Tantrum of the Damned

There is no word in the English language that invokes more terror than “Tantrum.” Anyone who has ever taken a toddler to a grocery store, or an eighth grader shopping for school clothes, or seen an episode of “Bridezilla” can immediately empathize with the horror of witnessing somebody melting down in public. But when the person throwing the tantrum is a lich, specifically the Viceroy, then the tantrum goes from merely embarrassing to terrifyingly dangerous.

What happened was this; the Viceroy had concocted a perfectly treacherous ploy to maximize his invasion of Fanolania and it had been thwarted to a degree that staggered the imagination. He had placed a curse upon his Grand Army that would last exactly three days. In that time Lord Verrat would be able to move his forces into position across the bridge that Lyllyth had conjured and would clash headlong into the forces that King Carlobar Martel had set up just south of the ruins of Jivet-au-Marruse. The curse was a master stroke of dark sorcery that combined the powerful spellcraft the Viceroy had garnered from the spellbooks of Selkirk Deathtree and the monstrous contribution of le Duc, the nightmarish ruler of Condamner. Anyone under the sway of the curse would during that three-day period animate as a ghoul immediately upon being killed and given the uncontrollable urge to attack any Fanolanian they encountered. There was a deliciously evil twist to this, too. Anyone killed by these ghouls during the first day of their existence would themselves become ghouls possessed with the urge to slay Fanolanians. For one day they too would be able to create ghouls, and so forth until there wasn’t anyone left to slay and turn into a ghoul, or until the timers ran out in which case the ghouls became mundane skeletal undead mindlessly attacking whoever they came across. Activated in the heat of a close battle this curse would have been incredibly destructive, doubtlessly laying waste to Fanolania as a wave of undead surged from the battlefield.

But then the Troublemakers staggered in and ruined everything. The Viceroy didn’t know how they managed it because his imbedded spy was as useful these days as a pair of sandals in a snowstorm. Somehow these bumbling idiots had found a way to kill virtually every single Lotharingian soldier in the Grand Army while they were bivouacked in Forêt Verte. And so in the middle of the night these hapless casualties were turned into undead that promptly went completely nutters and rampaged across the bridge into Fanolania to begin attacking anyone they encountered. A fair number of soldiers allied to the Viceroy, namely the troops he had badgered into service from Söldnerland, took it upon themselves to slaughter a good number of these ghouls before being cut down themselves and turned into ghouls. The troops from Sachsen up and fled the scene entirely, making their way with haste to Condamner and relative safety. The vast majority of the soldiers from Söldnerland began withdrawing towards Oublier, leaving a pittance of undead warriors to head into Fanolania and prematurely commence their assault. It was an unparalleled disaster for the Viceroy. His secret weapon had gone off three days too early, before any actual planning could have been leveraged to take advantage of it, and there wasn’t even anyone to cuddle with in the afterglow.

This is what triggered the greatest tantrum anyone in Partum had ever beheld. The Viceroy had the presence of mind to dispatch Untote Druuna to wreak havoc on the Fanolanians to try and make some sort of victory out of the mess that had been made. The dracolich was terrific and did her job well, scattering entire regiments and devouring dozens of Fanolanians along the way. But in Untote Druuna’s lair the Viceroy was on his own rampage. Untote Nessa was on hand to see it in all of its fury, and Lord Verrat had the insight to seek refuge elsewhere. The Viceroy raged for hours, conjuring up one spirit after another only to rend them into oblivion with a howling wail even Untote Nessa couldn’t compete with. When her task was complete, Untote Druuna returned to her lair and almost immediately wished she hadn’t. While nobody understood the Sikilian curses being screamed by the Viceroy they did understand that none of this was good. And unlike the toddler in the grocery store there wasn’t going to be any sort of reconciliation in the parking lot or at home. The anger of the Viceroy was going to have to play out in another way.