Scene 3: The Great Foyer
The trio—Vestige, Retribution and Adriel, entered the obsidian tower to a large circular room with four large doors. One on the western wall, two on the northern wall, and one on the eastern wall. Each of the doors was made of obsidian and had a dial with four symbols edged on them. Each door also had a word written above them from west to east, the words were: Indifference, Stuffiness, Dishonesty and Hate.
Vestige remembered from her basic chemistry class in college that the symbols on the dials reminded her of the Greek elemental symbols and believed she could figure which was which. The three heroes discussed the potential relationship between the words edged above the doors and the elemental symbols. They reasoned that the words appeared to be negative traits that likely matched with the elements in some way. The group set the dials on the doors to match the words: Indifference-Water, Stuffiness-Earth, Dishonesty-Air, Fire-Hate.
Scene 4: The Main Hall
As the last dial was set they disappeared and the trio was teleported to another large circular room with a very tall ceiling. A 10m tall statue of a succubus holding two lighted spheres lent light to most of the room. In front of the statue was a large cauldron with burning embers, with six unlit torches beside it. To the north and south side of the room, two kneeling statues held a large bowl as an offering to the demon statue.
Before the heroes could react, five large bats flew toward them from atop the statue, each engulfed in a globe of darkness. The creatures surrounded Retribution. Two of the creatures attached themselves to him draining his mental defenses while others attempted to use their psychic screams to stun their prey. Adriel and Vestige rushed to attack and soon the Astral Vampiric Bats where dispatched. As they died however, the bats turned to a yellowish powder that Vestige surmised was sulfur. The heroes placed the yellow powder on each of the bowls held by the kneeling statues and using the torches lying next to the smoldering cauldron, lit the material on fire. The powder quickly caught fire, and as it did, a 5m tall golden mirror appeared in the center of the room. Instead of reflecting anything in front of it, however, the mirror held a dark, impenetrable mist. Without hesitation, the heroes walked into the mirror…
Scene 5: The Hall of Mirrors
Vestige appeared in a large circular room whose boundaries were defined by 24 large mirrors exactly as the one she entered in the Main Hall. The room was lit by softly glowing glyphs on the floor. Her companions were gone.
Vestige studied the mirrors and noticed that each image she examined was a reflection of herself, but somehow flawed from her own true reflection. As she concentrated on one image she was able to determine that all the images were rotating in a specific pattern around the room. She carefully studied each of the images until finally finding one that was a true reflection of her. She stepped through the mirror and appeared, along with her companions, in another large room. Unlike the others, this room was dark. The walls could not be discerned, only a large obsidian door was lit by two large torches toward the east.
Scene 6: The Magic Door
As the heroes approached the door they were greeted by a gargoyle shaped door handle. The door handle refused to open the door as it was its function to keep it closed. The gargoyle would not answer any questions, but did engage in a philosophical discussion about one’s purpose in life. Vestige was able to convince the gargoyle that getting through the door to get to Blackheart was her purpose and seeing the logic behind the need for everyone to fulfill their purpose in life, just as it was the gargoyle’s purpose to hold the door close, the handle agreed to tell them how to get through to the other side if they answered a riddle. The riddle went as follows:
My first is in vitality, but not in ability.
My second is in idealist, but not in stomodeal.
My third is in respect, but not in unsuspected.
My fourth is in trust, but not in brusqueness.
My fifth is in unity, but not admonitions.
My sixth is in empathy, but not in myopathy.
My seventh is in sacrifice, but not in artificer.
My whole word reveals sound caliber.
After some deliberation, Vestige figured out that the answer was the word “Virtues”. Satisfied with her answer, the door offered to shrink the heroes small enough to fit under the gap between the floor and the bottom of the door. Once through, the heroes would revert back to normal.
Scene 7: Redemption?
The heroes passed through the door’s gap and reverted back to their normal size on the other side. They emerged in a large forested area and saw two gigantic winged dog-like figures guarding a crucified red skinned figure. The dog-like creatures sensed the heroes entrance and moved in for the kill.
Despite their large size, the heroes quickly mopped them up without taking much damage and approached the crucified figure. Adriel recognized the figure as the demon Gadreel and claimed he was one of the original five fallen angels. This one particularly infamous as the demon who tempted Eve in the Garden. For his part, Gadreel, did not deny his past but claimed that he had repented for his sins and only wished the Lord’s forgiveness so that he could rejoin his brothers in Heaven. Adriel would have none of it, and implored the other heroes to let him kill the beast. The heroes debated whether to let the demon down from the cross, but in the end decided that this must be some sort of trick as none believed that a demon was capable of contrition. Trusting Adriel’s judgment, Retribution and Vestige agreed to let Adriel deal with the creature as he saw fit.
