Conan: Blades of Shadizar

Chapter I, Session I, Part V

The Fall of Kara Prama

From the Memoirs of Darius the God Slayer

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As we quietly entered the shadowy chamber, I began to question the wisdom of our decision. I found myself wishing that there had been more time to properly study the scrolls we had found. Something about the wording of the ancient Zhemri text nagged at me. I had begun to suspect that there had been more to the wording than I had uncovered at first glance. Alas, there had been no such time available to us and now it was far too late. Padding softly behind the assembled devotees, we saw Lady Nehira preparing the virgin upon the altar. Danyo and I shared a glance and then continued forward, the cultists parting before us. Lady Nehira looked up from her preparations. Noticing us, she approached, the crown crating a path between us.

“Kilya…” she said, not seeing through my disguise. I am sure the darkness of the room had much to do with it. “I have you a gift, lady.” I responded, hoping that my voice would not destroy my disguise. I am uncertain whether I am actually that good, or whether she pays that little attention to her underlings, but she smiled in response and eyed Danyo. “And the other?” she asked, not sparing “Kilya” a glance. “On the way, lady. I thought it best to bring you this right away.” I responded. “Good,” she purred, approaching us and examining Danyo with a predatory eye. It was at this moment I realized that Danyo and I were the only individuals in this chamber who were actually clothed. I prayed silently to all the gods I could think of that this would not put my disguise into jeopardy.

Lady Nehira took Danyo by the hand and led him to the altar while I followed silently, my presence forgotten. Standing by the altar, Nehira’s hands went to Danyo’s tunic to remove it in preparation for the ritual. Wasting no time, I struck. My stiletto struck true, and Nehira fell to the floor. No one in the chamber had time to react before a disembodied voice echoed through the chamber. “Your sacrifice is accepted.” The voice was at once female and inhumanly sinister. What I knew must be Kara Prama appeared before us on the altar. The giant, winged, female form shrunk down to human size and she said, “This one’s usefulness had passed.” She smiled, the inhumanly green eyes below the small horns protruding from her forehead glittered with malevolent amusement. She turned her gaze to Danyo, and I saw his eyes go blank as he fell under her power.

I knew at this moment that we were in trouble. I had to think fast. My reading of the scroll had been far too cursory, and I admit to you that I had neither expected to face a being of this power nor held any certainty that such an engagement would result in anything other than pain and death for Danyo and myself. As Kara Prama began to undress the unresisting Danyo, her very touch inflaming desire in her sacrifice, I accepted the fact that I was entirely alone in this moment. The scroll, I remembered had revealed that Kara Prama was peculiarly susceptible to the blood of a virgin. With this in mind I moved towards the altar. I hoped that “Kilya” preparing the virgin would not be something entirely out of the ordinary. The razor sharp tip of my stiletto caused no pain or discomfort to the virgin on the altar as it ran across her flesh. It would leave no noticeable scar, but it did prove enough to anoint my stiletto. I drifted into the background and found my opening to strike.

Kara Prama, it seemed, shared Nehira’s arrogance. She had taken no more notice of me as she focused her attention upon poor Danyo. I plunged my stiletto into her before the opening had passed and gripped the shortsword I had hidden on my person. Kara Prama screamed in agony as the blade and the virgin’s blood it was anointed in did their work. She turned, her rage and surprise evident. I pressed the attack, now with two blades, ducking low as Kara Prama swung her claws.

Kara Prama’s death scream shook the chamber, sending her cultists into panic. Danyo, now free of Kara Prama’s domination, shook his head as if to clear his mind of her evil. Danyo caught the shortsword I tossed to him and pulled the girl off of the altar as I swiftly relieved Nehira of her adornments. She was dead and no longer had use for the. The chamber continued to shake. If I understood rightly, Kara Prama had been bound to this temple by our Zhemri ancestors. The ritual had been intended to release her. Now, with her death, the temple was collapsing. We moved to make our escape from this crumbling temple as cultists ran screaming. Heading towards the only exit we knew of, we found our access blocked by a captain of the Royal Guard!

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