The Cathedral bells ring out once. The Cardinal stands back from his window high in the Cathedral tower looking out over the black skyline. The priests shift uneasily, nervously eyeing the artefact on the table.
“Yes,” answers the Cardinal, unasked, “it is of human origin.”
“Do we advise the King of this?”
“No!” snaps the Cardinal “Know’s thou not his condition? ‘Twould send him beyond the confines of sanity. We must excavate further. Perhaps summon some trusted friend at court who can lend aid in case…”
Work in the crypt has unearthed an unsettling find: a charred skull, the bone deformed in a mask of pain. Coincidence, then, that the King’s sleep is disturbed by dreams of avenging burnt skulls?
Ten centuries ago, forgotten to even the history books, King Aralon II persecuted the Lamezzites, having them slaughtered and massacred. The priests of the Cathedral took pity on them, offered them secret asylum in the extensive catacombs below the Cathedral. But the then Cardinal, Elian XI, was corrupt and, tempted by the offers of gold betrayed the Lamezzites to the King. The King had the catacombs filled with boiling oil and sealed, before executing Elian for his treachery in offering the Lamezzites asylum in the first place. As the Cardinal’s body hung lifeless from the castle walls, the bodies of the dead Lamezzites scalded and charred in their appalling tomb.
The years have passed and the spirits of the dead want retribution for the ancestral misdeeds. The catacombs have been opened by the recent crypt extensions, and the first of the thousand skulls has been found.
Right now, though the priests and their friends from court stand before the newly opened catacombs ready to explore…