The group soon found themselves standing in the Sultan’s throne room in his palace, escorted by guards. He was furious at them, scolding the group for leading a swarm of demons to his city, citing the casualties the limited race sustained during the fight. Shepard and Kriv argued that it was a necessary loss, as the swarm would of simply grouped with Orcus’s army if they hadn’t of taken it out when they did. Refusing to entertain any notions of losing his own men as “necessary”, the Sultan banished the party from the City Of Brass, no longer allowing them in until they closed the Demongate not ten miles from the city walls. They accepted, as they had little choice.
The Sultan also had their Chaos Ship grounded, which cut them off from their men and supplies, leaving only the party and their friends to fight against a marching army of demon’s, with Orcus at their backs. They set out, Shepard carrying Kriv and the Lich (which was a bit of a struggle), Cherry carrying her mother, Elliot, and Herlock carrying Sebastian, who commented on his new, rippling abs, making Herlock
quite uncomfortable. The Demongate was ominous: Red, glowing crystals surrounded a portal that showed a single Grey-Plated Paladin standing, ready to face the horde of demons marching towards him. Everyone but the Lich and Elliot went through the portal and joined up with the man, who introduced himself as a Deva, an angel sent to accomplish a specific task and was immortal until that time, named Rex. His task was to slay the king of Demons, Orcus. Their goals were similar, so the group and the paladin joined forces, at least for this battle.
Shepard had Saverok set up a magical zone of defense to protect the himself and Cherry. Herlock would, as usual, stay behind and keep foes from getting behind them. Kriv and Rex would take on the stronger demons attempting to muscle their way through the gate, and Sebastian would handle the quicker, less powerful foes that took up the majority of the horde.
…Things didn’t go as planned.
A rock formation near Cherry and Shepard revealed itself to be a demon, with rock arms that quickly snatched up Shepard and began beating him into the ground. He yelled for Cherry to run ahead, and avoid being grabbed as well. She soon began plowing her way through a hail of fists and kicks down the mob of demons, keeping them from interfering with Shepard’s fight with the demon. Kriv was taking on two giant, muscular leaders, locked in a melee outnumbered, but still stronger than the two, dodging away from powerful punches and countering with powerful, electric swings of his rune-covered axe. Herlock created a steel wall of fire that kept a large portion of the demons at bay, killing the weaker ones as they drew near it. Rex had been grabbed by a balarga, a clawed monstrosity, and was attempting to both break free and avoid being crushed to death by its massive claws. Shepard unleashed a furious barrage of shots from his gauntlets at the rock demon, was dropped down, then smashed through the ground and buried alive, only to quickly resurface and take down the attacker. Rex was saved from the Balruga by Cherry, and Shepard ordered the retreat as Kriv took down the last of the demons around him. Herlock, of course, was the first to go through the portal and make his retreat. At least, he was the first to attempt to go through the portal. It seemed that the portal was one way for those who were not of demonic blood, which allowed Herlock to pass through, but none of the others. Saverok knew of a spell that would bring Shepard and two others to any point they could see, and casted it bringing Shepard, Cherry, and Kriv through the portal just as it began to close.. leaving Sebastian and Rex surrounded by a horde of monsters, with Orcus warping in and joining the chase.
Sebastian was two hundred yards of Rex before he could even turn around. Sebastian threw his magical hat up into the air, fired off a wand from his belt, and took out a group of demons chasing Rex, but then ran away, most of the monsters chasing after the closer target than the skinny, seemingly weak Drow in the distance. He was clawed, bitten, stabbed, and sliced, but eventually managed to use his powers to escape the horde and limp his way into the a human settlement he had been staying in during his mission. A young boy ran up to him, yelling his name and excitedly asking him if he defeated Orcus. He grimaced for a moment, then decided it best to not let the boy know what had happened and told him that he had in fact single-handedly defeated Orcus. He had the boy help him to the Inn, where Sebastian had already set up residence. They both contemplated letting their mission end, and not rejoining the group back at Brass, but decided against it and agreed to head out on horseback to the city in the morning, but foe the night they would rest at the Inn. Sebastian with a young halfling boy, of course.
The rest of the Party was welcomed back to the City, given residency again in the palace, and rested for the night, Rex using a telepathy space to inform Shepard they had both lived, and would rejoin them in the morning. The Sultan grouped with the party, and devised a plan for the next two days, as shutting the gate simply slowed down the army and did not stop it as the party had thought.
Shepard and the party would take the Chaos Ship and their men around the city and the armies, and attack the Demon Prince’s Stronghold alone, as it would be less defended than usual. The party would infiltrate the base, where Orcus was sure to be commanding his otherwise savage men, and kill him, sending the army into disarray and allowing the Sultan’s men to push the advantage and win the battle back in the city. It was perhaps the best plan the group had devised before, and just maybe, would go smoother than anything else they had thought up before also.