SSC Adventures in Epic Eberron

Devil gets his Due

The devil introduced himself as Jedrezz to Thom and Neon as he beckoned the three of them to be seated. Vascallian begged the group to help him letting them know that his very soul was on the line. Thom tried to end the visit immediately be simply asking what he wanted. Jedrezz dismissed the attempt and once Vascallian had seated himself unrolled a stack of pages onto the desktop.

Jedrezz began reading different parts of the contract and stopped when he came to a part about the safe delivery of the glass ornament. He paused and glanced over at the backpack. Vascallian began to argue that Jedrezz set him up. However, Jedrezz merely listened and continued to the section on breech of contract.

Thom and Neon sat idle as Vascallian was given the reminder that Jedrezz was now due his soul, and whatever ship he is using for travel. The two of them perked up when they heard the second part. Thom asked for clarification if he had said that he got the ship he is on. Jedrezz smiled and let the bard know that many contracts have had lessened value when the person simply sold the named ship and bought a new one.

Jedrezz again invited Thom and Neon to sit down letting them know that everything is negotiable. The two if them sat and began the arguing that for twenty minutes endlessly led back to one or the both of them giving up their souls instead. Neon even asked at one point if they could deliver other souls to Jedrezz instead. The devil simply laughed and let them know that souls such as theirs were very far apart and he didn’t think they could ever find a suitable replacement.

Near the end of the discussion Neon toyed with the idea of giving a portion of his soul away and Thom let him know that he would not take part in the transaction. Neon came to his senses as Jedrezz asked the three of them to get off of his ship as the negotiations had come to a impasse. Thom refused and the devils henchmen attacked the group.

The fight was a violent one with Jedrezz blinking in and out of combat as his minions kept the group busy. Both Thom and Vascallian found themselves on the brink of unconsciousness multiple times before their attacks brought Jedrezz to his knees crawling to grab the paperwork off of the desk.

Vascallian lept onto Jedrezz and placed his blade to his throat and demanded that he take his name off of the contract. Jedrezz agreed if his life was spared. Thom handed the paperwork to Jedrezz who placed a hand onto the surface and a flash of red magic removed Vascallians name from the last page. The rogue brought his blade away from his throat and Neon recognized where he was going next and lunged for his arm as he he stabbed through the devils head pinning it to the floor.

Vascallian is Hiding Something

The crew of the Crusty Wench shook off the effect of the rough landing while Vascallian assured them he had done what he could to soften it. They gathered in a mere glimpse of their surroundings before a group of grey skinned humanoids surrounded the train. The creatures looked proportioned like a dwarf, though they stood as high as a man. The beings moved in and began an attack.

Vascallian charged off of the train and met the attack head on. Thom followed close behind and the two found that Vascallians talents with a blade were enhanced when he held a slight advantage over a foe. Before the two of them had a chance to dispatch but one foe, Neon still on deck called out for help as he had become surrounded. Thom made his way over to his comrade while Vascallian held the remaining creatures at bay.

Once Thom and Neon had control of the Wench deck again, Vascallian made his way up near Thom again and the two of them began to make little work of the remaining enemies until a couple of the gray skinned men broke from fighting with Neon and ran to the rear entrance of the Crusty Wench passenger car.

The enemies entering the car caused Vascallian to panic and break from combat also entering the passenger car. Thom and Neon exchanged worried looks and disengaged from the fighting to get to the bottom of the confusing situation.

Inside the car, the two gray skinned men stood over the backpack of Vascallian and the sound of glass breaking caused Vascallian to charged across the room like a savage and continue the attack. Thom and Neon joined in and the foes soon lay dead on the floor. Vascallian ran to his pack and revealed that he had another reason to go to the pirate lair. He had been hired by a devils contract to safely deliver a glass ornament to the lair.

