The Boundless Empire

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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the Boundless Empire

Everything started in the Hexagon, the most crowded and exciting brothel in Ysar, one of the 5 Free Cities of the South….
Etna, a sassy even if almost naive Half Orc, approached Hul, a blonde stranger dressed in leather, offering him a blow-job (for few coins), as Laertis, a gaunt elf with a really annoying crow, tried to meld into the colourful crowd disguised as an old crippled leper…

Later on, a young prostitute of the Hexagon was accused of witchcraft by the Holy Inquisition.
Etna only spoke in her defence and therefore was arrested and charged as a witch. The other prostitute was eventually burned by the holy flames of the Reverend Mother Agamede.
Admiring the courage of the young half-orc Hul and Laertis rescued her from the prison-boat of the Inquisition (burning it down and risking their own lives. Praised be the ever helpful dolphins of the sea…)

Marconius, a pious cleric whose mission is helping the prostitutes of the Old City, suggested the trio to find a better refuge than Etna’s quarter as a lot of people found her courage too dangerous. A wise suggestion indeed, as some minutes later Pythar, a ruthless nasty pimp of the Guild of the Quarry, dashed in with awful intention. Etna and Hul managed to escape through the roof, but Laertis was left back, attacked and then emasculated by the dwarf (who literally chewed his testicles).
Laertis also noticed that Etna was spied by a demon (slave of the Prince), who tasted the elf’s freshly spilled blood, stating that many people in the High City would pay to have him, dead or alive. Then the bleeding elf fainted away.

Hul (and an androgynous, mysterious cleric, Dae) saved him and managed to reach an abandoned temple that Etna found in the ruins of the Acropolis. The place revealed to be still infused by mystical energies: not only plants and flowers bloomed unnaturally inside, but also no demon was to be seen there. The elf himself experienced strange dreams, as the group discovered that the more time they spent there, the more healthy they became. Reading the reliefs on the walls they learnt that the temple was formerly entitled to Paskaitis and Zaurine, ravenous god and goddess of Springtime and Death, from the time before the Cataclysm.

The cleric, disturbed by the aura of the temple, diagnosed a strange disease in Etna and maybe in Hul too, forecasting the young girl a painful death if a cure was not found and urging the group to leave the place as soon as possible.

Stubbornly Laertis tried then to explore the place by himself and was attacked and almost killed by carnivorous plants abnormally grown in the temple. The cleric saved him with a petrifying potion, but the group also witnessed Etna displaying wild magic which grew in power according to her rage

Deep in the temple they discovered a gigantic bronze statue of a horse (a cauldron used to kill and burn victims for Zaurine) and the trace of more recent fires. Pieces of parchments and mystical symbols revealed that the place was used by somebody to perform powerful rituals of conjuration, and 2 names were found on a sketch :Achmaldech and Raphiel.

In the further exploration of the temple Hul stole jewels from some skeletons (victims left in the temple after the Cataclysm and therefore starved to death) and a ritual dagger too, the argument that followed the robbery, plus the inability to overcome a collapsed room, obliged the group to leave the dungeon, but immediately outside they were attacked by a strange girl with many tricks.

The girl was an eunuch, Shabrit the Red Parrot, working for a minor thieves guild The Masqued Ball. He offered to save Etna from her stalkers, but with a price: the head of Pythar.
The night after Hul tricked the dwarf and managed to kill him. Pretending to save him from turning into an undead he beheaded him in the very centre of the Hexagon.
Grateful (also on a personal level) Shabrit offered the group a lot of money and the help of the Guild (even if his letters where found to be at least “strange”). According to him the Masqued Ball wanted to use Etna as the leader of a revolution in the Low City, in order to overthrow the Guild of the Quarrymen, reject the Inquisition and give better living conditions to the people of the Low City. Laertis only realized that the honeyed word of the eunuch were infused by a powerful charme. Anyway they eventually accepted the protection of the Maqued Ball and tried to find refuge in the High City for a while.

