Sir Bruce and Octavius opened a large double doors using the emerald pentagram necklace recovered from Adrick Demolith. Beyond the door they saw a huge room with 10 foot wide and 10 foot high raised walkway ringing a large open area with a sandy floor. Four stone altars were in each of the four corners of the room. A humanoid figure was chained to each altar. Three figures stood around the northeast altar. An immense six armed stone statue of Lady Fierna dominated the center of the room. Each of her six arms wielded a different weapon in a menacing fashion – a war hammer, mace, broadsword, flail, longsword, and battle axe. On the far side of the room on a raised balcony were four figures seated in chairs looking down at what has happening below.
Upon the northwest altar laid an older human man in richly decorated garb. From the heraldry upon his tunic, Sir Bruce instantly recognized the man as Sir Bentley Dunlavey. He was not moving but had no recognizable wounds upon him. The shackles securing him to the altar were cold iron and had red glowing runes scribed into them. Upon the southwest altar was a young human woman wearing black leather pants and a red shirt with an exposed midriff in the style of Sembia. She was also chained in the strange glowing shackles and was not moving. But she too looked alive with no apparent wounds. The human on the southeast altar clearly did not fair as well. The human man in plate armor had his head cleanly severed at the neck. Blood was pouring out of his body, funneled down the altar and collecting in a large brass vessel. Another human man who looked quite dead was on the northeast altar. Two female tiefling cultists Estaria and Lilith had carefully removed the man’s heart, performed some foul ritual upon it, and were in the process of sewing it back into his chest cavity. Behind them, Elphaba, an erinyes devil, stretched her feathered wings expectantly. She was well armored with black platemail and well armed with a longbow and longsword.
Up in the balcony was sitting one new face three very familiar faces. Bressard Montaine sat on a throne like chair on a raised dais with a commanding view of the room. Warden Duthane sat to his right staring intently. To Bressard’s left was a new face – that of High Inquisitor Valarian, a human male wearing a devil cult mask. And to his left was seated the salt encrusted Devil Skarloch. Sir Bruce strode boldly into the room and called out, ‘This ends here, Bressard. There is no escape for any of you.’
Bressard Montaine narrowed his eyebrows and said:
So you survived the Gauntlet of Death I had laid before you. Pity… You would have been a fine addition to Adrick’s collection. Now it seems I shall have to add him to it. Fitting end for that crazy bastard I suppose. Sir Bruce, you have arrived just in time to save Sir Bentley Dunlavey or most likely die trying. But must it really come to that? You have proven yourself to be most capable. Most capable indeed. Remember looking through my telescope? Stare into the heavens for too long and you feel them staring back. They whisper infernal secrets for those with keen enough ears to hear. Cast off the shackles of Tyr and Hoar. They ask too much of you and give so very little in return. My Lady Fierna gives me so much… If you only knew the pow-er…
Sir Bruce resolutely replied, ‘I would never join you. You have sold your soul to devils and done unspeakable things. Tyr’s justice has found you out and you will pay for your wrongdoings.’ With that he quaffed a Potion of Speed and Octavius quaffed a Potion of Invulnerability.
Bressard Montaine shook his head and frowned even deeper, ‘You men of faith are such a waste.’ He turned his gaze to Estaria, Lilith, and Elphaba below and said, ‘Kill them both and bring me their heads.’
Elphaba unfurled her wings and launched into the air. She flew up and over the statue and landed about 30 feet from Sir Bruce. She unslung her bow and fired an arrow dripping with poison at Sir Bruce. but the knight raised his shield just in time to deflect the arrow out of harms way. Estaria moved closer and cast a hold person spell on Octavius. The knight was captivated by her evil beauty. Octavius could do nothing but stand and stare at her. All thoughts of combat left him. Lilith also moved forward and cast a spell. She commanded Sir Bruce to grovel before her. But Sir Bruce was too strong willed. He resisted her spell and moved forward to engage Elphaba. With a big swing of Talon, he cut into one of her wings.
