The party made their way through the camp of devils up to the hill with the portal. After a nasty encounter with some ice devils, they finally arrived at the portal. It was fifteen feet tall and wide and radiated evil. Literally. It was orange-colored evil. Niachi looked around to notice a faint magic circle around it. So he did what anyone else would do and smudged it. The portal fuzzed and burst into flame. Cause it’s a portal to Hell. That’s what it does. Burn things. But the party did not realize that the Pit Fiend guarding the portal was still around. He attacked Niachi with his claws, wings, and terribly foul mouth. The cat jumped back in his invisibility, but the damage was done. The wound burned and festered. A glance showed the poison burning along his veins, slowly making its way to his heart. But he didn’t let that stop him. The party engaged the beast.
The pit fiend began by summoning a friend, a horned devil, but his mighty plans were quickly derailed by the ninjas. Invisible and ethereal, they damaged him tremendously and forced his retreat. His fearsome fireballs were useless against them. Sara summoned an astral construct to deal with the horned devil. It distracted the beast long enough for the ninjas to knock him out. Had Rom or Raniy been around, they might have informed the party that such a defeat was only temporary until it regenerated, but alas the party didn’t know. With the immediate threat down in 30 seconds, they began destroying the magic circle around the portal. It fizzled and fuzzed, but remained undamaged. They attempted to ask Raniy for help, but just as she felt like waking up, Niachi clutched his chest and fell over. He was dead. His soul went on to Savani’s rest.
Struck with grief, Sara and Titus pulled out Valorie’s folding boat and opened it up into a canoe. They packed their friends in, called Wilhelm to send a teleport, and began rowing up and away to watch the battle below. With the pit fiend gone, the forces on the south side of the city fractured into smaller factions. The infighting gave the defenders enough chance to push them back and gain a reprieve. While the devil leadership assembled on the hill to fight it out, the defenders rolled in their own siege weaponry: ballistas that fired some sort of magical explosives. Wherever the explosives landed was filled with a cloud of light and red fire and no demons or devils remained. It only took a few volleys to clear most of the south side. Filled with a measure of hope (as much as either of them could feel) for the city, they began to row away until a seductive voice stopped them.
It was Vespa. She flew there, facing them down in her barely-there armor, only this time upgraded with a fancy hooded robe. Despite it’s lack of obvious protection and her sultry voice, she struck a measure of terror and caution into Sara and Titus. She attempted to persuade them to join by offering their choice of plunder form the city below, particularly in the Staff of Alderac, but they remained firm. She shrugged and aimed her trident at them. They began to row faster. “Rowing away in a canoe? How brave,” Vespa taunted.
“We only have fucking two people!” Sara yelled. Titus nearly fell overboard laughing. Vespa was less amused and with a mutter cast Implosion. A bright burst of light shoved her away as Twilight Sparkle encapsulated the canoe with a golden sphere. She was joined by High Father Hirzon, Saint Amoss, and Herald Frederick. And they were angry. Vespa laughed and did her best to charm them, even offering a chance at the spanking of a lifetime, but Amoss was far too used to the ways of Manny and such subtlety went somewhat over her head. With a great whack, Frederick knocked the sphere away and the four of them joined battle in an epic cutscene.
Meanwhile, in the canoe, Twilight explained that if they wanted to close the portal, they’d have to return. There were a few ways to do it. The sacrifice of a pure, innocent life, a powerful casting of disjunction, or the destruction of an artifact like the Axalted or the Staff of Alderac would all do. Titus considered giving up William but Sara suggested that he might not be so pure and innocent, and Rom would never stand for such things. Fortunately, Twilight had it prepared. She handed Titus the Super Ultimate Twi-tastic Disjoiner 9382.11! The small ball had been enchanted to release a burst of magical energy combining a disjunction, dimensional anchor, and antimagic field to completely destroy the portal and all protections it might have. Due to the unusual combination of effects there, she warned it was particularly unstable and anything might set it off. Titus asked if it would destroy the other portals around the city but she said no, each portal was its own separate instance. Unless they were all close together on the Hell side, the Deluxe Sparkle-Cannon of Golden Justice Power Beam of Truth would only eliminate the one portal. But in order to destroy all those other portals, someone would have to go to the Hell side and activate it from there. It might be a one-way trip. Titus volunteered.
