• He was strong. His arms wide, his staff held tightly, he looked into my eyes, his face sinking into my memory. My skin crawled; my bones shook at the chill of his sly blue eyes and his long grey hair. I dropped my blade, I let go of my shield, and I was embraced by all his power. The darkness coursed through me, the strength of a different kind. I felt empowered, and I felt inclined to lurk the shadows of the Necropolis in my newfound safety. I had to recollect. Would I be safe? Shall I turn on the men I sought to save? I did not know yet.
    Less than an hour ago I stood at the unguarded gates of this dark place. The metal doors to the Necropolis, the land of the evil, were open to all who could tolerate the pain they would receive. The land of the dead was before me. I looked behind me. No one stood there to comfort me, to motivate me to take the steps in order to rid the kingdom of this hellish piece of land, a gash within the green meadow grass that once was the envy of the entire world. All I saw were the evergreen trees waving in the summer wind. Behind them, I saw the horizon above the mountains, the sun still above them, as if held by the mountains, a pedestal to the heavens, and a seat for the golden orb that warmed my skin so. Darkness would come soon, the time when the dead haunt the Necropolis. It was time to act. Enter the lands now, or die trying later. I put my hands on the metal bar of the gate to the cemetery and pushed.
    The burning sensation was a sign that the dead had begun to arise. My muscles suddenly tensed, and I kept pushing on the door. Veins came from my head, my teeth clenched. I began to cry out, “By the Gods! Give me strength!” And they did. The sun became warmer, I felt the burning suddenly cease. The scars on my hands would forever remain, but the gift from the gods would also. I pushed the gate an inch more and squeezed myself through the opening. The Gods could help me no more.
    Suddenly the sun turned to moon, the blue sky turned black, and a mist ran throughout the Necropolis. I could see barely ten feet in front of me. Some might say I courageously continued. Others might say I foolishly walked on the unholy ground. Others were right. I heard the shriek of a little girl, “Help!” I jumped from my skin. The blade came from my sheath in a flash. My eyes darted from my helmet as I turned in a full circle. When I came back to my original position, I saw the adorable little girl, holding her pup, crying. I felt sympathy. Shedding a tear and sheathing my sword, I walked to the little girl, and not thinking of the reality of the situation, I lifted the girl and held her in my arms tightly.
    “It’s going to be alright.” I whispered in her ear.
    “Will you?” She asked. I did not understand the point of the question.
    “If you will be, then so shall I.” I replied in a laugh.
    “With your arrogance, I doubt you’ll last till dawn.” She laughed. The dog barked three times, and I heard it growl. I realized that was going on now. I dropped the little girl, pulling my sword from its sheath. I heard her giggle, and it echoed throughout the Necropolis. Suddenly, the moans and groans of the other dead ones came to life. They had all arose. She was the bait to their trap.
    I slashed at the girl, her skin now greed, her eyes rolled back into her head. The pup she held had the same attributes, but now had three heads. As I severed her head, she asked, “Do you want to pet Cerberus?” As her head fell, she giggled again, and suddenly a hand was set on my shoulder from behind. I froze, looking around me. I was surrounded by the dead, the Revenants of the Necromancer who resided here, the last of his kind. They began to rush me; I began to slash at them. Cold blood was spilt all over the ground, and my warmth was taken from me. I shouted a curse, and in my anger, I put the souls whom were trapped in these corpses to rest. The corpses of these people, unmoving, all smiled at me, their black teeth showing, their green skin wrinkled and worn. I carefully stepped past the bodies and regained my nobility. I was losing my will to live from this place. I had fought dragons and serpents, but this was far more frightening than anything that was alive.
    Entering on, I heard more moans and groans, more shrieks and endless giggles, and then, from behind me, a growl. I jumped around to see Cerberus, the mad three headed dog, stalking me like I was his prey. Too cocky to realize I could easily become the prey, I rushed the canine, and then stopped when I heard a bellow from afar. “Cerberus, zi̱tí̱ste to aíma tou eisvoléa!” Suddenly the dog’s dead flesh began to expand. The bellowing voice chuckled. Sprinting away, I heard the bark of the newborn enemy. Cerberus had grown. Tenfold. Cerberus was larger than I was by far, his shoulders as tall as I was, and his body longer than the king’s chariot. “
    “Help!” I shouted as I scrambled away. I could feel the footsteps of the canine behind me, shaking me, and all of a sudden, I forgot to dodge the tombstones, and I struck one with my leg. I fell over it, and the canine was suddenly on top of me. Cerberus bit my throat, ripping out my esophagus and eating it in front of me. But… I was not dead. I was alive. I could move, I could see. I smiled. I could fight.
