Alt-Magic Recap — Episode 65: The Hellblazers in Hell Part 1

Alt-Magic Campaign
Episode LXV
The Hellblazers in Hell Part 1

cast

Abraxas Silvermane the Wizard (Connor), Akkamas Mohaïva the Warlock (Mike), Braxton Chabbone the Spellbound Paladin (Steve), Jone Constance the Occult Detective (Aaron), Kelwyn the Druid (Rodney), Tim the Rogue/Ranger (Shaun), & Bob the Dungeon Master

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This Recap was written by Connor (Abraxas)

After the fall of the Winter Court, our heroes took some time to rest, going their own ways in the City of Waterdeep. But the call of adventure urged them to complete one last mission together: To slay the Demon Lord Baphomet once and for all. Yes, they had offered Auspicia Dran the Demon’s head on platter, but that was not the only reason our heroes did this. Baphomet was an evil creature that hated them with a passion, and it would seek vengeance against them and their city, unless they killed the creature in its home plane.

And that was the strange part about all of this. For they had been made aware of the fact that the outer planes were changing, mirroring the changes that had arisen on the material world. The “Abyss” and the “Nine Hells” had been altered, and now Avernus, once the first layer of Hell, had become a home to the Demon Baphomet.

Avernus2

This was, as it turned out, fortuitous, for a portal to Avernus had been discovered in the bowels of Blackstaff Tower, granting the Hellblazers an easy pathway into the infernal realm.

After meeting with the Dran Sisters, who wanted to see the death of Baphomet with their own eyes, the Hellblazers activated the portal into the Avernus, appearing in a ruined cathedral dedicated to the Goat of Mendes. In this cathedral, the party saw a number of familiar faces, each one glaring at them with dark eyes.

In the assembled crowd they saw Margarite and Donal Falcone, the dead members of Force Grey, and the even the slain servants of the Dran Sisters, such as Lord Havenrest and Picklebeard the Dwarf. Also among the crowd were people that didn’t belong in Hell, but had been trapped there anyway, like the kind druid Du’ra and their old friend Ziyal. Standing at the head of this crowd was Dorian Neverember, who looked like he was preaching in a wordless language.

Avernus

The party moved quickly, not wanting to remain in this place for long, but soon the vacant eyes of the dead turned to the Hellblazers acknowledging their presence at last. Jone was first to strike, damaging a host of the dead spirits before they had a chance to strike. A portcullis dropped, preventing them from escaping, while a number of spirits closed in around them. Dorian called out to the Hellblazers, explaining that Baphomet wanted them dead, and that these spirits hungered for a good meal.

A fight broke out as the tortured souls descended upon them, targeting the Dran Sisters specifically. Tim cleared a path for Portentia and Auspicia’s escape, while Kelwyn summoned a storm of fire magic that decimated the spirits.

Abraxas created an illusion of Baphomet, who called off the attack, claiming that it wanted to kill the Hellblazers itself. The entire horde dropped to their knees in reverence…except for Dorian, who recognized the illusion for what it was. He raised his hand to cast a spell, only to have its magic sapped away by Abraxas.

With the horde distracted, Braxton and Tim were able to lift the portcullis, allowing the group to flee into a small courtyard. The illusion of Baphomet vanished then, but not before condemning Dorian for having a crisis of faith. Abraxas smiled as he left Dorian with the angry–and still hungry–spirits.

From the small courtyard, the party went north, seeing a gallows operated by a number of skeletons. The subjects being hung, to the groups horror, were Wilbough Waggons, and the half orc Toman. Tim, with an impressive shot from his bow, severed the rope that Wilbough was meant to hang by, while Jone teleported to Toman’s side and cut him free. Meanwhile, Braxton and Akkamas slaughtered the skeletons that threatened their allies.

Abraxas, seeing move skeletons on the way, created an illusory wall and promptly walked through it, showing the skeletons that it was an illusion. The skeleton followed him, only to crash painfully into the “illusory” wall, shattering their ancient bones. Illusion Wizards…what can I say?

avernus 1

While the battle raged, Kelwyn and Portentia Dran investigated a side tunnel, uncovering a room with a red wizard and a summoning circle contained within. They decided to inform the group of their discovery instead of fighting the wizard on their own.

As the battle with the skeletons turned in the Hellblazers favor, Abraxas remembered something: Wilbough was still at Blackstaff Tower! He had spoken to the halfling that morning! Using his true sight, the Wizard looked at both Wilbough and Toman curiously. To the group’s horror, they saw Abraxas strike Wilbough in the back of the head, causing the halfling to vanish into black smoke. “This one was Littlecrow and the other one is Broose-Gunter!” he cried.

canoloth1Braxton turned, only to be grappled by the thorn-covered tongue of the canoloth, who had assumed its true form, and began to drag the spellbound paladin away. Akkamas called out to his former familiar, but Broose-Gunter would not listen to him, being a servant of Baphomet alone.

Tim raced across the field and delivered several mighty and devastating blows in an attempt to free the paladin, but it was too late, Gunter teleported away with Braxton in tow. Silence fell upon the group as they considered what to do. Jone and Auspicia had found the catacombs from which the skeletons had arisen, but that proved uninteresting to them. Their best bet was the portal that had been uncovered by Kelwyn and Portentia.

But the group felt that time was of the essence, so they suggested a wish spell. After hearing some suggestions from the group, Abraxas began the spell, taking them to Braxton’s current location.

They appeared beside the paladin at the bottom of a great canyon. Lava poured from the walls, creating rivers and pools all around them. Further up, they saw Baphomet on its throne, with Boose-Gunter and Littlecrow and its side.

Arkhan

On a small outcropping, Arkhan the Cruel and his Wizard advisor fought for their lives against a horde of Kobolds. It seems that Bapohmet had lied to Arkhan after all. And higher still, watching the chaos from above, was Tiamat, bound with infernal chains.

Beside the five headed dragon was a wrinkled human wizard, missing a hand and an eye. This was Vecna, the mortal who had been slain at Jocasta’s Tower long ago–not a god–but another mortal who had faced and fell to the Hellblazers. This was the Vecna of their current timeline, and he wanted revenge, as did all others in the lair of Baphomet.

Avernus3

This was going to end (badly), one way or another…

to be continued

 

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