Rise of the Planar Trade Consortium

Run 76 Rise of the PTC: To Seize the Cage!, Pt. II "War, war never changes"

Following the initial fight Gabberslug departs, suspiciously the halfling who had fallen through time and been caught by Sioned goes missing at just about the same time. . . .. .

More important is the fact that there is a large oni with a massive two-handed sword pointing it at our heroes. Despite appearances it turns out to be Estevan, it would also appear that over the centuries between now and “later” he changes substantially. The heroes try to convince Estevan, Y’larra, Akalabeth, and Akasha to work with them. Akalabeth seems to be mostly in charge, though it’s clear Estevan doesn’t take orders from her where the safety of his charge (Y’larra) is concerned. Akalabeth doesn’t fully trust Sioned, or her friends, but agrees to travel with them until they can hole up somewhere.

Once the two groups are further from the ongoing battle, which the demons seem to be winning, they stop to assess the situation. Sioned plays things pretty straight up, telling Estevan and Akalabeth most of the truth, the only thing she keeps close to her vest is that she is the Lady of Pain and will be taking over the Cage. The two groups agree to work together to try to figure a way out of the Cage; Akalabeth and her sisters will stay hidden and she’ll try some arcane tests to see what she can do, Sioned and her “crew” will go to see if they can deal with the portals.

After determining the nearby portal to the Abyss’s location, and realizing it is under the control of Orcus, the group heads out into the streets. They manage to make their way across enough of the city to make it to where the House of a Thousand Doors will stand, in the future. The journey is perilous, as the streets are filled with demons harrying retreating devilish forces. They approach what is clearly a fortified battle-line, and Rook searches out an unseen route through it. Now in devil-controlled territory they avoid a few patrols before finding the location of the House of a Thousand Doors.

Rook searches the area, after everyone discovers that the location itself isn’t important, and discovers a passage to Under-Sigil (sometimes named Ligis). Below the House they find where the Bone Gate was first assembled, and the bodies of the dabus who died to empower it. But the Bone Gate is gone, and while Sioned can close the portal that leads in to it, she decides not to do so at this point in time.

Also near the gate is a copy of the Book of Days. It seems Njalla has been lost in time, a split-second out of phase from reality. She can see our world, but can’t interact with it. Running low on food, and magic, she tries a ritual to send things across her “gap”, but the Book of Days is a powerful artifact and it’s magic messes with her ritual resulting in a copy of it appearing where Rook will find it, near the Bone Gate. Camillas duplicates her ritual, and the group sends Njalla several weeks of food and water, as the book records her saying she’s running low. It’s clear Njalla is watching them, and can communicate (one-way) by writing in the book. (though given the amount of space in the book, and ink that Njalla has, it’s clear only important messages should be sent via this route)

Having exhausted the possibilities at their current location they return to the streets of the cage to discover that the devil’s fortifications have been over-run. The devils are in full retreat, pursued by masses of demons. Now that Sioned knows how to close the gates consensus is to depart the area and attempt to find Orcus’s gate to the Cage, and close it.

This time the streets are even more chaotic, the fall of the devil’s battle-line has resulted in very dangerous streets. The group begins to move back towards the meeting place w. Akalabeth, to confer prior to assaulting Orcus’s gate, but fails to entirely avoid trouble.

Rook hears conflict to the front of the group, and they spot a battle line of devils holding against demons for the moment. They try to route around them, but a pair of armanites and a handful of lesser demons burst out from some ruins and threaten to hit the devilish battle-line in it’s rear, which will surely shatter it. The group attacks.

Camillas goes first, and ensures the safety of the devils by raising a wall of ice to stop the charge of the demons. Most of the lesser demons fall quickly, but the armanites are tough customers. Camillas gets caught in the front lines and takes a beating but doesn’t drop before Sioned and friends dispatch the demons.

Before anyone can get a rest in the wall of ice explodes as multiple bursts of hellfire hit it, from the other side. The devils have held the field, and now turn to our heroes seeking . . . . information. Furthermore it would seem that they aren’t just some little skirmishing force, leading them is a badly beaten up un-powered Fierna. (Giilos can practically smell how low her reserves of hellfire are, she positively doesn’t glow from inside with the flames of hell, like she normally does.)

Giilos takes point in this conversation, and mostly stalls Fierna until he gets close enough to seize her in his arms and kiss her. (fulfilling her demand that the next time they met he would “kiss instead of kill” her) The touch of fresh hellfire ignites Fierna, and she starts to suck power from Giilos. Rather than hold onto all his power he willingly let’s her pull hellfire from him. Rekindled Fierna now practically blazes with power, she cries out to the darkened skies and another force of devils descends to join everyone, this force led by Glasya. A scandalous scene involving Fierna and Glasya ensues, during which she rekindles Glasya’s hellfire reserves and everyone realizes that they are closer to each other than people had previously thought.

Conversation with the two devilish forces reveals a number of things.

1. The devils are losing, badly.
2. The fallen battle-line was defending the last infernal stronghold, held by Grazzt. With it’s fall control of the sole portal from Hell has now fallen to demonic forces.
3. Glasya and Fierna have been on the run, behind the demon lines, and are pretty much destroyed as battle-field forces. (their armies are broken, all that remain are basically the command troops)
4. Three portals lead into the Cage from the Abyss. Orcus controls one, Demogorgon and Baphomet control the other two.
5. With the three demonic generals victorious, and the three infernal generals on the run (and in Grazzt’s case probably out of hellfire as well), control of the Cage will Very Soon Now be Abyssal. (so if Sioned wants to own the Cage, she’d best move on that soonest)

Thus endeth the session.

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