Assault on Skywatch

The Fists decide to inform the Sharn Watch about their proposed assault on Sky Reach tower. They are directed to Iron Gate where the forces dealing with the problem are based. To get there they pass through a shanty town which has sprung up on the borders, made of the refugee's who have been forced to flee the area.

The Fists introduce themselves to the guards who agree to let them into the sealed off area of the city. The Watch suggests they seek out the Esoteric Order of Aureons who have occupied a building nearby to study the problem. Following this advice they get to see the head of the Order, EREMIRE. He confirms that they are dealing with an avatar of OBOX-OB.

Eremire informs them that Sky Reach tower marks the spot where the leader of the Aberrant Dragon Marked houses fell at the end of the War of the Mark.

The Order's experiments have revealed that the obelisk is protected by a powerful 'Wall of Force', that also prevents any teleportation or similar magic that would enable anybody to enter. Although there are rumours of cultists of Obox-Ob and strange creatures emerging from the tower.

The Crimson Fists move on the tower itself. Inside the Force Wall unknown parties have constructed strange wooden structures around the obelisk and the gigantic centipede that curls around it. An invisibility spell is cast and the Fists stealthily move around the tower searching for recent tracks.

They spot a light and sneak towards it, finding a robed figure carrying a lantern on the end of a pole. As they get closer they make out the figure is a pretty elven woman across whose face insects occasionally scuttle. She is known to the Fists, she is the mysterious woman who freed them from the Black Scale Lizards so many months ago.

Then they hear her familiar voice in their heads. She knows she is being observed by not by who. Introductions are made and she claims she can get the Fists through the Force Wall and into the tower tonight. She claims although she is the Prophet of Obox-Ob, she wishes to prevent him from destroying all existence. Then she 'Teleports' away.

The Crimson Fist split up for the afternoon. Kapek goes and gets a tattoo, Ajax and Lorric go drinking and Mirra uses the library of the Esoteric Order of Aureons to research the Prophet of Obox-Ob. She discovers there are three of them, all hand-maidens of LOLTH, given to Obox-Ob by the goddess herself.

As the sun sets the Fists meet up at the entrance to Iron Gate and head in. In the appointed place they meet up with their guide.

She tells them that HATHMART E'RESSAR ( a name Ajax recognizes as the father the Elven twins had asked him to find) was the first to be impregnated by the forces of Obox-Ob. He became a ROACH THRALL, but a special one who kept his skin and can produce eggs. Hathmart knows the path and will lead them to where they need to be.

She leads the Fists to a tiny apartment in a ruined building, points to a battered door and without another word 'Teleports' away. Wil checks the door and discovers it is trapped with a 'Disintegrate' spell. By removing certain runes Wil disarms the trap and then opens the lock. The door opens into a room which contains two THRI-KREEN.

Lorric leaps to the attack and engages them. Ajax charges into an adjoining room and attacks the three Thri-Kreen he finds there. The creatures are barely more than a hindrance and are swiftly disposed of.

In the bathroom the toilet has been removed creating a hole down into a truly foul sewer.

With some reluctance they drop down into the sewer and move in the direction of the tower. After about fifty yards they reach a sheer drop.



A Final Fight

Far 20th Aryth 998 Y.K.

Lorric and the rest of the group visit Malekith, he explains the fight will be no holds barred, any spells and magic items allowed. Mirra gets permission to act as Lorric's Herald (in a sneaky plan to get to use her Bardic abilities on him).
Lorric heads out and purchases a scroll of 'Elemental body' (Earth) to help him in the fight.
That evening Lorric strides into the arena with Mirra who gives him a dazzling introduction. His opponent doesn't bother with such fripperies and a gate on the other side of the arena swings open and a chained Balor is brought into the arena, accompanied by some very nervous guards. The chains are loosed, the guards flee and the fight is on!
Lorric charges in, dodges past the Balor, bounces up its back and strikes it on the back of the head, killing it in one blow!
The crowd are very unhappy with this massive anti-climax but are somewhat mollified by Lorric's declaration that 'the drinks are on me'.
The Crimson Fists in the stand notice Saeloth staring intently at them, particularly Kapek. Then she walks away into the interior of the arena. Suddenly behind the Fists they hear screams and whirl around to see some kind of Marilith slaughtering the spectators with barbed chains.
It then turns its attentions on Kapek, killing him in one frenzied burst of attacks. Ajax leaps into the attacks with a barrage of attacks of his own and missed with everyone. Wil casts 'Greater Dispel Magic' on it and then retreats. Mirra retreats as well and then intones tales to encourage her comrades.
The Marilith batters Ajax then tries to convince him she is a lost member of his tribe, which even Ajax isn't dumb enough to fall for. Ajax attacks back, landing some blows this time but the creatures 'Blinking' effect cause many to miss. Lorric  (who had been off getting his fee from Malekith) charges in from the Marilith's flank.

*Ajax comments
Ajax notices his claws aren't doing their full damage causing him to make a mental note to find the Enchanter that put the 'Transmutation' effect on one of the claws and demand a refund.

The Marilith starts to regenerate and one chain pierces Kapek's corpse and starts to drag it towards her. Its other blows rain down on the two heroes doing hideous damage. Ajax strikes back desperately and slays it.. 
As the clamour fades Saeloth emerges, the Fists arrange to speak with him later at their inn. After the Fists have spoken to the authorities they meet with Saeloth. She informs them the Marilith was the CATHEZAR, an enigmatic half demon/half devil. They discuss the 'Heart of Gorguth' which the Crimson Fist are prophesied to encounter. They learn it is said to provide magical power beyond imagining but every day a loved one of the user will perish.
Saeloth also offers to resurrect Kapek to repay the debt she owes the Crimson Fist for rescuing her from the goblins many moons ago although she warns that the effects of her magic are always tainted in some way.
The Fists decide to explore other options first. Mirra does a 'Sending' to Katerina to enquire if House Jorasco can help Kapek. She informs them that House Jorasco won't but she can 'Raise' him. After some discussion the Fists decide to go with Saeloth.
Saeloth takes them to a place sacred to 'The Mockery'. A disgusting ritual follows but Kapek is returned.

*Kapek comments
When Kapek visits the realm of the dead he realises something that the others before him had missed. A dark truth which they were clearly unwilling to accept, out of cowardice or simple ignorance he does not know. Nonetheless, he returns from the grave enlightened.


Time Spent in Civilisation

Zor 12th Sypheros - Zor 19th Aryth 998 Y.K.

The journey back is peaceful and they reach Sharn fully healed. There seems to be no immediate crisis for them to hurl themselves into so they decide to spend some time relaxing. Also Kapek needs time to replace the magic items he lost to the Beholder. The other Fists agree to give Kapek an extra share from their loot to help him replace those items. Wil also donates some of his share to the rest of the group, feeling preparing them to help save existence is a worthy cause.
With the aid of Lorric's silver tongue the loot is turned into money and then into new magical items to help them on their quest.
As well as shopping and bargaining the Fists seek out their contacts to gain a understanding of what is happening in the world, picking up several rumours :

Abberations are coming over the mountains from DROAAM.
Skyreach tower is now completely evacuated.
A star in the night sky has blinked out.
The plane of DAANVI (the Plane of Order) has ceased to exist. It is believed this is connected to the disappearance of the star.
Earthquakes continue to shake Sharn, seemingly originating from Skyreach Towers.
Skyreach Tower is falling down to reveal beneath it a black Obelsik with a huge centipede coiled around it.

The Fists also pursue their own agenda's.
Mirra writes up their latest adventure for the 'Korranberg Chronicle' and starts to work on her book about her adventures as part of the Crimson Fist.
Lorric ventures into Khybersgate to finish his feud with the blackscale lizard folk only to find they have already left the city to join with others of their kind.
Ajax tries one last time to find Kalen E'ressar's missing twin sister. His investigations find nothing and he pays a priest to inquire of Divine Powers where she is, the answer he gets 'is in a mass grave near Skyreach Towers'. Leaving him in no doubt he will never solve this mystery. Kalen has already accepted her sister is dead so Ajax does not disturb her with this final gruesome detail.
All discover the Fists are now heroes, particularly for removing the Glyph that had prevented Healing magic from the sky,and they are deluged with invitations to social events which they are happy to accept

After about a month a small metal sphere with filigree wings flies into the house of the Crimson Fists. Wil recognizes it as a device that can come from a Warforged. It is called a 'Final Messenger', a way for a dying constructs to send a final message out.
It is from the Gilded Man declaring that his mission is a failure

Lorric also receives a 'Sending' from Maleketh reminding him he is due to fight a match on the 20th. Lorric is offered 20,000 GP and travel expenses.
There is some debate about what should be done. Should the message be ignored, should they travel to Stormreach and just kill Malekith or should Lorric fight the gladiatorial match ? In the end Lorric is pursued that no matter how dishonourable Malekith is, he should be the better man and fight the match he himself advertised.
As Malekith is paying travel expenses the Crimson Fist buy a scroll of 'TELEPORT' and Teleport to Stormreach.
Once there Lorric and Ajax are recognized as past Champions and mobbed by the curious people of Stormreach, who are all eager to see the upcoming match. First the Fists return the brooch they borrowed from the couple who live in Lorric's parents old house. The brooch which had been the focus for the 'Locate Person' spell which had enabled them to find and rescue Lorric's mother in the Abyss.
From there the Fists head to the nearest Inn to pick up rumours which might tell them what dirty, underhand trick Malekith is going to pull this time. The information they gather suggests Malekith's new Champion may be a Balor !


