The Boundless Empire

Blood rules

Whoever sleeps in the Green Temple is not only magically rejuvenated but also experiences powerful dreams…
…Etna is taken back in her lost, forgotten childhood memories, in a lovely summer night of 10 years ago, when her mother tried to sell her to 2 weird guests: a lady with a jewelled arm and a demon called “Raphiel”. The lady was not really pleased to discover that she was half orc, but was nevertheless interested into her fertility and her “gift”. To proof it, she tricked the 4 years old Etna to set her own mother on fire…Etna wakes up screaming. and her screams wake also her fellows.
She doesn’t want to speak about what she saw in her dreams, but eventually she confesses that she killed her mother with her magic. She is “a monster”.
Anyway as her magical gift seems somehow connected to the Temple and its secrets, the trio decides to explore it further hoping to solve the mystery of her past and her blood.
With a fireball Etna destroys a wooden door which was misteriously closed.
Unfortunately as the trio enter the passage no one realizes that they are walking on a magical curse: from a mummified severed head a swarm of black flies fly over them, and then suddenly disappears. Laertis tries to decypher the signs on the floor and discover that the curse affects just the spell-casters, and devours their spells as they try to use it turning them into fat magical maggots. The magical trap looks newer than the temple itself, and apparently destined to somebody who was closed in the passage, not outside.
With their lights they go further revealing a majestic little shrine decorated with lavish frescoes. But they are so old and frail that disappear in shining dust as they touch them. Etna walks into a cascade of colors and gold dust…
In one of the corridor they discover an golden idol of Zaurine, in her Horse Maid shape, with thousands of golden coins as offering. In another room, also dedicated to the Goddess of the Crops, they find a pile of skeletons, each of them decorated with ancient, gold and amber jewels from the Boundless Empire. They must have been nobles or clerics who committed a ritual suicide in the room. Etna remembers that the Lady in her dream used to wear the same kind of ancient jewels.
But there is a third room that really freaks them out: the door is covered with a BAN spell which forbids any demon to pass through. Curiously the door opens softly at the finger touch of Etna.
Inside they find a damp, putrid, smelly cell. In the shadows a voice claims for freedom and piety.
A naked pale woman? how is it possible?
As Etna approaches her, she notices chains moving on the floor like tentacles. Hull is alarmed and then the woman, who is actually a demon, attacks.
Moved by her will the chains dance around the three, building a web of rusty iron, spikes and razors, and then a storm of blades fell down, cutting, and bruising, leaving deep injuries that bleed profusely. The demon, a creature with many eyes and completely black teeth, is delighted. She has been waiting for nourishment for so long.
But when the demon tastes the blood of Etna everything changes
Hull manages to intimidate her, and she becomes really submissive. She mistakes Etna for her Master and beg for freedom. In exchange she gives them the promise not to attack them anymore and she reveals her true name to Etna. She is Ulutiu, and was one of the first demon slave of the Warlock Prince of Ysar. The Warlock Prince himself caged her in the temple, choosing the company of much more powerful demons like Achmaldech and Raphiel.
Etna frees her taking away a magick dagger which was stabbed into the demon’s back.
Then she faints because of the bloodloss and the shocking truth which is slowly becoming clear in her mind.
Hull pleas Laertis to heal her, and the elf (abusing of Hull magic – ignorance) uses his natural connection with dreams to enter Etna’s own dreamworld instead.
He is taken back in that summer night of 10 years ago, when a mysterious Lady and Raphiel the demon slave manipulated the young Etna into killing her mother. He watches Etna fighting against her dreadfulfate, trying to kill the Lady instead of her mother and he can hear the voice, the voice that he fears more than anything “….when you will be old enough, to be fertile I will send you my agents and they will bring you to me, in Lethea”.
Etna’s past is now much more clear: the gift of magic was not in ther mother lineage, but in her father’s. She is the daughter of a orc whore from the Low City and the Warlock Prince himself. But how it could have been possible is still a mystery, and which are the roles of Raphiel, the slave of the Prince, and Hagria Velvena, the Thousand Eyes Queen, who seems to move in the shadows of Ysar?
Determined to find out more the three go on the search of Raphiel, but when they reach the outskirts of the temple they got an awful surprise: all the acropolis is now covered with a white, snow like, mould…hr2_a.jpg

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EmanueleCrotti

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