Dave screamed a battle cry as they charged, funneling through the opening and into the chamber of blood stalactites to attack the Shadow Worm.
The moment the first Dunlords crossed into its aggro range the Shadow-Worm woke and emitted a high-pitched screech so loud it felt like like icepicks were being stabbed into Dave's eardrums . He shook his head to clear it as he directed Stinger and the other dunlords.
"Damn! This thing's louder than Lone Arrow!"
The first wave of bolts from the dunlord ballista shot out at the Shadow-Worm, followed by attacks from some of the longer ranged casters.The worm screeched even louder than before at the damage they inflicted.
The Shadow Worm retaliated against the upstart attackers with an Ability. Unseen by any of the Undead battalion in the dim bloody hued light, the worm's shadow elongated, writhing across the floor toward Stinger, the dunlord Dave was riding on top of.
Just as the worm's Ability-empowered shade touched Stinger's own shadow Dave's hair stood on end. He activated [Immortal Apparition], reflexively teleporting away from his perch on Stinger's back. Reappearing against the wall he turned to rejoin the battalion attacking the now fully agitated monster-worm.
What he saw gave him the willies, the harpoon-like tip of Stinger's tail striking down through the space where he had just been standing. It was only thanks to his premonition and fast reactions that he'd managed to escape a lethal evisceration-bludgeon attack from his own minion.
Without pause, the possessed dunlord turned its ballista on other members of the battalion.
"Bloody thrice-damned [Shadow-Bind] ability!" he cursed as he ran back towards his Undead, realizing how his 'minion-mount' had been turned against him.
"WAKE UP!" he roared at Stinger as the rampaging dunlord continued its attacks against its Undead comrades. There was no indication that Stinger was going to shake off the worm's [Shadow-Bind] control ability.
Dave ordered two dunlords to break away from fighting the Shadow Worm, directing them to keep the rampaging Stinger away from the Undead or restrain the possessed dunlord if possible.
The Shadow Worm's painfully loud high-pitched screeches continued to fill and echo throughout the mine. Dave first realized it was not just screaming in anger when Blood Worms began to break through the stone walls of the chamber in random places, one after another more of the smaller, but still enormous, crimson worms chewed through the stone and wriggled into the cavern.
"Group up!" Dave ordered the low-level Undead to gather around him as he rejoined them and signaled for two dunlords to break off to give him some heavy-armor support. He ordered three more dunlords to interdict the incoming blood worms, leaving the last two dunlords to keep the Shadow Worm occupied. Hopefully.
A total of seven blood worms had broken through the walls and were charging to attack the grouped-up Undead.
The big Shadow Worm screeched once more causing two of the seven Bloodworms to change course and go to the larger worm's aid.
One of the Blood Worms charging at the group of Undead managed to get past the Dunlords. It coiled around a low tier zombie and used its [Suffocate] Ability on the hapless Undead.
The other Undead attacked it trying to free their comrade, but they did almost no damage, the mighty worm shrugged off the attacks like they were pinpricks.
Dave directed the attacks to save the zombie being crushed in the worm's coils. After a short while Dave could have sworn the look on what passed for the ugly worm-monster's face was one of confusion. He laughed when the worm loosened up on the zombie and looked down at it in what simply had to be puzzlement. But that just gave the trapped zombie a chance to resume hacking away at the red mass of flesh restraining him, despite obviously suffering from numerous broken bones.
The Bloodworm gave up on suffocation and in frustrated rage literally bit the zombie's head off using its [Consume] Ability. But that wasn't enough to kill the poor zombie chew toy, the Undead's now headless body kept on viciously attacking the Blood Worm. Even more amusing was that the worm was now more confused than ever. [Consume] wasn't working for the worm, it did not get any healing HP from using the ability on its victim!
Even headless and low on HP, not to mention he wasn't doing any Damage to the higher level worm, the zombie still fought. He was like a pitbull that just wouldn't let go, not even at the edge of true-death.
Dave laughed out loud, amazed at the zombie's persistence. That was one mean and determined zombie.
