Shepherd of Fire

The Party Foils Most of My Evil Plans

When half of them are missing (again) and things change on the fly! Quite clearly.

It’s quite a good thing I can’t go on to /r/squaredcircle today (at least until I get off of work) so now I can type this at work with no distractions!

The session kicked off with the party going to a village to try and find Sabrina Greyson, Carth’s sister and a member of the Cult of Cthulhu, though they believed that she was forced into the cult rather than having joined it willingly. They arrived at a village that was under the cult’s control. In a short fight afterwards which gave them 40 XP total (the enemies were all commoners) they knocked out many of the villagers. Later on, they found some people hiding in the village temple. The villagers explained what had happened and how there was an underwater temple to Cthulhu in the nearby Lake Iommi.

When they arrived at the lake, Sabrina threatened the lives of three other villagers. She decided to let them live if only Carth entered the temple. Through deceit and trickery, Himaestro and Kriven managed to sneak into the temple alongside Carth. They avoided several deadly traps in a hastily shrunken dungeon and eventually found Sabrina. In a rather short and one-sided match, Carth beat her to a bloody pulp and into unconsciousness. A tiefling appeared and said he planned to sacrifice her to Cthulhu, but the three party members persuaded him otherwise… for the moment.

After they cleared the underwater temple (which collapsed after they left) they moved on to the Silver Mountain. Via the power of flight, they managed to skip an entire dungeon and reached the peak in less than one hour. When they reached the top, they found a temple to the Archangel which the New Light worshiped. He explained his goals and plans, along with the Cult’s. He revealed the ten artifacts which were needed to free him and also revealed several of his lieutenants. The party left and found a treasure vault with a metric ton of silver and a magic box which could send somebody to a demi-plane of paradise that seems perfect… perhaps too perfect?

After they left the Silver Mountain, they decided to free Estellise of the curse which plauged her. Rita teleported them to Heliod and used the spellbook she found to cast a wish on Estelle, ridding her of the curse which condemned her soul to Hell.

Then things went very wrong.

Estelle was thrown into a coma thanks to the spell’s effects. The tome Rita used was then revealed to actually be the Book of Vile Darkness. It corrupted her and turned her into a Neutral Evil spellcaster. She immediately teleported to elsewhere. Kriven and Himaestro then dropped everything and went to a lich’s tower. They met a Solar Angel who demanded they stop Rita, who was already mobilizing an undead army, or else pay for playing a part in creating this disaster. In the meantime, Carth discovered that Dispater had turned the soul-capturing goal of his from a business prospect to a personal matter, as he believed the use of an extremely powerful “Wish” spell to be unfair and a breach of contract. Therefore, his goal became to capture Estellise, torture her in some pit of Hell, and have her surrender her soul or die. Carth said no.

Two days passed and the party decided to immediately deal with the newly-cursed Rita. They traveled to the haunted swamp in Qualen, Kriven’s region, since it had multiple overlaps with the Plane of Shadow/Shadow Plane/Shadowfell. With 950-something knights at their side, along with some clerics, wizards, and paladins, they traveled to the Shadowfell’s version of Azari, where the Stargazer’s tower was located, a place Rita had mentioned wanting to visit back on the Material Plane. Himaestro decided to play War Games and create a coordinated plan to fight Rita’s rather small horde (be happy you lot did this within two days), which outnumbered them by more than double. While the army fought the horde, Carth, Himaestro, Kriven, Karol, and Estellise headed straight for the tower. They fought an erinyes outside, two death slaadi in the tunnels, and a young black shadow dragon inside, one under Rita’s control. She led the party to another room where she had two chain devils and another black shadow dragon waiting for them.

The party by this point was beaten, scarred, and out of offensive magic. Therefore, they took the coward’s way out and decided to use diplomacy. They brought up about a baker’s dozen points as to why Rita should destroy the book and restore herself back to normal; sadly, I could only come up with a dozen counterpoints. In the end, Rita banished the two chain devils and blasted the Book of Vile Darkness into oblivion. Carth, Rita, Estelle, and Karol returned to the Material Plane. Himaestro brought Kriven and the surviving knights (who managed to defeat the undead horde) to his plane of paradise and held a giant feast.

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