Shothragot - The Essence of Evil

The next day the Crimson Fists receive a letter from the King granting them passage on his Flagship 'HMS SCIMITAR' to investigate the events in the Thunder Sea. The Fists 'Shadow Walk' to Sharn where the 'Scimitar' is docked and are welcomed aboard and briefed by the Captain of the vessel.
They spend the night in Sharn visiting their old comrade Anvil. Kapek also picks up Hurricane his faithful Glidewing.

Mol 2nd Sypheros 998 Y.K.

On the first tide the next day the 'Scimitar ' sets sail with the Fists aboard.

On the fourth day of the voyage the sky begins to darken and clouds gather as the 'Scimitar' heads into what is obviously a huge storm.

Wir 11th Sypheros 998 Y.K.

On the 11th day of sailing the Fists are informed they are nearing the epicentre of the storm, where the ship will not be able to survive for long. A 6,000 foot high column of writhing, watery darkness rears out of the sea topped by what looks like a black sphere.
Flying potions are quaffed and Kapek mounts Hurricane and the Fists fly up to examine the Sphere.
When they get within a 100 feet of the Sphere Kapek fires a clutch of boomerangs at the Sphere in the spirit of experimentation. Where the boomerangs hit cysts sprout on the surface of the Sphere, then burst spraying foul liquid. Tentacles emerge from the cysts and the cysts detach themselves from the Sphere and move towards the Fists.
Lorric launches himself at one of these strange creatures, attacking it. Another attacks Kapek sucking the life from him in what seems to be a 'Harm' effect! Kapek hastily retreats, Wil casts 'Incite Riot' on the creature but the spell has no effect. Mirra begins to blow on her horn to inspire her comrades.
Ajax joins in the attack with Lorric and together they slay their creature, as it dies a Fire elemental bursts from within the shell of darkness and hangs in the air for a second before plunging the 6,000 feet down to the ocean below. A unfortunate fate for a Fire elemental.
The Fists feel reality try to alter itself around them but they refuse to accept it and the feeling fades. Then the world whirls around them as another effect happens.
Two of the creatures charge Ajax, one striking him with physical blows the other invoking a 'Harm' on him. To add insult to injury Ajax is then 'Confused' and flees the battle.
Kapek uses Hurricane to the utmost, swooping in and strafing the creatures with Force boomerangs and then sweeping away. Wil casts 'Solid Fog' on two of the creatures.
Two of the creatures struggle in the 'Solid Fog',another one starts to return to the Sphere and the the last starts to merge with the Sphere.
Ajax driven by the spell on him charges one of the creatures in the 'Solid Fog'. Lorric joins him and it is soon slain, transforming into a Water Elemental before plunging away.
As one of the creature is fully absorbed by the Sphere the other creature in the 'Solid Fog' hits Ajax with a 'Harm', he responds with a storm of blows. Another flurry of boomerangs from Kapek finishes the creature which transforms into a Earth elemental
Wil casts 'Fox Cunning' on Kapek and Mirra 'Inspires Greatness' in him and Kapek fixes a Third Eye of Knowledge to his forehead. However even these preparations are not enough to overcome the strange hindrance to healing magic. Despite his best efforts Kapek fails to invoke the power of his Dragonmark and the two 'Heals' he can cast are wasted.
Meanwhile Ajax still under the influence of the 'Confusion' spell fires his longbow at the Sphere. Where the arrow hits a new cyst starts to form.
Wil quickly casts 'Break Enchantment' on Ajax and they move away from the cyst towards the base of the Sphere. There they find a rather disgusting looking valve into the interior of the Sphere. Having healed as best they can with Wands, Healing Belts and Potions ( Ajax using potions he's been carrying around with him for months) they head into the Sphere.
Inside the Sphere is composed of slimy flesh and pools of phosphorescent liquid. Lorric sneaks ahead but as the walls of flesh start to close around them to form a sphincter the rest of the Fists leap forward to avoid being crushed. The exit is now firmly sealed behind them.
Eight strange three-legged creatures (DRAUDNU) arise from the flesh of the floor. Kapek reacts instinctively with boomerangs and Wil follows up with a 'Flaywind Burst' spell and Lorric pummels one with his tankard. The creatures respond with numerous slashing hooks.
Ajax rips one apart and Wil casts another 'Flaywind Burst' and Lorric finishes off another creature.
The Draudnu have amazing reach but their attempts to hook the the Fists and bind them to the floor are fooled by the 'Freedom of Movement' spells on the Fists.
It is a long and bloody fight but only four of the Draudnu are left when a familiar looking type of demon appears. Seen last by the Fists in Pazunia at the head of a caravan of demons, it is another of the HYENA HEAD type. It rushes into the room and casts an area 'Dispel'.
Mirra is crushed as another section of the wall contracts on her but as she manages to eventually scramble free further into the Sphere.
Lorric charges Hyena Head, who throw his axe into the air so it can attack Lorric on its own as he claws at him.Meanwhile Ajax faces off against the remaining four Draudnu. Ajax slays one and Kapek's boomerangs another.
Mirra unleashes a cacophonic burst that strikes the creatures but also the wall causing a cyst to form, to all the Fists horror.
As it forms the battle goes the Fists way. Ajax slays one of the Draudnu, Wil 'Dispels' Hyena Heads axe and then Lorric slays him. Finally Ajax slays the last Draudnu.

Tentacles burst from the cyst and a creature detaches itself from the wall and attacks Lorric, delivering a 'Harm' but he is saved by his 'Protection from Negative Energy'. Kapek pelts it with boomerangs and Lorric and Ajax attack it in melee. It replies with four attacks on each of them, all of which hit, before Kapek cuts it down with more boomerangs.
Short of healing a 'Wand of Cure Light Wounds' is exhausted before the Crimson Fist are fully healed again.
The sphincter behind them suddenly bursts open as a silver dragon crashes into the room. When it has recovered its breath it explains it has been sent by Gloriatrix to protect the bearer of the Dragonmark, Kapek. She introduces herself as Kaely Tela (whom the Fists recognize as the elvish noblewoman who warned them of the flood at the festival) or VYTHMITRIK.
Having accepted this new member into the group Lorric sneaks forward to a junction. Straight ahead is carpeted with hundreds of dead of many different species. To the right leads to a room full of water, in it lies an island covered in strange black jewels. Two balls of black fire hover in the air near the entrance to the room. Mirra identifies them as HOLOCAUST DISCIPLES, creatures from FERNIA the plane of fire.
Wil casts 'Resist Fire' on himself, Ajax and Vyth and then Ajax uses his sandals to give everyone 'Water Walking'.
Lorric charges in and slays one of the Holocaust Disciples. Ajax charges and attack the other, shrugging off its fire attack thanks to Wil's spell, and hits it with his Pincer Staff. Kapek mounted on Vyth swoops in and blasts the creature and then flies away. A 'Prismatic Wall' springs up separating Kapek and Vyth from the rest of the group.
From beneath Ajax a Water Elemental surges up and slams into him.Ajax attacks back and grapples it with his Pincer Staff and then with help from Lorric kills it.
Ajax examines the black gems and decides they are smaller versions of the Tears of Atropos. Experimentally Lorric shatters one with his bare hands and the whole structure groans and creaks.
Ajax hurls one at the Prismatic Wall and it is instantly destroyed. The Fists set to chucking the gems at the Wall, the sphere groaning more and more. Eventually all the gems are destroyed.
Wil senses a magical aura in the water which Lorric recovers. It turns out to be a large 'Bag of Holding' full of coins and other treasure.
Wil attempts to disable the 'Prismatic Wall' and, aided by Mirra, he succeeds.
The CF pass back the way they had come and then through the chamber packed with corpses. They follow the passage beyond that until they reach another junction where they head right. Here they find a room with a flattened disc on the wall which pulses with a puce light. Its a portal through which can be seen shadowy monstrous creatures swimming back and forth.
The CF move on in this direction down the passage, they start to hear sobs and wails of terror and pain. The passageway opens into a room full of smoke and fire with cages hanging from the ceiling. They see two KEN-LI, a kind of Fire Giant, and six corpses in the cages seemingly animated by fire.
Lorric sneaks in but activates a fire trap although his swiftness saves him from any damage. As he advances one of the fiery corpses drops from its cage in front of him and attacks him. Lorric avoids the creature and attacks one of the Ken-Li.
Kapek swoops in on Vyth throwing boomerangs. Ajax charges in and strikes one of the fiery corpses only to his utter horror feel his spirit ripped from his body and forced into the shell of the undead as it takes control of his body.
Kapek resists a similar effect, but Vyth succumbs, then Kapek pounds one of the undead with a storm of boomerangs to seemingly very little effect.
Wil casts 'Dispel' on Ajax but it fails and Ajax charges in to attack Wil but misses as the negative energy of the creature possessing his body starts to eat into his vitality.
Vyth manages to throw off the effect as Kapek resists yet another attempt to 'Magic Jar' him.
Lorric having slain the Ken-Li charges one of the undead. Kapek finally slays the undead he'd been concentrating on then hits another and Vyth breathes a 'Cone of Cold' on it.Wil casts 'Greater Dispel' on Ajax but it also fails as the effects of the creatures energy contains to drain away Ajax's life force.
The possessing creature moves Ajax's body into the fire trap which shocks Ajax into finally throwing off the effect, even though thanks to Wil's spell he takes no damage.
Lorric kills his undead and Kapek slays another. A furious Ajax Shifts and charges out of the flames and lays into the undead that possessed him. Lorric joins him and together they slay it.

