Friday, August 12, 2011

Temple Of Torture

Hercules approached the valley of the Egyptian priest known only as HEM NETJER…Egyptian for servant of the gods. King Eurytus of the Greek land of Oechalia, open-minded and generous to a fault, had allowed the stranger refuge from persecution in his homeland but was not comfortable with the man inside the royal city. So, the king sent the priest to a valley at the far reaches of his kingdom to live in peace and relative seclusion. However, not long after that, reports of young men mysteriously disappearing made their way to the king. He sent his son, Prince Iphytus, the strongest and bravest of the clan, to investigate the disappearances. When Iphytus failed to return and word made its way to Eurytus of a magnificent temple having appeared almost overnight in the valley, the king asked Hercules to investigate and bring home his son. Hercules could not deny his former mentor and friend or the lust for adventure that ruled his soul. 

Cresting the final hill of his journey, Hercules saw a massive and majestic temple in the distance and knew that no mortal men could have built such a structure in years let alone in days…but there it stood, ominous and pulsing with an energy the demi-god recognized immediately as pure evil. The awesome structure glowed with power, seeming to suck the very light from the valley and at the same time emitting a mist that permeated the valley floor with an eerie luminosity. Even in the heat of the Greek sun, an unaccustomed chill caused the huge muscles of Hercules’s powerful body to tighten in the presence of malevolence like none he had encountered in all his adventures and travels before. 

While the temple still held its secrets close, the mystery of the disappearing young men was answered. Looking down into the valley, Hercules saw small groups of young men making their way across the valley and into the mist surrounding the priest’s temple…and to his surprise, he smelled a cloying scent on the air and felt a peculiar pull toward the temple himself. However, fearing no man, no beast, and no priest and trusting in the blood of the gods running through his veins to protect him as it always had, Hercules joined a pair of young men on their dark journey toward the temple seeing immediately their dazed expressions…under some wicked spell, these men and his own troubled senses were signs to the mighty man to move with care as the priest’s magic was obviously strong. The powerful demi-god bravely moved with the two young men on their strange journey toward the Egyptian temple and a fate he could not yet imagine.

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