Beyond the Veil
The treacherous first queen of Easteral
Long ago, Alexa was the shining light on a beacon of hope throughout the world. In the wake of the fall of Arkhosia, Stephen the Great and Alexa rallied mankind beneath the Sunfire Banner, and went on to found what would become the greatest human empire history had ever known – the Kingdom of Easteral. Alexa bore Stephen four children, and to the people of Easteral, their marriage seemed perfect.
Sadly, not all was as it appeared. While Stephen was engaged on the war front, Alexa became infatuated with a strange man whose name and past have been stricken from history, one who is only ever referred to as the Wretched. Some say he was an enchanter hungry for power, and that he used ancient magic to convince Alexa to betray her husband. Others believe Alexa had grown bitter in her new role as wife and mother, and that she resented Stephen for keeping her from the battlefield. Whatever the case, the pair conspired to poison Stephen and overthrow his fledgling empire. Their plot was successful, but it was not long before Alexa’s treachery was discovered, and she was forced to atone for her crimes by her own children, who placed the brunt of the blame on their mother.
They agreed to condemn her to the terrible fate recommended by the greatest magi and religious scholars of the empire – she would spend all eternity in her husband’s tomb as a twisted shadow of her former self. Furthermore, the traitor would always wear the key to the massive crypt, although she could not cross the threshold of her chamber as long as she held it. If she could seduce a hapless wanderer into taking the key and unlocking the door for her, she would earn her freedom. Locked in her husband’s tomb, guarded by deadly traps and phantom sentinels, the likelihood of this opportunity was virtually nil.
Alexa remained in her chamber for hundreds of years, and the solitude has driven her completely mad. She has learned to project frail copies of herself, which can be used to drain the life from any poor fool who should draw her ire. She usually sat by the fire before her dressing table, endlessly combing her long, blond hair, and waiting…until…
A group of six adventurers happened upon Alexa while trying to escape King Stephen’s tomb. She convinced them to take the key across the threshold for her, and the consequences were dire. The act drew the wrath of the tomb’s guardians, forcing the heroes to flee for their lives. Only a few would ever escape the tomb alive. Through the haze of battle, the mad phantom that was once the first lady of the Sunfire Kingdom slipped out into the world…