Without pausing for breath, or thought, Ajax charges another of the flaming undead, an EFFIGY. He is beaten to it by the faster Lorric and together they slay it. By it's body they find a greatsword thrust into a crack in the ground.
Kapek and Vyth perform their trademark manoeuvre of flying in, pelting a giant with boomerangs and then flying away in one smooth move. One of the Giants slams it's broadsword into the ground raising obscuring clouds of ash and cinders. The other charges Lorric who kills it.
Ajax charges down one of the hated Effigies, which tries to possess him but fails, he lays into it with venom and then Kapek finishes it with a boomerang. Together Ajax and Lorric then finish the last Effigy.
The Fists examine the greatsword which is magical and dedicated to DOL ARAH but no good to anyone in the group. Mirra removes the effects of the Effigies negative energy from Ajax with a Scroll of Restoration and the Crimson Fists move on and check the passage to the left. There they find a chilly room with three frozen waterfalls and a exit leading out of this room which they take.
This corridor splits and they go right which leads to another room containing three pillars and with four exits out of it. As Lorric enters the room he feels a slight surge of pain as does everyone else apart from Ajax, who is suddenly in agony. He backs off and the pain fades then he cautiously returns but this time feels only a little pain. Mirra believes the pain must be caused by a 'Symbol of Pain'. Lorric soon spots it and Wil gets to work disabling it.
As Lorric sneaks into the room he sees strange creatures, one behind each pillar. From Lorric's description, via the 'Message' spell, Mirra identifies them as KLURICHIR.
Then something invisible in front of Ajax uses a 'Destruction' spell on him ! Lorric charges the creature from the rear and stuns it. Ajax uses his 'Scout's Headband' to cast 'True Seeing' on himself so he can see his opponent and also activates his 'Skin of Celestial Embrace'.
Lorric endures two 'Destructions' ( one of which fizzles against his Spell Resistance) before slaying the creature he is fighting.
Ajax charges in and attacks another one as Mirra plays on her horn to inspire the Fists to action. Kapek and Vyth sweep in and open fire with boomerang and breath weapon before shooting up to the ceiling and straight into another 'Symbol of Pain'.
As Lorric joins Ajax and stuns his opponent, Ajax is hit by another 'Destruction' and replies by killing his opponent. Wil hits the last creature with a 'Flay Wind Burst' and Kapek with a clutch of boomerangs.
The last creature unleashes a shower of 'Scorching Rays' at Wil but they are foiled by his 'Protection From Fire'. It flys away but is chased down and slain by Ajax and Lorric.
Behind the pillars the room is full of pits filled with sickening ichor and a field of corpses. The Fists loot the corpses for their gear and Ajax finds a very fine cloak whose magics will help protect him.
One of the exits leads outside the sphere so the Fists take the other. It leads to a crossroads where the left way is sealed off by a fleshy membrane.So they go right, which leads to an empty chamber. They carry on straight ahead which ends in a room where are scattered pools of glowing green liquid and two thirty foot tall guards wait ( DEATH DRINKERS).
They are defeated but Ajax unable to Shift receives hideous damage from them before they are finally put down.

Heading inwards the Fists reach a large pair of organic looking double doors. Lorric hears a voice in his head and he repeats the words via 'Message' spell to Mira who translates them from Abyssal to Common for him.
As Lorric converses Wil examines the door for traps. The voice identifies itself as OBOX OB, the Vermin Prince. It claims by destroying the gems earlier they have removed the seal in the sky and allowed SHOTHRAGOT to ascend (which they are inside) and join with the moon.
Obox Ob tries to persuade Lorric to join him in destroying all existence, Lorric is unsurprisingly not very keen on this idea. Wil finds no traps on the door but the Fists decide not to go through the door but turn left instead.
They reach a chamber from which emanates a foul stench and the chittering of hordes of insects. A demon emerges from the chamber and Lorric sneaks back to the rest and describes the demon to the others. Mira believes that it is Obox Ob himself.
A few buffs are cast and then the Crimson Fist charge in. Lorric and Ajax charge Obox Ob, they resist an effect that tries to drive them insane and attack it dealing heavy wounds although it instantly starts to regenerate.
Swarms of spiders attack Ajax and Lorric as Obox Ob screams a scream that tears at Lorric and Ajax's sanity, deafening and confusing Ajax. Then it hits Ajax three times with his stinger and bites at Lorric and lashes him with his tongue. Mira sings, inspiring the Fists (apart from Ajax who is deafened) and Kapek opens fire with boomerangs.
Ajax under the effects of the 'Confusion' flees leaving Lorric alone in melee with Obox Ob. It attacks Lorric but mostly misses the agile Monk, so summons two colossal spiders. Meanwhile as Ajax pelts by Wil he casts 'Break Enchantment' on the unlucky Shifter and Ajax rallies and runs back in avoiding the web of one of the spiders thanks to his 'Freedom of Movement'.
Lorric slays one of the spiders and Ajax charge Obox Ob and they exchange mighty blows dealing each other massive damage. Then Lorric charges in and finishes it. Kapek slays the last spider.
On a nearby wall hang four purple robes, a lamp and a purple pouch containing four blocks of incense with an Evocation aura. Mira and Wil deduce that the robes protect from cold but cold dedicated to a specific dark god. They also think the incense would remove the magical darkness in the temple of that dark god.
The group follow a tunnel out of the chamber and come to a room filled with impenetrable darkness. The Fists light the incense in the lamp and its violet light pushes the darkness back by ten foot. Ajax and Lorric don the robes and head in. Inside they find a huge basalt altar the sight of which transfixes Ajax, as he feels his very soul start to drain away he manages at the last second to throw off the effect.
Lorric strikes the altar, he damages it but one of the Cyst creatures form so the duo retreat from the temple. The creature pursues them out and 'Harms' Ajax and then is itself slain.
Wil and Ajax search the temple, taking damage that won't heal but find nothing. In desperation they decide to destroy the altar. When it cracks in two the whole building/creature starts to shake and the chill and the darkness vanishes from the temple. However the Fists hopes are dashed when the shakes stop and the building is still intact.
The Fists are now well aware that they are running low on resources. Ajax cannot Shift or assume his Primal Form again today, Kapek cannot use his Dragonmark, they are running low on healing magic and even Mira is running low on the uses of her Bardic abilities.

The Fists decide they need to head deeper into the creature and so must go through the double-doors they found earlier. As the doors are pushed upon they retract into the body of the creature. In the room beyond lies a great pool of bubbling green slime and charging them out of the room is a madly screaming half-orc. Behind him a man with a scarred face in purple robes stands by an altar. Iron screens seem to be set into the walls of the room.
Kapek surges ahead of Lorric pounding the half-orc with boomerangs as Vath breathes paralyzing gas on him (to no effect). The half-orc reaches Lorric and swings a hugely powerful blow which completely misses. The scarred man chants and the area around the doors is shot through with icy blue fire that burns those Fists grouped there. He instantly follows this up with 'Destruction' on Lorric and 'Summons' a Vrock.
Ajax steps forward and with Lorric kills the half-orc. Kapek hits the scarred man with more boomerangs. Two fiendish Goliaths enter the room from behind one of the iron sections. Mirra Inspires the group for the last time she is able this day.One of the Goliaths casts 'Horrid Wilting' and the other 'Summons' a Babelith.
Wil casts 'Friend to Foe' on the scarred man and the Goliaths and the Goliaths fall under the effects of his magic and attack each other. Lorric tumbles over to the scarred man and slays him.
The Vrock and Ajax exchange blows but he slays it and Kapek joins in melee with the Babelith and slays it with his Shareesh.
Wil's spell having ended when the Goliaths struck each other they pull themselves together but Lorric is on them slaying one. Ajax attacks the other and then Kapek's boomerangs finish the job.
The Fists search the room but find nothing else there. They then retrace their steps to a path they had previously passed by, a locked and trapped door. Wil disarms the traps and opens the door. It reveals a corridor littered with bones which leads to a small room.In the room is an altar made from living flesh and one occupant, a DEATH SHRIEKER.
The creature tries to ambush the group by coming out of a wall at them but the Fists have had this tactic tried on them before and aren't surprised. They slay it before it can do any harm.
Wil carefully examines the room and discovers magic emanating from the altar, a 'Desecration' effect.They move through to another chamber filled with pillars sculpted to resemble people in excruciating pain.
Lorric sneaks in ahead of his comrades and barely avoids plummeting to his death as a pit opens up beneath his feet. A rope is tied around him and he goes in again. He spots an exit on the far side of the room.
Thinking to avoid the pits in the floor Kapek flies Vyth in, only for a sphincter to open in the roof of the room and tries to suck them upwards through it. Both floor and roof are heavily trapped.
Wil carefully finds and disarms the pit traps but discovers the exit leads to outside the creature. Outside they no longer see the blue of the sky but the blackness of space.
The Fist reckon the only place left unexplored is behind the frozen brown waterfall.
With understandable reluctance they return to the waterfall. Kapek flies Vyth up to peek over the top of the waterfall. He observes a corrupted looking Beholder, unfortunately it also sees him and opens fire in a blaze of magic.

Kapek is hit with a 'Disintegrate', an 'Inflict Critical Wounds' and, most disastrously, a 'Mordenkainen's Disjunction'. His Cloak of Displacement saves him from many other eye rays but Kapek loses a large fortune of his magical items to the 'Disjunction'.

Mirra casts 'Haste' on everybody and Wil 'Improved Invisibility' on Lorric, who then charges in. Two smaller corrupted looking Beholders emerge from pits. One hits Lorric with an 'Anti Magic Zone' but he still charges the first and largest Beholder and stuns it with a blow.
Ajax charges the nearest Beholder and it opens up with a barrage of eye-rays but mostly miss him thanks to his Ring of Entropic Deflection. He tears into the Beholder and kills it.
The second smaller Beholder fires all six rays at Ajax and misses with everyone. It retreats back into its pit. Ajax joins Lorric attacking the large and they slay it.
However they still find nothing vital here (apart from a pit full of loot the Beholders had taken from their victims) the Crimson Fist decide to bring down the creature they must destroy the other two altars they found in the creature. They destroy them but to no effect.

