The Shields debated with Asmodeus about spending time in hell with him, if they died, in exchange for his help.
Nesh, Shanna and Flea declined to take the offer. Asmodeus suggested that they use Halva, partner of Grik, to close the portal instead, which would result in her death.
Berradin called Asmodeus’s bluff and told Asmodeus that if he was happy to trust his fate in their and Halva’s hands then fine they would leave. Asmodeus begrudgingly relented but still laid claim on those who had already agreed.
Asmodeus issued Berradin and Flea with amulets that could summon Asmodeus. They would need to be activated in the other universe as Asmodeus would break the compact if he appeared in the Temple. Berradin, due to his mastery of arcane magic, and Flea, due to his connection to the natural universe, had the best chance of summoning Asmodeus.
The Shields returned to the mortal plane, back at the scar, and discussed their choice of strategy. To reach the universal tear they would need to lift 40’ off the ground and fly through. Berradin suggested calling Phantom Steeds, which could fly, and then Shanna could open the portal. The Shields agreed and proceeded with the plan.
Shanna found that she could not open the portal. It had been sealed at the origin point. Arcane study suggested that Tharizdun had re-activated the portal defences so that only Asmodeus or someone of his blood could open the gate, at the cost of their life.
Shanna failed miserably to hide her pained expression from the other Shields and explained their quandary. The Shields decided that they would travel to the Temple via their skyship. Shanna worked out the possible chances of using the Astral Skiff to jump directly tot he other universe but the chances were high that if they made the other universe that they would be nowhere near the tear in realities.
The Shields arrived at the temple after crosiing the depopulated ruins of Karkoth. The only sign of life on their journey was the encampment protected by Mal.
The temple grounds were surrounded by a high hedge and within the grounds were many large metallic figures. An iron golem, a cadaver collector, a temple titan and many warforged were in standby mode within the grounds.
Nesh, who was piloting the skiff, could not cross over the hedge due to a forbiddance spell placed their by the gods. Berradin cast dispel magic and managed to temporarily deactivate the spell. Nesh parked the ship above the grounds and the Shields dropped to the floor.
A female shaped dwarforged named Lady Vol activated and approached the Shields. She warned the intruders that they must leave at once by order of the gods. The Shields explained that they were there to stop Tharizdun coming through and were also guardians.
Lady Vol found it difficult to process this new information and slowed down as she tried to ponder her next actions. The Shields assured her that they would leave as soon as the tear was sealed and that they were there to stop the evil elemental eye.
Lady Vol staggered back to her pedestal and went back into standby mode. The Shields made their way through the automatons to find the hidden entrance to the temple. They climbed down into a Moradin forged “Dropbox” elevator which dropped down into the earth and fell at speed, slowed by Berradin’s magic, for more than an hour until reaching bottom.
The Shields found themselves back in the main temple hall and above them was the reality tear. Flea changed the group into cockroaches and Dinnan flew them on the ebony fly up through the rift onto the planetoid on the other side, which had a large dark form upon it which was sending tendrils of dark matter into the tear, expanding it.
The Shields then realised, as they changed back into humanoids that the planetoid was Tharisdun and that the shapes were just smaller aspects of him that began to surround the Shields.
The Shields broke into action as Flea summoned Asmodeus. Asmodeus began to fire his rod at the tear removing Tharizdun’s influence as the Shields attempted to destroy the monstrous god.
The Shields fought valiantly as their life forces began to be absorbed by Tharizdun [3 urges drained at the end of every round]. The portal in their home universe began to glow as someone began to come through into the temple.
The Shields fought hard and managed to bloody the god which caused waves of psychic energy to strike at them all, knocking most of them to the floor in agony.
Meanwhile, in their home universe, the gods [except for Lolth and Tiamat] arrived in the temple and began infusing the Shields with their life force to assist them in their battle. They had broken the compact in order to protect the universe.
The Shields [powered by godly energies] managed a killing blow on Tharizdun and he began to break apart, leaving them floating in the void. The chaos shard in Asmodeus’s rod exploded at the destruction of Tharizdun and Asmodeus discovered that he could not survive anymore without the rod, as he crumbled into dust.
The tear began to close as the old universe began to wink out of existence. Victoria activated her flying boots and sent Nesh spiralling towards the tear, as she attempted to rescue more companions. Shanna simply walked across the planes and appeared in the temple. Flea’s body reformed out of insects within the temple leaving an empty husk behind in the dead universe. Nesh fell towards the tear but wings erupted from his back and he was able fly back to grab Victoria and Saran. Dinnan bounded back to the tear using the broken, scattered fragments of Tharizdun and adroitly slingshotted around the temple to land safely and take a bow. Berradin magically crossed the chasm to safety. the tear closed behind him forever.
The gods applauded the Shields and the Raven Queen became the principal spokesperson for the gods.
She informed them that the destruction of the chaos shard meant the destruction of the abyss, where demons dwell. Only those demons outside the abyss survived. Hell would be in a civil war as devils fought to be the new King of Hell. Lolth and her drow were now cured of their madness. The Shadowfell was to be closed down.
Flea was given the task of ensuring that all spirits now stayed on the material plane, as before the agreement with Melora and Pelor, and would not be preyed upon by extra-planar creatures, such as demons and devils, as the gods would no longer be around and the new gods, like Victoria, would not be relying on souls to achieve their goals.
Shanna would protect the material plane from outside incursions and help move the Shadar-kai, the Raven Queens’ people, from the shadowfell to the empty continent of karkoth, to start fresh lives.
Saran was to assist Flea in protecting spirits from outside forces, to help protect the Shadar-Kai, and to punish tyrants, demagogues and other evil men in this life, rather than sending them to the shadowfell or hell for torment.
Dinnan was to be a reminder of the joys of life, the music in peoples’ hearts. He was to help the others in protecting the small, the weak, the humble.
Berradin was to be the guardian of arcane magic, to protect it from corruption.
Victoria was to take her place as the new dragon god.
Nesh, as always, was to be her right hand and protector.
The Shields were warned that the compact was done, that Tiamat was no longer prevented from reaching the material plane. The Gods foresaw that Tiamat would arrive where Bahamut’s influence was most strong, where his followers had been most faithful.
The Gods warmth flowed over the Shields. They were proud of their new gods and left knowing that the world would be protected.
end of session.