Killing Dae proofs to be hardwork. A real child of the Low City only Etna knows the basics: BURN THEM and CUT THEIR HEAD. In a rush the young girl sets the cleric on fire and then savagely severs his head with her magic dagger. She is scarred and burnt by the flames, but the cleric is now definetely dead. Unfortunately most of the parchments, and drawings he had in his pockets are lost in the fire. Laertis checks his body and finds anyway a lot of interesting vials filled with magic potions. As a cleric of the Water Aspect of the Goddess, Dae must have been really proficient in concotions and other magical mixtures. Hull finds some unexpected gifts too: in the boots of the cleric two beautiful elvish blades were hidden, each of them endowed with magical powers. Laertis is tempted to take them but Hull hides them into his cape.
Noises from the belly of the huge bronze horse distract the group from the robbery.
Hull climbs into the Horse with the help of his whip and discovers the body of another cleric who is not dead: anyway half of his body has been consumed by a powerful acid and the man can only moan and plea for help. The first temptation is ending his suffering by killing him, but maybe he can be used as a source of information first.
After the usual arguing with the elf, the two manage to free the man. Etna is shocked by the scene of the skinless cleric and urge to help him.
Hull interrogates him brutally and then kills him.
Information collected: Dae entered the holy temple in order to catch “The girl who cannot be killed” whose blood can be used to cure the sickness spreading in Ysar. The Clerics of the New Church unfortunately disturbed the ancient powers of the temple and have been killed one after the other.
The group is curious about the secrets of this place and try to go further in the exploration.
They choose a cave opened by the earthquake (at Cataclysm’s time) and follow a natural passage untill they reach a proper corridor. Cut in stone, covered by ancient curses in Imperian Language they find a tomb. And decide to leave it closed. Then they move on and enter a great cave.
But: grey clouds of spores surround them and they start to cough and faint. Hull try to burn the killing mould with the fire of his torch, but only the “great fireball” of Etna (we will not record here her first attempt…) can save them from suffocation.
Under the cave they find a relatively new passage, that leads them to a new level of the dungeon. Here the room has been used for a powerful ritual of conjuration. the corpse of a dismembered child lays in the middle of the pentacle and as the Elf decyphers the inscriptions on walls and floor he understands that the lines has been traced by the same hand of above, the mysterious conjurer with the help of the demons summoned before (Achmaldech and Raphiel) is now calling another most powerful demon (Baenefa).
Apparently going down requires more and more power.
Unfortunately the next gallery is covered by digesting acid and the group decides to go back in the main room and sleep to recollect energies.
There is no more camraderie between the three. Etna can feel the suspicions and murderous tension between Hull and Laertis who disagree on almost everything. Hull distrusts the Elf, who seems to follow his secret and personal agenda focusing only on himself, the Elf distrusts Hull, whose lineage goes back into ancient, bloody times, whose inner beast reveal a corrupted soul…
The last sharp words between the two cast Laertis into a strange reverie:
Northland, ages ago….the Elvish forest has been put into fire and the Legions of the Empire eventually conquers the Elf Kingdom. Three blazons high in the sky: The Gorgon, the Wyvern and the Manticore. The three generals of the Emoire celebrate their triumph: the most interesting prey is the graceful queen of elves who will be sent as a present to the Emperor: naked, chained like a dog with a heavy iron collar, she crawls among the human soldiers who spit and piss on her, covering her and her folk with insults and malediction.
Before she faints she watches fiercely the General who raped her, and his Blazon “The Manticore” casting her last terrible curse on his semen.