Chapter Ten

From Huey’s corpse I salvaged White-Eye, the second of my vorpal swords, and after his timely demise the rest of us prepared to go to hell. Joining us on this mission was Amoran (a moron), one of Waterwind’s ranger minions, who had a deep hatred for the devils who killed his parents, and wanted to go into hell to avenge their deaths. After Latheric created a portal for us, we all stepped through, and found ourselves in a hellish landscape; of bloody rivers, iron fortresses and lakes of fire. Amidst this plane dwelt devils; beings of pure and infinite evil, from tiny imps to hulking pit-fiends. We fought none of the lesser devils, and instead sought a meeting with Bel, lord of the first layer. He gave us a small bit of advice; that to reach the next level we had to go past Tiamat, legendary goddess of dragons, who guarded the way. Looking through hell for info on this dragon goddess, I managed to come upon none other than Andrunor. a very old friend, who had apparently found some way to continue his existence here, though he was now incredibly insane and demented. With Andrunor’s information we went onward, scouting out her caves before heading forth into them. There we came upon a huge room. Inside of it were five guardian dragons, larger than any we had ever seen before; a red, white, green, blue and black, all towering far over the simple dragons of our world. We fought all five of them at once, a battle that it first looked nearly impossible. Yet with good tactics and powerful skills we succeeded. Latheric trapped a few of them in mazing magics, while Waterwind and Amy drained their life away with spells. Gaspar fought, distracting the greatest of them, while I battled several. While the dragons were tough and large, their skills could not compare to ours. I nimbly dodged each of their claw strikes and leapt away from their fierce breath weapons. Even their feeble spells could not touch me, and despite the supposed superiority of the dragon species, we soundly beat them. The only fatality was poor Amoran, who blindly charged a dragon and was soon eaten. I barely got to know the fellow, and thus all I can say about him was that although brave, he was also foolish. After his death, we were able to meet Tiamat, queen of dragons, five-headed beast of hell. She didn’t want to fight. She wanted to make us a deal. With Gaspar as our diplomat, we made it. We agreed to slay Bel in exchange for getting passage to the next level. Seeing as many of us wanted him out of the picture anyway, we agreed. We headed back, planning our strategy, hoping the battle would be short. Suddenly, we saw someone appear out of nowhere. His name was Jak Mulligan, a thief from the streets of a city called Guardia. He was stranded here due to some magical mishap while raiding a wizard’s tower. He offered to help us in exchange for being let out of hell. We took Jak along, partially from pity, partially because we needed some help ourselves. At Bel’s palace, however, we were met with an ambush. Apparently, Andrunor had ratted us out. He was now dead, slain after giving Bel all the information he needed. A fight ensued; a long and tedious fight of teleportation, wishes, anti-magic fields and all manner of things that most mortal folk would be hard-pressed to understand. This was the only battle that I ever lost; because I got sloppy, because I was careless, arrogant and impatient. Bel put up an anti-magic field. I could have used this to my advantage, given the fact that my ring could ignore such a field. Still, what happened, happened. I have no regrets. In the end, we won anyway, though in a more indirect way. Amy was able to save us all through a miracle; calling on her divine power to raise all of our dead and get us out of there. At that moment, we found ourselves in the palace of Asmodeus himself. He had noticed our actions, and wanted to strike a deal with us; though the prices were very high. Asmodeus wanted us out of hell where we couldn’t cause trouble for him. He would give us Jessalyn’s soul in exchange for one of ours, and would need another person to stay behind and appease Bel. Amy immediately stood up and offered her own soul, because all along she had loved Gaspar, and her pure heart was willing to give anything so that he could be happy. Thus, her spirit was taken by Asmodeus himself. Waterwind decided that he should stay behind and work for the demons, and thus he said his goodbyes to all of us. In an instant, I found myself again in the material plane, a nice change from the horrors of hell. We were out of there, and somewhere in this world, Jessalyn was alive too. We had come out victorious, but at a price; the price of two good people’s souls. After that, we were not sure if there were more heroics to do; but we were wrong. This was only the start.

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