Under my breath, I cast the spell Mislead, allowing the illusionary double to appear where I was standing while simultaneously turning invisible from the spell. I concentrated for a few moments while setting up the commands for the illusion, and then I started issuing orders to ARC. ARC, please activate Oracle mode and raise me twenty-five feet above the height of the Katamari of Flesh – maintain that elevation even if the Katamari grows or bounces. Message Auntie and let her know I’m dealing with the Horn Point graveyard and afterward will be there to help defend the temple. While instructing ARC, I swapped my ranseur for my staff of office. I made sure my transition was complete so that I wouldn’t compromise my Pretty Kitty identity when the invisibility wore off.

My illusory double pulled back, set the ranseur for a charge, and ran screaming towards the horrifying ball of flesh. It vanished beneath it as the ball began to chase down a small group of defenders, ending any more need for me to worry about my alter ego.

Dismissing the invisibility, I shout “Wall of Fire” and seal the graveyard gate in flames that consume all zombies trying to escape the graveyard. This has the added benefit of lighting up the combat zone and giving everybody more visibility. After seeing the deployment of the wall, I call out, “Any defenders still living should run into the wilderness to avoid being trapped between zombies and the town walls! It’s going to get very ugly here in a few moments!” I only see a few take my advice before I turn to the Katamari. “I have something special for you! Meteor Swarm!”  

Four flaming rock spheres appear before my outstretched hand and streak toward the Katamari of Flesh. Striking consecutively, they each pound deeper into the dense mass before exploding in a great fireball, lighting up the night and causing burning bodies and bits of flesh to fly in all directions. By the time the last meteor has exploded, two-thirds of the ball of flesh has been blasted away, and the remaining pile lies quivering and burning. It’s no longer moving or the threat it was now that I destroyed its core.

I fly over the wall of fire and into the graveyard looking at the remaining zombie hoard. It’s considerably thinned. I estimate that there are only around four hundred zombies left, and they ignore the danger of the wall of fire, burning up trying to get through it. They aren’t the threat I am looking for, though. It’s improbable that the Katamari of Flesh is the only boss-level undead in the graveyard tonight. A sudden movement catches my eye, but it’s too late for me to do anything but flinch before a spear strikes me. The flinch saves me some pain since it changes the angle, and the spear deflects off my suit and skin and careens off into the night.

There’s a crowned nobleman wearing clothing reminiscent of 16th-century Europe. His pasty completion, along with the flowing locks and great mustache, brings to mind old paintings of Vlad the Impaler. His aids are holding out other spears for him to throw at me while ghouls or lesser vampires keep the zombies from coming too close to him. I smile and say, “Mythic Chain Lightning,” while pointing my finger at him. The initial lightning bolt splits the sky and arcs from my finger into his face, disintegrating his head before chaining onto one party member after another. Each leap of lightning did explosive damage that caused extremities to blast off their body when it didn’t simply turn their flesh to a cloud of ash, leaving only their bones behind. “Wow! That was epic! ARC set intangibility to 100% – I don’t want to get clipped by surprise again!”

I continued scanning the graveyard, I have lived a life that confirmed the rule of three, and I fully expected there to be at least one more boss.

[Sir, the timer on the wall of fire is almost up.]

Thanks, ARC. I’ll put something a little different there now, “Sirocco.” Just as I turned back to continue my survey of the graveyard, an angry howl came from the front gate as a creature of bones started blazing and slammed into the ground. “Oh, a lich was directing traffic! Well, let’s put you out of your misery and let you play with adventurers tomorrow since I won’t be hunting down your phylactery tonight. “Disintegrate.” Nothing happened; it just lay pinned in the center of the sirocco, on fire and screaming. “Damn! Disintegrate!” This time he became a cloud of dust. “Glad that worked the second time.”

Looking around, I see that there are still a few hundred zombies, but many will perish in the Sirocco, and the wall guards should be able to handle them if they reach the gates. Time to move on. ARC, teleport us to Temple Island’s portal.

   — * ~ * —

The portal courtyard is filled with a chaotic battle between various undead and a mix of adventures and guards. “Shape Sound.” In a voice that can be heard easily above the din of the battle, almost as if it was in your ear, “Pull back from the portal; I will stem the tide!” Most of them did their best to pull back, the enemy keeping pace with them. That was fine; easier to put down a few and stem the tide. “Wall of fire.” I shaped it to box in the portal’s exit so anything coming out of it would burn in my flames even if it didn’t immediately pass through the wall. Then I flew around, firing Acid Arrows at any boss troubling the defenders.

Soon they had enough respite to reorganize and tackle anything that made it through the wall of fire with coordinated attacks and bring it down. I flew down and talked to one of the decorated guards who wasn’t currently engaged in combat. “I guess there isn’t any way for us to turn off the portal.”

Breathing heavily, he replied, “No, Oracle. Once a portal is active, the only way to turn it off is to destroy it. Nirvana gets pretty mad when people do that.”

“I thought that might be the case.” Ok, I’m going to create a wall of stone in front of the portal so that there’s almost no room on this side. That should make a lot of creatures trying to get through very unhappy. Get everybody ready since I will want the wall of fire to drop before I put the stone in place, which will give a few moments for things to get through.

Moments later, I enacted my plan leaving a ten-foot thick wall three inches in front of the exit plane of the gate. In those moments, two bosses got through; one would have been able to regardless of the wall since it came through the portal in gaseous form. I put a fireball into the middle of that one, letting the adventurers tackle the other boss.

We hear shouts as the human telegraph system spreads the news, “They are coming out of the ocean onto the beach by the docks!”

Crap. I’ve used a lot of magic, and I better mix some admin powers to make it through the night!

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