Vascallian told the group that he wouldn’t have normally taken the job, only he knew that if this devil told him the location he could get double paid by merely alerting the githyanki force after the delivery was complete. He also decided once meeting their group after they easily dispatched his men that he may be able to use their talents to obtain some treasure at the same time.

He let them know that the situation was very bad. Little discussion followed before the train car was filled with a sulphur smelling puff of smoke and a large desk appeared with a fine dressed devil sitting behind it. Around the room many devil creatures stood as if ready to pounce.

The devil announced to the room, that it was time to discuss Vascallians contact terms.

Not Alone in this Sea

The days ran together as Thom tried in vein to find anything in the Astral Sea. The crew Azrukal and Neon said little, keeping faith that the experienced sailor would lead them somewhere eventually.

On the fourth day, a ship appeared behind the Crusty Wench. Thom tried to outrun the vessel and decided it was fruitless as it continued to gain on him and he didn’t know where he would hide in the misty ether of the sea.

The vessel was a small skiff about the size of one of the Wenches cars. On board the small ship was a couple of demons and some githyanki. The githyanki ordered them to surrender their ship and moments later the fight had begun.

The fight was not long fought and came to a quick end when a massive vessel pulled along side the Crusty Wench and with twenty cannons as motivation, demanded a surrender. Thom and crew gave in and the githyanki captain a male named Vascallian boarded the Wench.

Vascallian presented a proposition to the group that would lead to vast riches for both parties and in return he would also teach Thom to navigate the seas. The options were be destroyed or work with this strange pirate. The group decided on that Vascallian’s offer was the best bet.

The githyanki pirate told the group of a pirate lair that he had recently discovered. He let them know that the githyanki forces would reward the person who revealed the location. However, Vascallian wanted the group to use their strange vehicle as a distraction allowing the three of them to steal what ever treasure the pirates had amassed.

Vascallian had his belongings lowered onto the Crusty Wench and a good faith trade was made. Vascallian would take the duties of captain of the Wench, and Azrukal would stay with Vascallians ship until the group returned. That way there could be no double cross.

After taking the wheel, Vascallian turned the ship around in a circle for around ten minutes before aiming it at a slight blue glow in the mists. Two days passed and Vascallian called the crews attention to a blue bubble floating in the mist air. Over the next four hours the bubble went from a small ball to a sphere over a hundred miles wide. The engine of the Crusty Wench reached the blue barrier of the bubble. Inside the group could see a massive wreaked landscape covered in rubble and scorched earth.

Vascallian let the crew know that the Wench would not be able to keep altitude once inside and that he would bring it in gently. After completely entering the bubble, the train began to descend quickly and Thom and Neon held on as the dry atmosphere threw sudden winds across the control car. On the way down to the surface, the train passed a giant orange glowing humanoid frozen in place as if it had just cast a devastating spell. Vascallian refered to the frozen being as a primordial that the villagers in the surface worshiped.

The wench landed hard onto the surface of the land.

Azrukal's Friend Speaks

Thom and Azrukal again used the teleportation circle in the chamber and made their way to the Blood Rift. Despite many threats, the carriage driver from Morgland Daar did not return to pick them up.

Azrukal decided to use his standby tactic of fire teleportation to climb the blood rift wall and then send a carriage back down. However, after many attempts to light the rock wall on fire, found himself clinging to the surface a quarter of a mile above the tomb.

Thom spit in his hands, rubbed them together and began to scramble up the cracked rock surface. Azrukal waited for Thom and joined him. The two of them climbed up once nearly falling when the surface gave way. They hid from flying demons that over heard the rocks falling and continued up the entire two miles of rock wall. The wall climb just before reaching the city curved out over their heads and Azrukal had to catch Thom and assist him across the ceiling of rock.

The two of them crawled over the cliff edge dirty, alive and with the body Mydiclarius in their bag of holding. Thom asked the ashes of Neon if he should go directly to Phraxas with the body, or to find a person to raise him from the dead. Though he didn’t actually hear a voice, he was sure that Neon wanted him to go directly to the demon prince.

