Into the Breach

Assault On the Demon Prince Keep (Part 2)

Sebastian and Rex trotted along quietly on horseback, neither saying much. At one point, Rex threatened to beat up Sebastian for his “smart mouth”, but was quickly silenced by a harsh reply from the effeminate pirate. After riding for hours, they finally arrived back at the City Of Brass, only to be quickly swept up by the party into their assault plan, soon finding themselves on board the Chaos Ship on the way to Orcus’ stronghold. They were filled in on the plan, which had changed slightly. Cherry and Herlock would pretend to be demons inside the keep, and give a signal for when they found Orcus and when to strike. Herlock naturally looked the part and Cherry used her changling abilities to become a comically busty succubus. The assault on the city began near mid-day, with the Chaos Ship providing sporadic aerial support matched with the city’s cannons as they flew over the battlefield, pushing forward no matter what happened, losing a small handful of Drow manning the cannons as they attempted to escape the battle and execute their plan.

Rex used a single “lifeline” of sorts from his god, whom he championed, to find the location of Orcus’ compound, and directed the party on where to go. Within dusk, they had arrived, and discretely seeded both Herlock and Cherry into their ranks. Cherry was almost raped by a group of demons, which terrified her near to fainting, but was saved by Herlock when he imitated a Pit Fiend commander, which almost caused the two to be caught, but due to some quick thinking, and the clever use of his supposed rank, he had the group that questioned him executed. From then on, nobody dared whisper a word against the Pit Fiend. The keep was a single courtyard with hanging, rotted bodies for food, and a large, spiked temple in the back, a red glow illuminating for the tall glass windows. Standing at the entrance were two humans dressed in long black robes, clearly high priests for Orcus. Herlock quietly assassinated one, and flew up into the air, letting out a loud “Ca-caw!” to inform the party to make their attack.

Although the keep was undermanned, the demons still outnumbered the bulk of the Chaos Ship 3 to 1. Sebastian, Elliot, and The Lich stayed on board to help defend the floating craft while the party dropped from the sky, charging into the temple as the roar of cannons ripped through the attacking demon swarms. Kriv was launched into the air by the remaining High Priest, but was saved by Shepard who took down the defender with a few shots from his gauntlets. Kriv recovered, and knocked down the large temple door blocking his way, charging towards their lifelong foe.. The Prince of Demons, Orcus.

Kriv was of course, backed by Cherry, Rex, Shepard.. and Herlock, although he made sure to stay close to the entrance. Orcus was kneeling in a large center chamber, his skull mace glowing a sickly green and red. The group surmised (correctly) that he was using it to command his forces, and even if they did not defeat him, the time they spent distracting him would buy the City Of Brass enough time to overwhelm his attackers. He taunted the party, recounting how during their previous encounters, they had always failed to slay him. However, he now gazed upon them with only a single eye, as Kriv had torn the other from his skull when they defeated his Lieutenant, Zirithan, in the Underdark. Enraged by Kriv’s taunts, his boney wings shot from his back and he charged the group with a large, flaming sword, and a magical whip. Kriv met him headlong with Shepard by his side, the two using their smaller size and superior numbers to keep his attacks unfocused, although Shepard took the majority of the beating. Cherry and Rex flanked him from the side, Rex taking several hits from Orcus’ sword for Cherry, but dealing a substantial amount of damage to him, due to his lifelong mission to kill the Demon Lord and all his minions. Cherry’s fist were of little use against the Demon Prince, but still provided a nice distraction from time to time, dodging the occasional blow and landing one very solid hit that stumbled the lord. Herlock attacked with his most powerful spells from afar, landing hit after hit with fireballs, shadowy tendrils, and dark masses of pure magical energy. Near the end of the battle, Shepard, Kriv, Rex, and Orcus all stood battered and bloodied. An enraged Orcus growled deeply and took off through his temple, refusing to be slain by a group of adventurers from the Forgotten Realm, whom not fifteen years earlier he could of easily slain if he had the foresight to do so.

The group took after him, refusing to let this opportunity slip through their fingers. Cherry carried Rex and Shepard carried Kriv, with Herlock flying behind, not wanting to get to caught up in the action. Shepard was hit by a fireball from Orcus that would have ended his life if not for Saverok giving up his magical powers (and soul) to save his brother, his voice slowly fading from Shepard’s head. Kriv swung wildly with axe but could do little, as nobody could seem to keep up with the lord. He smashed through the Chaos Ship, sending it spiraling to the ground as a horrified Shepard and Kriv looked on. No drow survived the crash, but the Axemen took few casualties. Kriv, enraged, landed a powerful, lighting filled critical blow to Orcus that sent him tumbling out of the sky and into the ground..

The Prince of Demons, the destroyer of the Underdark.. was slain.

As the demons began to frenzy and attack one another, and the party checked on the survivors of the crash, a single, haunting voice could be heard echoing across the Elemental Chaos.

“I. AM. REBORN.” The same words spoken by Saverok years earlier.. however, the group knew of who this was. It was Bhaal, the god of Murder, the death of his two sons fueling a return to form. His voice soon filled Shepard’s head..

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