Throne of Iron, Throne of Blood

RAGNAROK Journal...9

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

‘Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here’

It was quickly apparent that we could not travel the city of Dis in a group so large. We needed to split up as we had more than one objective. Getting out of Hell, and now saving Hoffat from execution.

So, myself, Medb, Dreth, and Devoir, the cloest to our original group went to save Hoffat, whom I had known from the beginning of this mess, while the others… that stinking minotaur, the elf, and the other Tiefling went to secure us an exit. I highly doubted we would ever see them again so getting out of Hell was going to be difficult. I wished we could travel the Nine Levels and take out Asmodeus himself, but is essentially a god. I don’ know how my father was so strong as to make his way so far down… and Akira’s father…. well he was in actuality Beezlebub, the Prince of Hell, so he had the best chance of defeating the leader at that time, Takonian.

So, we walked out of the chamber in different groups, so not to draw attention to ourselves.
As our group walked, trying to look angry and blend in to the devilish denizens, and passerbys we could see a large tower in the distance. But no matter how long we walked, we could get closer… in fact it seemed to get farther away. Medb; she deduced that it was magic of Hell… most likley that was where Dispater, the ruler of this level dwelled…

We began to try and gather info on where Hoffat was being held. Devoir returned having tried to demand information… a Pixie trying to do so in Hell… of course it didn’t work. Dreth tried the same, and it failed. I decided to take a more subtle approach and stealth into an alley and listen. I quickly laerned that Hoffat was going to be tried in the court district. Well that was a start…. and he was currently being held at Mentiri prison, the most famous in the Hells for High-Profile prisoners.. they would be kept, but not outright executed. Their spirits would be broken however.
Devoir said he knew something about the Nine Hells, and the city but he took too long thinking. if I had not trained to resist hellish fire, I would have suffered a hot flash, like my companions. They all were growing weaker.

Dreth found a bar caled the “Snowball’s Chance” with the symbol of a snowman on the sign. He found the same information, the court district. I went outside and decided to climb a wall and check to see if I could spot the Court District. What I saw was disheartening. The streets… tha paths we had all taken had changed. Buildings shifted even before my eyes. This place was a labrynth within itself.

I quickly rejoined with my allies before any more shifting occurred for fear of being split up.
Devoir had foun information in the bar. He told us the jail is located in the center of a labrynth. God damn it. I had just mentioned labrynths…
Devoir flew into the air to spot the labrynth maze and came down saying he had spotted a green area with plantlife and water. Oh hell. Devoir! He flew away to the obvious trap. By the time I made it to the elegant wooden door, Devoir was chittering about it being locked and couldn’t be broken open.
Just at that moment, quite the looker of a woman appeared opening the door. She says, “All you had to do was knock.” and asked us to come in. I was hesitant, for good reason, from the records of my father’s travels here.

Inside Pixies flew around offering us grapes and asking us to stay in the Garden of Delights.
I felt relaxed all of a sudden… it was pleasant there. Much more pleasant than outside….
Devoir asked us if we should leave…. we all disagreed, especially Dreth who was flirting with the handmaiden.
Devoi began to frantically yell at us. Medb and I snapped out of the charm spell and stared at each other in shock. Devoir and Medb swung at Dreth trying to knock sense into him, but it was my fist across his jaw that made him realize we were in a trap.

Dreth still flirted with the woman, and Devoir laughed like only a Pixie could. Dreth wanted to stay and have sex with the ‘pretty’ girl. But from Devoir’s laughter, although I could not see her real appearance, I could tell, it was anything BUT prettty. I grabbed Dreth by the arm and turned to leave and I reliazed the door was gone.

“Shit.”

I spun arround to face the Pixie’s attacking and screaming, “No-no you can’t leave—you can’t leave!”