After traveling through the guards, and check points of the tower, Thom and Azrukal again found themselves before the foul, dripping, diseased form of Phraxas. The demon prince, demanded the corpse of Mydiclarius. Azrukal brought out the body and placed it on the floor. Phraxas placed a hand on the corpse who grasped at him with its clawed hands. A moment after grabbing the demon corpse the wet flesh that sparsely covered the body melted into a vile puddle on the floor of the throne room and the body stilled again.

Phraxas exclaimed that the corpse of Mydiclarius was stripped to the bone a century ago and the energies of the universe seek to reform his body. He told the group that is why he has to keep an EYE on the burial chamber, letting the group know that his guardian had turned their companion into dust.

Thom asked about the information, and the demon agreed that payment should be made. He called out to Heir Ket causing Azrukal to assume his massive demonic fire form. Phraxas took his position on his throne and Azrukal’s demon form froze in place. Phraxas was able to speak directly to Heir Ket through Azrukal and the conversation revealed that the primordial was sleeping at the base of a pillar of creation. The pillar of endless storms.

After exchanging threats and dismissals, Phraxas banished Heir Ket from the chamber returning Azrukal to himself. Phraxas answered many questions from Thom as Azrukal stood quietly in the corner. He revealed that Heir Ket was rumored to have been put to sleep by a curse delivered by the god of time Pelor. The curse came directly from the Book of Vile Darkness.

When asked about stopping Oublivae, he reference the now skeletal body of Mydiclarius. Phraxas described Oublivae as a similar creation as Mydiclarius. He told the group that the curse on their land would only end in her complete destruction. However, he said that few possess the power to undo the will of creation. He told them that Heir Ket possessed the power to purge the will of creation.

Thom asked where they could find the Book of Vile Darkness, and the prince told them to check with the last known to have used it Pelor. He told the group that Pelor lived in a palace in the city of Histaven.

The demon prince offered the group a reward that Thom accepted, five soul larvae. He then promised that if the group brought him the Book of Vile Darkness, he would reward them with hundreds of larvae, and a position of power next to him. He said he knew how to use the book to achieve awesome power.

Thom excused the group avoiding further dealings with Phraxas and made his way to the port and market area of Morgland Daar. When he approached the market, his attention was drawn to the dock where the Crusty Wench floated nearly complete.

The conversion from lightning rail train, to Astral Skiff hybrid had been successful. The githyanki that made the deal with him took Thom and Azrukal on a tour. He explained that the new vessel needed a minimum of three persons to fly well, and that once launched, could sail through the cosmos. He also added, that for two point five million gold that they could have a spell jammer. He relayed that the difference is planar travel while in motion. Thom told him he had business to take care of and would return tomorrow.

Thom found a demon in the market willing to raise Neon from the dead and accepted all five of his soul larvae to do the task. Thom left Azrukal to meditate and oversee the ritual while he checked himself back into the in for an extended rest.

The next morning, Thom returned to the market and collected his group Azrukal and the now restored Neon. They traveled to the docks and met with the githyanki and a demon partner there to perform the planar travel ritual. Thom told the salesman that he wished to travel to Histaven. The githyanki told him that he needed to focus on a place he had been when there and say Histaven when the ritual finalized.

Thom let him know that he had never been there before. The githyanki told him that without that knowledge, they could still get him in the right plane. Fifteen minutes of demonic chanting later, the githyanki pointed at Thom and he declared Histaven.

The group found the Crusty Wench suddenly spinning in the cosmos and the three of them took their spots of control on the ship to right it. Without a moment to gather themselves, the group was suddenly attacked by a massive one eyed creature flying through the cosmos with two giant pincers to go with his large eye.

The creature landed on the control deck and sent a wave of fear through the group. The group battled hard as the creature continually grabbed and crushed them in its claws.

