The siege of Azure City had gone on for several months now and a stalemate had formed. The valiant defenders were too deeply entrenched and many had managed to develop specific counters to the goblin horde. It was time, Xykon felt, for a change of tactics….
“TSUKIKO!” he yelled, striding across Camp Evil. “Where the hell are you?!”
A muffled giggling arose from a nearby tent and the lich lifted the flap, only to be confronted by the sight of a naked mystic thurge and a zombie gently running a decrepit hand across her chest.
“Wow, I'll say this about you, gorgeous; that's one of my favourite uses for rigor mortis!” she gasped.
“Tsukiko, what in blazes are you….actually, never mind. Get dressed, I need to discuss something with you.”
“Meanie, can't you see I'm entertaining my guest?”
“I'd be hard pushed to say who's entertaining who there but I need your help and it's not something Redcloak will do.”
With a sigh of reluctance, Tuskiko slowly pulled her black dress on and turned to look at the zombie. “Later, my undead stud!”
“Right, here's the gist of it. No matter how many of these worthless peons we send at the wretched paladins, they keep getting stomped. What we need is a new army,” said Xykon.
“Certainly sir,” replied Tsukiko, a scornful tone to her voice. “Would your prefer ancient dragons or pit fiends?”
“Neither,” snapped the lich. “My idea for an army can be created with the simple resources we have around us and a few extremely unusual epic spells I've been working on.”
“Ummm…okay, and I take it you need something vaguely cleric-y to cast them.”
“Alright, so what are the spells?”
Xykon leaned in and began to whisper quietly. She found herself nodding along as he read off the list until he reached the final one, at which point her eyes slammed open.
“Keep it down, keep it down!”
Tsukiko's face was now a mask of pure terror. “And I'm supposed to use it on myself?!”
Xykon skullpalmed. “No, you nitwit! You use the first one on the goblin women in the army, then you use Mass Illusion on what we shall call “Target R”, and then swiftly follow it with Mass Suggestion. Allow a couple of hours for 'nature to take its course'”, he continued, a particularly evil grin forming, “and finally finish with the final spell!”
She relaxed very slightly, although was beginning to feel nauseous instead. “The final spell, I assume it continues its time accelerating effect on the new army shortly after the goblin women have…”
“Yup, so by this time tomorrow morning, we'll have our new warriors and hopefully put several hundred thousand Azurites in psychiatric therapy or six feet under.”
Later that night, a sea of red carpeted the ground near the mess tent. Good, thought Tsukiko, it would make things easier. The goblin women were feeling the effects of an extremely potent Lust spell; too bad for them the men had been ordered to launch a night-time assault on the rear of the city. In a lifetime of evil deeds, this one was really going to tip the scales….
The sea of red disappeared, to be replaced by a duplicate goblin army.
Several thousand pairs of swirly eyes stared back at her.
“Now this is what I want you to do….” she began. When she finished explaining, the disguised army turned and marched towards the women's tents.
A few hours later, the sound of contented snoring filled the air. Muttering to herself, she cast the final spell and felt a mixture of high-grade guilt and sympathy for the poor women in the tents. Before she had even made her way safely back to the command camp, the first hellish scream erupted…
“What is it, lieutenant? And what in the Twelve God's name is that horrible scuttling sound?”
“Perhaps you should look for yourself, sir,” he said, and handed the commander a spyglass.
Peering through, the commander saw a large wave of nightmarish creatures approaching the city. They looked, for all the world, like the offspring of a goblin and a cockroach…