The Serpent Amphora Cycle

Chapter 2: To Vesh

Five days after the party arrived in Lave, the Lord Commander, Kelemis Durn, Leader of Vesh and Master of the Vigilants, sat behind his oaken desk. There, with quill in hand, consulting his ancient handbook of the Tongue and Quill, the leader of the free world penned a missive while addressing his seneschals. “Send copies of this, with my seal, to the Company of Stalwarts, the Bronze Arrows, and the group that brought the amphora to us.”

Putting the quill back in the pot, Durn grabbed a handful of sand and spread it across the ink, helping blot it and speed its drying upon the parchment. He paused and reviewed the letter slowly. It read:

My Friends:

Please forgive the suddenness of this message. It is imperative that I speak with you; for some of you, word of your exploits has reached me. Others of you, I know personally.

A situation has arisen that demands action, but I fear that my Vigilants are hampered, quite frankly because they are too well known. We need someone of strength and dedication who is willing to undertake a task of no little danger. Rest assured, I would not seek to use outsiders unless it were absolutely necessary and the task is of utmost importance.

I would ask that you come quickly as you might to the Hall of Command here in Lave. Present this letter, and yourselves, to Trophion, my major-domo. Time is of the essence.

With kind regards,

Kelemis Durn
Home Commander of Vesh

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Chapter 1: The Serpent Amphora

In the Dread Citadel at the heart of the Hornsaw Forest, Hielaa the Storm Hag limped in to the ritual chamber, still bleeding from where Chardun’s damnable chain devils had torn away at her hag skin. Her putrid green-mixed-with-purple blood still slowly oozed down her warty legs. Slowly, she turned her gaze across the ritual chamber and beheld the inner circle of the Dar al Annot: the red witch slitheren, the asaatthi snake-sorcerers, and the venomous druids. All of whom were gathered in a semi-circle around the throne at the back of the ritual chamber.

There, she sat. The Blood Crone. Mormo’s strongest servant who still walked the Scarred Lands. “You have failed me, Hielaa,” the Crone hissed.

Hielaa knelt to the Blood Crone. “Mistress, I fail to understand why this little Serpent Amphora is such an important thing. Why should Chardun seek to protect it so much that he’s willing to deliver it into the hands of his divine rivals?”

After what felt an interminable time in silence, the Blood Crone leaned forward and (with a sickening retching noise) vomited up the still beating black heart of Mormo the Serpent Mother. Hielaa snapped to her feet quickly, startled, horrified, and awed at the visceral heart of her spiritual mother.

“That is why,” the Blood Crone said simply. “Now… do not fail me again, else I shall turn you over to someone truly foul, like the Autumn King. Find the trio who carries the Amphora and put an end to them.”

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