The Knights of Tethyr continued their exploration of the devil cult temple. The next room was a large prison with cold iron cages, chains hanging from the ceilings, hooks, manacles on the walls, two racks, and a door on the other side of the room. As the knights walked down the hallway towards the room Sir Bruce’s sword Talon shed a brilliant light that illuminated their path. They could see a human body stretched out on the rack. Two other humans in cages – a man and woman who looked either unconscious or dead. And a small goblin was in the closet cage. The goblin whispered to Sir Bruce:
Psst.. Careful… Careful… One more step and they will know you are here. You can’t see them but they are there. Please you must free me. Some stupid knight killed Blort so they don’t need me anymore. They are going to give me to Adrick. I don’t want to be part of the collection. I am Blix. Please let me go. I will do anything. I will tell you secrets… I know secrets…
He warned them of the evil that lurked in the room. Sir Bruce wanted to ignore him, but Octavius parlayed with Blix and bartered what information he could including the following:
1. This prison is guarded by 2 powerful beings: Godrick and Barakas
Godrick – sad… so sadThey make him do things he doesn’t want to do. Powerful magic he has and a fiery sword. I fear Godrick more than Barakas but both are deadly opponents.
Barakas – A devil who wraps himself in chains. He makes the chains come alive. Don’t look at his face… never look at his face.
2. The Two Human Prisoners – The two humans are from The Village of Tommen. They are some of the last prisoners left alive . They just took Dunlavey. He seemed important but I doubt he’s still alive. They do terrible things to folk down here. I don’t understand it. I just want to leave.
3. Blix – Son of the Goblin Chief Blort
Blort made a deal with Warden Duthane. Pretty emeralds in exchange for keeping some pretty human girl captive. She was not to be touched or harmed though. I was taken as a hostage to keep my father honest and sticking to the deal. Then some stupid knight killed my Dad and I became expendable so they threw me in here. Luckily Duthane only talks about Desta Triss now. Apparently he has her here somewhere. So he has thankfully forgotten about me. But Adrick wants me for his collection.
4. Other Side of the Door – Adrick Demolith and his collection of dead things. He’s mad… completely mad! He says he doesn’t have a goblin in his collection. He needs me for The Collection but I don’t want to go.
Preparing as best they could from Blix’s information, the two paladins cast protection from evil spells and entered the prison. Two shadowy forms slid out of the darkness in the back of the room near the door. One of them spoke in a booming voice:
I am Godrick guardian of this place. Leave now or be destroyed.
Sir Bruce strode forward and tried to parlay with Godrick but he would have none of it and attacked in a wild rage. He drew forth a huge greatsword and it burst into flame. The fallen angel then clenched a fist and opened it unleashing a blast of radiant energy that smashed into both Sir Bruce and Octavius. Luckily their protection from evil spells helped minimize the damage and stopped them from being knocked prone. Barakas, the chain devil, raised his hands and the chains hanging throughout the prison room came alive. Barbs and hooks grew out of them and they began to swing wildly around. Sir Bruce managed to use his shield to keep them away from him but Octavius was truck soundly by a large heavy chain and wrapped in it to a grappled condition.
Sir Bruce rushed forward to attack Barakas. But as he closed the gap he looked at the face of the chain devil and saw not the face of the devil but of his own father. Sir Bruce hesitated for a moment. Could he really fight his father? But his paladin’s faith allowed him to see through the illusion for what it was… infernal trickery. Talon’s fey blade bit deep into the chain devil. And it recoiled in pain. Octavius struggled against the chains grappling him but managed to throw them off by casting misty step and closing to a flanking position on the chain devil. But he too looked upon Barakas and saw a different face. It was the face of Sir Mallory Marsdale, the knight who had married the only woman he ever loved. Pure rage filled Octavius and almost unbalanced him until his paladin’s graces allowed him to see through the illusion as well. TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe bit deep into Barakas three times. The chain devil was hurt badly.
Having seen enough of the protection from evil spells thwarting their attacks, Godrick stared at the two knights with his fiery infernal eyes. His black halo glowed even darker and a black blast of necrotic energy hurled out of his halo to strip away and dispel the protective magics of both knights rendering the protection from evil spell gone. Barakas followed up with viscous chain attacks against both knights entangling them and squeezing the life out of them. But both Sir Bruce and Octavius focused their attacks on Barakas and finally laid him low. As the chain devil fell, his infernal magic died with him. The chains wrapped around the knights and swirling wildly around the room went limp and fell silent.
The destruction of Barakas did not stop Godrick. The Fallen Angel twice brought his fiery greatsword down upon Sir Bruce and hurt him badly. The Knights surrounded the angel flanking him from both sides. But instead of striking to kill they used the flat of their blades and axes to try and pummel Godrick unconscious. They hoped they could somehow redeem the creature. An angel was a force for good. To see such a creature corrupted and tainted into its current form made both Sir Bruce and Octavius sad for him and even more furious at devil cult. The continued to parlay as they fought to knock Godrick down but the fallen angel could not be reasoned with. He fought with infernal rage unleashing another blast of radiant energy using his fallen glory attack. With his protection from evil spell gone, it was too much for Sir Bruce to take. The force of the spell took him off his feet and smashed him against the wall. Sir Bruce’s body went limp as he slowly slid to the ground.
