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you come to your senses, and flee the gruesome scene.\n\neventually you find your way up and out of the crypt, into an old masoleum. moonlight streams through the doorway, and you can see the stars.\n\nnaked and covered in blood, you go into the night.
you have wonderful dreams.
you stand, drawing yourself up to your full height.\n\nyou feel a strange humming in your head, growing in intensity. your skin begins to faintly glow. you feel a small orb of intense heat glowing in your stomach.\n* [[let the power flow through you|remain calm]]\n* [[try to hold onto yourself]]
for several minutes you stand there, concentrating intensely.\n\nthe priestess and her acolytes watch you with rapt attention. finally, the priestess asks "how may we serve you, mistress?"\n* [[dismiss them]]\n* [[command them to bring you to your temple]]
you run for your life pursued by the howling priestess.\n\nfleeing through twisting tunnels and corridors, you make your way up the stairs and [[out of the masoleum]].
ignoring her pleas, you devour the priestess' soul. her lifeless body collapses.\n\nthe acolytes have only a moment to scream before they are also reduce to cold, grey husks.\n\nyou are filled with [[power, overwhelming|this world must burn]].
[[with a start]] you realize that you don't hear anything at all!\n\nnot your heartbeat, not the sound of your [[breathing]]. nothing.
you flee through the night.
the ropes around your vessel untie themselves and you rise in glory.\n\nthe skin of your vessel glows orange as your true self blazes. the acolytes cower in terror the corner of the room.\n\nthe priestess throws herself upon the floor, praising your name and asking you to [[bless]] your loyal sevants.\n\nyou [[hunger]].
you gasp, and instinctively try to stifle it with your hands, which are pinned to your sides.\n\nthe sound echoes in the room, before returning to [[silence|utter silence]].
<<if $active eq 0>><<set $active = 1>><<endif>>you pass under the right arch, into a long, straight corridor.\n\njudging from the markings on the walls. you appear to be some kind of crypt.\n\nthe walls of the tunnel are lined with flickering candles, and it continues [[ahead|right tunnel]].\n\nsomething is stirring. you feel an impulse to [[go back|small room]].
[[in search of the demon family|begin]]\n\nwords and music by d6\n\n<html>\n<span style="font-size:0.5em">violent themes, highlight for details:<span class="trigger">blood, murder, possession, cannibalism</span></span>\n</html>
the young women are wearing pale robes and hoods, so that you cannot clearly see their faces. each of them carries a torch.\n\n[[back|left tunnel]]
you have a hard time focusing your eyes, but through the smoke, and light, and shadows, it seems as if there are other figures in the room.\n\nyou hear whispering which you don't think is coming from the [[celebrants|ritual]].
"you're lying," she says, smiling. "i can see the confusion and terror in your eyes."\n\nshe turns and continues to [[watch the acolytes]].
the fabric is thin and worn. it has a musty smell, and its dull color is impossible to identity in the dim light.\n\nit's not so much a garment as a blanket that is tied around you with thin cords, binding your arms at your sides. one code binds the blanket at your ankles, a second is around your waist, and a third is wrapped above your breasts.\n\nyou pause listening to the sound of your own breathing.\n* [[struggle to free yourself]]\n* [[lie still and wait]]
your skin feels strangely clammy.\n\nyou close your eyes, willing yourself to either wake up, or to go to sleep.\n\neventually, you hear [[footsteps]]
the figure falls somewhere between angel and gargoyle. it stares angrily into the room.\n\nlooking closely, you notice that the hourglass' time is almost up.\n\n[[back|small room]]
<<set $bound = 0>>you wriggle, eventually freeing your arms from the ropes. a feeling of numbness gives way to pins-and-needles. once your hands are free, you untie the cords.\n\nyou are wearing jewelry that you don't recognize: tarnished copper bracelets, anklets, and a heavy necklace set with unidentifiable stones. looking closely, you see that your skin has been painted with spidery markings and spirals of orange paint. other than these intricate decorations you are naked.\n\nyou stand up and look around the [[room|small room]]
you feel your perceptions expand. the lighting changes, objects in the room become luminous.\n\nyou can pulsing energy webs connecting the acolytes to the magic circle they've drawn. you understand the words of power which the priestess is speaking.\n\npower surges within you.\n* [[ascend]]\n* [[burn]]\n* [[punish|hunger]]
"you were an acolyte, like those two there, until you were chosen. then, you fasted and were ritually purified. in the night, you were strangled. your body was prepared, and brought here into the crypt. you are a vessel, ready to be filled."\n\nhorrified, you:\n* [[try to escape]]\n* [[watch the acolytes]]
you are lying on flat, stone table. the [[small room]] is dimly lit by candles set in an alcove on the far wall.\n\nthere's some kind of chemical taste burning your mouth. its pungent, slightly sweet smell makes you gag. your head aches.\n\nyou are wrapped in some kind of [[cloth blanket]].
