DM note, this is our game number 30 with the Hellbenders.
“Hello? You in here?”, The party hidden listen to Hammelthal’s voice for the first time since his mockery after having killed Seipora in the tunnel.
But they held their action believing he was talking to somebody else.
“Mr. B? I’m here.”
No reply. The big Orthon shifted impatiently on his feet before turning around to leave the warehouse.
Suddenly a big blue four-armed Oni materialised in front of the door blocking the path.
“it’s an ambush” Hammelthal muttered and the fight between the two big monsters was on.
Our heroes kept hidden, but to their shock and surprise, a big red Oni appeared just behind Kari ready to strike.
“Wait!”, Kari shouted. “We are not with the devil”, but the Oni smiled with an unsurprised gaze.
Kari, realising the Oni was not going to stop, slashed the big creature who reeled back and summoned a Cone of Cold covering all the party but failed to do max damage.
Thorga quickly Misty Stepped out of the Potable Hole the heroes has been hiding in, reappeared between the red Oni’s legs.
He swung his mighty ask towards the “low hanging fruit” of the red Oni, crushing them utterly killing the surprised monster in a painful blow.
Meanwhile Pestilence had a brief vision of a chest with what looked like a ring. A chest in the middle of the warehouse. Obsessed, he dodged past a green Oni to get to the chest and started to roam through it searching for the ring.
Hammelthal saw Thorga and rushed to crush his old enemy and ran into Kaari who he failed to hit as the blue Oni slashed him as he left their fight.
Kaari didn’t miss a beat and killed Hammelthal using her Soul Devourer sucking Hammelthal’s soul into the sword after which he exploded leaving only the Soul Coin that had hung around his neck. Could it be Seipora’s soul?
Meanwhile, Pestilence found the ring, that had a small crystal ball as an ornament, after taking some damage from the green Oni but to his luck, the green Oni fumbled and dropped its sword leaving an opening for Pestilence to return to his comrades who where finishing off the blue Oni.
Seeing the ambushed had failed, the green Oni ran for the door, but Pestilence quickly but calmly shot her crossbow in the calf of the green Oni tripping it over before it reached the door and soon it found itself bound on the ground.
We have been betrayed
Interogating the green Oni, the heroes learned they (and Hammelthal) had been set up by Basavaraj the Info-Merchant.
Pestilence investigated the ring called “Iron Sight” that would give the wearer True Sight and with this powerful artefact, the Hellbenders formed a plan:
James Brimstone would go to the Burning Spice Tearoom and ask Basavaraj whether he had seen the heroes as they had not returned home last night to see his reaction.
Meanwhile, the heroes using “Pass without Trace” would spy hidden from the outside using “Iron Sight”.
The Power in the Shadows
To the heroes surprise, the back wall of the establishment was an illusion revealing a room further in decorated with lush pillows.
And in the pillows lay a big humanoid with a lion head and mane. The oddest thing about the creature was its palms facing out from its body.
Back at Belial’s
With this disturbing new insight, the heroes decided they had enough information to return to Belial with.
Belial listened carefully and was convinced the creature was a Rakshasa, a fiend belonging to neither Devils nor Demons. A fiend that relished causing pain and suffering through manipulation and politics for as many people for as long as possible, even across generations.
Belial also sucked out Hammelthal’s soul from the Soul Devourer and honoured his promise of destroying Hammelthal’s soul for good. He did this by eating the soul.
He then more delicately freed Seipora’s soul from the Soul Coin Kaari had taken from the remains of Hammelthal.
And as promised, Belial did something he had not done for 17.892 years: he released Seipora’s soul that silently drifted up, up through the overlaying 3 layers of Hell and disappeared into the heavens to finally find peace.
How do we deal with Basavaraj?
But the work of the heroes was not complete yet.
They learned that Belial and his staff was unable to enter The Burning Tearoom.
It was down to the Hellbenders to quickly act and bring Basavaraj out to hellish justice.