Bressard Montaine then turned to High Inquisitor Valarian and commanded him to unleash the Statue of Lady Fierna. Valarian drew a rod out of his robes and began manipulating it. The huge stone statue of Lady Fierna in the center of the room then lurched into motion. The statues six arms each held a different weapon and one by one they began to swing down and attack Sir Bruce. The war hammer crackled with lightning, the mace ebbed with necrotic energy, the broadsword blazed with fire, the flail dripped with poison, the longsword whispered with cold, and the battle axe sizzled with acid. Each round one of the weapons crashed down to attack Sir Bruce from on high, but each time he was able to deflect them with his shield while continuing to fight Elphaba mono a mono. Estaria and Lilith continued to hurl spells at Sir Bruce as well but his resolution was absolute and he did not succumb to them.
Sir Bruce commanded Max to enter the frey and occupy the two tieflings. He admirably drawing some attacks away from the knight and even biting one of the cultists. After two round Octavius finally broke the hold person spell which had him fixed in place and out of the fight. He responded by moving swiftly to Sir Bruce’s side and helped him with the Eryines Devil Elphaba. Sir Bruce read a spell scroll of bless providing holy guidance to the two knight’s attacks and saves. Guided by the heavens above, with two mighty blows from TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe, Octavius laid the fiend Elphaba low.
Skarloch cast a spell and bathed the area surrounding the knights in darkness. The devils with their infernal site were able to see through the magical darkness. But it only lasted a short while as Sir Bruce called on the power of Talon to emit a bright light that pierced the darkness and illuminated the room once more. With Elphaba slain and his darkness thwarted, Skarloch stopped laughing and teleported down into the battle. With a wave of his hand a salt encrusted viscous scimitar appeared in his scaly hand. He cut wickedly into Octavius. The infernal wounds from the fiendish blade were even more painful and could not be healed by magic.
Warden Duthane stood up from his chair and took out a crossbow. He began raining bolts down upon the knights and he moved along the height of the walkway that surrounded the room. Likewise Bressard Montaine moved along the other side of the room along the walkway and cast spell after spell upon the knights of tethyr. The first was a deadly contagion spell unleashing a slimy doom disease upon the knights that would have caused them to bleed uncontrollably and stun them but the paladin virtues of both knights protected them. Their immunity to disease completely negated the spell’s effectiveness against them. Frustrated, Bressard Montaine tried another of his most powerful spells – harm. But it too relied on disease being the vector of damage so it too failed to hurt the two paladins. He finally resorted to an eldricth blast which proved quite effective. He leveled his iron staff adorned with emeralds at Sir Bruce and unleashed the spell which smashed into the knight with magical force.
The battle raged on with both Skarloch and Lilith falling before the wrath of the enchanted knights. Octavius’ invulnerability from the potion he took proved incredibly valuable as he soaked up massive amounts of damage. Sir Bruce’s speed granted him extra attacks that he used very effectively with a slashing Talon. Max managed to stay in the fight incredibly despite being bathed in flames by Estaria and smashed by her mace. With the battle turning against them, Bressard Montaine ordered Warden Duthane to press the attack. Duthane leaped down into the sandy floor of the room and charged forward with his greatsword. He hurt Sir Bruce badly forcing him to heal himself after the onslaught.
Soon Estaria fell and then even Warden Duthane could not withstand the onslaught of the Knights of Tethyr. Bressard Montaine grew concerned he moved towards one of the exits as Sir Bruce leaped up and grabbed the edge of the walkway and hauled himself up to the balcony. High Inquisitor Valarian bought Bressard some time as he got in the way of Sir Bruce to try and slow him down. But Sir Bruce was still incredibly fast. With three swift strikes High Inquisitor Valarian fell before him as Bressard fled through a door and down a flight of stairs.