Dreth turned and ran at one of the Pixies which was actually an Imp, slashing at it, drawing a red line across its chest.
Medb pulled out her longbow and began firing, but the Imps began to turn invisible one by one… but I could hear some of them… one went behind Dreth.
Devoir moved and charged a male servant who had appeared near where the door used to be. The servant drops the silver tray he was holding and pulled a blade out of thin air. His big bat wings extending behind his back, he parried Devoirs attack and countered with a swing of his own. Devoir skidded back a step, still on his Displacer Beast mount.
I took aim at the deviant girl who was trying to seduce Dreth and threw two bolas, she easily spun and grabbed them out of the air, winking at me and blowing a kiss.

Dreth finally decided devil diseases were not worth it and smashed at her, cutting her arm. She growled back, bearing fangs.
Medb summoned a planar ally and tried to shoot the ‘Bouncer’ servant by the door, but she missed yet again. Just as an imp appeared and stabbed Dreth with his poisonous tail. Another appeared behind Devoir, but his armor protected him. A third imp went after Medb and the planar ally took the hit, discintegrating it. The final imp popped into existence beside me and I slapped its tail away and dodged the piercing strike.
Even though I could only see Pixie’s with scorpion tails, I knew their true forms. Dad had told me of them… some of the weakest of the Devils.
I pulled out my Nitharit poison vial and apply them to my blowgun darts. I moved back and shot an Imp with my own poison. It screeched as the dart stuck into its shoulder.

Dreth swung again at the handmaiden now covered in blood, and tried to hit her on the backswing, but he kept missing as her form seemed to shift just enough to avoid the edge of the blade. Medb moved behind a nearby pool of water and fired her longbow into the she-devil and called for Dreth to charge and finish her. He sliced at her so hard, I thought he would cut reality itself, but instead she fell away in two halves.
The Imps vanished, but I could hear three of them around…. In the mean while Devoir was still exchanging blows with the Bouncer. I spun and blew a dart into him, poisoning him too.

Dreth joined Devoir in the fight against our humanoid looking foe. Medb fired an arrow across the pool, but she couldn’t aimm right. The imps came out of hiding stabbing Dreth and Medb. The third came at and I spun around it confusing it as to where I had gone. Devoir stuck out his tongue at the Imp and headbutted with his helmet, knocking the Imps tail spike away. Pur local Pixie Paladin turned back to the Bouncer and thrust his sword into his gut. Drawing gallons of red from him. Then Devoir shouted for the Imps to all come at him. The bouncer followed Devoir who had moved away and tried to swing, but he was too injured, and more blood poured forth. I turned to aidd Medb and fired another dart, poisoning the Imp by her.

Dreth charged past an Imp, getting stabbed in the process and hacked into the bouncer with his greatsword, then sticking his foot into the bouncer’s chest and pulling out his sword with a sickening swish. The Bouncer fell over dead. Medb tried to get away from the Imp and fired at at one by Dreth, but missed, determined she fired again, nearly taking its head off. Three of the damned things vanished and Devoir moved back to back with Dreth as they stood ready. I sensed one in the trees to my left and fired at the invisible target, and a great splash of Imp blood burst out. It screeched in horrid pain, poisoned once again.

Dreth caught his breath, while Medb tried to make her way closer to the battle, shooting the imp I had struck, making it bled more so it was obvious to where it was. Invisible or not.
An imp popped out of thin air and appeared next to Dreth and Devoir, but the Pixie of Righteouness was too fast and slashed the Imp in two, and casting a spell of healing on Dreth.
Another imp appeared behind me and stabbed. I ducked to the side, as another went after Medb mising. Devoir got stabbed at but his armor deflected the wicked tail spike. Devoir thrust his blade into the imps temple, piercing its skull, dropping it like a fly. I took my last poison dart and fired at the Imp which had avoided being hurt the entire fight, trying to assassinate it, I hit into one of its lungs.

Dreth went at the same one, and Medb ordered Dreth to swing a second time, but he missed twice. Devoir tried to stab the Imp as well, but he couldn’t find it once it turned invisible. I though to knock it out of the ai with a Bola, but I was unable to hit the target as well.