What a great minion! He deserved a name for his actions, the efforts to commit violence on his enemy and all the pain he was enduring.
'Hmm, like a pitbull… So I will call him 'Dog' the zombie!'
While Dave was ruminating about his latest naming scheme, the Blood-Worm's HP had been plummeting. The worm was writhing again, but this time in agony.
"The hell? No one is getting any Damage past the level difference, so what is… Ohhhh. Poisoned!"
Undead had a hidden passive against all life-stealing Skills and Abilities. Life-steals used on Undead poisoned the user instead of healing.
Well that took care of that one, Dog the zombie would keep it occupied until its HP zeroed out.
Stinger had finally calmed down after he was pulled along with the group Dave rode on his back and scanned around the cavern, trying to keep his battlespace awareness up.
He was just in time to see the Shadow-Worm body-smacked one of the dunlords away, sending it flying to crash into a nearby wall with an echoing boom. The cavern actually shook from the impact, causing one of the blood stalactites in another part of the chamber to fall.
By pure chance the falling stone-spear smashed through a blood-worm, dealing a massive amount of Damage and pinning it to the ground.
So that was one more Blood Worm down, if not completely out. He directed his Undead ranged to concentrate fire on that one to finish it off. But the falling stalactite had given him an idea.
While he continued assessing his battlespace Dave himself was casting Spectral Skull every time it came off cooldown. But he wasn't detonating them he sent them floating up. There were a lot of them now, hanging in the air like eerie jack-o-lanterns, glaring at the worms.
"PULL BACK! Dunlords cover the withdrawal!" Dave ordered.
The dunlords disengaged and backed towards the exit, defending the battalion while the rest of the Undead hightailed it through the opening..
"Guard the entrance!" Dave ordered the four Dunlords with the most HP.
Four dunlords stood at the entrance of the room, covering their brethren and acting as a wall against the numerous Worms that huddled up together. The worms couldn't display their full power due to the cramped space.
The casters and archers stood behind the four Dunlords, spells and bows ready, waiting for orders.
When the worms gathered and approached the entrance, Dave was stroking his beard with an evil smirk on his face.
"Time to make it rain the pain!" All ranged units shoot at the stalactites!" Dave ordered. Then he snapped his fingers and the skulls exploded. A wave of arrows, spells, and javelin-like ballista bolts all shot up at the stalactites above the incoming worms.
The cave shook and stalactites fell like a rain of giant bloody icicles. Some stalactites struck the ground point first and shattered but many more struck the worms like bloody meteors, penetrating deeply and dealing massive amounts of damage.
The Undead Boyz kept firing into the ceiling, dropping more stalactites onto the advancing worms. The worms soon started to resemble pincushions, bloody stone spears sticking out from all over their rubbery damp flesh.
After several more barrages every Blood Worm was either dead or down and close to being dead.
Dave smiled and ordered the battalion forward to finish off the Shadow-Worm. Then, keeping an eye on the battalion just in case, he started picking up the loot.
The draugr was eminently happy and satisfied with the days work so far, and since only his Undead were around he didn't bother hiding his expression. Any normal creature would have been completely creeped out at the sight of the draugr's face.
It wasn't long before the Shadow Worm screamed one last time and succumbed to the massed fire of the Undead.
Dave hurried up to see what sweet lootz the squirmy black worm-mob dropped for him.
And there it was, the first item in the loot window list: "Shadow Worm Blood, sweeeeet! with this I need less materials to make the Shadow-Tiger-Set!"
Chuckling to himself and mentally rubbing his hands together in true Evil-Overlord fashion, he pulled up the blueprint to double check the stats. He spent a few moments fantasizing about the soon to be latest addition to his arsenal.
He was so stoked to see the Shadow Worm Blood he hadn't read beyond it to see what else was on the loot screen for him. Sighing in satisfaction he returned to the loot screen for the rest of his booty:
Blood-Stone x 88
Skill-Book: Double Edged (Epic)
"Whoa...Epic tier Skill-Book? Oh yeah! come to Daddy-Dave!"
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