As the creature died on Adriel’s spear, the heroes were once again teleported to face their next trial.
Scene 8: Parallel Universe
Vestige was once again Jessica Payne. She worked frantically on her keyboard trying desperately to secure her life’s work as machine gun fire echoed outside the sealed doors to her lab—men screamed and died just as quickly. Her brother Jason, strapped to a cacophony of wires and sensors, laid just feet away from her; sedated and defenseless. Too late…
Four loud but compressed explosions in quick succession knocked the hinges off the sealed doors and they came crashing down loudly. Jessica did not heed the group of armed uniform men running inside her lab. Every last second counted. Suddenly she was brusquely grabbed and held by two men. She struggled, but their grip was too strong.
“Please do not resist, Dr. Payne,” came a heavily accented voice. A round , black suited man, with the chinese secret police insignia on his lapel walked slowly into the room, careful not to get dirt on his shoes. “We do not wish to hurt you or your brother. We simply want the access code to your research.”
“I bet you do,” Payne replied, “that’s not going to happen! I’ll die first.”
“It’s a pity,” the chinese secret police officer said with a grimace and walked to stand next to Jason Payne. He withdrew a pistol from his holster inside his jacket and placed it on the sedated man’s temple. “It’s truly a pity that you would be so carefree with your life with such a priceless mind. But tell me Dr. Payne, are you so careless with your brother’s?”
“You son of a bitch! Leave him alone!”
“This can only end two ways, Dr. Payne. Give me the codes and you chose your best option.”
Suddenly, Jessica sees two possible futures in her mind. If she gives the Chinese the key to her research they will use her technology to wage a terrible war of conquest against the west. Millions of lives will be lost and the Chinese will bring the world to their knees. She and her brother will survive the war but live the rest of their lives under surveillance. In the other vision, she lets her brother die, and she is incarcerated in a brutal secret police prison. The Chinese still launch a terrible war against the west, but only manage to break her security codes late in the war—too late to prevent their defeat at the hands of a world coalition. She sees herself survive the war, but her mind is broken and her body scarred. Without a doubt she knows either of these futures will come to past based on her decision, but there was really no choice in the matter.
“Go ahead, you bastard,” Jessica spat each word slowly through clenched teeth; tears swelling and rolling down her face.
The Chinese secret police officer’s eyes hardened and his body stiffened. “Very well, but you are pulling this trigger. Remember that while you rot in a death camp!” Jessica prayed that she made the right decision. The gun’s sound pierced her soul, the flash of the gunfire blinding despite her closed eyes.
Dr. Payne was gone in a flash, Vestige once again. The three heroes stood together in the midst of a swirling portal at the center of a brightly lit temple. Vestige held a strange amulet in her hands, an incantation firmly burned on her mind. Confused, Vestige looked are her surroundings and immediately recognized the place. This was were Wraith died.
Scene 9: Rescue
In place where the Coven summoned Beelzebub on earth stood a great pillar of fire apparently being fed by spirit of five figures trapped in iron cages held 5m in the air by large iron chains. As the trio emerged from the portal, a hulking gargoyle confronted them. “You don’t belong here! Leave now!” The heroes refused and two other gargoyles jumped from behind pillars chucking dark energy bombs. A long and savage fight ensued, but the heroes managed to kill the three gargoyles with Retribution taking the brunt of the damage while Adriel and Vestige freed the four Angels and Wraith from the cages.
As all five captives were taken from their cages the pillar of fire vanished leaving behind a 3m tall fiendish creature, Balckheart, crouched where the center of the pillar had raged, seemingly stunned. The heroes wasted no time and one by one the took the five captives, stunned and nearly unconscious.
Vestige and wraith jumped through the portal while Adriel and Retribution pushed the other survivors into the portal. Suddenly, Blackheart, stood up and laughed. Retribution took a step toward the villain, but Adriel held him back with a hand on his shoulder. “No,” he said, his eyes fixed on the gigantic figure, “I’ll hold him back. Take the others.” Retribution began to protests, but Adriel’s resolved expression told him it was no use. “Thank you,” he said and jumped into the portal.
“Adriel!” howled Blackheart and the defiant angel.
“You are not going anywhere, Blackheart.”
Blackheart laughed and a black matter bolt shot from his fist and caught Adriel squarely on the chest. The angel was blown of his feet and landed lifeless ten meters away.
“Insolent insect,” whispered Blackheart smiling and vanished.