Alt-Magic Recap — Episode 66: The Hellblazers in Hell Part 2

Alt-Magic Campaign
Episode LXVI
The Hellblazers in Hell Part 2

cast

Abraxas Silvermane the Wizard (Connor), Akkamas Mohaïva the Warlock (Mike), Braxton Chabbone the Spellbound Paladin (Steve), Jone Constance the Occult Detective (Aaron), Kelwyn the Druid (Rodney), Tim the Rogue/Ranger (Shaun), & Bob the Dungeon Master

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This Recap was written by Connor (Abraxas)

At the bottom of a great, lava-filled canyon, the Hellblazers were faced with enemies on all sides. They were here to slay Baphomet, and while they found the Goat of Mendes, they also found Vecna, Arkhan the Cruel,  and Tiamat herself, currently bound with infernal chains.

Braxton suggested that they make a deal with Tiamat, offering to break the chains that bound her, in exchange for her help in defeating Baphomet. Abraxas advised against this, knowing that Tiamat still held a grudge against the Hellblazers for thwarting her plans time and time again. Braxton held fast to his plan, and many of the others agreed with him, so it was decided that the spellbound paladin, along with Tim, Jone, and Akkamas, would teleport to a bridge that led to the chains of Tiamat, while Abraxas, Kelwyn, and the Dran Sisters, would focus on keeping Baphomet and his forces distracted.

efreeti

Before they could put their plan into motion, however, an Efreeti Warlord spotted them, sending a blast of fire hurtling in their direction. Thanks to Braxton’s Aura of Power, they were able to absorb the brunt of the fiery attack, but not before Portentia Dran was consumed by the flames. Auspicia used magic to shrink her dead sister, and placed her in a small pouch so that she could be resurrected later.

Knowing that their friends would take care of the Efreeti, the group set on freeing Tiamat teleported away, appearing on a rope bridge that spanned the great canyon. Above them, the reddish purple sky churned unnaturally, while infernal creatures cackled all around them.

Below, Abraxas dashed forward, walking across tangible shadow as though it were solid ground. He stopped before the great Efreeti and Banished it to it’s home plane, which was far from Avernus. Kelwyn followed behind him, transforming into a pseudo-dragon capable of spying on the world around it. Meanwhile Auspicia began to make her way around rim of the canyon, avoiding lava and canoloths as she went.

Tiamat

Above, Tim Chainbreaker attempted to break Tiamat’s chains with his bare hands, only to the find infernal metal to be made of stronger stuff than he had hoped. Down the ridge, Braxton spotted a number of brutish fiends working at a forge, apparently making alterations to some kind of hammer. It was a long shot, but the spellbound paladin charged forward, vowing to free Tiamat, who only growled in acknowledgement. Jone provided valuable cover-fire for both Tim and Braxton, while Akkamas was a little more subtle, sneaking around on the ledges underneath the rope bridge they had appeared on.

“Hellblazers!” A voice called. Tim and Jone looked back to see a woman standing on another rope bridge that ran parallel to the one they had just stepped off of. Tim recognized this person before anyone else: It was Miranda Heron. Before he could voice his annoyance, she cast fireball, starting a terrible exchange of steel and spell.

At the forge, Braxton had been swarmed by demons after grasping the hammer that had caught his attention. He was a more than capable fighter, and held his own against the snarling beasts. Things began to turn against him when one of the demons used magic to enhance it’s size, allowing it to pick up the tiny paladin and swing him like a sack of potatoes.

From their position at the bottom of the canyon, Abraxas and Kelwyn became aware of their friends’ predicament, and began fighting their way up the infernal hill. Also fighting on the slopes was Arkhan the Cruel and his advisor, the Wizard Akmed. At first, they thought to aid the last living members of Force Grey, but when Kelwyn landed beside Akmed, the Wizard tried to shove him into the lava out of spite. It seemed that Tiamat’s followers did hold a grudge…uh oh. Thankfully, Kelwyn sidestepped the attack at the last minute, watching as the Wizard’s momentum carried him forward and…into the lava. Arkhan howled with rage and teleported away before Kelwyn or Abraxas could stop him.

Hearing a number of war-cries from the other side of the river of lava, Abraxas turned to see a swarm of kobolds and canoloths charging down the slope. Thinking quickly, Abraxas reached into the smoke around him and conjured a number of shadows, which provided a strong defense against the irritating minions. After doing this, he turned to Auspicia Dran, who told him that it was now or never: Baphomet needed to die, and it needed to die soon.

