The Serpent Amphora Cycle

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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