Worried they are running out of time and sure they are running out of options the Fists move to the membrane that blocks off the last unexplored tunnel. They decide they have no choice, they must risk creating more Cyst creatures by carving through the membrane.
Kapek slices at the membrane and a flood of acid pours out ( but no Cyst creatures are created) and a room is revealed within. It's empty !
Now absolutely out of ideas, it's remembered that they have a scroll of 'Find The Path' from the expedition to the Abyss. Mirra casts the spell from the scroll and follows the glowing path of magic back to the Portal room where it highlights a lantern and a pouch of incense. Some thought is given to resting but it is decided that even in their worn down state they must push on before their time runs out.

The incense is ignited in the lantern and the Portal clears to reveal a room which contains four statues positioned around a pit. In the pit something dark and vile writhes. Mirra identifies the statues as BLACK STONE GIGANTS.

Lorric and Ajax swig 'Fly' potions and cautiously the group enter and the Gigants immediately come to life. Lorric charges one and Kapek opens fire with his boomerangs. Wil casts 'Solid Fog' on another Gigant. As the combat begins a evil aura from the pit begins to corrode the Fist's sanity.
Ajax joins Lorric attacking the Gigant, in return it marches forward trampling over them both, Kapek dodges aside and finishes it with a flurry of Boomerangs. Wil casts another 'Solid Fog' on another of the Gigants that is slowly moving to join the combat. The aura from the pit continues to erode the groups sanity, Wil is overcome and collapses unconscious, Kapek babbles insanely to himself.
The monstrosity emerges from the pit, it is a smaller version of the very creature they are fighting within. It casts 'Chain Lightning' on the group, then clobbers Lorric with tentacles.
Quickly deciding that the creature must be destroyed before it drives them all mad Ajax ignores the Gigants and flies in to attack the thing from the pit. He slashes at it but every time he hits it erupts in fire, cold, acid and electricity. Hurting him every time he hurts it. Lorric joins Ajax ripping into the creature but both are aware they are not hurting it as much as they should as it's body resists some of the force of their attacks and then it starts to regenerate as well !
The creature slams four tentacles into Ajax not just hitting him but drinking his vitality and attempting to reshape his body into a limbless lump of flesh.

*Ajax comments
As a War Shaper Ajax recognize when his body is changing and is damn sure its only going to do so WHEN HE TELLS IT TO!

Then it does the same to Lorric, although only hitting twice. Then it casts 'Cone of Cold' over Lorric, Mirra and poor, defenceless Wil.
The sanity draining aura of the creature overwhelms Kapek and he passes out and falls off Vyth and slams into the ground with a painful sounding crunch.
Ajax and Lorric endure another barrage of blows and attempts to reshape their flesh and another 'Chain Lightning'. Ajax attacks again finding, to his own astonishment, within him enough spiritual energy to Shift one last time and his claws rip into the creature. With desperate effort he pours the last of his energy into the attacks and the creature crumples to the ground.
Almost immediately cracks appear in the walls and the ground begins to shake. The creature starts to fold in on itself in a most disturbing fashion. Quickly the Fists gather their fallen and group around Mirra, who hurriedly casts 'Dimension Door'.
They emerge in clear air, above them the creature they'd been exploring begins to slowly implode. The Fists fly like hell, a wise move as when the creature has collapsed to a tiny point it suddenly explodes outward with a massive, ear shattering explosion which deafens the Fists and the blast of which shatters the Glyph that had formed in the sky.
The Crimson Fist navigate their weary way back to the 'Scimitar', which do initially fire ballistae at them when they see Vyth. Explanations are made and the Fists allowed aboard and the 'Scimitar' turns for home.

The Essence of Evil - (Dungeon 152)

Design: Robert J. Schwalb
Editing: Miranda Horner
Cartography: Mike Schley
Interior Art: Francis Tsai, Mark Sasso
Design Manager: Christopher Perkins
Managing Editor: Kim Mohan
Art Director: Stacy Longstreet
Director of RPG R&D: Bill Slavicsek
Web Production: Chris Thomasson
Web Development: Mark A. Jindra


Festival of the Long Dance

Wir 18th Rhaan 998 Y.K.

The Fists and Lavinia appear on the Kings Road some 200 miles from Sharn. They 'Shadow Walk' of to WROAT, where the 'Long Dance' festival that Lorric has been looking forward to for months is due to start in a few days. Open arriving Kapek purchases a scroll of 'Mordenkainen's Private Sanctum'. It is cast and the group gather to hear the secrets Lavinia have protected for so long.
She tells them of the 'Bastion of Souls' where souls reside before they are born. It is quite simply the source of all life on Eberron. A dragon, ASHARDOLON, has taken up residence in the Bastion, he contains the heart of Gorgoroth which is slowly corrupting him. It is this heart that must be destroyed before it reunites with the rest of Gorgoroth and ends all existence.
As the day slips into night the Fists notice the clouds have formed into a shape, it seems almost like some from of Dragon Mark.

The next morning the Fists enquire at the Temple of the Sovereign Host to see if Celedrus can be returned. The Temple refuse to help a non-believer however and a 'Speak with Dead' also produces no results.
With some sadness they find a quite spot and build a pyre where they bid their unlucky comrade a dignified and final goodbye.
After this private moment they are approached by an elven noble lady. She claims to be from a group calling itself the Cabal that is aligned with Gloriatrix. Indeed her knowledge of the Fists time with Gloriatrix seems to confirm her claims. She has a warning for the Fists, she informs them that in a few days Shotragot will rise in the Thunder sea causing so enormous a flood wave that even Wroat will be washed away.
The Fists take the opportunity of being in a big city to convert the loot they gathered in the Abyss into cash or different magical items.
Lorric and Wil decide to speak with the Minister for Public Works about the coming flood. The Minister is initially understandably doubtful but when Wil offers 52,000 gold (his share of the Abyss loot) to build flood defences he starts to listen to them seriously.
The astonished, and now worried, Minister directs them to the Palace where. after a very short delay. they are granted an audience with the King. Wil's offer of money and the Crimson Fists reputation as heroes convince the King and they are promised that preparations will be made.

Sul 22nd Rhaan - Sar 28th Rhaan 998 Y.K.

The festival is a great success with the Fists throwing themselves into it and competing in whatever tournaments they can. When not they enjoy the food, company of charming members of the opposite sex, bards and other entertainers,betting on the events or any of the dozens of other diversions the Festival offer.
Lorric is in his element, showing off his unconventional fighting style to his fellow monks ( and knocking down more than a few ambitious young monks in matches) and being granted the honour of sparring with the Grand Master of his order.

On the final day of the Festival the river running through Wroat is thick with silt and rises a few feet but that is the worse that happens. That night the Fists are summoned to the place by Royal Order. There before the Court the King proclaims that thanks to their warning Royal Mages were ready with Force Walls and diverted the water so the damage was minimized. Because of this and their heroic acts of the past the Fists were by Royal proclamation ennobled.

Lavinia plans to find a quiet place to settle down and live her life in peace.So she bids goodbye, for now, to Lorric.


Into the Abyss

Wir, 11th - Mol, 16th Rhann 998 Y.K.

In their few days in Sharn the Fists see to individual errands.
Kapek makes himself known to House Jorasco.
Lorric visits the House of the Long Arm's 'Joy Street Hostel' to speak and spar with his old master.
Ajax hires a Cleric to send 'Sendings' to Clian and Yulunga.
Mirra speaks to the Carronberg Chronicle to discuss the possibilities of a novel based on her adventures and pick up her back pay.
They all convert the loot from the tower into new magical items that will help with their quest into the Abyss.

