered back into the fray.
    “The mage!” I shouted. “We kill her and this ends.
    Strike at the mage!” At last, Berthold battled
    through the scrum, smashing her from her pedestal
    with a single blow of his hammer — although
    not before he had been pierced a dozen times by the
    blades of her bodyguards. As the skeletons fell to
    dust around us, that noble knight breathed his last.
    He did not die in vain. Magic so strong cannot
    be left to survive. Magic stronger than the sands,
    stronger than the bodies of men. Magic stronger
    than death.
    Grand Master Jonas Kortig, commander of the
    Knights of the Silver Hammer

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