<<if $active eq 0>><<set $active = 1>><<endif>>you pass under the left arch, into a winding series of tunnels.\n\nthere is a faint glow coming from ahead of you, and in the distance you hear slow footsteps approaching.\n* [[continue forward|left tunnel]]\n* [[turn back|small room]]
you turn left, ducking under a small doorway.\n\nsquinting in the dim light, you see that the room you've entered has shelves carved into the wall. on the shelves rest skulls and other human bones in neat orderly piles.\n\nthis room must be some kind of ossuary.\n\nyou shiver, and quickly [[duck out|right tunnel]].
the stairs are steep and narrow. you almost trip on them in your bare feet.\n\nthere is a rushing sound in your ears. [[below|right tunnel]] you is the brass door, and [[above]] you the stairs continue.
you lie still in [[utter silence]].
leaving the crypt you ascend into the night.\n\ntime is short, and this world must burn.
this figure seems to be reciting something as it reads. its mouth is open and its face is upturned.\n\nupon closer inspection, the book seems to be a scroll of some kind.\n\n[[back|small room]]
the room is circular with stone walls and a vaulted ceiling. there are two passages out of the room, one to the and another to the right. there is an alcove on the opposite wall holding a group of [[red candles]].\n\neach arch is topped with a winged figure. the left one holds an [[hourglass]], and the right one reads from a [[book]].\n<<if $active neq 0>>you hear distant sounds from the left passage. <<endif>><<if $dread neq 0>>all the hairs on your body are standing on end, as if you were charged with static electricity.<<endif>>\n<<if $bound eq 0>>\n* enter the [[left arch]]\n* enter the [[right arch]]\n<<else>>\n[[back|you are awake]]\n<<endif>>
the priestess draws a curved knife, and rushes towards you.\n* [[you are angry]]\n* [[you are afraid]]
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in search of the demon family
you feel the priestess' strong hands hold you down. "be still!" she hisses.\n\nyou are unable to move, and [[watch impassively|watch the acolytes]] as acolytes finish their preparations.
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the priestess' face drains of color.\n\n"i'm so sorry mistress. i had no idea you were awake."\n\nshe quickly unties you, and helps you to [[your feet]].
<<set $active = 0>><<set $dread = 0>><<set $bound = 1>><<set $power = 0>>[[you are awake]].
you aren't breathing.\n\npanickng you gasp for air. then you stop. you feel no impulse to exhale.\n\nyou begin consciously breathing, in and out, trying to calm yourself down. eventually, you [[give up]]. it feels forced and unnecessary.
you are led through winding passages into a large chamber, decorated with tapestries, burning braziers, carpets, and a large wooden throne.\n\nyou step onto the dais, and one of the acolytes brings you your crown.
they will never stop hunting you.
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you hear faint sounds in the distance.\n\nbehind you, the tunnel leads [[back|small room]] to the circular room. [[side passages]] lead off in various different directions and the tunnel continues [[ahead]].\n\nyou have a growing sense of dread.
you burn with power, incinerating the ropes and cloth that bind you.\n\nyou burn brighter. the priestess screams as her body is consumed and reduced to ash. the acolytes flee screaming as their hair and robes trail fire.\n\nyou rise, burning as bright as the sun, [[tearing yourself out of the earth|this world must burn]].
the women retreat down the winding tunnel towards the temple.\n\nafter waiting a few moments, you turn the other direction and run.
for a moment she is speechless with rage.\n\n"this cannot be! this must not be! you are dead--i strangled you myself!"\n\n[[you stare back at her|draws a knife]].