Marconious informed them that a guild-guerilla already started in the streets (with the first gory murders), blessed them and gave Etna a beautiful red scarf as a present.

Hul and Etna crossed the Market Bridge and entered the High City through the Sphinx Gate. The Judge of Bridge, a red haired demon called Achmaldech, slave of the Prince, stated that both of them were somehow cursed.

Hul was then approached by an adept of the Church, a handless Northern who claimed to recognize him from his past. He led them to a luxurious Inn (the Sphinx Sapphire) and promised to come back soon. Laertis reached them in the shape of a black bird.

Needing some time alone, Hul dismissed Etna, who was posing as his maid. Later he met two disturbing twins from Lethea, antiquities dealers, who bought some of the treasure he robbed from the temple and gave him a powerful amber pyramid. He spent his money at the Wizards Market, buying a leather armlet which could grant invisibility.

In the meanwhile Etna and Laertis were tricked by some petty criminals (who actually wanted to steal the magic whip of Hul) and rescued by Achmaldech and the Prince Guardsmen. The Judge of the Bridge was really impressed by the presence of the Elf, an Ancient One, and wanted to introduce him to the Prince himself using an amber pyramid as connection device. But then he was disturbed by Etna’s dagger, claiming to recognize it from his past. He was sure that the Prince himself hid the dagger (and all its copies) with a blood sigil. Anyway he refused to touch the blade and asked the elf to take it from “his orc slave”.

Hul – reached by a magical message of Etna – found out that his fellows were somehow arrested by the Judge of the Bridge. Approached by Shabrit – who charmed him again, and told him to take Etna away from the Prince’s hands asap – Hul saved his friends as Shabrit burned down the Church tent to give them a cover action.

Later in night they went for “clubbing” in the High City. They eventually get into a party in the Lethea’s Embassy where the Elf (dressed like a charming twink) entered a sick lethargic state of mind and Hul eavesdropped the Lethean Ambassador speaking with a bearded man from the North about the “arise ot the Mantichore in the Northland”.

That night another bard of the Parrots helped them to find a better refuge, less exposed than the Inn, a warehouse by the sea with a boat to escape quickly in case of need.

Using the amber pyramid in Hul’s pocket the Prince himself managed to contact the group once again. Through the pyramid he pushed the three to take their own “true visage” and Hul suddenly entered a monstrous metamorphosis.

With her magic dagger Etna destroyed the pyramid freeing Hul by the Prince’s influence.