Mol' 16th Rhaan 998 Y.K.
But eventually the time comes for them to brave the Abyss. The Crimson Fists 'Teleport' to Stormreach and then 'Shadow Walk' to the Necromancers Tomb. There they enter the portal to Pazunia where they intend to bargain for the exact location of the prison that holds Lorric's mother.
They appear in the crumbling remains of a building. Kapek notices the tracks of a large snake-like body and two withered feet. It doesn't take much intelligence to realize they are the tracks of the Liche and Marilith they have recently defeated. Ajax sniffs the tracks and picks up the scent of the Liche. They decide to follow it, hoping it will take them to the nearest city.
After a short while Lorric and Kapek notice a cart ahead of them. It is moving towards a Keep in the far distance but the Fists realize they will catch up with the cart before it reaches the Keep.
As they get closer they see that on the cart is a cage with a prone figure in it. Mirra identifies the captive as a PALRETHEE demon. The cart itself is pulled by three BLOODFIENDS. The cart is also accompanied by three RETRIEVERS and a 12 foot tall, red skinned, hyena headed creature no-one recognises.
As the Fists approach a Marilith suddenly appears by Hyena Head who seems to be in charge of this weird group. Mirra addresses Hyena Head in Abysal but he is in no mood for negotiation and makes no attempt to hide the fact he intends to capture the Fists and sell them as slaves.
Happy that everybody knows where they stand Lorric and Ajax charge the cart only for Hyena Head to vanish! The Retrievers open fire, one shooting a line of electricity at Kapek, one a line of Cold at Wil and one a line of acid at Lorric (this one misses).
Celedrus replies with a 'Flame Strike' and Mirra intones tales of heroism to inspire her comrades. Then two of the Bloodfiends unleash 'Chaos Hammers' on the Fists. The lawful Wil reels under the effects of these attacks although no-one else seems affected.
A 'Blade Barrier' appears (which comes as no surprise to any of the Fists who are becoming veteran Marilith fighters) but Ajax won't be denied. He Shifts and Rages and then charges straight through the Blade Barrier and slays one of the Bloodfiends.
An invisible power tries to throw Kapek into the 'Blade Barrier' but he resists its effects.
Suddenly the main body of the Fists is hit by the appaling power of a 'Blasphemy' spell. The unholy power swamps the group and Kapek's dinosaur instantly perishes, Celedrus vanishes as he is thrust out of this dimension, Mirra collapses completely drained of strength and Kapek is 'Dazed' and 'Weakened'.
Lorric's keen ears hears the intoning of the spell coming from 20 feet above them. With one leap he soars up and attacks the invisible caster.
Ajax is charged by two Retrievers and clawed and eye-rayed. Ajax rapidly retreats so his opponents must come to him and slays a Bloodfiend.
The Marilith invokes another 'Blade Barrier' that both cuts off Ajax's retreat from his opponents and goes straight through the main group of the Fists, catching a Dazed Kapek with its whirling blades.
A devastating blast of sound rips through the Fists from their invisible assailant above. Lorric's keen senses identifies that the caster, wary after being hit before, has moved to 40 feet above the Fists. Luckily he had come prepared and chugs a specially alcholic 'Fly' potion.
More ranged effects miss Ajax thanks to his new Ring of Entropic Deflection as he tumbles around and through his opponents and manages to slay a Retriever.
The Marilith moves up in time to be caught in one of Wil's 'Flaywind Bursts' along with three other opponents.
Kapek pulls himself together and opens up on the invisible caster but he slides between the boomerangs then fires a spell at Lorric that attempts to suck out his soul. Lorric resists and then flies up to attack his foe.
Ajax is once again attacked by two Bloodfiends and a Retriever. He tumbles again and slays the Retriever. Kapek invokes his Dragonmark and casts 'Heal' on himself, Ajax, Lorric, Wil and the undead Bloodfiend (which perishes in the surge of Positive Energy).
The invisible caster unleashes a storm of blows against Lorric, revealing it to be Hyena Head, but every attack misses the agile Lorric. Lorric flurries back and stuns it, Hyena Head plunges out of the air to impact with the ground with a sickening thump.
Ajax slays the last Retriever and is then attacked by the Marilith.
Lorric drops down and attacks Hyena Head as Kapek pounds it with boomerangs. They slay it as Ajax slays the Marilith.

*Ajax comments
After his last experience getting slaughtered by a Marilith after having all of his powers removed by an Anti-Magic Field Ajax had been itching for a fair fight with one.
He falls on her with savage fury and within a few seconds has ripped her to shreds. Ajax feels his pride is restored, he's just disapointed that as a summoned creature she returns to her home plane before he can take her ears.

The Fists gather around the late, and very unlamented, Hyena Head in order to loot him. They curse bitterly as his Dancing, Vorpal, magical axe melts into nothing but do take his bracers, rings and a horn he was carrying.
Mirra speaks in Abyssal to the Palrethee demon and learns his name is AZAEL and he was being taken to be executed for failing his lord Orcus. This seems to provide a basis for negotiation and so an agreement is struck. Azael will guide them to THE GAPING MAW, the Plane on which DIVIDED'S IRE (the prison where Lorric's mother is held) rests.In return the Fists will free him from his cage.
With the agreement made Azael also reveals that Vanthus has been sent to DIVIDED'S IRE to recover 'the heart of Gorguth'. Also that Vanthus is now a DEATH KNIGHT, news that is greeted with quite understandable concern by all.
Attempts to pull the cart fail dismally so the Fists are forced to free Azael from his cage, although Mirra first 'Suggests' to him that he should honour his deal. So lead by their new acquittance the Crimson Fists forge onwards.
After about an hours travel they notice a cloud of winged creatures hovering over the cart they had left behind. An examination through Mirra's telescopes reveal them to be dozens of VROCKS.
The VROCKS form up into a flock and fly in pursuit of the Fists. It is quickly decided not to stick around for them.Mirra casts 'Shadow Walk' and the group flees. Quickly they reach the portal to THE GAPING MAW and without hesitation jump straight into it. They plummet downwards until they splash down into the ocean of THE GAPING MAW.
The Fists gaze at the plane they've arrived at. Ocean stretches for as far as the eye can see, broken only by the occasional island.
Kapek deploys a folding boat and all quickly climb aboard. They start to paddle towards a nearby island with twin towers on it until Azael points out that this is ABYSM, DEMOGORGON'S fortress and capital.
The Fists are just discussing the best route to DIVIDED'S IRE with Azael when Mirra receives a 'Sending' from Celedrus.He informs her he is lost in a strange land, with flights of dragons in the sky. He is near a carved Dragon's head, the size of a mountain. From his description Mirra guesses he is in ARGONNESSEN, near the Face of Eberron.
Unfortunately going to aid Celedrus involves abandoning Azael on this plane. Lorric makes the decision and pushes Azael overboard. Ajax feels this is a little hard on the demon and use his Sandals of the Light Step to give Azael an hour of 'Water Walking' and tosses him a 'Fly' potion ,which together should be enough to get Azael to shore.

Sojourn to Argonnessen
Mirra extracts a scroll of 'Plane Shift' and casts it and the Fists are transported across the Planes. They appear on a vast grassland somewhere in Argonessen. Another 'Sending' to Celedrus reveals he has been captured but is safe. He tells them to come to him and they will be found, he also gives them a code word that will help them, 'GLORIATRIX'.
Kapek notices some dark shapes in the skies flying towards them. The Fists hide, some more successfully than others. As the shapes get closer it becomes clear they are two huge Dragons, a red and a blue. Then 500 feet from the Fists they simply vanish ! Kapek and Ajax activate the blind sight ability of their Scout's Headband and Wil casts 'See Invisible' on Lorric.
As the Dragons circle, its obvious they've spotted some of the Fists so Wil stands up and addresses the Dragons. He uses the code word they were given. The Dragons recognize the name GLORIATRIX as the ruler of another area and point the Fists in the right direction but demand a tithe for crossing their land.
The Fists gather to discuss what they are prepared to give as tithe but also use a 'Message' spell to discuss other matters secretly. Wil and Lorric are positive the Dragons intend to eventually kill them anyway and so, trusting their comrades judgemen, the Crimson Fist attacks.
Lorric charges the red and with a mighty blow 'Stuns' it, Ajax follows up with his claws and Kapek with boomerangs. The blue sweeps down and breathes a cone of lightning on Mirra, Kapek and Wil.
Lorric finishes the red with a dazzling series of blows. Ajax moves up on the blue and quaffs a 'Fly' potion. Wil hits it with a 'Flaywind Burst' and Kapek with more boomerangs. The blue flees, to some mockery.
Ajax under the effects of the 'Fly' potion pursues the blue as Mirra 'Magic Missiles' it. Suddenly the blue's escape plan is foiled as Wil's 'Solid Fog' spell surrounds it. With no choice it turns and attacks Ajax but is no match in melee for Ajax and Lorric (especially when Lorric stuns it) and soon Ajax lands the fatal blow and the blue joins its comrade in death.

The Fists start to examine the Dragons for anything to loot when the more sharp-eyed of them spot a large group of creatures approaching from the same direction the red and blue had come under the cover of an 'Invisibility' spell. It is an eclectic group containing Giants, armoured T-Rex's, humanoids and burrowing creatures, all surrounding a gargantuan spine covered Dragon.
A quick look at the number of opponents decides the Fists as to what the wisest course of action is. Kapek uses his Bag of Tricks to summon a Glidewing for him and Mirra to ride. Ajax transforms into his Primeval Dire Tiger shape, sensing a big fight coming.Then Wil casts an 'INVISIBILITY SPHERE' on them all and they retreat.
Three rocks impact around the Fists but they keep going. Suddenly the Dragon surges ahead of its companions and draws level with the Fists ( although above them). In a powerful voice it demands they stop, this order is completely ignored.

The Dragon screams "GARNGRATH Arise!" and the ground shakes as a monstrous creature emerges from the ground. Lorric immediately charges this huge opponent and in response it fires a cone of light from the horn on its head which doesn't effect any of the Fists but does petrify Kapek's Glidewing and dumps him and Mirra unceremoniously on the ground. Ajax joins in Lorric's attack and then the Dragon, to all the Fists surprise, retreats back to the main group.
The Garngrath shoots orange light from its horn at Lorric, which he nimbly dodges and then it lowers its head, opens its mouth and like a plough it shoots forwards tearing the earth apart as it comes. Ajax and Kapek are caught in this unstoppable charge and both disappear into its huge gullet. Ajax is not amused and rips the Garngrath's guts apart from within its own stomach.

*Ajax comments
To Ajax being swallowed just means its much easier to hit his opponent.

Wil attempts to hinder the Dragon by casting 'Solid Fog' on it as he did so successfully with the other Dragons. However although the spell is successfully cast as it forms around the Dragon he suddenly slips out of the area of the spell.
As Wil summons two Dire Badgers in an attempt to dig out his two comrades (who are emerging from the Garngrath's stomach underground), Lorric examines the corpse of their foe and is suddenly struck by an overwhelming urge. Unable to stop himself Lorric pulls loose the Garngrath's horn and places it against his own forehead where it instantly grafts itself to his head.
A shock wave slams through the earth hitting every member of the Crimson Fists and killing Wil's Dire Badgers, making it a very bad day for creatures 'Summoned' by the Crimson Fist.
The main body of enemies is now roughly 200 feet away and from a rider atop one of the T-Rex's comes a 'Meteor Shower'.

