We went to the tower when Blackstaff was ready. The ritual made the room all red, hot, and stinky. There were weird winds and voices, and then an awful noise and we could see the Hells. Then a big Pit Fiends clawed his way through, but not really. He was a ghost fiend or something? There but not. He was definitely not who I was expecting. He said it had been a while since someone else had held the book, and asked what we wanted. We all stared around at each other for a few minutes until Red stepped forward. When you want to make a deal with a Devil…
Calls himself Big Red and doesn’t like the idea that we think he’s beholden to anyone buy his Lord Asmodeus. He picks up pretty quick that we don’t like the folks he’s been helping, but won’t admit it’s the Cassalanters. He wants to know what we’re offering in exchange for information on his dealings with them. He doesn’t want his deal with them to get interrupted, they owe him two souls. He says them all dying wouldn’t negate his deal, or them losing all their wealth and going to jail. He just doesn’t want us to directly intervene to stop the two souls coming his way. Red assures him we have no concern for their lives, we just want to get what we want, and get out. What if we accidentally messed up his deal, or made our own deal and then broke it? Big Red says he would harm everyone Red cares about and make his life a living, torturous Hell.
Then we get into more details. He says the Stone isn’t part of his deal. That his deal is for two specific souls, or 100 nonspecific souls. They go back and forth a bit more, then Red agrees not to interfere so long as Big Red tells us everything we want to know. Deal struck, and we all can feel it. Big Red explains that the Cassalanters have worshipped his Lord for some time now. This generation made a deal for wealth, offering up the souls of their children at the age of 13, or a buy out of 100 souls to get their children back. He’s already collected the son, and the twins turn 13 in a month. Blackstaff says that’s enough. She sends Big Red away and tells us to invade the villa.
Red slaps his telepathic bracelet on me again, and I explain everything I saw there. We ask the Blackstaff if she can send mages with us. We need a Passwall into the villa grounds if we want to avoid a public fight. She offers us a couple acolytes, asking us to keep them safe: Rogj and Alvar. Red makes a plan and we head out, sneaking through the shadows of the evening.
At the north wall, Alvar opens a hole, and we sneak through and to the main house. Alvar dispels a trap on the nearest window, and Red unlocks it so we can all slip inside. It’s a dining room, set with golden plates and things. I’m surprised Red resists stealing it all right there. Red says there are three people to the right and two guards in the hall. There isn’t really a door here, so we quickly take out the guards in the hall and drag them inside. Then we put down the guard in the smoking room quickly and quietly. We tie them all up.
Sneaking out into the hall then, we all hide under the stairs while Red checks the other rooms on this floor. There’s a clang, and we all rush to fight off a set of armor as quickly as we can. Two guards come in from outside, and Red and I put them down. The pile in the smoking room is getting really big. Red searches the desk in the armor room and pockets some papers and a medallion. Then we all wait there while he looks some more. There are a couple people standing around in the last room, so he just leaves them be. I already searched upstairs, so we go for the door under the stairs then. Down to the basement.
It’s a normal basement full of luggage and clothing. The Red finds a big vault door. While he looks at that, I check down the hallway and find a wine cellar. There’s a chalice on the wall with a golden sun. Looks like a pressure plate, but I don’t want to explode, so we wait for Red. The plate opens a vault full of sliver bars, which we take, and some stairs going down. So, down we go.
This goes to a big old demonic temple with lots of doors and another staircase. Also, a big old spike-covered devil. He says we don’t look like we’re here for the meeting. This is not the time to talk, so we jump him. Send him back to the Hells. Off to one side, we find prison rooms, but there are no living prisoners, so we move on. There are some meeting rooms and devil statues further around. Then we find ourselves at the edge of a crumbling balcony.
There is a massive statue to the right of the rather large room that the balcony overlooks. There is quiet chanting, too. Red steps out, but some of the stone crumbles, so he keeps us back. He carefully makes it to the edge and says there’s three people down there, praying or something. But the balcony is too unstable, so we head back to the first room and go down the stairs.
There are rooms and halls in all directions. Red says there are two people in the east room, but we want to get back to the big hall. The west corridors seem to go that way, but he wants to check south first. That hall takes us to a room with beds and robes for a bunch of cultists. He finds a secret door which leads into a smaller room with nicer robes, masks, and wine. Only Nevi and Page are the right size for the robes, so we just leave them and go back to head West to the big hall.
We sneak in and up under the balcony we were previously on. All the way up to the devil statue chamber they’re in and attack. It’s just three members of the staff here, but they’re worshipping a devil lord, so I don’t feel too badly. Then, two more people come in from under the other balcony. It’s Amalia and Victoro Cassalanter, and they are quite perturbed.
Amalia raises the three dead back up, but as devils, blood pouring down the statue and into them. Two barbed devils and an erinyes, Nevi told me later. Then they start messing with our heads. But not mine, never mine again. Time to try out my new staff. I lightning bolt the erinyes down because it won’t stop hurting the Big Guy. I add some thunder and lighting to my strikes and Mary helps me put one of the barbed devils down. Red already got his and has gone after Victoro, so I join him. Amalia sent Orange off to get help, so the others focus on her. Victoro, however, has summoned a chain devil. That hurts a Lot! I keep falling unconscious, but the Big Guy doesn’t let me down, and I send that devil home. The body melts, and it turns into their lost son, who then gasps and dies, as well. Poor thing.
Victoro runs, and Red and I give chase, but he puts me down again. Red wakes me up and helps me back to the group. He got the stone, but Victoro got away. We stabilize Amalia, heal up a little, and search the rest of the room, while Red heads out to make sure we didn’t miss anything else. Then we head back upstairs with Amalia and tell her guard she is arrested and they should stand down. Page sends the Blackstaff a message and the children are gathered. Orange is mean to them and they cry and scream until he shouts them down. I’m too tired to stop him. I hurt all over.
The Blackstaff and all the authorities ever arrive and take charge of the villa. She takes us back to her tower to speak privately. Red hands over the stone and they have a conversation about the problems it will cause. He says he’s not worried for himself, but she should be careful. Then he asks her to hurt him and restrain him with magic. He wants to be able to say she took the stone from him. So, she holds him and shoots him with a bunch of magic missiles. Then we head home, but we go the long way, so that Nevi and the Big Guy can both report in on what happened. Mert has brought us dinner back at the Cabaret so he can talk to Page. Red and I will just have to report in the morning.