    I stabbed Cerberus in the heart. The wound did not affect him. I slashed at the chest of the beast, and it just wouldn’t go down, so I chopped its head off with all the strength I had left. Its body fell to the ground, the face of the dog smirking, the cold blood pouring from the body of the animal. I felt my wounds. The dog bit me in the arm, ripped my throat from its place, and bit a gash in my stomach. I felt the wounds. They were gone. No scars, no blood lost, and all organs in place. Is this a miracle of the Gods, I questioned in thought.
    “That is no miracle, Sir Photios of New Maria.” I turned around to see the old man. His flesh was normal; his eyes sky blue, intense, piercing. He dawned the same voice as the man who made that canine attack me. “Cerberus, afí̱ste!” I turned my head to see the dog, head reattached and alive, hobble away. “Sorry, Photios, I should have given you a proper introduction. My name is Athanasios Kyriakos, or as I am called by you and your followers, Kyriak the Demon. A name a dawn with pride more then I ever have.”
    I was confused on his motive. His grey hair was still. The mist was still. All was frozen in time, waiting on me to speak any words. “Why did I survive that battle?” I asked.
    “Because I wanted you to, my dear Photios. We are not adversaries here in my Necropolis.” He chuckled a bit, and then put on a serious expression that gave me fear.
    “You read my mind, Kyriak. I came here to end the age of Necromancy, and you know very well how I planned to go about doing that.” I replied, holding my chin up.
    “Do you not recognize the benefits of this power my ancestors discovered?” he asked.
    “Being a necrophiliac comes with no benefits.” I replied in a smirk. I pointed my sword at him. “Surrender.”
    “Before you strike, let me prove you incorrect. I have no necrophilia, my dear friend, I merely extract the benefits from the powers of Necromancy. I can summon the dead, make them do my will, at no cost to me energy, and at no cost to any other power. All it takes is the blood of me to become a Necromancer. You can create your own army; overrun the kingdom that treats you unfairly, at no price.” Once again, he read my mind. “No one can kill a young Necromancer, Photios. They have all the power in the world.”
    I thought about the offer. Back in the kingdom, I was treated like a lackey. Always given the easy quests, the ones anyone can complete, and now I’m sent to kill the most powerful enemy of the kingdom? They were trying to kill me. None of them were my friends. The king didn’t respect me for taking on this journey. No one did. They would celebrate my death at the dining room table. No, on second thought, I would celebrate theirs.
    “Do your magic, Kyriak. I need these powers.” I replied.
    Suddenly he raised his staff, the blood stains on the tip indicated him stabbing himself or others. The blood began to glow fluorescently, and all of a sudden, his sky blue eyes began to glow too. I felt the darkness.
    He was strong. His arms wide, his staff held tightly, he looked into my eyes, his face sinking into my memory. My skin crawled; my bones shook at the chill of his sly blue eyes and his long grey hair. I dropped my blade, I let go of my shield, and I was embraced by all his power. The darkness coursed through me, the strength of a different kind. I felt empowered, and I felt inclined to lurk the shadows of the Necropolis in my newfound safety. I looked toward the crumpled body of Kyriak, not knowing he was dead. I chuckled, happy about knowing I defeated Kyriak. I tricked him, I thought. I tricked him into killing himself. Now I could return to the kingdom and use these powers for good, and have them die along with me years later. I was a hero for the first time in my life. I severed and took the head of Kyriak and placed it into a bag on my side.
    I left the Necropolis, turning the grass green with my mind, casting the dead bodies into their graves. I saw the sun come up, and I decided to rest. I would be a hero tomorrow evening.
    Waking up was odd. My armor felt looser and heavier. I did not care, I was so happy. I walked more on to the kingdom. When people passed by, they gasped at me, probably because I was alive. They ran away to tell their friends and family I had succeeded. I chuckled a bit, but when I finally made it to the kingdom.
    I walked into the castle gates and pulled out the head, “I have defeated out enemy! Arise my brethren!” I cried proudly, and suddenly I took an arrow to the heart. I began to spit blood, and I muttered, “What have you done?”
    The king, sitting on his throne above me, laughed. “We have killed you, Kyriak. Necromancy is no more. No longer shall you cast the dead to be alive. No longer shall you disturb the Gods and their domain.”
    I felt my hair. I looked at it. Grey. I lifted the head I was holding. The head I held… was mine. It suddenly disappeared. I began to choke on the blood that was flowing into my throat. I cried, tears flowing down my face. “Goodbye, Demon.” The king stomped on my head. I was no more.
    From the heavens, I watched my body arise once more, the head reattached. He stood up, laughing, giggling in glee. “Necromancy never dies, you fool.” He had taken my body, my heroic feats, and my identity in the mortal world. “Now, what to do, what to do? Oh, I know!” Suddenly he took and held the staff I left on the ground and used it to take me back to the mortal world, away from the paradise I had become accustomed to. I arose from the grave in the body of Kyriak, green flesh, eyes rolled back, and unable to control my actions. I was taken for a fool. My lust for power stopped me from completing my quest correctly. I was human. I was greedy.