Azrukal blasted the creature with divine energy over and over wondering if the creature would ever fall. Thom focused on supporting his companions with healing magic, while doing what he could to stop the savage creature. Neon drew the focus away from Azrukal and paid for it when the creature swallowed him whole.
He found himself not in a normal stomach, but in a strange limited space with a large eye confronting him. He stabbed the eye, which responded by attacking his mind.

After much struggle, the group finally was able to dispatch the foe which returned Neon to the deck of the ship. The three of them ran back to their positions to stabilize the Crusty Wench.

Death in the Family

The group investigated the dead end of the crypt sure that they would find a hidden way to the resting place of Mydiclarius. After both Thom and Neon judged the statues in the room to not be magic in nature, the three of them spread out and began looking at the walls.

As the group began testing the walls for magic they failed to notice the cloud of electrical energy that was forming above their heads until it discharged into them. It seemed that Thom and Neon were incorrect about the nature of the statues. Neon and Thom both tried to threaten the statues to no avail. Finally, Neon gave praise to Mydianchlarus and the group found themselves transported magically to a hidden chamber.

The group stood inside a glowing circle of power and across the room could see a massive ebony armored creature, and on the other side of him a reaper with a glowing purple eye near him.

The group thought to avoid charging out of the circle as Thom sensed that it had a protective quality, but the enemies were able to force them out with magic. Azrukal took up the rear position as Neon and Thom charged into melee.

Neon was quickly surrounded by the Armored creature and reaper. The glowing eye floated up against his body and blasted him with a magical attack. Before a few seconds had passed Thom knew Neon could not stand this assault and used bardic magic to teleport him out if the center of the enemies.

However, the reaper had tasted the scent of death and teleported itself around to attack him again bringing the eye with it. Thom readied a healing spell for Neon incase he fell unconscious. Azrukal and Thom focused on the armored foe, and found it more than formidable.

The reaper slashed into Neon with its scythe, and the tiny eye blasted him with energy again. Thom knew it was time to cast his healing spell, but to his amazement Neons body had vanished and a fine grey dust fell to the ground in a small pile. Neon had been killed.

Thom and Azrukal focused in on the reaper and fell the foe before switching their attention to the armored foe again. The foe fell in the barrage of attacks leaving only the eye that had killed Neon. They used their last healing spells and put every thing they had into destroying the eye and narrowly avoided a second death.

After destroying the enemies, the circle behind them became active again with the same magic that transported the group here. Azrukal and Thom found the sarcophagus of Mydiclarius and opened it. Inside the found a massive demonic corpse with flesh on it that seemed moist. Buried with the body, the group found a Phoenix cloak, and a shield of the doomed. Both legendarily powerful items.

Slow Resistance

Thom and Neon traveled through the door that led deeper into the tomb. The door opened to a room with four statues. Two statues were of Dark Six origin, and two were the likeness of Mydianchlarus.

Next to the door lie two dead human bodies. At the far end of the small chamber was a strange undead creature who let them know that they too would die. Thom stepped into the room cautiously to catch every angle before committing to an action. Neon approached one of the dead, and discovered that the bodies were a ruse of illusion.

Neon announced the deception, and the illusions dropped revealing three rakshasa who attacked. Thom and Neon moved quickly to control the situation and were further ambushed by a invisible creature of shadows.

The fight was long a and difficult, but the two heroes stayed their ground until the shadowy figure was forced to surrender. Thom and Neon humiliated the creature before allowing him to leave the tomb.

Thom noticed the walls of the room were covered with Draconic language and read the words to Neon. " "

The two of them set to finding some significance to the room.

Information is Costly

The followed the bull headed demon through the blood portal and into the vast dome that was Phraxas’s throne room. Phraxas was a disease ridden creature in robes who sat on a throne carved out of the bone floor of the tower itself.

Phraxas confirmed information about the group gathered from the guards and let them know that usually he would merely kill intruders in the tower. However, he knew that they were the ones who had recently fought Oublavae and succeeded in fending her off.