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do not touch me

Days and Nights are passing on in the new refuge. Maybe a little bit of rest after the frantic last days.
Laertis and Etna spend their time exploring the magical attitude of the litte Half-Orc, Hull roams the city eavesdropping rumors and emptying many pockets.
As he comes back from the high quartiers he brings food and news…unfortunately as the Tent of tge Church as been burned down during a “mysterious riot” the Church found itself homeless, but a pious rich woman of Ysar offered her manor as sanctuary. The Reverend Mother Agamede quickly moved in and the Church finally had what was aiming to for decades: a place on the land.
The prince could not do a lot against it as a new fear is spreading through the population: a burning plague that is killing lot of people in the Low City.
Church claims that the origins of the plague is witchcraft. As the human cannot burn the witches because of the sinful law of the Warlock Prince, the Goddess herself is burning them.
Others say that it comes from the Undead Prostitutes. Fucking with them simply spread the contagion through the inhabitants of the LOw and High city.
Anyway no cure has been found. So the Prince closed the Gate of the Sphinx and quarantined the Low City.
From their place on the abandoned docks our trio can spot new movements in the dark; smugglers that sail between the two cities every night.
One night anyway the smugglers look very strange: first they are properly and richly armed, secondly they do not have any goods but 4 girls in chains.
When one of them falls on her knees, the guards avoid to touch her.
Even if curiousity is always killing the cat…the trio follow the group of guards and prisoners.
Overconfident Hull committs some “mismanevours” and is discovered. He promptly attacks the guards and kills most of them with his deadly whip.
Etna pops out from the Shadows but can not be helpful as her spells don’t work properly.
Meanwhile Laertis in the shape of a crow notices that more guards are coming from the high city and with them there is a strange crippled man with a white bulbous fungus growing on his shoulders.
Freaking out he saves his friends conjuring a great storm of black clouds and ice which eventually gets the attention of the High Tower of Wizardry.
The hunchback is actually the First Apprentice of the Prince.
He sends demons to dissipate the unnatural storm and to investigate the attack to his guards.
Etna turns invisible and runs away.
Hull jumps to the roof and starts to patrol from high. He can see the chained girls been driven up to the HIgh tower in a chariot.
Laertis worried for the demons on the roof tries to save Hull enveloping him in his glamour but touching him and pushing his elven magic inside him to discover the nature of his curse he eventurally triggers the transformation.
Hull grows quills on his back and starts to grin. Then flees away.
Reaching the warehouse he finds Etna and together decides to leave the High City: they use the boat of the guardsmen and row to the LOw City. Thet want to go back to the Acropolis and find a cure for the plague who unfortunately is killing Etna.
Escaped from the First Apprentice, Laertis goesback to the warehouse only to find out that he has been abandoned.
He shouts all his pain and grief in the night like a dying bird.
But he can also notice the First Apprentice sending his own demon on the trail of Hull and Etna through the waters of the Bay of Ysar.

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where is my underwear?

As the cries of the Elf rise up to the starry sky, an unexpected answer comes from somewhere in Ysar…a soft female voice tries to soothe his pain and loneliness, but is disturbed by the presence of another voice. So apparently Laertis is not the only “Ancient One” in Ysar. According to the voice in his mind, they must be at least three.
Meanwhile Etna rows back to the Old City.
As the boat docks, she notices the changes in her hometown: no laughs, no lights, no spiced perfumes, no music, no dancers, no gorgeous whores, no rich lusty customers. Everything is silent and dark. The smell of smoke and the stink of rotten flesh almost everywhere.
On the docks she discovers some cages. People infected with the Plague are closed inside. They will die and then turn into undead and chew each other, or the Merciful Church will come and take them to islands of the Dead.
Filled with grief she cast a fire spell and burn them down.
Then She and Hull reach the Acropolis and find out that the secret temple has been desecrated.
They find some corpses on the floor but Etna is too tired to go on with the investigation and decide to sleep. Hull goes on, alone. And find out that other corpses are lying further in the temple.
Flying with his trustful Karkaroff, Laertis arrives at the Acropolis, he finds Etna sleeping and start to examine her body.
Hull – who is lurking in the shadows – misunderstands his movement and attacks the Elf. He is convinced that the Ancient One is playing with their lives somehow. The Elf reacts with magick. But then eventually Etna wakes up and the group start the exploration of the cave.
First mistery: someone has stolen all the underwear of the little Orc.
Second mistery: no bones are left on the floor of the temple.
When they reach the inner room of the temple, where the huge horse-shaped cauldron stands, their are attacked by a giant BOnes Golem (second mystery is solved).
In its chest a familar creature is caged: Dae, the cleric.
He seems somehow possesed and attack the group, but Etna promptly stab him with her magical dagger.
The Golem collapses.
Dae is dead
In his pockets they find all the underwear of the little orc. are all the mysteries solved for tonite?

