Chapter 1: The Avernus Job [First Layer of Hell]

The Nine Hells are no place for the mortal soul. Those who willingly walk into the most infamous dens of iniquity and horror are sure to return home with stories, treasures, and... more
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ManWithDoor
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Chapter 1: The Avernus Job [First Layer of Hell]

Post by ManWithDoor » Tue Mar 03, 2020 7:32 am

Log'thar listens attentively to the briefing and the subsequent questions. He reaches up to his shoulders and removes the cloth obscuring his pauldrons. Revealed is not the heraldry of a kingdom or the holy symbol of a god, it is the sigil of Tubidu. "Yes, my Lord. All shall be accomplished according to your will."

He takes the offered soul coin, pondering it in his palm. The ancient shaman within stirs, not communicating with words but instead just a feeling of the personality. A sense of connection to a tribe, of communion with nature and the spiritual planes. Something in that soul yearns to connect with another again, an odd feeling to the paladin that has so divorced himself from mortal affairs.
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Chapter 1: The Avernus Job [First Layer of Hell]

Post by Shurijo » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:12 pm

Tubidu nods at Log'thar's statement. He then dismisses the conjured daggers, rolls the map, and offers it to Tome. Afterwards, te devil stands idly by watching the group to see if they have any further questions or concerns.
If no further questions, then we can proceed.

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RorytheRomulan
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Chapter 1: The Avernus Job [First Layer of Hell]

Post by RorytheRomulan » Thu Mar 05, 2020 6:30 pm

"Alright. Even if Mephistophelese doesn't have Jezirpa, that emissary might still be helpful. Well, I'd better get packing."

After stating an intent to depart, he lingers in case there's something he might miss.

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Chapter 1: The Avernus Job [First Layer of Hell]

Post by Vardaen » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:26 pm

For a long while the warforged says nothing. It barely moves, certainly it doesn't breath or blink, and only stands stock still listening you presume. As book and map and coin are offered he reaches out and takes it, and holds it without packing it away yet. He waits for the information to come forward before he processes it and replies. "I suppose I shall have to find a test subject to place in the River eventually to complete my research." He then places the scroll in a bone case and tucks it away. Then the soul coin, which does nothing to get a 'rise' out of him is placed in a small pocket among his cloak. The book he holds a while, then nods, to indicate he's heard enough. He opens the book and begins to study its contents needing no rations or water prior to setting out.
"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Chapter 1: The Avernus Job [First Layer of Hell]

Post by ManWithDoor » Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:58 am

Log'thar raises an eyebrow at Tome's statement, and makes a mental note to inquire about the "research" that the warforged is conducting, especially one that involves subjects being placed in the River Styx. "It appears we have some reading to do on the road. It will be a pleasure working with professionals again."
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Chapter 1: From The Highway to Hell

Post by Shurijo » Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:22 pm

Log’thar leads the group to the outskirts of Ribcage. Placing the golden, hollow disc on ground, he speaks the command word. The Disc of Teleportation grows to twenty-five feet across and encompasses each of the group members. They noticed an immediate a reddish glow and a bright flash before….

...
Pictured below is the fallen angel, and current ruler of Avernus, Zariel - with the Sword of Zariel.
You don't see them, this is just a thematic image
Image
The next thing they see is a blasted, war-torn battlefield. Ruins of enormous war machines and fields of bleached bones, stretch across the horizon. In the distance, they can see a large river—which they can assume is the infamous River Styx—winding away from them.

The hellscape is covered by hideous clouds obscuring the sky. There is ambient light coming from just below the horizon, as though lit by nine setting suns, yet no actual celestial bodies fill the sky—no sun, moons, or stars. With constant twilight, it will be difficult to track the passage of time.

The atmosphere reeks of brimstone and burning tar. Host gusts of wind shriek across the hellscape. In the distance, you can see the wind swirling into immense sandstorms that could likely strip flesh from bone and plunge everything into complete darkness.

Not too far away, a meteor streaks and crashes into the ground. As they stand, they can see numerous meteors streaking through the air in what appears to have no consistent trajectory, timing, or destination.

Surrounding the near by corpses are biting flies, hellwasps, and swarms of blood-sucking stirges. To the east, they spot a large moving swarm of flying creatures that could encompass an entire village. In the distant east, wandering bands of nupperibos (blind, bloated castaways of the damned) move in the thousands like living lakes of groaning flesh searching for food.

Only a few feet away from Ryldfrynatar Filifar, a small pool of with the consistency and odor of bile. With a warning from Tome, the others know this is demon ichor, the remains of a demon—a reduction of its demonic blood, viscera, and bodily fluids. If any creature would come in contact with this liquid, they would experience a curse warping their appearance and personality. The warforged scholar notes that it could be used to coat the tips of their weapons, as long as they do not come into contact with it. The effects of demon ichor on warforged are unknown, yet, Tome’s sentient docent warns him against using himself as the test subject without any other scholars available to assist with such an experiment.

