We are now hiding from demons in the very secret house. There’s a blade barrier around everything except the front door. We really, really need to get out of here. There are still some refugees hiding in the basement. Clovis Cloverfield looks to Marshall for guidance; Marshall tells him to try to dispel the Blade Barrier, which he does.
Vendril yells down to get the refugees moving. Tavros uses Lay On Hands to heal Liera a bit, and then retreats further into the house. Leira follows, and then looks out the window and conjures a Meteor Swarm. The demons take a surprisingly large amount of damage from this.
The Marilith smashes through the barrier and comes to the door. Marshall casts Divine Favor and a quickened Divine Power, then adds a quickened Cure Critical on Tavros. Clovis grabs Tavros by the shoulder. “What do I do now?”
Tavros: “Heal me! You’re a cleric, heal the paladin!”
“Oh! Right!” He does, and then heals Leira as well.
One of the Glaabrezu casts Power Word Stun on Marshall. Marshall is stunned. The other two glaabrezu smash through the barrier. The first one attacks Marshall and hits. Tavros moves back up and yanks Marshall back, taking his place. Leira casts disintegrate on the demon outside the window, but fails to dissolve it; it still takes damage, and of course it’s pissed off. She throws a quickened fireball as well.
The marilith steps forward, staying just outside of Tavros’ reach, and attacks him. A lot. She has six arms and a tail slap, She whacks the crap out of him, and grapples Tavros with her tail.
Venrdil’s crew tries to put the ladder out, but it immediately flies up into the sky because of the anti-gravity effect. Clovis runs up behind Tavros and drops another Heal on him, Vendril tumbles up through the antigravity and onto the roof. One of the glaabrezu attempts to stun Tavros, and fails. The other two attack him, but miss. Tavros tries to break out of the grapple, but fails.
Leira drops a Freezing Sphere on the marilith that’s trying to crush her father, which doesn’t bother him at all – Tavros is immune to cold. She also tags the two closest glaabrezu in the process. One of them is staggering, but the marilith is barely scathed. Leira follows up with a quickened magic missile and finishes the glaabrezu; she ping the marilith with a second one as well. Marilith, telepathically: You will pay for that!
The marilith moves into the house, taking Tavros with her and constricting him. She disdains to attack Clovis, and instead tries to use Telekinesis to throw Marshall and Clovis out into the street for the glaabrezu. She fails.
Vendril’s assistance are still trying to get past the reverse gravity. Clovis, meanwhile, casts Repulsion, making her unable to move towards him; he then blocks the doorway. Vendril tumbles through the anti-gravity and makes it to the pedestal leading to the next building. One of the glaabrezu uses Power Word Stun on Leira, and succeeds. The other one tries to telekinesis Marshall out the door, and again fails. The marilith again constricts Tavros, who is struggling but seems unable to escape. The marilith attacks Marshall, and Clovis promptly heals him.
Meanwhile, another things comes creeping around the corner. It’s a Yuan-ti anathema: basically a giant, snake-based abomination with only the tiniest vestiges of humanity left. Vendril ties off the rope, and the anathema promptly moves in behind the glaabrezu. The glaabrezu move in but miss, and Tavros finally rips his way out of the grapple. He positions himself opposite Marshall.
Marilith: “Come back, my pretty!” she tries to grab him with her tails but misses; she then attacks him with her swords, and hits with one.
Then Marshall snaps back to sense. “Oh you poor, wretched creatures.” He lays into her with his scythe, doing a lot of damage… most of which, unfortunately, she soaks.
Vendril’s crew gets everyone upstairs and starts trying to get people across; one slips and flies up into the air.
Clovis, meanwhile, is still blocking the door. He casts Death Ward on Marshall, and adds align weapon to help Marshall get through the marilith’s defenses. Vendril manages to lasso one of his men from the sky and pulls him down. “This is not going well.”
Tavros finally cuts loose, and cuts the marilith in half; he then turns out the door and takes out a glaabrezu, then another. Marshall strolls out the door and turns into an even bigger snake than the anathema. Vendril and his friends are still moving refugees to the next building.
So naturally another marilith comes around the corner.
Clovis steps up and heals Tavros again, while Vendril pulls another guy down. The anathemy draws a giant blasphemous falchion and attacks Tavros with it. It hits him, and the sword casts blasphemy. One of the guys upstairs just randomly dies. The rest of us are stunned and dazed. It misses with next two sword attacks, and then all six of its heads tries to bite; one succeeds, and manages to poison Tavros.