Octavius looked gravely at his friend. He thought of trying to heal him for a moment but then realized he had to stop Godrick as soon as possible because he himself could not take much more punishment. Octavius squared off with the Fallen Angel bringing TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe to bear. Max ran in to help by occupying the flanking position of the fallen Sir Bruce. The distraction helped Octavius gain advantage and the flat of his axe hit time and again and very squarely causing the bloodied Godrick to stagger a bit. But then the fell angel surged forward swinging his fiery sword in rapid succession. Octavius barely parried the blows. But Octavius then spun around and caught the off balance chained angel on the back of his head with the flat of his axe. Godrick collapsed in a heap. His fiery greatsword vanished before it hit the ground.
Octavius tended to his fallen friend and poured a potion of healing down his throat. Sir Bruce was thankful to be alive and got himself up. The two knights dragged the unconscious Godrick into one of the cages. After securing the fallen angel, they searched the body of Barakas and tucked into his leather jerkin, they found a key. Reaching through the bars, Octavius used the key to unlock the cold iron shackles with red glowing infernal runes. When the shackles fell away, a noticeable change started to happen. The skin of the angel that had worn away under the foul shackles began to rapidly grow back. The pitch black halo above his head began to fade and then brighten into a bright golden color.
Hopeful that whatever infernal curse had taken the angel was now lifted, Octavius fed the still unconscious Godrick a potion of healing. As the angel opened his eyes, Octavius saw that gone was the fiery red burning eyes. They were replaced with serene pure white pupiless eyes. Godrick stood up and gazed at the two knights as if seeing them for the first time.
I am Godrick, Archon of Torm. I owe you a great debt of thanks. You have redeemed me from a most terrible fate. A fate far worse than death as far as I am concerned. My Lord Torm is smiling in approval of your performance today. Please let me bathe you in his loving light.
Godrick stretched out his hands and a soft warm light wafted over the the two knights healing them both. The lay on hands provided 70 HP that they could spread between the two of them however they wished. Sir Bruce opened the cage and let Godrick out. The Angel strode confidently out of the cage and nodded to Sir Bruce.
You both have fought bravely. You have my thanks. Find the light of Torm, Tyr, and Hoar within you. You must be their agents in this world. This devil cult must be destroyed. They are doing great evil here. I know you will succeed. I must return to the court of my Lord Torm. I have been gone too long and I am needed. Blessings upon you both.
And with that, Godrick spread his wings wide and vanished as he plane shifted away. The knights checked on the other prisoners. Blix was excited to be released. The human stretched out on the rack was clearly dead. And the two humans in the cages were still alive but barely. Sir Bruce and Octavius used some of their lay on hands to heal them enough so that they could become lucid and walk. They freed them both and spoke with them. They learned that they were Lawrence Briarpatch and his wife Rachel Briarpatch. They were from The Village of Tommen. The red hair was a dead give away but in fact they were the parents of Kip Briarpatch and Felicity Briarpatch.
The knights escorted the Briarpatches and Blix back through the cleared portion of the devil cult temple and out through the portal to Bressard Montaine’s Observatory. There they fed them and saw them on their way. The Briarpatches went off to find their children and warn the town of the cult. Blix decided to go off into the wilderness. Sir Bruce tried to convince him to go back to the devil cult and fight against them, but he was too afraid. His goblin nature got the better of him and although he was thankful for his freedom, a deal was a deal after all.
Sir Bruce and Octavius headed back through the portal an hour later after a short rest. They found everything the way they had left it. Going back to the prison they tried to open the door that had been guarded by Godrick and Barakas. It opened easily using the necklaces. Inside they saw a large room filled with strange magical laboratory types of items. Strange components, glassware filled with bubbling mixtures, and well preserved bodies laying in various poses on tables and in cases. A tall human man in a black robe was working some terrible looking machine that was attached at two different places to the body of a human woman. It was injecting some sort of substance under the woman’s skin on one side and drawing something out on the other. He looked up from his work to look upon the two knights.
Well well… So you have arrived at last. Bressard said you would be coming. I thought perhaps the Whore Devils had eaten the flesh from your faces. Thank goodness your skin seem to be intact and in excellent shape. You both will make fine additions to my collection. Please, please come in. My name is Adrick Demolith and I would like to show you my collection. I have specimens from across the realms. You will have the honor of being a part of it. I am truly envious of you.
The two knights rushed in to attack, but Adrick Demolith cast a spell. It was a hold person spell that froze Octavius in place. He also pushed a button on the machine in front of him and two pillars in the room connected to the machine pulsed as a bright pink liquid poured out onto the floor and rose up to take shape. Four Lemures, infernal foot soldiers of hell, came into existence. They looked like vaguely humanoid dark pink globs of flesh with sharp claws and teeth.
Sir Bruce closed the gap and swung his sword twice into two of the creatures. Each blow cut down a lemure. The two remaining creatures attacked Sir Bruce and the two fallen Lemures suddenly shambled back to their feet. From his new vantage point, Sir Bruce saw a female cultist off to his right. It was going to be a difficult battle.