Into the Belly of Death
Abraxas Silvermane and Stigandr (Connor), *Akkamas Mohaïva and Tiefling Monk (Mike), **Braxton Chabbone and Kyrian (Steve), Jone Constance (Aaron), Kelwyn (Rodney), & Tim (Shaun)
The Hellblazers and The Highwayman’s Lute confront each other in the Trollskull Alley hovel where Jone‘s shingle hangs: Constance Investigations. The Lute explain that upon returning to the Prime Material from the Shadowfell they learned that history had been changed and they continued on to Waterdeep to investigate. They had been tasked to find the Hand of Vecna and that trail led them to the Hellblazers. Kyrian‘s magics revealed their hand in the altering of the time-stream and the Hellblazers were forced to explain the part they played in it.
It was determined that they needed to win back Malhavok‘s soul from Orcus, the Lord of the Undead, to help set things right and see to unraveling Tiamat‘s hold on Albatheos.
Meanwhile, Tim and Jone discovered a succubus in Jone‘s loft bedroom. Jone was instantly charmed and began to disrobe as both parties converged on the room. Kyrian interrogated the fiend, learning that the succubus was bound to Trollskull Manor by Tiamat herself and charged with serving the occult detective, revealing that the Dragon Queen was able to “see through her eyes and hear through her ears”.
Kyrian dispelled the planar binding on the succubus in exchange for her to agree to teleport one of them to Thanatos in the Abyss, knowing that the rest of the combined parties could be plane shifted by Abraxas.
As soon as the spell was lifted, Tiamat’s Four Dragonriders of the Apocalypse materialized in the room, prepared to attack. Their leader was Wilbo Waggins, the diminutive halfling rogue who had, in the former timeline, been a friend and compatriot.
Sensing that discretion was the better part of valor, Tiefling Monk grabbed the succubus and Dimension Doored into a nearby alley while Abraxas gathered the rest and shifted to Thanatos…
“The Hellblazers’ Lute” found themselves in the Abyss at the mouth of a gaping, foul-smelling temple set into a cliffside, a frigid sea, violent and tumultuous, at their backs. The temple was crawling with undead though the majority of them were easily turned by the combined efforts of Jone and Akkamas. Tim, Braxton, and Kelwyn made short work of the stragglers as Abraxas called out Orcus, demanding he appear before them.
Tiefling Monk and the succubus teleported into the temple as Orcus arrived in his full glory, towering fifteen feet high, clad only in a loincloth and wielding his infamous wand. He was angered beyond measure and the temple shook with his fury. Tiefling Monk stepped forward and greeted her grandfather, begging him to spare all their lives. The demon agreed so long as all pledged to not stand against him when Tiamat fell and he took control of Albatheos.
While many made the vow, it was obvious that Kelwyn was going to refuse this demand of fealty. Abraxas‘ wheels were turning. He had hoped Orcus would be bearing the soul of Malhavok, but it wasn’t on him. He quickly hatched a plan, advising Braxton to cast locate object on the soul sphere and use its power to rewind time three hours, then return Malhavok‘s soul to him and they could all then figure out the best way to repair their timeline.
Abraxas then teleported across the room and broke the Staff of the Magi over his knee.
The retributive strike sent Tim scrambling out of the way as Jone Misty Misstepped out of the chamber all together. Orcus‘ body was ravaged, with chunks of torn flesh hanging from his massive frame, the wizard lying dead at his feet. He howled with rage as Kelwyn lashed out, creating a powerful earth elemental to combat the demon lord. It manifested inside the great cthonic statue that loomed behind Orcus.
Meanwhile, Braxton cast Locate Object. The soul sphere was inside the statue come to life! He grabbed Kyrian and Dimension Doored to the altar, intent on securing Cthulhu’s Eye, but Orcus lashed out, casting Power Word Kill. Braxton shrugged the spell off, but the Demon Prince’s tail found its mark. The paladin gasped as its poison raced through his system, killing him where he stood. With his last dying breath he charged Kyrian to claim the eye.
Tim and Kelwyn had harried Orcus, leveling devastating blows to the Lord of the Undead, but as his attentions turned toward Kyrian, Stigandr charged forth and distracted the fiend as his compatriot rested the eye from the statue’s socket. The soul of Malhavok entered Kyrian and, inflamed with his power, the bardic detective cast disintegrate on Orcus, destroying the Demon Prince.
Tim took up the Wand of Orcus as the party surveyed the devastation. Two of their party were dead — Abraxas Silvermane and Braxton Chabbone — and they were all in desperate need of a moment to reflect and plot their next course.
Yowza. Two dead and Kyrian has the power of Malhavok. Orcus, the Demon Lord of the Undead vanquished? Where on earth will this story go next? Tune in two weeks from now to find out…
( * ) Played via Skype
( ** ) Absent/Ran by DM
( *** ) Online Play via IM or Email
( + ) Had to leave early
( – ) Arrived late