Scene 1: Unexpected News
After the disastrous battle at Ignatius Capello’s (a.k.a. Wizard) mansion, Vestige barely escaped with her life. Alone and stricken by grief over her brother’s death at the hands of the Black Knight and his fiendish Hellhounds, Vestige wondered through Millenium City’s Northside streets and alleyways in a daze. Late that night, she found a discarded box in a dark alley and turned off her systems for a well needed recharge of her internal power source.
When she activated her systems again, Vestige was in a private library surrounded by tall bookshelves filled with well-worn and apparently ancient leather-bound books. Surprised by the obvious change to her surroundings, she levitated off a plush blue silk pillow and instantly registered the presence of two other people in the room. One she instantly recognized as Retribution, a winged super that helped Wraith rescue her from NSA captivity three years ago. The other man, she’d never met before—an exotic looking, elderly bald gentleman with a goatee dressed in an expensive black sports coat, grey round neck silk tee, perfectly pressed pants, and spotless black handcrafted leather shoes. He wore no jewelry except an ornate platinum ring on his ring finger. His eyes deep but friendly.
Standing by a large lit fireplace, Retribution reassured Vestige that she was among friends and explained that the other man—Robert Destine, a powerful magician known as Warlock, guided him to her in the alley. Three days ago, Destine used his powers to foresee the summoning of the demon Beelzebub by the The Coven and was working with Retribution to locate where the event would take place. Unfortunately, by the time he discovered the hideout’s location, it was too late to stop it. However, Beelzebub’s summoning revealed another problem. The summoning spell sucked Wraith’s spirit into the Astral Plane where he has been captured by a powerful extra planar being named Blackheart and using it to break his magical imprisonment. Destine was adamant that Blackheart cannot be allowed to escape and join forces with Beelzebub as the two have allied in the past.
Warlock proposed a plan to rescue Wraith, and keep Blackheart imprisoned. He explained that he is capable of opening a gate to the Astral Plane near Blackheart’s prison. Once there, the heroes would enter the tower and defeat the trials needed to get to Blackheart. Destine further explained that he could hold the gate open for six hours, so they would have to rescue Wraith within that time. He then handed Retribution a large jewel that along with chanting an incantation would serve as a receptacle for Wraith’s soul to be brought back to our plane of existence. Later, a spell could be used to release Wraith’s soul into another body.
Without hesitation Vestige and Retribution gathered around Warlock as he began the spell that would open the gate to the Astral Plane. Before long a radiant blinding blue-lit portal appeared. The heroes’ astral forms departed from their bodies and walked into the light to the other side.
Scene 2: Welcome to the Astral Plane
The duo stepped through the portal unto a riverbed surrounded by tall trees. Extending to the horizon, a black starry dome hung over everything as if the land were trapped inside a giant opaque mirrored globe. There was no moon or sun to speak off, but the objects themselves exuded a ghostly light of their own—shimmering almost out of existence at the edge of the heroes’ vision.
On the riverbank, Vestige spotted a small dock with a perfectly constructed faering on top—a gargoyle statuette faced into the boat with his arms stretched out as if expecting someone to grasp them. The heroes took a cursory look inside the faering and noticed two oars neatly placed inside. Not far from the opposite bank, stood a 10 meter high wall, surrounding a tall obsidian tower. A 5 meter tall double door faced the river.
This close to the water’s edge, the heroes noted the river’s water sickly in color of as if choked by grass and moss below the surface. The scene was eerily quiet. There was no wind or even a fragrance to the trees. The river sat motionless, dark and oppressive, without a ripple to mar the mirrored surface. Its reflection of the black sky adding to its intimidating presence. Disgusted Retribution turned to Vestige and said, “I don’t much care for the boat or this river, I suggest we fly over as high as we can and avoid it completely.”
The duo flew up as high as they could nearly touching the black dome above, and landed safely on the other side. The flew low to the ground all around the wall for recognizance before heading higher to look beyond the wall. Rather than enter through the south gate, the two flew to the eastern wall and Vestige braved flying directly above the wall to inspect the other side. By the South gate two lanky spotted humanoids barraged a winged crucified figure with insults and poked it with a golden spear. Two other crucified winged humanoids hung lifeless on their cross. One of the lanky figures, noticed Vestige rising over the eastern wall despite her best efforts to minimize her exposure. He pointed the small globed figure to his partner and they both shouted a challenge in an unfamiliar language. Without waiting a further response, Vestige flew down from the wall to tell Retribution what she had seen. They both decided to fly low to the ground again, below the top of the wall, and swing over to the western wall and wait for the two creatures to make their move. After nothing happens for a little while, Vestige braved another look over the wall and saw the two figures standing on the parapet by the south gate. Once again the creatures noticed Vestige over the wall, but before they can react, Vestige sinks below the wall again. This time, the duo decide to use the tower as cover and fly low to the north wall. This time both Vestige and Retribution fly over the wall, using the obsidian tower as cover. They split up, Vestige flew around western side of the tower and Retribution flew around the eastern side.
About 55 meters away from the South gate, the heroes notice the two figures still on the parapet when suddenly they feel the invading presence of another’s mind attempting to brake through their mental defenses to take control of their bodies. Vestige flew as quickly as she could to get within range of her assailants. She attempted to pry into their minds with mental illusions, but the fiends mental strength repelled the attack. Retribution also flew as fast as possible toward the humanoids, firing psychic rays from his scythe, but they bounced harmlessly from the walls without hitting their targets. Finally, the heroes got within close range of the humanoids. Unrelentingly, the creatures kept on attempting to take over the minds of the heroes, but their will power overcomes the assaults. As Vestige flew close to the crucified figure, the desperate creature begged for help. Vestige in turn, used her mental blast to disable one of her assailants. Retribution in kind uses his scythe to deadly effect on the other.
The battle concluded, the heroes rescued the winged man from the cross. He introduced himself as Adriel, an Angel on a quest to rescue four of his brothers from Blackheart. Retribution uses his Scythe to test Adriel, using his Scythe’s ability to harm only those who have committed murder and other heinous acts. After the two are convinced that Adriel is on the level, the three heroes prepare to enter the obsidian tower and face it’s challenges.