Twilight set them down near the portal. She gave them each a teleport tile to break in case of quick retreat and they prepared to face off against the pit fiend, who had clearly been healed up by his mistress. Titus ran for the back of the portal while Sara summoned an astral construct and tossed Really Interesting Name to it. The sword was very upset about the whole affair. The construct and the devil were evenly matched and struggled against the other while Titus jumped through the portal.
On the other side he found himself on a staging grounds. Five other portals surrounded the area. The one he’d come through and four others clearly led to the grounds around the Silver City, but the portal opposite him led to a garden. Through it he could see flowers, some graves, and a gazebo containing a well. It was very familiar. He went up to it and looked through. No one appeared to be there. Just a flower wouldn’t hurt. One flower from Lachesis’ demiplane would make him a better thief than either Hirzon or Xark. He dashed in, but as he tried to leave, his legs grew heavy and he fell to the ground. Behind him stood a man in white with a gold wheel above his head. The Exarch smiled upon poor Titus and allowed him to stand. He just wanted to have a talk. True, he could snap his fingers and force Titus’ cooperation, but he would really rather Titus just join of his own will. After all, as Exarch, Lachesis was the God of Fate and Freedom, the champion of choosing one’s own way. They spoke and Titus, realizing his plight, said yes, upon three conditions.
#. Return Obrican to the party.
#. Allow Manny access to the Material Plane.
#. Declare Titus an Ur-Lord.
Lachesis laughed and agreed to his first and third demands easily but asked about the second. Titus backed up, not saying anything. Lachesis held up a hand and asked again, pointing out that Titus really didn’t have the leverage here. Sure, Lachesis would prefer a volunteer, but a conscript would do just as well. Titus said it would make the game more fair. The Exarch considered this for a moment, saying that he’d intended to fight Manny eventually, having it on the Material Plane wouldn’t really change that. And he doubted that Manny would do anything too foolish and risk losing worshipers in a deific battle. So he agreed to that as well. He reached out his hand and Titus tumbled backward through the portal, pushing the button on the Einstein-Rosen Disrupter 8294.293 of Awesomeness! Lachesis snapped his fingers, but as Titus felt his soul begin to warp, the bomb blew and shut the portal.
Landing on the other side, he ran across the dais as the other portal winked out. The blast wave was thinning as it reached his, but the portal was fuzzing up. Putting all he had into it, he made one last jump and came through just in time! Titus landed on the pit fiend, who threw him off, and took a moment to relax. Sara was having no such luck, however, as RLN and the construct were making no headway against the fiend. Even when Titus joined a moment later, it seemed as if the devil’s magical power would overcome them. Titus was out of ki points, but managed to get behind the devil when out of the sky fell a quiver of arrows at Sara’s feet. Five arrows made of a glowing light. Sara didn’t know what they were or where they came from, but picking them up she knew they were a gift from a friend.
She set the first to her bow and fired. It missed. She set the second and fired again, but the devil deflected it. And then she set the third and the magic of the others helped guide it true. When it struck, a sexy diva appeared and slapped the devil with the force of a magic anvil. Sara whooped and fired again. The sexy diva struck again and slapped the devil between its eyes and it fell to the ground, defeated. They quickly grabbed its loot bag and broke the teleportation tiles and vanished. In the sky, the three warriors fought Vespa to a standstill. As soon as the portals around the city began to vanish, Twilight reappeared with the boat and teleported them back home, leaving a bruised Vespa to watch as the Ominians quickly broke the siege and made short work of her army.
Back home, word reached the High Fathers of the Silver City’s victory. The Ominian Emperor extended a hand of alliance so long as the Resistance didn’t preach too much. Sara spoke to Twilight about the mysterious arrows and Twilight figured she could simulate them. She analyzed Titus’ corruption and found he was on the verge of falling. Even one more point of corruption would turn him into an Abomination. Niachi’s body was brought to Father Arroway, along with a significant sum of diamonds, but Father Arroway refused to help. Lachesis’ grip on the world made it too dangerous to resurrect anyone. He reminded Titus that’s what had caused his current situation. Going to another plane aside from the Slow Time plane would give them a pretty good chance of success, but to be certain in returning him to life, they would need to travel to the plane where Niachi’s soul rested. Neither of them knew where that might be, so they waited for Rom and Raniy to wake up, and waited to see what sort of revenge the Wyrd might try next.