The Boundless Empire

Burn Burn Burn

Epidemics and plagues are not a good reason to stop having fun: the huge brothel called Hexagon is open as usual, and the square in front of it has been turned into a market where charlatans, herborists, healer, wizards (or wizards-wannabes) are selling ointments and amulets againts death and sickness.
Hull lingers between the stands looking for something interesting and is driven to the flower seller Nezarina, who sells him a red flower for remembrance and promise him a good deal from the Sphinx Market (even if the Low City has been quaranteened she got many contacts with the black.-market operators).
As Etna approaches her the flower seller is awfully distressed and Etna clearly sees that she is more than a merchant… a little demon-familiar in the shape of a blue lizard with a baby face is hidden between the huge breasts of the woman and it reveals that Etna has been cursed.
Hull looks then for more information about the churchmen in a tent, where some believers of the new church are taking care of the sick ones:but they are desperate as no cleric is with them: the prohibition to build a Church on Ysar makes things really worse, no one knows where to find a healer of the Weeping Knights and Marconius is disappeared. Three days before he claimed to go to the Floating Church asking for medicines and never came back.
(in the meanwhile Laertis disguised as a crow is attacked by the kids with stones…and they even manage to get him!!)
suddenly a scream from the streets: the kid that Nezarina sent to the bridge is running back “The guards of the Prince are attacking the Low City”
And when Laertis and Etna look in the sky they realize that the guardsmen are not coming alone: a swarm of lesser demon, with leathery wings and beaks and claws is flying on the roof…searching….
Etna is shocked: they are coming for her. Again.
And the only thing she can to is curling under a bed….waiting that this long nightmare ends.
Laertis and Hull watch the young girl and understand that even if she is the daughter of the Prince, even if she managed to control the demons, she is still a child.
Hull urges her to leave the Hexagon and helps her to escape from a window. Laertis takes the shape of a crow and fly over them. They reach the harbor and steal a boat.
The mission is to reach the Floating City and Marconius. He seems the only one who can heal the plague and the curse who affect the spell-casters
When they dock Hull moves stealthy around and manages to trick a worker…he discovers that Marconius has been arrested by the Inquisition and will be sent soon to Spina to be burned in front of the Red Pontifex.
Hull is fast: Laertis should use his glamour to sneak into the Prison Ship and let him in. Then he will make a distraction to let them escape with the old cleric. So the Elf change his appeareance into an august inquisitor and Etna turns into a drunken hag.
The Inquisitor enters the Prison Ship and search for Marconius.
Hull follows them in the shadow and when they find the cell where the cleric is caged, he swiftly steals the keys
But what a surprise when they learn that not only Marconius has not been arrested: he asked to be burned to cleanse his sins. He is the poisoner who introduced the Plague in the Low City. Death seemed to him a better solution than a life of prostitution, hunger, humiliations…
When they manage to reach their boat the old man beg them to kill him.
The trio ask him if he could remove the curse on them, but he doubts of his own faith.
Etna has tender words for him and he asks her to pray the Goddess together. Maybe she will show her mercy for a poor half-orc and a desperate old man.
And the mysterious power of something above comes over the boat. Etna is healed and rejuvenated.
But when Laertis asks for the same treatment Marconius gives him 2 conditions: first he must swear to protect Etna, second he must kill him after the blessing.
So, as soon the cleric heals him, the Elf calls upon his power: a bird of fire appears between his finger and then hit the cleric burning him to peace….



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