Ajax having pulled himself out of the Garngrath, grabs Kapek and uses his Fleet Warrior Array to 'Dimension Door' them to the surface. Just in time for another volley of boulders to land on them and for one of the burrowing creatures to launch another shock wave at them.
The first wave of enemies, the humanoid creatures, who are now seen to be Half-Orcs, move to within 75 feet of the Fists. Wil casts 'INCITE RIOT' on them but only one is affected.
The second wave of the attack, a line of Giants, start to cast and Lorric charges the biggest one as Mirra uses her 'Horn of Resilience'. Although Lorric distracts his Giant the other four successfully cast 'Dimension Door' and appear in flanking position around the main body of the Crimson Fist.
Ajax charges the burrowing creature and rips it to shreds with his claws as more boulders slam into the main body of the Fists.
Three Half-Orcs screaming berserker battle cries and with flaming weapons charge and surround Ajax. Their weapons striking deeply into the Shifter. On the other flank four more do the same to Kapek and one attacks Wil. The Fists are all now deeply engaged with multiple enemies and split up across the battle-field.
Wil tumbles to join Kapek and casts 'FRIEND TO FOE' on the Half-Orcs attacking the Halfling. They prove about as good at resisting a spell that causes them to attack the nearest thing mindlessly as you'd expect a bunch of Raging Half-Orcs to be and all four fall to attacking each other.
Seeing the Half Orcs in front and the Giants coming in from the flank Mirra casts 'Dimension Door' and whisks herself, Kapek and Wil away from the fight. Lorric pulls back to the Giants who had been threatening Mirra Et Al and 'Stuns' one of them with a cunning nerve strike but two of the Giants 'Dimension Door' after Mirra.
Ajax, hurt badly by the Half-Orcs, pulls back to Lorric and kills one of the Giants.
Seven of the Half-Orcs confused by Wil's spells fight among themselves, the remaining three charge Ajax. They are joined by another Giant who strikes Ajax a powerful blow. Aware that only the boosted vitality of his Primeval Form is keeping him alive Ajax runs like hell.
Back with Mirra's group Kapek invokes the power of his Dragonmark to 'Heal' himself and his two wounded comrades. This seems to make him of huge interest to the two Giants that followed them. Although they still attack all three of the Fists who are there.

Wil casts 'Blast of Sand' on the Giants and then runs back to join Lorric. The Dragon yells "Regroup on me!" in an attempt to re-organize his forces and then proceeds to try to calm down the surviving, squabbling Half-Orcs.
Kapek tumbles to Mirra who then 'Dimension Doors' him to Ajax and Kapek uses his Dragonmark for the second and last time that day, to the sorely injured Shifter's immense relief.
The four Half-Orcs chasing Ajax reach him but Ajax, now feeling more like his old self (or at least as much as he could while being a Shifted, Raging, Primeval Dire Tiger) kills one and injures another. Kapek pounds another with Force Boomerangs, killing it.
Where Lorric and Wil are fighting, Lorric stuns another Giant, as he strikes at it he suddenly discovers his fists are surrounded by fire but he has no idea why. The rear-most Giant obeys orders and 'Dimension Doors' itself back to the Dragon.
Ajax slays the last two of his Half-Orc attackers. Then Kapek leaps onto his back and they fall back and join up with the rest of the group. Then powered by a 'Haste' from Mirra they all flee.
The Dragon flies over them again and declares that if they are still on his land tomorrow he will return in greater force then he turns and flies back to his forces
As they retreat the Fists wonder what just happened. Did the Dragon just regard the fight as a game which it was now tired of ? Did he feel he'd lost too many of his forces to continue to attack an enemy that was retreating? Or did he simply feel it was approaching the point where he could only win if he himself joined in the fight and just wasn't prepared to risk his own skin?

The Crimson Fist retreat, aware the Dragon is still watching them from on high. However it makes no move and they move quickly away from it. When night falls they decide to keep going for another four hours, covering 25 more miles before finally stopping to rest at 11.00 p.m. Watches are set but the night passes with no problems.
At dawn the spell casters in the group renew their spells. Mirra casts 'Shadow Walk' and the Fists are on their way again. After four hours travel they notice the land starting to change, moving slowly from grassland to pasture and rolling hills. After two more hours the breathtaking sight of the Face of Eberron comes into view.
After only a little more travel the Fists are suddenly hurled out of the shadow realm they were travelling in into the real world. As they start to pick themselves up they notice eight Silver Dragons swooping down from the sky towards them. The Dragons land some 300 feet from the group and then their leader walks closer to the Crimson Fist.
Mirra addresses the Dragon explaining they wish to speak to Gloriatrix. The Dragon says they are expected and makes an arcane gesture with one claw and a huge stone spire shimmers into existence in front of them.
The Dragons lower their heads and, to the Fist's astonishment, politely request that they climb on board. After some understandable hesitation each member of the Crimson Fists climbs onto one of the Dragons. The Dragons launch themselves into the air and spiral up to the top of the Spire, a quarter of mile straight up. As they fly up the Fists notice huge caverns carved into the sides of the Spire where hoards of Dragons and other creatures can be seen going back and forth about their mysterious business.
At the very tip of the Spire the Dragons fly into a cavern and let the Fists dismount. The Dragon who addressed them transforms into a elf male who leads them further into the tower. In a massive room dominated by a pile of gold big enough to drown the whole group in lies a colossal Gold Dragon. This is, of course, Gloriatrix, the Lord of the Spire.
He speaks with the Fists, inquiring about how they got here. Their story of their encounter with the spike covered Dragon deeply concerns him and he orders his lieutenant to prepare the troops as the 'Talons of Tiamat' are on their way.
Other matters are discussed, Gloriatrix mentions that one ZENOBAAL-the Prophecy Incarnate is searching for them. This is a Silver Dragon who has been driven mad by his study of the Prophecy. Some of the Fists are interested in meeting him until its pointed out that Xenobal's interest in Dragonmarks will lead him to skin Kapek in order to better study his Dragonmark tattoo.
The Fists are also re-united with Celedrus who is delighted to see them but also seems delighted with the opportunity to learn new spells his stay at the Spire has afforded him.
Gloriatrix is concerned that the Fists continue their quest and accomplish their part in the Prophecy and so preserve the world. So he offers to transport them back to the Abyss in the morning but for the night he offers them the hospitality of the Spire.
A magnificent feast is brought and the Fists eat and drink and Mirra tells Gloriatrix the tales of their exploits. After this the Fists are escorted to the luxurious rooms set aside for them. Gloriatrix's hospitality doesn't end there as there are also comely bed mates if they wish. Ajax, Lorric and Kapek definitely wish and take advantage of their hosts generosity.

*Ajax comments
Ajax can tell by the scent of the ladies that they are not the species they appear to be but shapechanged Dragons but he's a sophisticated guy and is okay with that.

In the morning the Fists join Gloriatrix for breakfast. He thanks them for their 'contributions' of the night before. He also gives them the chance to pick one item from his hoard. All pick apart from Wil who is true to his Vow of Poverty and politely declines, instead requesting Gloraitrix gives a suitable sum to charity.
Equipped with their new items the Fists gather to be transported. They thank Gloriatrix for his hospitality and then he casts his spell. To the utter astonishment of those of the Fists who recognize the spell, he casts 'WISH' !
The Crimson Fist appear on the beach by the turbulent oceans of The Gaping Maw. In the distance, about forty or fifty miles away, they see Divided's Ire. Mirra casts 'Shadow Walk' and they are on their way.Soon they reach the islands. One has an active volcano on it and the other is covered in forests. Wooden walkways connect the two islands.
The Fists decide to land on the forested isle but the distortion due to the 'Shadow Walk' spell leads them to slightly miscalculate and end the spell over the ocean. However Kapek is prepared and deploys the Folding Boat and the group climb abroad. They can see the mast of a ship over the trees, rising from a small inlet.
The Fists guide the boat into shore and move stealthily towards the stone building that guards the walkway between the two islands. As they get closer they notice the building has taken considerable damage. Inside the building a crack stretches across the floor of the building. A barricade also stretches across the floor of the building, improvised from rubble and bodies. On the far wall a line of cages are suspended against it.
Wil casts 'Invisibility Sphere' on the group and they move into the building. As they get closer to the cages they can make out their occupants. Many are evil creatures but two of them hold Angels.
Wondering how the Angels are held here Mirra casts a 'Detect Magic' and realises the whole area is under the effect of a 'Forbiddance' spell, preventing Teleportation spells or Dimensional Travel.
Wil casts a 'Message' spell that includes not only the Crimson Fists but the two Angels. The first one is suspicious of the strange voices in his head but is prepared to consider they wish to help. The second refuses to believe this isn't some demonic trick and refuses to speak with them.