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Kill them twice

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.Manticore.jpg

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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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everything comes back

As they leave the underground temple, they discover that all the plateau over the acropolis is covered by a thick, snow-like, mould. Mould – Flakes like gigantic pollen-flakes are floating in the air. A majestic cage of mould and mushroom-tendrils cage Ulutiu, the demon who tried to escape the temple.
To the eyes of the Elf and the young sorceress all the whitness look like a living magical creature.
Ulutiu begs for freedom
And then Etna steps forward. She cuts her arm with the holy dagger, and as her blood touches the demon-mould she can command it.
She give freedom to the demon for the second time, but she is not ready for what is coming.
the demon-mould caught the attention of many commoners (children, people of the low cities). But when the Elf takes his raven form and flies over the acropolis he can spot two groups of people in arms who are coming on the top of the hill with menacing intentions.
From one side the Guardsmen of the Prince, lead by his First Apprentice. On the other side a group of commoner with the holy amulets of the Weeping Knights and blades covered with the holy blood of the Red Pontifex.
The two groups start to fight on the acropolis giving Etna and Hull the chance to hide back in the Temple.
The Weeping Knights are the first to reach the entrance because they knew its location.
Hull uses his magickal armlet and becomes invisible. Then he tricks the Kinights and pretend to be the ghost of Dae. He warns them to find Dae’s corpse and give it a proper funeral but also to go and search for “the girl who cannot be killed by the plague” in the low city. His interpretation of the ghost is sooooo amazing that also Etna believes in it.
Unfortunately the First Apprentice manages to reach the Temple too. Using his powerful Cloudkill spell he kills most of the clerics.He tries to speak with Etna, but from the shadows the Scorpion strikes.
The acid whip of Hull is quick and lethal. It almost kills the Apprentice, if it were not for the Guardsmen and his Fungus-Demon who protect him.
Etna casts some powerful Fireballs and Hull hits again and again with his merciless sting.
The defensive cloudkill of the Apprentice make them escape anyway…
The Guardsmen are dead. The Apprentice disapperead. The Fungus Demon looks like a calcified structure with no life.
Etna and Laeris finds a refuge in the innermost rooms of the Temple.
Hull escapes outside. He is sick because of the Cloudkill but still excited because of the fight. He is the only one to spot a grey figure approaching the temple.
Even if he is not dressing his usual flashy clothes he recognizez Shabrit.
The bard looks for Etna. He seems really worried.
But before he can speak the Scorpion hits. With his whip Hull breaks the neck of the bard leaving both Etna and Laertis speechless
Then he starts to cut his head
Laertis is disgusted. But that’ s how humans think. As you are dead you are worthless.
The Elf watches Hull severing the head of the bard, cutting his nipples and navel to steal his jewells. And he casts a curse on the Thief. Misfortune….
Laertis cannot leave all the dead to their miserable doom. He calls upon all his power to give them a proper funeral.
As the elf channels the power of the ancient gods both Etna and Hull experience a vision: a huge black feathery shadow engulf Laertis. The God of Secrets, Brona the Crow, his next to his last pupil.
But he cannot do really much…the acropolis is tainted and instead of flowers, only black thorns grow from the earth grabbing the corpses of the many dead

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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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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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Last one standing