Dreth once again, went after the Imp, as did Medb, and one popped up beside Med stabbing her in the leg, and the one I had forgotten about popped in front of me. I wasn’t prepared and took a stab to the side. I instantly felt the burning poison course into my veins. Devir came to my rescue, slashing at it, and drawing a new burst of blood.
I tried to shot with my hand crossbow at point blank, but things were becoming blurry. I didn’t hit my target I was sure.

Dreth saved me by slashing apart the Imp that had poisoned me. Medb shot the final imp in the wing and t crashed to the ground begging for forgiveness. Devoir tried to chop off its wings and the Imp backstepped right into the Displacer Beast. It squealed and Devoir knocked it out.

Upon trying to leave the Garden of Delights we find the door to be locked. We took a five minute breather, but Devoir alerted us to the palm trees. They were really Efreets… It was unsettling that they just watched the entire skirmish and didn’t aid either side. Devoir smacked awake the Imp, after cutting off its wings so it couldnt fly away. The imps first proof that he would help us was by telling us they way out was to knock on the other side of the door. Since one of us had wings, he flew over and knocked on the door freeing us.
The Imp was quickly interrogated, and by threatening its life it agreed to show us to the prison. I bound the Imp with rope, making sure it would not get free. Our next step was for him to lead us to the Labrynth. When we arrived, we decided had best rest first. We still had a day until Hoffat was to be tried. So instead of going into the black hedgemaze labrynth with thorns oozing an unknown liquid, we were led to an Inn by the name, “Inn of the Kindly Ones”.

We walked inside and it was dimly lit. A fire was in the hearth, and relaxing looking filled the room. In the back were a few tables void of patrons. The proprietress approached us. Quite an attractive Succubus. I felt a pang of guilt just then for not having found Rachel. She was half-succubus herself, but I did not ever dare mention that to the group. Anyway, the lady of the inn asked for payment for us to rent rooms. I traded a bottle of wine that Slythe had with his gear that I had taken. Dreth decided he would pay for both himself and Medb, by selling his body (and unbeknownst) his soul. Devoir elected to sleep in the stables with his Displacer Beast and the Imp, whose name turned out to be Stu.

The Next morning… we awoke at an early hour. 5 bells as they called it. A third Succubus ran the inn. One Dreth didn’t sleep with. She offers us breakfast, Deviled Eggs… I was hungry so I took it. I was getting low on rations anyway, and they were so stale and plain it was nice to have a luxury. In all honesty, Rachel would always make deviled eggs…
Devoir and Medb began lecturing Dreth on the fact that the Succubus now has her hooks in his soul… I stayed out of that conversation. We left the Inn and the Imp led us to the maze and into it. It was very creepy and strangely silent. You could almost hear the oozing of the thorns. As we made it to the exit, bells signaled it was 6.
When we came tot he prison buildings, several of which were connected together, I asked Stu if they would keep human prisoners at this prison. Rachel…Ai…Dad… I hoped they were alive and there. But Stu told us that only Tieflings and high-profile devils were kept in Mentiri.

Stu suddenly said,”I’ll make myself useful! Look someone is coming!” Then nodded to the west. Sure enough a group was heading our direction. Three Spine Devils had a Tiefling chained between them, another Devil, a Tiefling and A Duergar were the remainder of the escort. Their prisoner sure enough was Hoffat, who was drugged and dazed.
Our best chance was upon us, so we snuck into the maze and prepared out ambush. We hid around corners and then as they came close we attacked.

Medb lured a Spine Devil to her and ordered Devoir and Dreth to charge and attack. The Pixie Paladin missed, but the Slayer slashed into the unsuspecting devil. I blew my Id Moss Powder at the second Devil. he coughed and began choking, then as the poison took effect he gripped at his head in pain. Dreth slashed his taregt again, drawing first blood, and Devoir swung at the Devil thrice his height, missing.