(Using cardinal directions to make it easier for us to communicate. In reality, you’re just pointing which way.)

In the distance to your west, maybe a few hours walk, you can see a large, glowing obelisk atop a cliff. The height of the cliff could work well as a vantage point to get a better feel for surroundings and location. To your immediate north, the River Styx is clearly visible and less than an hour walk. Hordes of nupperibos crawl and a swarm of hellwasp fly eastwards towards the river as far as you can see. To your south, you see a large canyon but cannot determine its depth or contents from your current location.
Locations are approximate, based on a combined directional/wisdom sense of the party
Image
**Arcana**
Tome – you feel a strange, arcane pull towards the tower, like there is great arcane power source - or possibly knowledge there
Check out the OOC forum for player actions. These actions are things you can do as we're traveling (wandering encounters, etc.) When you say where you're going, I'll tell you how many 'legs' (rolls) it will be and I'll roll your actions. You can have a standing action that you always do or you can switch it up depending on circumstances. Also for each 'leg', I'll be rolling an 'encounter' die to determine if any encounters happen. Since all are experienced players, I'll be posting the numbers in OOC as well, so we understand and can tweak as needed.

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Chapter 1: From The Highway to Hell

Post by RorytheRomulan » Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:25 am

"Ooh, don't mind if I do." Ryld stoops to the demon ichor with a rapier out to coat his weapon, and to collect some.
Survival and/or Poisoner's Kit
I'd like to collect some ichor to immediately poison my rapier, then collect and store some, in my flask if needed. Should have bought more flasks...

If the others would like to have their weapons poisoned, I will do it for them if proficiency/kit is required.

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Chapter 1: From The Highway to Hell

Post by ManWithDoor » Thu Mar 12, 2020 3:10 am

The big half-orc keeps his distance from the ichor, but looks with interest as Ryld expertly handles the corrupt substance. "Impressive. It would we best if we shared with each other more than simply names, as we will be working together for some time."

He gestures to his armor. "Log'thar, as I stated earlier. Paladin of Asmodeus, sworn soldier to my Liege Lord, Tubidu." He draws his sword, his eyes constantly surveying their surroundings for danger. "While to my enemies I am an avatar of war, until you prove yourselves unworthy of it, you are my allies. And thus I will defend you with my life, with armor and magic."

He moves to the side, and begins a long incantation. Several minutes later a screaming spirit rises from the ground, which coalesces into the form of a fiery-eyed warhorse. Its coat is coal black, and does not shine at all. Log'thar pats it with fondness, running his gauntleted hand along its long neck. "Hello, old friend. Onward on another mission."
Casting 'Find Steed'. Summons a Fiendish Warhorse. Mainly using it as flavor (classic knight on a horse), but might be occasionally useful in battle. It's also got Int 6, so might come in handy. It's a permanent bond with a single steed, so I really need to get around to naming the thing.
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Chapter 1: From The Highway to Hell

Post by RorytheRomulan » Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:03 am

The glow in Ryld's eyes flicker as he blinks. He winces at the sound of the spirit being summoned into being. A horse blacker than the void above...? "Huh. I've never met a paladin pledged to an archdevil. And no paladin at all that was...'friendly'. You might say I'm pledged to the Lord of Shadows, but it's just the nature of my work. When I'm not out collecting souls for Tubidu in a corpse-strewn battlefield the size of a small country, I do jobs for the Zhentarim back on the mortal plane. If the job's big, the mark might be a priceless artifact, or a life."

His mouth hangs open as he works with the ichor. "As you can probably guess, I've trained in and picked up an array of skills and tools that come in handy, but more often than not I end up breaking out after sneaking in. I'm self-sufficient, too."

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Chapter 1: From The Highway to Hell

Post by Shurijo » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:16 pm

Avernus effects the Find Steed Spell as follows:
Find Steed. The steed is a nightmare.

Image

Some different stat blocks and features than a typical war horse. The "Ethereal Stride" feat does not apply (you can't use this as teleportation back to material plane).
https://www.dndbeyond.com/monsters/nightmare
It has a tar-like texture, so it sticks to things. You'll get 1 dose per application. Once that item comes into contact with a creature, then that uses the dose.
As Log'thar finishes his incantation, rather than the usual war horse as expected, a nightmare appears from a cloud of rolling smoke. Its mane, tail, and hooves are wreathed in flame. The creature's unearthly black form moves with grace and supernatural speed. This creature is also called a "demon horse" or "hell horse." It resembles a fiendish horse, and its fiery red eyes betray its malevolent intelligence.

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