The Crimson Fist check the other cages to each side to make sure none of them contain Lorric's mother, which they don't. An exploration of a stone hut to one side shows it to be a empty but obviously, disgustingly so, well used torture chamber.
They then move down the lines of cages to where they end in a clear path that leads to a pair of double doors. Rather than check every cage the Fists decide to head down to the doors and then through them which will hopefully lead them to the prisoner occupied half of the island.
Half way down the corridor Lorric hears whispered words in Abyssal. He whispers them to Mirra who translates them as an order to get help, despite the 'Invisibility Sphere' they've been spotted !
Lorric follows the sound to a large room where they see two Baubau demons reporting to a Glabrezu. The Glabrezu spots Ajax and politely invites him in. After a cordial exchange of macho threats the Glabrezu invites the rest of the group in. Kapek and Lorric enter but Mirra, Wil and Celedrus remain out of sight around the corner.
Lorric demands to know where his mother is and the Glabrezu offers to divulge this information if they will rid him of a rival, S'Sharra a female Kelvezu demon. If they don't co-operate he threatens to open all the cages and release all the prisoners. Lorric is in no mood for a lengthy debate, and gives the creature a count of three to tell him what he wants to know. When the information is not forthcoming, Lorric wastes no time in charging to attack.
Ajax charges in to join Lorric and Mirra blows her horn to encourage the Fists in battle. Then the three of them are slammed into the spike covered ceiling as the Glabrezu casts 'Reverse Gravity'. He then Rages and proceeds to clobber Ajax and Lorric.
Wil casts an Empowered 'Flaywind Burst', which also incidentally kills one of the Baubau Wil hadn't even seen.
Suddenly a scream comes from the rear of the Fists and Celedrus collapses with multiple wounds in his back, so wounded not even his Contingent 'Heal' spell saves him. Wil spots a dark shape retreating back into the corridor.
Mirra moves towards the giant shape of the Glabrezu, judging it a lesser threat than the stealthy killer that just took Celedrus's life in an instant. Kapek activates his Scouts Headband and retreats in the same direction.
Ajax peels himself off the ceiling and with one furious blow finishes the Glabrezu.
Wil rushes into the corridor hoping to spot Celedrus's killer and seeing it casts 'Mummify' on it but the creature refuses to be mummified. Lorric swiftly catches up with it and strikes the creature two mighty blows. in reply she ( for Lorric can know see she is a female demon) casts 'Greater Dispel' on him removing, as she undoubtedly planned, his 'See Invisible' spell and then retreats through the cages.
Wil casts 'See Invisible' on Lorric who runs down their foe and strikes her again. She realises she cannot outrun Lorric and turns on him, unleashing a storm of blows. Not one of them lands so she quickly offers to take him to Vanthus ( his father).
Lorric solemnly agrees and then hits her again, this time only striking to stun and she goes down.
Having secured the demon's hands and locked her in one of the empty cages the Fists wake her up. She claims to know where Vanthus is but refuses to say where, pointing out that the Fists would then have no reason to keep her alive.
Without warning she begins to chant in Abysal, imploring Demogorgon for aid. Lorric strikes at her but she dodges away to the rear of the cage. Ajax Shifts and extends his arm into the cage and claws her. She collapses, dead before she hits the ground. Then her corpse turns to mist. Mirra casts 'Detect Magic' and sees a magical effect similar to a teleportation spell but before anything can be done the the mist is gone. The Fists reckon that right now S'Shara will be reforming back in Demogorgon's palace and will soon be informing him of their presence. From now on they will be working to a deadline.
They hastily proceed through the double doors onto a ledge which leads onto a stone bridge spanning the gap between the two islands. To the left is a platform with stairs leading down. On the platform wait four Nabassu demons. On the other island are four Nycaloths.
Mirra calls out to the Nycaloths in Abysal and they cautiously respond in Common. When Lorric asks about Vanthus they recognize the name and ask him to come forward and speak. (As this happens thunder and lightning sounds from the direction of Abysum. It sounds like Demogorgon is hearing the news).
The Nycoloths offer to help but want 20 thousand gold. Lorric offers them one of the magical axes they'd taken off the late Warden. The Nycoloths recognize the weapon and ask for both of the axes, which is agreed to.
The Nycoloths invite the Fists to cross the bridge under their protection. As the Fists move across the Nabassu rise into the air and the Nycaloths rise to meet them. The two sides meet in combat in mid air and the Nabassu are defeated, losing two of their number while the Nycaloths lose one.
The Fists safely pass through another set of double doors into a corridor. (The storm in the distance increases in intensity and the ground begins to shake). As the Crimson Fist move down the corridor Lorric hears voices speaking in Abysal, which Mirra translates for everybody. The voices are arguing about who gets the leg to eat and who gets the wings.
The Fists move to the room where they hear the voices coming from and slide the door open to reveal four demons arguing over the partially eaten corpse of a Trumpet Archon.
With Mirra coaching him via the 'Message' spell Lorric adresses them in Abysal. Sadly the demons have no intention of negotiating so the Fists attack.
Wil leads off by casting 'Incite Riot' on the squabbling demons and three of them succumb, temporarily turning on each other. Wispy vapour forms around Lorric and Wil burning them and trying to restrict their movement.
Lorric charges in and slays one, Ajax joins him in combat as another acid clouds lands on them. One of the creature shoots a ray at Lorric but misses.

*Ajax comments
Aware that they haven't found Vanthus yet Ajax wishes to preserve his two remaining Shifts and so fights unShifted and not Raging. He is a little shocked at just how crap is when he does this.

Ajax and Lorric ignore the restricting effects of the cloud thanks to the 'Freedom of Movement ' on them and tumble out of the cloud and engage the demons. Ajax is hit by a 'Ray of Enfeeblement'. Kapek charges in on an summoned dinosaur and joins the battle.

*Ajax comments
With the exception of anti-magic aura Ray of Enfeeblement is DEFINITELY Ajax's most hated spell.

Blows are given and received but the demons fall beneath the Crimson Fist.
The Fists have barely got their breath back when a voice booms out in Abysal demanding to know if his queen is there. Wil quickly casts 'Invisibility Sphere'. Lorric pokes his head out the door and sees a Belarion, basically a shit demon.
The voice calls out for 'S'Shara', it's 'beloved'. As the Fists just killed S'Shara they suspect the demon will not be well disposed towards them but they do feel that having seen the Belairon they probably did S'Sharra a favour by killing her.
Mirra 'Fascinates' the demon and the Fists sneak the other way but find another filth demon blocking that way. Again the voice demands its 'queen' and the Fists decide they are going to have to fight their way out.
As Lorric moves out he spots another two shit demons and a Demodand. He charges one of filth demons and hits it (to his utter disgust) and in reply it spews a shower of effluvia at him. Mirra stops 'Fascinating' her shit demon and blows her horn to encourage her comrades in battle.
Kapek pounds the demons with force boomerangs and Wil casts 'Wall of Sand' to cut one of the demons off from the combat. Ajax charges in to join Lorric and slays that demon.
As the demon trapped behind the sand wall pounds uselessly on it Lorric charges another Belarion. Wil emerges and casts an Empowered 'Flaywind Burst' on two of the filth demons and the Demodand but he is stricken by the vile aura of the shit demons. Ajax joins Lorric and slay a second demon.
The Demodand spits goo at Lorric but misses him as he does with a 'Ray of Enfeeblement'. Lorric tumbles past the shit demon and attacks the Demodan. The trapped filth demon forces its way through the sand wall.
Ajax is now facing off against two shit demons. One clobbers him and the other spews faeces at him. Ajax dodges the shit but the unfortunate Wil behind him is not so lucky. Already struck by the demon's aura Wil is severely, almost fatally, damaged. He swiftly retreats to 'Repair' himself. Kapek's boomerangs finish one of the shit demons.
The Demodan misses Lorric with another 'Ray of Enfeeblement' and then turns itself invisible. However Lorric is still under the effect of Wil's 'See Invisible' and so just presses his attack.
Mirra inspires Ajax to heroic efforts in his combat with the shit demon. The Demodand claws at Lorric and utterly misses him although the one who just clawed through the sand wall does land a blow.
Kapek finishes Ajax's demon and Ajax, freed up, charges down the Demodand and slays it.
Then to Ajax's astonishment one of the fallen filth demons flows to its feet in one smooth, if nauseating, movement and attacks him. It deals him hideous damage so only Ajax's Shifted vitality keeps him on his feet.
As the Fists are assaulted as the shit demons rise again and again, Mirra casts 'Know Opponent' and learns the creatures are vulnerable to sonic and bludgeoning damage. She hopes these forms of damage will also be ones they can't regenerate from.Kapek realises his boomerangs will work and pounds one of the downed creatures and it disintegrates. With Kapek's boomerangs, Wil's fists. Lorric's tankards and Ajax's pincer staff the Fists finally finish their tenacious opponents.

*Ajax comments
Ajax always enjoys a good fight but this, this was just too disgusting
Then the Fists make EVERY possible 'shit' pun imaginable!

The room beyond is flanked with statues of an incredibly beautiful demoness staring adoringly at a huge two-backed throne. Mirra identifies the figure represented by the statues as Shami-Amourae, the lover of Demogorgon, and guesses that the throne may be for the use of the two-headed demonic monarch himself. Otherwise, the decaying, rot-covered room is empty, and the Fist decide to explore one of the exits that lead off from behind the four statues.
Lorric is the natural choice for a stealthy reconnoitre, and he enters one of the side rooms. Chunks of sharp metal are strewn about it and it has three other exits. Lorric also notices the hunched figure of another Babau lurking in the corner, and consults his colleagues through the Message spell for advice. Ajax suggests talking to it in order to gain further information, but as soon as Kapek muses aloud about working with demons, Lorric attacks it.

Expecting a quick victory, like those against the Babau earlier, the Fist are surprised by the demon’s resilience under Lorric’s relentless attack. Both his tankards corrode away into nothing following their repeateded contact with its acid-drenched hide. Wil then moves into the room and casts a Wither spell on it.
The demon invokes magical darkness around itself and attempts to flee under its cover. Unfortunately for it, thanks to an Ebon Eyes spell Lorric is perfectly capable of seeing it and takes advantage of the error in order to trip the creature up and then deliver a brutal kick. Mirra then enters the room behind Wil, playing a stirring battle cry on her horn, followed by Ajax and Kapek. Ajax advances to the edge of the darkness, but no further, as he cannot see through it, while Kapek waits with his boomerangs for any sign of an adversary. He does not have to wait long before a Hezrou demon enters from the right hand archway. It is met immediately by a stinging hail of boomerangs, but undeterred it attacks Ajax, its wicked claws drawing blood. A second comes in behind it and moves to bite Kapek.
Lorric continues to strike at the fallen Babau, finally killing it as it struggles to its feet. Wil attempts a Charm Monster on one of the Hezrou, but his magic is resisted by the demon. Seconds later, it receives the full fury of a shifted Ajax and dies. The shifter turns his attentions to the second Hezrou and rakes it with his claws. The group are moving much more swiftly now, aided by a timely Haste spell from their bard. Kapek’s boomerangs finish off the work that Ajax has started, and the second Hezrou is slain.

