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He stared at the skull, taking in all the details. The lower jaw was missing, as were the rest of the teeth. He couldn’t see what had caused the death, but as this was the only part of the body found that wasn’t surprising. He picked it up and turned it over and over in his hands.
“Well?” The woman was impatient. “Can you help me?”
The necromancer set the skull down. “Madam, you want me to bring a skull back to life. This is impossible. I need a full body to work with.”
“Can’t you just summon his spirit? I must know what he’s done with the key.”
Ah, that was it. She was probably some jilted lover looking for access to a wealthy man’s vault. “I’m sorry, madam. If you want soul retrieval, your best bet is a priest.”
“He died on unconsecrated ground. His soul was dragged to the underworld. The priests can’t help me. Do you think I didn’t try? They sent me to you.”
“Again, I’m sorry madam. I have no way of summoning a soul. You will have to find some other way to secure what you’re after.”
There was a deep rumbling from outside. The woman ran to the window. “It’s too late,” she whispered.
“It’s just a passing storm, madam,” the necromancer said, growing irritated with her dramatics.
“It’s the coming of the end of the world. Look for yourself, mage,” the woman said. The necromancer joined her at the window. Rain the color of blood fell from the sky. Black lightning shot through scarlet clouds. As he watched in horror, the ground cracked and gnarled demons clawed their way up. He continued staring even as a horror dug its way through the floor of his work room. His final sight was of the woman, fair and pale, speared on onyx claws. Searing pain pierced his body. His sight dimmed and as he glanced towards the skull, he swore he saw it laughing.