Having wrecked revenge on their arch-enemy Hammelthal and freed the soul of his victim Seipora, our heroes had only had one last thing to complete.
They had learned that Basavaraj, the owner of the Burning Spice Tea Room, was the hidden threat to Belial lurking in his own city.
What was unclear was whether Basavaraj was the tall polite man they had met, or whether it was the Rakshasa they had discovered in a hidden backroom in the Burning Spice Tea Room.
Unfortunately, the Burning Spice building itself, was ancient of unknown origin protected by magic so powerful that the Belial and his devils couldn’t even perceive it, let alone enter it.
The final task for The Hellbenders was to lure Basavaraj out of the building so Belial’s general, the mighty Pit Fiend that had delivered the summoning note to Pestilence back when they came to town, could deliver swift justice.
To make an entrance
As the heroes arrived at the Burning Spice Team Room, they discussed how to approach the situation. In the end they settled for entering calming and use the opportunity of surprise to catch Basavaraj by surprise.
They were met with calm polite greetings as they entered but as soon as Thorga was up face to face with the tall man, he swung his mighty hammer to catch the polite man offguard.
To his surprise, Basavaraj ruthlessly pulled an unsuspecting guest in front of him to take the blow from the Dwarven Paladin’s hammer destroying the guest and causing a wild panic amongst the other guests.
Basavaraj went on the counter attack stabbing quickly with his Shortsword of Sharpness.
But he was outgunned by the experienced heroes until an invisible Oni revealed himself and joined the fight.
Break it down
Pestilence, trying to figure out how to get to the backroom, conjured a mighty Earth Elemental that started pounding on the illusionary wall protecting the hidden backroom.
As Basavaraj was slain, he used his last breath to shout a warning to the Rakshasa in the back, who himself dispelled the illusionary wall to join the fray.
The dangerous fiend tried to dominate several of the heroes who all succeeded in shaking off the spell.
Meanwhile Thorga Enlarged the already huge Earth Elemental and Pestilence guided it to start breaking down the pillars holding the roof. While the building was magically protected, it was not built to sustain such a brute force attack.
The blue Oni represents the Earth Elemental in the picture below.👇
The Rakshasa panicked and cast a spell teleport right in front of Pestilence attacking him with its vicious claws breaking his concentration and thereby dispelling the Earth Elemental.
Cursed by the attack, Pestilence had no choice but to flee out of the building leaving the door open.
Kaari saw an opportunity and summoned an octopus to grabble the Rakshasa. The octopus succeeded and started pulling the dangerous fiend towards the door.
Thorga saw the opportunity and with a mighty Misty Step body tackled the Rakshasa out the door.
Take no chances
The hovering Pit Fiend took no chances. At soon as he saw the Rakshasa emerging out on the street, he used his weight, his powerful wings and the gravity to come crashing down like a mighty hammer squashing the Rakshasa as it was a mere bug.
With that, the Pit Fiend took off to continue his duties elsewhere.
The Power in the Shadows of Hell was terminated for good and our heroes were finally done.
A vision of iron
As things calmed down, Pestilence heart rate fell and he suddenly had another odd and utterly confusing vision of a humanoid skeleton made of iron.
The vision was gone as quickly as it came.
With no hints as to what this was about, the heroes began the journey home to Dragonskeep.
Back in the lands of Obanastre
To the party’s surprise, the lands back in the material plane were war torn. Signs of prolonged battle and people with war-ridden faces told a tale of a long and still ongoing war.
Little by little the heroes realised two years had passed while they had been in Hell.
As they reach Dragonskeep, it was battled and bruised, held together with quick repairs but in a shambolic state.
Ms. Gentlefeet came running to greet them with her (and Thorga’s) children, the boy, Tjalfe and the girl, Røskva.
Epilogue: The Bane of the Iron Lich
Where have you been all this time?, Ms Gentlefeet asked.
The necromancers were more organised that we expected. They are led by the Iron Lich a foe so powerful none have returned after facing it.
It actively commands the forces of the undead some made even more powerful by strange augmentations.
The King is dead. His Queen Julana the Beacon of Dragonkeep has taken over and she leads the army from the front.
She was always the military mind and arm of the King and she is both brave and capable, but we are losing this fight as for each death we suffer, the Iron Lich’s army grows.