Where Mortal Men Do Fear To Tread

It took a little convincing that the fate of the world was on the line, but Julian eventually consents to waking up his father for us. We still have to wait for half an hour to go talk to him, but it is a fruitful discussion. He greets us politely and asks our names, figuring out who we are quite quickly from our past with the Magia. Remy starts explaining all our efforts to protect the city, but Klyce cuts him off to say he has something we need to wake up Porter. For some reason, Klyce has decided it’s a drug. I think it’s something to do with that business in Italy. Turns out we’re both wrong.

Once he finds out that Porter is in trouble, he is much more forthcoming. Klyce asks what he needs from us in exchange. He mentions that his family is in the mana trade and they’ve heard about these Machines… All our hackles raise, but then he goes on to say he wants us to ensure they never go into production, nor ever made legal. We are More than happy to do just that. We don’t have a lot of political power, but what we do, we will bring full force against these Machines. Deal? Deal.

Then we head downstairs and he takes a look at Porter. He pulls a serpent ring off his finger and puts it on Porter’s hand. It shrinks down to fit, and in short order, Porter awakes, albeit still in some pain. Excellent! Now we have to figure out how to find Grandfather. Porter can’t track them wherever they are with the magic he was using for the sacrifices. But maybe we can track their teleports, now that we know which teleports to track. This time, instead of Porter’s people, we can track the demons who attacked my house, and stole my brother.

I ask about my sling, that I stole from Porter’s hideout. Apparently it does extra damage to demons. Remy starts talking about Phil, in vague terms, and I’m surprised at Klyce’s restraint, when he simply says that man is not available for this mission because he says so. Klyce leads us all to the one succubus that teleported away from Phil in the mad chase from my house. We get a direction from there. Then we head back to my house, and up to my brother’s room, and the room where everyone’s staying.

I get that feeling again. I know what I did wrong the first time. I was trying to go two places at once. I can do it now. I ask if everyone is ready, and count heads to make sure I’ve got enough power. Philomena agrees to come with us this time, since we’re down Marybeth and Dalish. Everyone grabs hands, and I teleport us. Into an empty stone room, without mishap.

There’s a hallway behind us with stairs up to the street. Nat finds an instability in the center of the room. Remy looks closely and can just see the entrance to a Magnificent Mansion. Except, this one’s a little different. It seems to not really be here, on our plane, more like it goes into the void a bit. How do we get inside? What happens if we dispell it? It could eject them, or, if there’s another entrance, we would just be barred from getting in, or it could kill them all, my brother included. Remy and Gerhardt look a bit closer at the magic while Klyce skitters off to make sure we’re alone.

Gerhardt decides that if he overcharges, he can get the door open for us. It’ll take a ritual, so while he’s at it, Nat rituals up a telepathic bond, as well. It works! We step through the door into one of the most disgusting places we’ve ever been. It reminds me of the dead king’s body. Only, these fleshy walls have faces moving through them, and they’re all screaming and wailing. There are twenty small demons waiting for us in this foyer of the damned. but they fall quite quickly to the simplest spells and we move on. The next room has a fountain of blood and buffet tables of body parts in various stages of rot. There are stairs going up, doors to either side, and a hallway under the stairs. Remy and Porter run forward super fast to scout, but Porter finds something first.

There’s someone hiding in the study. Klyce skitters forward and can sense three beings in there. Remy comes back down and Gerhardt goes up to look as well. Remy sees one hiding by the liquor cabinet and calls out to him. He threatens to shoot him if he doesn’t show himself, so a slightly larger than the entryway demons comes out to talk. Remy asks where the prisoners are? Down the hall, there’s only one left. Who else in our way? Bull demons, Galabrazu, and a large fear shadow fire demon. A what now? Nevermind, how do we get in without passing all these demons? No way he knows around them. How do we stop the ritual? Kill the two masters. Grandfather must have more puppets or clones. Then it tries to get Remy to take it on as a familiar and Ceres is not amused. What help can you be so we don’t just kill you? Don’t go in the succubus room upstairs, never there. Maybe the demons have weapons you could use against the master? He doesn’t like being stabbed. The shadow, fire, fear monster though, he has no weaknesses. Not even magic. Okay, if we have to leave, what’s the password to get back into this mansion? He tells us, but I wouldn’t even begin to know how to spell the infernal word.

We head down the hallway, wondering if we should have just killed those demons, too, but we need all our magic for what comes next. We make plans about what spells to use, and how to use our Iron Bands on Grandfather’s duplicates. We push through the first set of doors to find an ante chamber full of smoke and darkness at the far end. The Balor peers out at us from the smoke.

Then it grabs Gerhardt with it’s whip and drags him across the room to stab him a couple times. I storm up and spells start flying. It pulls me in next, but manages to somehow not drop me in one round. We mange to keep running away from him, and Gerhardt heals me enough that we put him down without dying ourselves, but as he falls, things go a little sideways. You’re too late! I have slowed you down enough! DIE! Then he explodes and I wake up to Gerhardt treating some pretty nasty burns on my arms.

We head forward again, and open them on the massive fleshy ritual chamber. In the center, Gerald is chained down with a succubus keeping him occupied. Cultists dance around in a circle. Two images of Marybeth, Grandfather’s work, are on the far end of the room, incanting the ritual. And I will fall over again if a soft breeze touches me.