Was she truly free? Tierra grinned at Hanlin as he replaced the now loose spikes back into their stony home. Monks were more useful than they might first appear.
Hanlin jogged over to his own place only moments before their captors reappeared on the other side of the flame. They seemed ready to torture the oddest looking captive when the flames on the portal door dimmed and an ogre stumbled through.
The two demons descended on him instantly, screeching and slashing at him with their chain-whips. The Ogre made one heroic blow on a demon before slumping to the floor. Using the short battle as cover, Tierra twice called Sophia to flow through her and heal the group.
A little better for the wear, Tierra’s friends gazed downwards apparently attempting to hide their newfound hope. All, that is, except Garian who stares at the demons with contempt.
The demons, though, continue their task of chaining the Ogre to the wall.
Hanlin uses this moment to free himself from the wall and sneak up to the flame.
“Hanlin!” Tierra wispers urgently. “Hanlin, free me. Please.”
Hanlin looks torn, but eventually concedes and frees Tierra’s feet. The two companions sneak up to the fire, Tierra grabbing an abandoned hammer on the way, and attempt to find an opportunity to attack their captors.
Garian chooses a different approach, and walks boldly toward the creatures.
The demons appear surprised, but move to engage him.
Deciding that there is no better moment, Tierra removes her magical feather from her hair. She lines the demons up and unleashes a gale at the fire, forcing it to burn her torturers. One is caught off-guard and is blown against the wall.
Garian uses this moment to charge the demon, but she’s more agile than Tierra would have guessed and catches Garian with a solid whip strike and claw to the ribs.
Meanwhile, a glance back at Tiran shows him casting a spell and pointing at the ground.
Hanlin rushes past Tierra to attack Garian’s foe from behind.
Tierra rushes back to free Gam.
Garian attacks with his bonds as an improvised weapon, striking with surprising force. He connects twice.
Hanlin punches her from behind in a flurry, landing one solid strike.
The demon which was blown down sprints for the door which the large and dangerous-looking thing came out of.
Tierra made a dash towards this creature and at the same time a fist-sized stone flew at her, glancing off her shoulder. Undaunted and quick, the demon managed to open the door and disappear through it before Tierra or the stone could do anything.
Meanwhile, the demon fighting Garian takes a couple solid blows from Han, grimaces and delivers a powerful strike on Garian. She looks pissed!
Tierra spins and returns to removing Gam’s bonds.
From across the room Tierra could hear Garian’s voice “St. Cupthart!” What the…? When did he get religious? He cracks his demon foe sending her to the dust, then without missing a beat, he picks her up and tosses her into the flames at the room’s centre.
Weak cheers erupt from around the room.
The fire chews on this unearthy corpse for a minute and then tosses it aside.
“Han, lets get this door secure!” Tierra was surprised by the urgency in her own voice. But Hanlin was already thinking the same thing and rushing over. With a hammer, spike and chain, they managed to lash the steel door’s handle to a spike driven into the wall.
Tierra manages to free Gam, and to help Hanlin remove Tiran’s chains as well. She didn’t even notice that Garian was in search of their gear until he was handing her the Fist, her magical meteor hammer.
The appearance of the groups weapons encouraged a general stampede to the storage area, leaving only Tierra and Garian to figure out how to defend themselves.
Tierra busied herself with assessing injuries of the other prisoners. The hag-creature nearest Big Evil’s door rattled her chains demanding to be let go, but Tierra was not convinced that the hag was truly going to help them and there were others with more promising allegiances.
The humans, and the elf-goat creature all were already dead. The blue-coloured and very odd creature was closest, so Tierra focused her attention on it. She got it free in less than a minute—she was getting good at this task—and it said some words that sounded kind and grateful though Tierra could not understand it. It fled out the door near the gear. Tierra rushed to the cyclopse, hoping to recruit someone with some strength.
A clanging noise behind the big door drew her attention. Big Evil is coming. Tierra and Garian rushed forward to prepare for the beast.
Deciding that Garian was too weak, Tierra called again to Sophia to heal them in preparation for the big confrontation. After a few large shakes, the door breaks inward revealing a menacing figure and a cold that clutched at their hearts. Tierra considered fleeing, but with Garian standing strong she felt, somehow, safe.
Garian stepped forward, delivering a massive blow. Tierra put everything into her own attack but the glowing blue meteor glanced harmlessly off the terrifying beast.
A small demon being darted out from behind the great beast and delivered a whip-strike and claw to Tierra. Tierra’s world turned white with pain for a few moments.
Garian also took a blow, but from the large beast’s oversized claws.
Realizing that they were out-matched and in trouble, both heroes turned to flee their foes. Almost at the gear-door, the flame flairs up announcing the entrance of another being into this hell-realm.
“Cassinudy!” She hears from Garian behind her.
Tierra stops mid-flee and turns to see Cassinudy and Inthin calmly standing at the entrance. The evil beings immediately recognize their more powerful foes and rush at the new-comers.
The naked heroes scamper back into the battle to help their rescuers with the battle. Tierra says a quick, but meaningful prayer. Garian and Hanlin rush and drop the demon while Tarian gets something from the bag-o-holding.
Ithin waves her staff around and all in the room could smell fresh meadow grass. It improved everyone’s spirits, except the Devil who looked, for the first time, stricken.
This gave Gam an opening that he’d been waiting for. An arrow flew true to it’s target—perhaps the best-shot arrow Gam had ever shot, and the beast looked truly hurt. Garian sneaks over to flank Big Evil.
That gives Tierra a chance to cast a spell summoning a lantern icon from another, more peaceful plane. It barely blinks into this reality before striking at the devil with a ray of light.
Big Evil has his own ideas and casts a spell that causes many within earshot to be cursed with invisible but damaging spiders.
That’s when Cassinudy begins singing. It’s a folky song about a far-away adventurer and battle, but it calms them all. It actually breaks the spell of spiders for several of the victims.
Somehow, even while singing, Cassinudy charges the great beast, striking twice with swords, one with lightning crackling.
Tirian casts a spell which seems to melt off the beast while Tierra and Hanlin rush around behind the evil being to add more flankers. They need not have, though, as Cassinudy steps forward and lets another two blows destroy the beast.
Inthin brings forward another round of meadow-calm and several of the evil creatures in the room die from exposure to it.
That’s when she smiles, removes her backpack and rock flies out.
“Roark!” It’s Gam who yells it first, but everyone cheers.
It does not take long for Roark to take advantage of the audience and weave a story about escaping the upper pyramid-place, and returning to their native plane.
He realized that he was hurt and alone, so he flew to find the only people that he knew—Cassinudy and friends. He realized that they were heading for the cyclopse-cave and so he bee-lined for that destination, with one injured wing. Fortunately he found their band and could lead them back to the fog and the pyramid world.
The group of them traveled into the white door first, encountering a hostile and frozen world, where they had to fight off dire wolves and snow-beasts. But they made it out and then decided to check the black door where they found this lot.
No one in the party likely heard much of the story. All anyone could think was, Roark lives!