The night’s events opened with the party encamped in the shadow of an ancient iron fortress on the bleached, scorched plains of Pazunia, a perpetual blood red sun hanging overhead in a copper green sky. Heaps of corpses and carrion lay strewn across the battlefield and were heaped at the foot of the fortress’s rusted yet formidable walls.
The PCs were approached by a mysterious demon, wreathed in continual flames with tattered skeletal wings, who emerged from the iron edifice. He suggested that he would allow the party to use the inter-dimensional portal within the fortress if they would assist him by killing another demon, an enemy who had been dispatched by an unnamed adversary to make a final assault on the fortress. Reluctantly, the PCs agreed.
The battle did not go well. The demon, a towering twenty foot tall blue skinned monstrosity shod in iron with cloven hooves and horrific horns, dominated the PCs and would have utterly annihilated them had it not openly disdained fighting such an inferior foe and left the field of battle. The demon forced its way into the fortress and, intent on fulfilling its mission, began to wreak havoc within.
Left with few options, the PCS (Aeschere, Ardyth, and Elizar) rested for a day and then entered the fortress through its now ruined and blasted portal to re-engage their enemy. The second encounter did not go better than the first. In fact, it went worse. The PCs fought a desperate fight, but when all was said and done, Elizar was slain, gored and impaled on the fiend’s wicked horns and then trampled to a bloody pulp beneath its hooves. Ardyth was mortally wounded and would have died as well were it not for the valiant efforts of Aeschere who, still severely weakened from an earlier encounter with a Chasme, managed to drag him at the very last second through the inter-planar portal. Unfortunately, Ardyth beloved and prized weapons, the scimitars Dreamstealer and Nightrazor, were left behind in the fortress.
Nevertheless, it was a dramatic moment—Aeschere and Ardyth barely crossing through the mortal as the towering fiend bore down on them, its glaring red eyes filled with lethal hate, its horns spattered and smeared with gore, its hooves stained red by Elizar’s entrails.
After arriving home, the PCs reunited with Whren the rest of Zook’s troupe. Needless to say, it was a welcome homecoming, though one tinged by sorrow. Everyone, especially Isa, mourned the death of Quarian, the elven ranger who never made it back home.
The next day, after running some errands, Aeschere and Whren went to the temple of Tiamat, having been summoned there by Ishtuk, priestess of the Five Headed Queen. There they learned that the priestess had indeed learned of the party’s identity and that a writ of outlawry had been issued for them in the names of Hennix, Earl of Tun, and Baron Malifop of Charir, the father of Sir Gar the Bloody. Ishtuk, however, gave no indication that she intended to act upon the writ, claiming that your party had been useful for her purposes and that she may yet have further uses for you.
This is where we left off. Whren is still suffering under a terrible curse and is still possessed by the Demon Belphagora. The Chalice of Eluriand is still unsecured. Where do we go next?
392 xp each for Aeschere and Ardyth