Speaking of death, it seemed that our spellbound paladin was in dire straights, until he saw Portentia Dran appear, seemingly back from the dead, and heal him. She had taken a page from Abraxas‘ book, using illusion to feign her death that she might be a dark horse in their harrowing venture. Braxton thanked her and returned to the battle at hand.

demonbalorTim proved to be a destructive force, slaying a number of demons and avoiding Miranda Heron’s onslaught. Then Vecna entered the picture. This was no god, but mortal man who had been slain by the Hellblazers long ago. All the same, he wanted revenge, and unleashed a ceaseless barrage of spells in order to achieve his goal.

Jone and Akkamas took up defensive positions, beating back the onrushing demons with all kinds of forceful spells. It was Jone’s clever use of a tidal wave spell that really changed things, sending entire hordes of demons falling into the lava. This drew Miranda Heron’s attention and she was an ever increasing threat, but the tidal wave proved too much for her as she was sent hurtling into the lava below.

Painbringer

The party finally had their chance to reacquire the hammer they had desperately fought and bleed for. It ended up in Tim’s hands and he moved with it, intent on Tiamat‘s chains. It was at this moment Arkhan appeared and threatened the group. His hatred was a palpable force between them as he labeled the Hellblazers liars and deceivers. He scoffed at their plan to free Tiamat.

Arkhan

“It is no matter. Free her quickly, then,” he said, “if only to hasten your own deaths.”

Tim was flustered by this, but was urged on by Braxton. Raising the hammer high, he broke Tiamat’s chains, releasing the Goddess of Evil Dragons. They anticipated the dragon coming to their aid against Baphomet, but the goddess bellowed with rage as she unleashed her lightning breath weapon against Braxton…

Chaos reigned all around the Mendes Goat, and yet the Baphomet remained calm. It sat on its high throne, with the imp Littlecrow and the canoloth Broose-Gunter at its side. It pondered many things while it sat there, but it did not anticipate Gunter‘s attack. The canoloth grappled Baphomet with its thorny tongue as Abraxas smiled from the shadows.

roll20 baphomet

The self-proclaimed Master of Mirrors controlled the canoloth with his Dominate Monster spell. The beast drug Baphomet down the steps of its throne, into the open were Kelwyn and Auspicia Dran attacked it with every advantage. Kelwyn came at the beast like a whirling dervish armed with his vicious scimitar, and Auspicia peppered Avernus’ Overlord with distracting spellfire.

Littlecrow fled the field, knowing that her master was not long for this or any other world. And soon, with a single mighty slash, Kelwyn had impaled the Demon Lord, his scimitar having pierced its black heart.

“No,” Auspicia raged! “He was to die by my hand!”

“Too bad,” Kelwyn replied. “It’s my birthday, bitch!”

The battle with Tiamat paused as every Hellblazer felt the earth tremble and the ceiling begin to collapse all around them. They had one chance to escape–a teleportation circle at the bottom of the canyon. Braxton, Tim, and Jone fought past Arkhan and Tiamat, getting a safe distance away before realizing they were missing a warlock.

As Baphomet’s assassins prepared to join their friends at the teleportation circle, Abraxas, who stood beside the throne of the Demon Lord, saw Akkamas appear. He thanked the wizard and the druid for giving him his new throne and encouraged them to leave.

Abraxas understood. Now that Tiamat was free, a stronger Demon Lord than Baphomet needed to keep her in check. The wizard could think of no one better for the job than Akkamas Mohaïva. And coming to sit at the warlocks side was Auspicia Dran. The two of them could keep Tiamat at bay until the end of time if necessary, and they were comfortable in Avernus, in land filled with many like them.

Abraxas and Kelwyn  bid their friend farewell and soared across the hellscape to get to the portal. Their friends, joined by Portentia Dran, followed close behind, making it to the magical conveyance and activating it. Soon, the swirling tunnel of energy brought them to the basement of Blackstaff Tower, their business, resolved.

In one epic adventure the Hellblazers had slain Baphomet, imprisoned Tiamat, and placed a new lord on the Throne of Avernus. At long last, their war with the evils of the netherworld has come to an end. They could finally turn their attentions inward and face the struggle of rebuilding Waterdeep and securing peace in Vispania.

As they say, the end is also a beginning, and time will always remember the past and future deeds of the Hellblazers, even if they are, at their heart, a rag-tag band of ne’er-do-wells, liars, and thieves.

They were never meant to be heroes. They were Hellblazers. They got the job done, no matter the cost, and never waited for glory-hounding heroes to save the day in their stead. Heroes made claim to battle back evil in the name of good, but where did that get them? The Hellblazers turned back the forces of chaos for status and coin… and were quite successful at it… and they wouldn’t have it any other way…the Jerks!

The End

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