The Boundless Empire

the battle of the Acropolis

Leaving the Green Temple ends up to be a hard task. The whole top of the Acropolis is covered by a thick white mould. The air, unnaturally still, is filled with white fluffly pollen. And white fungi are growing everywhere, moving slowly their sapless tendrils, crawling towards the very entrance of the Temple, towards the feet of the trio.
HIgh in the sky a gigantic net of mushroom-tendrils cage Ulutiu the chain-demon. Apparently she did not escape quick enough and she pleas once again Etna for freedom.
To the eye of the Elf this white growing appears obviously not-natural, but when he scrys the Acropolis with his mystic eye he realize that all the white stuff is a huge demon.
As Etna realizes that too, she proofs to be quite confident of her heritage. She steps further, cuts one of her arms with her holy dagger and as her blood drops on the demon she commands him. “Let her free”.
The power of the blood is great. Ulutiu vanishes in the air and the white demon seems to reatreat.
But Karkaroff up in the sky shrieks an alarm: People is coming.
Some of them are just commoners who has been attracted by the strange phenomenon.
But some are coming with bad intentions.
From one side of the Acropolis a group of commoners start to chant a holy song. They have a teardrop amulet on their neck and blades in their hands. They are looking for their fellow cleric Dae, and “the girl who cannot be killed by the plague”.
ON the other side the white demon goes back to his Master: the First Apprentice of the Warlock Prince who is coming to the top of the Acropolis with a small army.
Etna turns invisible and seeks refuge in the Temple.
Laertis turns into a black bird and flies away
Hull manages to mix into the citizens, but after a while he runs back to the temple.
ON the top of the Acropolis the battle between the Weeping Knights and the First Apprentice seems not fair at all: even if skilled into tactics and stealth the clerics are quickly killed by the dreadful Cloudkill spell that the wizard casts 2 times.
In the meanwhile some of the clerics manage to enter the Temple.
Hull calls upon the power of the leather band that he bought on the Sphinx Market and becomes invisible himself (even if the power can be used just once per moon it is useful indeed as he can act without becoming visibile again).
Inside the cave he has a tricky idea, confiding on the fear of the clerics he imitates the voice of the ghost of Dae, he tells them where to find his corpse and gives them instructions to leave the Temple asap and look for the girl in the Low City. His performance is so convincing that even Etna (who is listening) believes firmly that Dae is back and he is protecting her.
Outside Laertis is the witness of the carnage. He sees the clerics leaving the Acropolis (tricked by Hull) but also the Apprentice who is moving with his guardsmen among the corpses of the Weeping Knights.
When The Apprentice enters the Temple, Etna is unfortunately just turned visible.
But before the ugly wizard even tries to speak with her, something violently hits him from the shadows, and more and more.
The Guardsmen tries to save him, his demon becomes a defensive cocoon around him.
But the Scorpion’s tail hit again
And then is the turn of Etna, who manages to use her power and cast some powerful fireballs on ther enemy.
But the cocoon suddenly exudes a thick yellow cloud of poisonous vapors. Hull and Etna can only give their last “coup” and then escape: the cloud makes them dreadfully sick, almost dead.
Laertis flies in, somehow manages to survive the cloud and reach Etna in the dephts of the Temple
Hull (always invisible) did not choose to escape inside, but outside. He runs away untill he fell on his knees and puke all the sickness away. After all the blood he spilled with his whip he feels angry, excited and nauseated at the same time.
Around him the Acropolis looks like a battle field. The sick corpses of the clerics and slayed corpses of the guardsmen are everywhere. The sun slowly sets down…
and in that very grey hour of the twilight a figure stealthy moves on the hill. the man clearly knows his way and enter the Temple. Hull follows him,
Laertis and Etna are surprised when Shabrit, the red Parrot finds them in the inner room of the temple. He is totally upset with them because they came back to the low city, because the Warlock Prince almost found them…but he cannot do much more. The invisible whip of Hull catches him and breaks his neck.
At this point Hull turns visible again at tries to sever the head of the bard.
Laertis has no words left. NOt only the humans kill their own kind with no regret, but show no respect for the dead. When you are dead you count no more. You are nothing. He whispers a curse against Hull and then ask his fellows to leave.
Hull robs the corpse of Shabrit, takes away his jewels, his money and gives his lavish red scarf to Etna.
Then Laertis calls upon the power of the holy nature, to cover with flowers all the dead of the Acropolis. And then he understand how much tainted his the thing that sleeps under the hill. Even if he tries his best no flower sprites, but only crippled thorns.
The thorns cover the top of the Acropolis and wrap themselves around the dead body.
A huge shadow falls down on the Elf, and as nobody in the world seems to understand his angst and solitude he finds once again solace in the wings of Brona, forgotten Crow God of mysteries and secrets.
Then the trio run away.
They will meet soon at the Hexagon. Or so they promise each otherbrona.jpg



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