He told them he had use of people like them and offered them information in exchange for a task. The group realized that Phraxas was not offering them a chance to say no, and that they could use some idea of how to stop the rot infecting Breland and accepted the task.

Phraxas asked the group to defile the tomb of his former rival for tower control Mydianchlarus. He charged the group to bring back his enemies corpse. The group was promised a reward of information about Her Ket and defeating Oublavae for good. The group traveled back down the tower and out into the Morgland Daar streets.

Thom decided that the slave deva needed to be attended to and away from the group. The group led her to the market district and given 10,000 gold where she thanked them and traveled into the market to find fey travelers.

When traveling through the dock area back from the market, the group discovered the scrapper demon bartering with a group of githyankie. The demon was in the process of having the Crusty Wench converted into a spell jammer, and could not pay for the work that had been done.

Azrukal intervened and before long with Thom’s help bought the train. The group made a deal with the githyanki, to get the work on the train completed. Also, they led the demon back to his scrap yard where the githyanki forced him to release Shiny. After the negotiations, the group left the githyanki to kill the demon scrapper.

The group made their way to the Blood Rift where they secured a ferry boat to deliver them to the tomb of Mydianchlarus. After arriving, the ferry driver refused to wait for the group and mocked their compensation of gold and threats.

They made their way into the nondescript cave like entrance and into the rock wall of the Blood Rift. The tunnel soon changed from rock to stone bricks and the group entered the entrance chamber of the tomb.

The room had pillars that ran the length of it. At the far end a set of stairs bookended with burning braziers and a lone demon standing at the base of the steps.

The demon challenged the group to come fight him. The group was cautious and eventually tired of the tiptoeing and charged. From obscured corners, many demons launched their patient attack.

After killing many of the lesser foes, the group noticed that more were appearing out of the braziers. Azrukal moved in and extinguished the flaming bowls. The group turned their attention to the larger demon and finished him off.

Fighting Invites Notice

Azrukal made it known to the jackal that he knew that she was Shemeska and demanded to know what was going on. Shemeska transformed from jackal to fox and disoriented Azrukal’s mind causing him to stumble towards the middle of the room. The demons in the room quickly took advantage of this by charging in to attack.

Azrukal regained his senses and drew upon the surrounding magic to make his skin more resistant to attack. The sorcerer then unleashed fire upon all those around him, but found it difficult to reach many as the demons drew whips of out to attack him from a distance.

Thom’s healing was well received by the deva, and drawing last breath became breathing new life. The deva was shocked to find herself still alive. She asked what Thom’s intention with her. He let her know that he was merely trying to help and asked what she knew about the demon who was torturing her. She told him that she had been captured by slavers and sold to the demon. She knew almost nothing about her owner other than he mentioned that she was not to die until their group arrived.

Thom let the deva know that her travel inside the tower would not be safe and that she should go with him. She agreed and the two of them ran to find Azrukal following the blood trail to the debate hall.

When they arrived, the deva waited in the hall while Thom charged in to help his overwhelmed comrade. The fight was formidable, and ended with Shemeska falling and vanishing leaving only the torc of Bin A’kin on the floor.

Only moments after the fight ended a loud voice called down from above the group. A bullheaded demon stood in the doorway holding the deva by the arm and demanded that the group give him the torc and travel with his guard to talk with The Lord of the tower Pharxas. The group let the guards escort them to a portal that teleported them to a entry chamber different from the one near the city.

Once there the guard engaged the portal again and left the group for twenty minutes. The demon returned and announced to the group, “The Lord of misery will see you personally”.

A "gentleman's" agreement

The group walked to the Craven Talisman inn. The city around them was of a horrific architecture. Many buildings were made entirely of dead corpses and bone.
Inside the inn, the group met the owner a demon named Sensate Mistress Vaetu. She was very accommodating to the group once they paid for a room for the night.

Vaetu informed the group that most mornings, a fox faced raavasta would do monetary exchanges with various travelers. The group bed down for the night and slept uneasily without any interruptions.

