Well, the rescue of Steve Quint’s mother could have gone better. After a short trip in and out of the snake infested, incomplete sewer, the heroes decided the streets might be safer. The main roads were filled with the devil foot soldiers, so they took to the alleys. Turns out the alleys were crawling with the undead. Skeletons of fallen guardsmen rose up in their path, some of them cloaked in flames and hurling balls of fire. Arriving at Steve’s house, they find the door open and several of the skeletons had his mother cornered in the kitchen. They made short work of the things, and made ready to escape to the safety of the city walls. Until she was taken into a portal to hell when their backs were turned. They make their way back into the walls via the river gates and head to the Order Arcanum to find out how to get her back. In his zeal, Steve forgot his manners and threatened the young apprentice left to watch the place while the wizards powerful enough to help them were on the walls fighting devils. He took a magic missile to the chest and the group pulled him out before the living statues could finish the job. With no other recourse, and under the advice of Magus’ grandfather, they went to Mordecai for help. He was intrigued by their request to summon a human from Hell, something never tried before, and offered to see what could be done to modify a ritual for that purpose. The heroes took advantage of Mordecai’s open bar and comfortable sitting room while they waited. Finally, Mordecai announced that he had something that might work. It couldn’t summon her directly, it would allow them to find her and open a portal to get her. Unfortunately, they found her in the chains of a Pit Fiend. Seeing, the portal, he looked and recognized Steve somehow. Steve knew a direct rescue would fail, so initiated a bargain. The devil offered a soul for a soul, but Steve countered with something that used his knowledge of his death day to his advantage. He challenged the devil to strike a single blow against him. If it killed him, the fiend would keep both his mother and his soul. If Steve survived, however, he would leave with his mother. The devil agreed and Steve stepped through the portal where he was promptly chained up and reminded that there was no time limit placed upon the bargain and the portal closed. I’m going to time skip just a few days, so here is the summary. Individual will be e-mailed, so this is just a general thing. The following couple of days see the destruction of much of the city outside the walls. The walls, it seems are protected by a powerful ritual. There was some destruction within the walls before it could be activated, but it’s safe for now. The war rages across the entire continent, messages sent by the mage guilds in other cities report the same. Devils and demons battle each other in the skies, while the land becomes a three-way battleground unlike any other.
In a rare public appearance, Governor Thomas Oer gave a speech in the City Center. (Not technically in the center, it’s actually off of the main road in the middle layer.) “It is clear that we are at war with dangerous enemies. The forces of Hell itself have moved against the good and righteous people of the known world, and likely the rest of it as well. This action has also brought with it the demons of the Abyss. It seems the two are enemies, but we cannot use this to our advantage. As far as we are concerned, there is no difference between them. They must all be driven back to their realms. There is no defined front to the war, there are no known tactics. Each and every one of us must be prepared to fight for our very survival. “To this end, I have given order that the secrets of Blasting Powder be released to the four kingdoms of Morand, and that its sale shall no longer be restricted to the guard. I have no illusions that this will end the war, but we must use every weapon available to us. “Some have expressed concern that we may enter another Thousand Year Blight. I cannot say how events will unfold. But of this I am sure: We will survive this. Our history is full of conflict and destruction, both at the hands of each other, and of the forces of evil. And every time, through victory and defeat, we have survived and we have rebuilt better and stronger. “It is true that we are out numbered by opponents far more powerful than we are individually. But we have righteousness on our side. This is our world, and will remain our world when the dust settles from this war.”
The next game will start six days after Steve went to Hell. After the initial four days of utter chaos, things have calmed down. The devils have settled into some planar version of a siege, and using their abilities to corrupt from within. The demons still roam the land, making travel nearly suicidal. Things look bleak.
Start of next game: Third-Third: Avandor, Y1015