Greyhawk 636 CY: The Rise of Asmodeus

The City of Rauxes

Reaping 16, 636 CY

Dear Tobi,

I hope this letter finds you well and that your time in Dawn Bay has been good. It seemed like a place you would enjoy. Jevan has reported that young Jack is doing well, but I hadn’t heard on how you are fairing.

Our group needed to go to Rauxes since the Oeridian piece of the Song of Ages was there. We also knew that the constellation of the Pale Rider was headed there, and it seemed wise to beat it. While we were in the Clockwork Dungeon, Jack, along with Frederick and Jeremy, captured Bernard Culp, the poor mad paladin. I was greatly impressed. They discovered that he was in fact once a Knight Protector of the Great Kingdom. And whatever happened to Rauxes occurred during his wedding. He held tight to a pair of wedding rings and a damaged bead of summoning even in his insanity.

Sir Christopher introduced us to an Illithid who was a loyal friend. It seems the creature came up from the underdark with the emancipated drow after the Heroes of the Key won the war against the Archlich. The Illithid volunteered to peer through the layers of Culp’s mind in hopes of finding something that would help us. Indeed, Culp knew a secret way into the city and the Illithid was able to plant suggestions to have the man aid us.

Jack insisted on coming with us, and several other members of the group thought it was a good choice. I protested, of course, but it seems his noble blood and affinity with the infernal were going to be of pressing use to us. I still haven’t told him the full truth of his fiendish heritage… None of my words seem right…

Culp placidly lead us through caverns under the city and stayed to wait for our return. Ashell was quite certain the piece of the song was in the royal museum which would be best accessed at night. It seems the demon’s connection with the city was incredibly strong and he was readily visible to all of us. We decided to find a place to hide till nightfall.

Unfortunately, we stumbled right into a patrol of fiend knights. They were obviously not expecting a group of our skill and we whittled them down quickly before a group of resistance fighters came pouring out to overbear the remainder. Lead by a cleric of Nerull, they brought us to one of their hideouts and asked many questions. Once we explained our purpose, they agreed to assist us by drawing off Ivid’s court wizard so we wouldn’t have to face him as well. It seemed quite likely the mad king would know of our presence in the museum very quickly.

We spent more time planning our assault than was warranted in the end since it all turned out to be a trap. After making our way stealthily past two fiend knights and ice devils, we discovered Ivid and his vile court were already in the museum waiting for us. A special devil trap activated, freezing Jack in place, and Ivid’s cronies were preparing a sacrifice to open a gate straight to hell.

Things happened quite rapidly after that. Tulla used a flamestrike spell to stop the sacrifice, and Loreli freed the girl. The rest of us fought ice devils, animus’, and fiend knights. The girl ran towards me, but I instantly had a bad feeling — which turned out to be because the girl was actually the pit fiend Baalzephon in disguise. Ivid’s wizard also arrived with poor Culp and a dozen Sons of Kyuss in tow.

Despite the poor odds, we held our own for a short time but received a reprieve when Taren and Sir Christopher tore up through the floor in a giant mechanical badger. This broke the trap holding Jack who tried to throw himself at Baalzephon — only to run into the wall of force Jevan had put in place to protect him while he was immobile. Idrys managed to call to Culp and brought the giant man to his side. To make things all the worse, Bartholomew stepped out from behind the Malachite Throne, intending to take possession of it. Ivid, of course, tried to stop him but found himself victim of Bart’s powerful nightmare spell. Even the undying is subject to his own dreams.

Culp, in what must have been a sudden moment of clarity, used his damaged bead of summoning and called Heironeous from Celestia. The force of the energy knocked Bernard through a wall, but Heironeous literally tackled Baalzephon through the floor before my eyes. The court wizard was knocked through a wall into the hallway by Kylie’s spells, and it seemed the tide was swinging in our favor as she and Qui chased him out of the room.

Realizing that Bartholomew getting the Throne would be disaster, I asked Taren to dig underneath it in the hopes that it would delay him. She complied, but not before firing a smaller badger which latched onto his face. Bart nearly fell on the Throne, but was knocked away as Heironeous and Baalzephon flew up through the floor. Deciding he had enough, Bartholomew fled the scene via teleport spell as Taren’s badger machine triumphantly grabbed the throne.

The court wizard made a last ditch effort to stop us by blocking the doorway with the Sons of Kyuss, but Faern blew them apart with his holy magic. Qui and Kylie were able to kill him shortly after. Jack dispelled Bart’s nightmare hold on Ivid and punched the last Naelax king in the face before Jevan disintegrated him with the staff of many rays.

And thus ended the destructive reign of Ivid the Undying.

The city, it seems, was being purified by the presence of Heironeous. The corpse of Baalzephon was found impaled on a spear in the castle courtyard along with a dome containing the crown of the Great Kingdom. The seal of Heironeous was emblazoned beneath it. Even stranger, the high priests of Hextor and Heironeous were teleported from Greyhawk City right to the courtyard where they passed on the brothers’ message to us: The city would be ruled by joint agreement until someone came to take the crown.

This is why I am writing to you. Spread the word to the Knight Protectors. Somewhere out there the new king roams. If anyone can find him, I know it will be our valiant Knights.

- Yours devotedly
Wilhelmina Stalwarth


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