In the morning, Vaetu invited the group to order what ever breakfast they desired. She then divined that Azrukal would like the same breakfast he had when in the city of passage. Minutes later a plate full of food arrived that looked slightly off, however tasted exactly like warbler egg with butter sauce and a biscuit.

While eating the group observed a fox faced humanoid enter and set on a large pillow in the corner of the room and begin smoking a pipe. A few different creatures approached the raavasta and had short discussions followed by exchanging items and coin.

Azrukal took the lead and approached the raavasta. Barely getting past introductions, the raavasta revealed that her named was Shemeska, and she knew exactly who she was talking to. She discussed why the group had traveled to the abyss and let them know that dealing with them would be a risk for her.

She agreed to instead of taking money in exchange to soul larvae, she would simply pay the able group for a simple service to her. Azrukal knew that any dealings with this creature would be anything but simple. However, the groups current situation left little option. He asked for the tasks details.

Shemeska asked that the group enter the Khin Oin and retrieve the Torc of Bin A’kin. Thom cut into the conversation and let her know that stealing something for her seemed a little dangerous. She told him that it was hers to have and being held onto by a friend named Archdegog Kaugothirn, but she was not allowed inside due to some prior misunderstandings.

The group briefly discussed the options and decided to do the errand for Shemeska. She handed them a medallion and told them that it would get them inside the tower. The group gathered their things and left the tower.

Before the group could get within two hundred feet of the tower, they found themselves surrounded by a massive group of demon guards that demanded to know their business. Azrukal produced the medallion and the demons ushered the group into the tower.

Once inside, the group approached a reception desk that barred entrance to the rest of the tower. At the desk, they presented the medallion and the demon at the desk took it from them and issued visiting receipts to each if them. The group asked the reception about the location of Archdegog Kaugothirn. The desk told them that he was in a priory a few floors above their location.

“A few floors above” translated to walking down halls and up twisted stairs for around two miles. The group finally found the room and upon walking inside, found themselves viewing the torture of a deva female and assaulted be demons.

The group fought the hordes of demons that were being summoned into the room by the torturer. Eventually, the torturer fled the room with Azrukal in persuit, while Thom saw to the deva’s healing.

The demon led Azrukal on a run for nearly a mile before entering a door with the words “debate hall” above it and slamming the door behind him. Beyond the door, Azrukal could hear the screams of many creatures and steadied himself before entering the chamber.

The debate hall was a floor with a centered stage surrounded by stadium seating on three sides. Covering the majority of the room was the gore of at least fifteen murdered demons of various types including the demon who ran from Azrukal. A jackal faced raavasta stood surrounded by demon followers covered in blood.

The raavasta let Azrukal know that Shemeska never should have sent them here, and that they should leave immediately. Azrukal noticed something about the way the jackal man moved, maybe it was a gesture, maybe a certain look. The drow was suddenly sure that this creature making demands of him after murdering a room full of creatures was actually Shemeska in disguise.

Neon Returns

Neon had run until his legs burned. Just as it seemed like he was getting nowhere, the tunnel suddenly changed from stone to knee deep mold. The mold made a creaking and stretching sound as it continued to expand down the tunnel. Massive ten foot tall mushrooms and a sickly haze floated in the air as a light breezy started.

Neon plunged into the mold and found that the mushroom would burst poisonous blinding spores when he passed close. He did his best to minimize the toll the spores would have on him and proceeded to wade through a quarter of a mile of mold before finding the hole.

Neon racked his brain for any option of how to return to the company of his companions safely. The paladin made his decision by grabbing his holy symbol, said a prayer for guidance, and dove into the hole.

When Neon passed through the portal, he landed in the trench that the Crusty Wench had created, but stopped well short of the cliff edge.

The paladin was blasted continuously by grit and after surveying the surroundings, found that he was surrounded by wasteland, twenty dust devils, and a chasm that had no visible opposite side and stretched to the horizon to each side.

