They didn't have time to relax. The keep's defenders knew where the team was, and masses of undead warriors were streaming down stairs to meet them. The knights and barbarian stepped forward, weapons drawn; the putrid ranks of zombie swordsmen drew nearer. The ranger looked up, drew her bow and fired into one of the tower's windows, killing one of the necromancers directing part of the horde, the corpses under his command falling to the ground inanimate as his own life left him, but bolts of dark fire shot out at the party, searing the ranger's arm and forcing her back. The three warriors were effortlessly plowing through the horde of undead, and Declan concentrated, preparing for another spell...
And then the tide of undead rolled back. The central tower gate was open, and out of it, moving with a deliberate slowness, every step felt in the ground like a deep hum, stepped a figure clad head to toe in black armor, inscribed with runes and glyphs that shone with the sickening glow of arcane power. The figure drew his sword, and as a wyvern fell to the ground behind him, he pointed at the party.
"You have come to destroy us, to lay waste to our lands and to drive us into oblivion. You have come to rob us of our glory, to erase our knowledge, to defile our legacy. You who have come here as invaders, intending to blind us, I say to you: You shall not pass!" The death knight drew a line in the ground with his sword. "I will not let you through. Face me in battle, and you will lose." He looked around, the helmet seeming to sniff the air, the red glow behind the eyeslits intensifying. "Yes. Because you are afraid of death. And I... I have made death my mistress." He approached the party, sword drawn and menacing each of them in turn. "Now FIGHT ME!" His cry became a chilling animal howl that chilled his living opponents. The knights and barbarian regained composure first; they ran at the death knight, swinging their weapons.