Exhausted by the night Hull and Etna fell asleep.
Laertis seeks solace in the dark embrace of Brona, god of secrets.
And the waves of sea slowly take the boat far away. Not to the docks of the Low City anyway, but to the insidious shores of the Kraken Island.
Etna only recognizes the fearful shape of the Iron Mountain where the Prince imprisons, tortures and kills his enemies, mostly spell-casters.
The lesser criminals are amputated, their mouth is sewn, their familiar stripped away and then they are left on the beaches to perish.
The demon criminals are skinned and their skins become the flags of the Fortress
But the real enemies of the Prince are taken to the Judge of The Kraken Island, the demoness Baenefea, the pale lady.
The trio is surrounded by revolting frog-like demons, who patrol the shore of the Kraken Island.
Etna manages to burn some of them with her magic fire (even if she seems to prefer her magic light spell… Laertis “Blow them….I mean…with fire” and Etna cast a fountain of rainbow light on the demons)
Eventually the orc-girl is victim of the sleep-inducing spit of the frogs. Laertis and Hull are taken into a huge web-like net. All of them is taken into the prison.
Hull pretend to be faintes
Laertis watches the demons crushing the heads of the other prisoners in anguish
But when Etna wakes up she claims her right to see the Judge herself. She calls upon the power of her blood.
Etna and Laertis are then taken into the third gate of the Kraken island
Hull tries to escape, but in vain. The walls are too high and new flying demon creatures are coming from the sky.
Inside the third gate Laertis and Etna are confronted by the skeletal Baenefea: she asks Etna to walk on a magic stone that proofs the truth of any speaker. Etna claims to be Baenefea’s master and when her blood touches the stone the Judge shrieks. And immediately condemn the girl to death!!!
Laertis and Etna seems overwhelmed by the joined forces of the Judge and her frog servants. But Etna has a secret card to play: she call her own demon-slave “Ulutiu”. And she comes. Ulutiu embraces Etna in her chains and try to escape, claiming that she can save only Etna and all her friends must die. Etna disagrees and cast powerful fireball in the court.
The battle is then chaotic and bloody. Baenefea nearly slay Etna in two, Laertis calls upon all his hexes, Hull hits with his whip.
Baenefea skin is burnt and she reveals her real skeleton-like seeming: in the rib-cage a white heart is pumping magic into the bones.
Etna turns invisible and flees.
Laertis charges Ulutiu with magic
Hull sneaks in and manages to stab the white heart with his bony dagger. in this way the demoness cannot cast any spells. So, she plays her own card and awake “Raphiel”.
Etna sees in terrore the henchman-stone waking up and turning into a gigantic stone golem.
She escapes but the drop of blood that she leaves reveal her position. Hull reaches her and manages to open the gate. The last one is anyway too difficult to open. But Etna can cast some more fireballs and then Hull can kick the gate down.
ON the shore they have an awful surprise indeed: they are sorrounded by the Kraken island guardsmen. And once again they run.
Meanwhile Laertis and Ulutiu stop Baenefea and the Elf steals her white magic heart.
Then they fly to Etna.
Raphiel the golem is still looking for her and the girl want to face him alone.
She stands in front of the golem and touches him with the palm of her hand covered with her blood.
The stone cracks down revealing the beautiful demon inside.
Etna seems to recognize him, and the Hull gives her the scarlett flower of remembrance.
So she collects her memory back: after killing her mother, the queen gave her to Raphiel to be educated, but soon after that they were struck by a magical attack: Raphiel has been kidnapped (and then turned into a stone) and Etna was saved by Nezarina the flower seller.
Now Raphiel asks her if she is ready to fulfill her destiny: she must follow him and go to Lethea where the Queen can teach her magic and give her the power to kill the Prince.
Laertis is terrified.
He put his finger on Etna’s forehead and gives her the vision of his past as a puppet at the court of the Queen and then as victim of her experiments.
But before Etna can give her answer Raphiel wraps both of them into his angelic wings and flies away. Leaving Hull alone on the Kraken Island beach.
The young thief seeks refuge in the rocks. The night is coming down and he has no boat to leave the island. Moreover everybody must be looking for him.
Exactly….everybody…
“Tonite I lost a daughter but I may have found a son” it’s just a whisper in his mind.
“I have been watching you all this time. You almost killed my Apprentice. You hit deadly from the shadows. You are a real scorpion, my dear. Would you like to become the Prince’ scourge? Would you like to kill all my enemies?”
Hull is surprised by the voice. But he has been trained to speak with nobles and princes since his childhood. So he asks “And what shall I have if I say yes?”
“I will free you from the beast within, I will give you time to leave as human at my side”
Hull agrees
“Done. I will wait you at my tower. you will find a boat on the shore and none of my servants will harm you. I will train you, I will make you even deadlier, so when the Queen will strike back, when my daughter will claim my throne, you will be ready to hit them, from the shadows”
and we will see who will be the last one standing…demon_stairs.jpg

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