The marilith moves closer. Vendril crosses back over to try to get the last two people. The anathema continues to attack Tavros, missing with the sword, and hitting with a claw. Tavros then attacks, only hitting it once but doing a fair amount of damage. Leira runs upstairs and positions herself where she can target the demons, and drops a meteor swarm directly behind the marilith – close enough to hit the anathema as well. Then she drops fireballs on them.
The marilith charges Tavros and attacks with her tail, but misses. Marshall casts Greater Restoration on himself, then follows up with a quicked Spell Resistance on himself, and follows up with a quickened Slay Living on the Anathema, but fails to get through its spell resistance.
Vendril: “I hear more of them coming. Big ones! We need to go!”
Tavros: “I say, we’re not the ones going slow!”
Clovis steps out and cures Tavros somewhat. Vendril gets two more hostages across while the others duck into the building and slip out a back window. The anathema attack Tavros again, hitting with its sword and one snake head. Tavros slices into it with his falchion and takes it down.
Leira casts fly and then slips out the far balcony. The marilith attacks Tavros, cutting him up, and then hits him with her tail. Tavros is ready this time, and shakes her off.
Marshall scoops up Tavros and Clovis in his mouth, spreads the wings from his magic cloak and flies away with them. Looking back, we see these two giant balls of hands and eyes rolling in to reinforce. The remaining henchman gets the last refugee across, and we slink off into the shadows of the city, our scents lost in the constant rain.
We make our way to the outskirts of town, and Vendril leads us to Brightland.
Brightland is now run entirely by criminal guilds, who are keeping their own sort of social order. He takes us to an inn, where he pauses to mourn the death of Jonnee, who died in the blasphemy. He gets the refugees on their way.
Vendril: “So, guys… what the fuck? I thought you were dead.”
Tavros: “It seems we might actually have been dead.”
Leira explains how traumatized she is about being a spinster now. Vendril has word of Sasha – he’s reappeared out east. A great hero. I hear he may be in trouble, though. Viggo would know more.”
“Viggo? The Whisperer? …Of course he survived.”
Vendril got them to Caristhium.
Tavros: “Why are there demons everywhere>”
Vendril: “I’m told the Vecna priests just opened portals and let a bunch of them in.”
The rain has been growing stronger as we spoke, and now someone knocks on the door. A man bursts in in blue robes, He looks around at everyone who is not us and says, “Out!” Then he tosses a coin purse at the barkeep.
He squelches over to us and sits down. “I am Ezra Cardon, high priest of Indra from the Copa Dei basin.”
Marshall: “Why should we care?”
Ezra: “Because we have the same problem: those mewling priests of that pansy-ass god, Vecna.” He wants our help, apparently.
Tavros: “It seems you just got here in time. The storm seems to have grown stronger just as you arrived.”
Marshall: “So what do you think we could to help?”
“It’s clear that there’s some sort of deal between Vecna and Asmodeus. Clearly the followers of Vecna didn’t want the kingdom.
Tavros explains about what we did with the Sword and the Hand. (Leira has departed, leaving a Silent Image to occupy her chair.) Marshall: “But why would Asmodeus give those artifacts to Vecna?”
“Vecna’s followers opened portals and let Asmodeus’ demons into Sol Povos, effectively handing him the kingdom. There are pockets of resistance around – lady Gizelle in the west, the sacred hero Sasha in the east. The poet and the spymaster would know. You go to Caristium and find them, and I’ll figure out where Vecna’s followers went.”
We ask about the elf party, and Ezra says he’ll see if he can send a message to them. He’s thrilled by the idea of more allies against Vecna. He is clearly not a good guy, but he’s also extremely interested in defeating or destroying Vecna. Tavros is troubled by this, but… we’re a little short on allies and options.
Ezra departs. Clovis has heard of an Indra temple and a high priest named Ezra Cardon from up in the Copo Deus region; that used to be Indra’s seat of power.
Time, meanwhile, is doing very strange things to the famous gnomish bard Geddy. He and the dragon-girl Eva have been growing old while viewing each other through a crystal pond. Bryce, the crown prince, joins Geddy there, and Geddy at some point begins to mentor Bryce in the ways of rulership.
By the time Ruin and Martini escape the abyss and return to the shores of mar dentro, Eva has rescued the elderly Geddy. We get the local date sorted out. Geddy decides to Scry on Marshall, and gets a good view of Tavros opening up people’s coffins and letting them out. As a result, we get some new information: the others are alive, Sol Povos is overrun with demons, and things have gone horribly wrong.
We decide to head north, because Ruin has no idea that he has children and his kith and kin were in or near Annun the last he knew.