The Duergar Cleric, ran forward and cried out, “The Power of Asmodeus Compels you!” and Dreth, with a lifeless look in his eyes attacked Devoir. Shit. Mind control. Then the first two Spine Devils swung their spikes tails and slashed Dreth, nearly knocking him over. The third spun and whipped its spines at Medb, Dreth and Devoir bothgot stabbed with fiery spines.
Medb hopped back and ordered Dreth, giving him back control of his mind, to attack the Spine Devil. Hoffat was stumbling around barely dodging attacks from both sides as the other Tiefling, a she-mage of some sort blasted fire, catching Dreth and Devoir in a fiery blaze. When it subsided my allies were stilll burning and trying to put out the flames. I ducked to the side of the inferno and shot a carefully aimed crossbow bolt right through the Spin Devils chest, hitting its heart. Then I added my Nitharit Poison and landed another Assassination strike right into the side of the next Devil.
Dreth in that distraction was able to put out the fire, as Devoir ended the life of another Spine Devil. On a side note, I have to say it felt much better killing a Devil in Hell. Knowing they would be forever destroyed.

The damned evil cleric cried out, “Asmodeus demands your tribute!” Thankfuly Devoir was stronger willed than our friend Dreth and resisted the urge to slash into any one of us.
The third Spine Devil blasted its fiery tail spines at us, and I ducked, and leaned back dodging one that nearly nicked my nose. Medb and Dreth weren’t so lucky. Medb shot the evil Tiefling with her long bow, and then a teleportation occured. I blinked and they had swapped places. I was unsure who triggered it, but I hadn’t seen Medb do such a thing before. The Tiefling bitch was near us now. Medb shot again, but missed and called out with inspiration in her voice for Dreth to keep on fighting. He wasn’t looking so well. The damn Tielfing teleported away again and shot a spell of sparks at Devoir which he seemed to resist. But then she blasted fire again and burnt Devoir and the Displacer Beast.
I stepped up to the she-devil and stuck my crossbow to her side and fired into her, delivering the poison, “Don’t worry Hoffat. We’ve got this!” I told my old ally. He didn’t seem to notice in his drugged up stupor. In the distance Devoir had moved around a corner, chasing the possibly fleeing Duergar, which promptly cried out in pain.

Medb ducked the spine devil’s tail and fired into it with her bow. It screeched and blood splattered Medb’s face. The thick gooey black blood of a deil.
The Tiefling mage was far from down, as she shot fire into Dreth’s face deterring his attack. I ducked behind the mage and fired a dart into the final Spinde Devil, finishing it. It fell to the ground gripping at a dart in its skull and then went limp. I turned to try and corner the Tiefling hoping that her teleportation was only a temporary ability, but it was not. She teleported away and fired a blast of magic at medb who had just returned to the fray with her planar ally, whichh took the hit and vanished. I was hit in the balast, and despite felling a pain in my mind as I moved toward her, I kept going. She would NOT escape.
In the background I saw the Duergar reappear from where Devoir had gone. Oh no. Devoir be alright! I pleaded in my mind.
Our enemy Tiefling then did the unexpected and charged Dreth with his staff knocking him out cold. I fired into her again and moved right up to her, blocking her from moving once again, but she moved away as the Duergar Cleric attacked Devoir’s Displace Beast. I saw he was still alive and sighed with relief.

Medb shot at the Duergar and missed and then words so severe time froze were spoken.
“Drop your weapons or this one dies!” The Tiefling was standing over Dreth, ready to crush his throat. Medb began to speak and I yelled, “Fine. I surrender” and dropped my blowgun. Then when she thought it safe, I dashed up to her drawing my crossbow and put it to her head and cursed, “Bitch.”, firing and blowing her brains out.
Devoir came running forward and put his hands on Dreth’s chest healing his wounds, and the Duergar pointed at me, trying to command me to attack my allies. It futile. I was too angered. I chased down the Duergar, and thrust him into the thorny hedgemaze, impaling him on the poisoned spike. he hung their lifeless, blood seeping out of his mouth.

With that, Hoffat was rescued. We grabbed him and hurried out of the maze, hoping our allies had found a way out of hell… well I secretly hoped they hadn’t. I had an itching to go after Asmodeus himself.

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