Two more Hezrou move into position, one of them invoking the familiar and chilling tones of a Blasphemy spell. Another of Kapek’s mounts disappears from under him, but the group are otherwise unhindered. Lorric and Ajax both assault the next Hezrou, and kill it, while Kapek’s boomerangs slam into the other. It retaliates with a Chaos Hammer spell and despite their vigilance, both Wil and Mirra fail to counterspell it. The party, with the exception of the free-spirited Ajax, are hurt by it but not seriously. Yet more Hezrou can be seen down the corridor, and one of them casts an Unholy Blight into the room. Again this hurts the group but does not cripple anybody.

Kapek suggests that Lorric hold the corridor entrance, and the monk does so, preventing either of the two new arrivals from entering the room. Wil then casts an Incite Riot on the demons, and the two in the corridor promptly turn on each other. The Hezrou remaining inside the room at this point falls to Ajax’s claws, as Kapek unleashes a hail of boomerangs which do serious damage to the wall but nothing else. Lorric then finishes off the demon he was facing and Ajax races past him to kill the final one in the corridor.

In a race to find and kill other enemies before his power fades, the shifter then rushes into adjacent rooms. The first room he finds is nondescript, and merely leads back into the area that the group have already explored, but the second is luxuriously appointed, with cushions and fine silks and exquisite viands. He notices as he looks around him, that there is movement from beneath some cushions and calls out a challenge. Predictably there is no reply, and Ajax promptly throws aside the concealing cushions. What is revealed is not the succubus that the shifter was expecting (hoping?) to see but a wizened elderly gnome, obviously terrified. Mirra is quite pleased to see a fellow countryman and calls out to him in her native tongue. He answers, although in Common, and tells them that his name is Nert Bilgeflower. He came here on a planar vessel called the Crimson Scar, having been pressganged into its crew. Mirra has heard of this vessel, it belongs to Orcus and is capable of sailing between the Abyssal oceans as well as the Prime Material plan and the River Styx. Nert goes on to explain that he came ashore with its captain Vanthus. Naturally the group are interested in anything he can tell them about Vanthus, and he answers their queries. The Death Knight wields a flaming sword and a flaming sickle together, and wears a breastplate of tarnished mithral. He is surrounded by wraiths and shadows at all times, as well as what he refers to as “Shadows of his Master”. Mirra’s guess is that these are creatures known as Shadow Demons. She then goes on to invite the elderly gnome to join them, as they are clearly his best hope of getting out of the Abyss, and he agrees. Lorric and Ajax have meanwhile liberated all of the booze.
As Kapek and Ajax examine the ground in the spiked metal room for tracks, the building is shaken by another quake. Ajax believes this to be a symptom of Demogorgon’s approach, and says as much, while Kapek is sceptical. Nert mentions a gem that Vanthus carries, capable of activating the volcano, and Kapek assumes this to be the cause, but Nert then dismisses this explanation and agrees with Ajax’s suggestion. Nonetheless, the quake adds urgency to their mission. They decide to follow the corridor from which the Hezrou came, in the hope that Vanthus and the Crimson Scar crew have not passed that way.

Again Lorric scouts ahead. At the end of the corridor is a room, lit by a steady red glow, which the monk cautiously enters. It contains more torture cells, with no living occupants, only gruesome implements and the mangled remains of demons. The glow itself comes from a larger room beyond, a pit of lava with a narrow walkway around the edge. Suspended above the lava are six cages, three of which are occupied. One has another Trumpet Archon in it and one has a creature which Mirra is able to identify from Lorric’s description as an Ice Devil, but it is the third occupant which is of the most interest. It is a human woman, whose description matches that of Lorric’s mother, Lavinia. Lorric notices at this point that there is a Marilith in the room also, although it appears not to have noticed him. Lorric then leaves the room and returns to the others.
It occurs to Kapek that the human woman in the cage could be some sort of illusion or trick, and so Lorric asks for Wil to cast a spell of True Seeing upon him. Once this is done, Lorric can clearly see Nert Bilgeflower for what he is, a Succubus. Immediately he leaps at the demon with a cry of “Succubus!”
The others follow his lead, in particular Kapek who has been suspicious of “Nert” all along, and although the Succubus puts up a valiant fight she is clearly overmatched and swiftly dealt with. This does serve to alert the Marilith however, who erects the customary Blade Barrier along the walkway, sealing off the lava room. Lorric is still able to make out the woman through the barrier though, and with his new magically enhanced sight is able to confirm that she is as she seems. The group now have to get into the room.

The Marilith calls out in a booming voice, demanding to know who the group are and why they have killed its servants. The Crimson Fist make no reply, instead they are planning their next move, covered by the noise of Mirra’s horn. Wil first Hastes the group then dispels the barrier. Lorric races down the walkway and assaults the Marilith, discovering as he attacks her that she is a far more difficult foe that most of her kind. Ajax shifts into his great Dire Tiger form and makes his way with difficulty down the walkway after Lorric, before leaping across the lava to a wider section, the other side of the Marilith. Kapek watches the demon, boomerangs ready, for signs of spell casting and both Wil and Mirra wisely stay by the archway entrance.

Lorric strikes at her, then there is a whirlwind of steel as she uses her halberd with devastating skill against Ajax, and a variety of other weapons against Lorric. The shifter is a bloodied mess in seconds, but Lorric manages to evade the blows aimed at him. Kapek throws boomerangs at the creature, hitting with several. Ajax strikes at it now, but only manages to connect once. Mirra, seeing the dire situation, calls upon the power of her oratory to inspire the fighting men to greatness as Wil attempts to Confuse the demon. Unfortunately it resists the effect.

Again Lorric’s fists slam into the creature, and it changes its tactics. This time it uses the halberd against the monk, and its other weapons against Ajax. Lorric manages to weave around the weapon and remain unhurt, but Ajax takes a terrific pounding, only his shifter resilience keeping him in the fight. Slowly Kapek advances towards the melee, hurling boomerangs as he comes. Ajax tears brutally at the Marilith with his claws and teeth, but it is a deadly blow from Lorric that finally brings her down. He manages to pull her back from the brink as she dies, ensuring that her undoubtedly expensive gear does not go with her into fiery oblivion.

With the demon dead, the group can now get on with their task. Wil casts Knock on the cage containing what seems likely now to be Lavinia, and Lorric leaps up to rescue her. He greets her with the word “Mother” and she responds with the name she gave him, Yeshmal, surprised to see her son now a man full grown. He explains to her that he is now known as Lorric. She harbours some suspicion that there may be some sort of demonic trick going on, but she is unwilling to dismiss all hope. When the group starts arguing about whether or nor to release the Archon, she comments that he is beyond help anyway, being totally insane. Kapek simply smiles at this and comments that this should not be a problem. A brief argument follows, with some of the group arguing that the Dragonmark should be saved for battle with Vanthus and his undead menagerie, but Kapek cuts it short by using its power. A warm glow of healing energies bathe the group, closing up most of Ajax’s horrific injuries and fully restoring everyone else. More importantly though, awareness returns to the Trumpet Archon’s eyes and he beseeches the group to give him his freedom.

As the Trumpet Archon is freed the rest of the group quickly equip Lavinia with some spare magical equipment. Then everybody gathers in a tight group around Wil and he casts 'Invisibility Sphere' and together they move towards the exit. (As they leave the ground shakes again and continues to shake. They hear the earth start to crack open).
As the Fists open the doors that lead onto the bridges that span the gap between the two islands they see gout's of lava erupt from beneath them. The whole island looks to be tearing itself apart.
A quick check reveals all but Lavinia and Kapek have ways of flying. Lorric donates a flying potion to Kapek and carries his mother and the group runs across the increasingly precarious looking bridge. As they cross the water around the islands bubble and two gigantic sea creatures burst from the sea.Behind them the volcano erupts and a gargantuan Magma Drake emerges from the volcano ridden by a sinister black armoured figure.
The group reach the other island and belt through the cages, as they go Wil casts three 'Knock' spells freeing the angels imprisoned there (including the two they'd talked to earlier).
They exit the building into a gathering of fiends the like of which even they have not seen before. A Balor sounds a mighty horn, the two sea creatures move up towards the group, two Mariliths ready martial arts weapons, another Balor bears a banner flanked by two more Balors, four Retrievers and a Admantine Golem bring up the rear. In the skies overhead four Vrocks circle. Behind them the Death Knight on the Magma Drake is joined by several dark flying figures and a score of Shadows.
For once the Crimson Fist need not debate what to do, with one mind they break left and run for the sea as the angels rocket straight upwards. Mirra casts 'Detect Magic' and yells that the Forbidance spell ends a few feet from the edge of the island.
As the Fists pelt at lightning speed to the edge of the island the sea boils again as the enormous form of Demo-Gorgon himself emerges from the water. He is too late however as is Vanthus who yells out his wife name desperately but the next instant the Fists pass the edge of the Forbidance and Mirra casts 'Plane Shift' and they are gone.