the young women are wearing pale robes and hoods, so that you cannot clearly see their faces. they move nervously, marking the ground with a light-colored powder.\n\nthey annoint the priestess with oil, and then themselves. the [[ritual]] has begun.
dropping the priestesses lifeless body, you walk toward the trembling acolytes.\n\nyou grab one of them by the arm, pulling her towards you. the other dodges past, fleeing the sound of her sister's screams.\n\nsoon you are covered in blood. [[your stomach is growling]] but [[you must resist these urges]].
one of the acolytes gasps and almost drops her torch. your question seems to surprise them.\n\nthe priestess stares at you, ignoring your question. eventually, she turns to the acolytes.\n\n"it is not her. [[continue the ritual]], and do not be distracted by this one."
your fingers squeeze tighter and tighter, crushing her throat.\n\nyou are impossibly strong.\n\nsomething inside of you is changing, growing, expanding to fill you.\n\n[[it demands more blood]]
as you walk forward the light becomes brighter.\n\nturning a corner, you find yourself face-to-face with a [[robed priestess]], followed by [[two acolytes]].\n\nthe priestess stares at you, first with shock, then hatred.\n\n"[[you]]!"
your thoughts race. are you dead?\n\nwhat is happening? why are you here? these thoughts and more wash over you, as you lie on the stone.\n\ncontinue to [[wait|keep waiting]] or [[struggle to free yourself]] ?
you find yourself inside a small stone masoleum. through the windows, you see starlight and a gibbous moon. there is an open doorway in the far wall.\n\nwhat is your name? what is happening to you? you could [[descend|stairs leading up]] back into the crypt and seek these answers.\n\nor you could escape now. you could [[run and never stop running]].
many of the candles are stubby and have burned down, while others appear to be newer.\n\nthe dark, red wax has pooled on the stone ledge.\n\n[[back|small room]]
<<set $dread = 1>>you reach the end of the tunnel. there is a heavy brass door that is slightly ajar.\n\nyou suddenly feel an impending sense of doom, as if a malevolent presence is seeking you out. your instinct is to curl into a little ball and hide.\n\nthrough the doorway, you see [[stairs leading up]].
it reminds you of hebrew, or possibly arabic. you aren't good with languages.\n\nthe [[ritual]] continues.
the room is filled with a sweet, smoky haze.\n\nthe acoloytes begin a low chant, and the priestesses rich voice fills the room. you don't understand the [[language]], but her voice rises and falls with a ceremonial regularity.\n\nyou feel as if you're in a dream.\n\nthe chanting is getting louder now, and you're hearing other sounds, skittering on the [[edge of perception]]. normally you'd be terrified but somehow you [[remain calm]].
the priestess is a tall woman, with a proud, cruel face and weathered skin. she is wearing a purple robe and golden jewelry, and gazes back at you impassively.\n\n"do you remember who you were?"\n* [[yes]]\n* [[no]]
you motion, and your servants rise.\n\nthey scream as you tear their souls from their bodies. you weave threads of power deftly, forming new vessels. stronger, more beautiful vessels, and better able to serve you.\n\n[[you know what must be done|this world must burn]].
your vision narrows, and you feel the joy of anger.\n\nyou ignore the knife which plunges into your chest, and no blood flows from the wound. there is just a dull feeling, like fingers pressed against your breastbone.\n\nthe priestess' face drains of all color.\n\n"what...?" she begins to ask, as your fingers close around her throat.\n\nyou [[squeeze]].
you give in to the hunger, and the flesh is sweet.\n\nhours later you are satiated. your stomach is bloated like a tick's, and you are covered in blood and gore.\n\nyou are overcome by a deep lethargy, and amidst the bones and torn clothes you [[fall asleep]].
the acolytes quickly assemble a small collection of ritual objects: incense, glass jar of oil, a large metal brazier, as well as other small objects which you cannot identify.\n\nthe [[priestess]] stands next you, watching their progress.\n* [[try to escape]]\n* [[watch the acolytes]]
the priestess is a tall woman, with a proud, cruel face and weathered skin. she is wearing a purple robe and golden jewelry.\n\n[[back|left tunnel]]
by d6
the sounds are coming from the right passage. you begin to see a faint light that grows brighter and brighter.\n\nthe priestess strides into the room, with two acolytes carrying torches.\n* [[ask what is happening]]\n* [[demand to be released]]