Sir Bruce, Max, and Octavius were in high pursuit running down the stairs after Bressard Montaine when the warlock unleashed a lightning bolt up the narrow staircase. The damage was too much for Sir Bruce and Max. Both fell down onto the stairs bleeding out. But Octavius having just previously healed himself sustained the damage from the lighting bolt and pressed the attack.
Octavius caught Bressard Montaine at another door and unleashed a flurry of attacks. He cut deeply into the warlock but found himself engulfed in flames from a hellish rebuke and then frozen by Bressard’s Armor of Agthys. Bressard was fumbling with his pendant trying to open the next door to escape. Octavius looked worriedly at Max and Sir Bruce. Max had seemed to stabilize and was simply unconscious but Sir Bruce was in a bad way. He had failed 2 death saves and was bleeding out. Octavius looked back and forth. His choice was clear. Bressard was severely wounded and most likely could not withstand another round of attacks from Octavius but one more failed save and Sir Bruce was dead. Octavius cursed Bressard under his breath and said, ‘this is not over…’ He then ran over and gave Sir Bruce a Potion of Greater Healing to get him back in the fight.
Bressard laughed as he opened the door and ran into the next room calling out ‘Althea Hope protect me I must summon Lucien’ Octavius and Sir Bruce rushed into the room to find two female tiefling cultists blocking their way and in the background Bressard Montaine chanting at a summoning circle. Octavius moved forward and tried to hack his way through to Bressard to stop him but could not get past the tieflings. The Sir Bruce leaped over a desk and chair and as he came down brought Talon down in a wide arc to cut deep with a critical hit into Bressard’s shoulder like in Rob Roy’s final duel. Bressard crumpled to his knees and expired.
But Bressard smiled as he watched with his dying breath his tiefling disciple Hope Despara step into the summoning circle and slit her own throat to complete the summoning. With an infernal roar a winged black horned devil stepped out of the summoning circle. It raised its burning pitchfork and attacked with it twice and its tail twice. From great triumph loomed despair as Lucien, the horned devil pressed the attack.
Octavius pulled out all the stops swinging TitanCleaver – The Green Scythe as hard as he could. He hurt the horned devil badly and got its attention immediately. The wrath of the creature was mighty indeed. Sir Bruce felled Althea Dursley and turned to help Octavius battle Lucien.
With a powerful thrust Lucien’s flaming fork went clear through Octavius’ chest. He crumpled to the ground before Sir Bruce who fought bravely on but knew he alone would not be able to defeat Lucien. So Sir Bruce used a healing potion on Octavius and brought him back into the fight. Again the battle raged on with Octavius laying some more powerful hits on Lucien. But this time Octavius was struck by the devil’s tail. The scaly tail wrapped around the knight and began constricting him so tightly that it literally squeezed the life out of Octavius. As Octavius fell to the ground having gone down for a second time, Sir Bruce took a wild swing and made a critical hit (the 4th one of the battle).
As Lucien glowered over the fallen body of Octavius, he shuddered for a moment and looked down at his chest. The tip of a fey blade had emerged. Sir Bruce then twisted Talon free in a shower of gore and the Lucien crumpled to the ground dead.
Sir Bruce went down on one knee and took a deep breath. He looked over to Octavius and saw that he was still alive. He used a potion of healing to bring him to consciousness. Both knights looked at each other and slowly surveyed the carnage. They both said silent prayers to their deities as they could not believe they had made it through this devil worshiping temple alive. It was an incredible feat indeed with such powerful enemies arrayed against them.
The knights quickly searched the bodies and the rooms they had just been in. In the summoning room they found a chest containing what looked like a wand of some kind. It was black with a crystal shard tied to the end with strips of leather. Bressard Montaine had his iron staff adorned with emeralds on his person as well as a very ornate looking ring and a silver key. He was also wearing a cold iron pentagram with an emerald stone in the center similar to the one worn by Adrick Demolith. In the adjacent bedroom was another chest containing 400 emeralds worth 10 GP each, an golden amulet, and a silver helmet.