Embedded in the side of the chasm, Neon found a massive spinal column that stretched up at least a mile and descended into the chasm beyond where light could reach.

Neon heard a screeching as a flock of at least 40 demons raised up from the chasm darkness and headed for him. Thinking of retreat, he turned around and found that the twenty dust devils had joined together and formed three large ones.

Down in the chasm, Thom and Azrukal could hear the scratching sounds of creatures approaching from across the net. Azrukal ran across the net behind the side laying flatbed as Thom climbed on top of the engine and leapt to the top of the flat bed. Two demons scrambled to join Thom, while two more began to launch bolts of dark energy into the bard.

Neon drew his sword as the first few demons arrived. He dispatched one of them as the other three raked him with their wicked claws. The fight seemed to be under control until he noticed that the three large dust devils were now one giant cyclone.

Thom and Azrukal battled hard throwing the demons off of the flat be and one over the side. The demons savagely attacked with evil smiles, enjoying every moment. The two of them found that the evil creatures seemed to resist their attacks and forced them to switch from their normal tactics.

Neon felt the wind pick up and ran toward the massive spinal column, but found his efforts strained against the strong gale. The demons pursued the paladin and continued their relentless clawing. However, the cyclone winds soon chased off the flying creatures who left with the rest of the flock for the safety of the chasm darkness.

Neon focused all of his efforts on reaching the spine. As he made his way the final ten feet, he recognized the outline and handle of a door in the side of the spine. Neon shoved on the door with all his might, and found it unmoving. On the other side of the door, a gruff voice let him know that he couldn’t come in without the symbol.

Neon put on his most convincing tone and held his holy symbol forward and proclaimed it the right symbol. The tower door opened for only a moment as a large goat like eye peek out and quickly shut. The gruff voice told the paladin that it was the wrong symbol, but that he could get one in the city below.

The demon inside the spine let Neon know that he had called for a shuttle to pick him up and take him to the city. Neon knew this wouldn’t help him as the cyclone slammed into him, lifting him in the air and dropping him into the chasm where he began to fall.

Thom and Azrukal began to feel the demonic fight taking its toll when their fairy companion Shiny emerged from the passenger car of the train and charged the nearest enemy. The tide changed and Azrukal killed two of the demons as Thom healed their bodies. When the second to the last demon died, a voice called out from the cliff area for the fighting to stop.

Neon fell for three full minutes. His only comfort was that even though he had never fell this far, at least he hadn’t reached the end of the spine embedded in the chasm wall. With little time to react, he landed into a steel netting that without his armor might have cut him into six pieces.

Azrukal and Thom didn’t even react as Neon righted himself in the net and rejoined them. For the first time the group regarded exactly where they were. The sky above them was pitch black, as was the hole below them. The area was dimly lit by luminescent fungus and lichen that grew from the wall.

Beyond the net was a sprawling city made of all shapes of dwellings, some carved into the rock, some even made of dead bodies. The demon speaking to them wore a leather smock and gloves and had a head covered with many small horns.

The demon told them that they needed to play for the damage to his net and for the killing of his helpers. Thom told him that they were merely defending themselves. The demon let them know that he was friends with the blight lord Lady Akaama and that they had to pay him.

Thom asked him how much he wanted and he told them he wanted ten soul larvae. The demon then began asking questions about the Crust Wench. Thom let him know it was a terrestrial transport and not of much worth. The demon told them that it was build very well and he might be able to reuse it, but demanded that the group bring him payment first.

Thom told the demon that he didn’t have any larvae. The demon pointed them to the nearest inn a place called the Craven Talisman. He told them that travelers frequented the inn who might have value in gold. Thom told the man that he would return with the larvae, but the demon demanded Shiny as collateral.

Azrukal asked Shiny, and the fairy allowed herself to be boxed by the demon as the group headed toward the Craven Talisman.


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