Awaking from their alternating naps the duo gathered themselves and made their way south to the Great Road. After several miles the party found their way out of the rolling hills to be find a fearsome sight. In the distance was a huge fortress that covered several square miles. It was constructed of what appeared to be brass or bronze although it lacked the luster that the metals normally carried. Instead the metal seemed almost dull, as if it absorbed what little light shone on the plane. At the center of the fortress stood a large castle around which was what appeared to be some sort of city. From the party’s vantage point they could make out a great gate through the fortress’ wall which streamed with countless amounts of beings, going about numerous tasks. The distance was too great to make out any significant details but it was obvious they would not be welcomed there. Setting off on a trail that ran away from the fortress the party stumbled upon the Great Road only to discover that the road was occupied by a great force. A army of Devils were marching towards the fortress they saw to the west during their travels. Halitsu explained that the host was part of the Blood War and was probably marching to some foreign battlefield to fight the Demons.
Waiting patiently for the force to move on the party darted out from their hiding place onto the road so they could pull out a brick. However the brick proved much more troublesome then they first thought. Despite pushing and pulling with all their strength the brick would barely budge. Finally after about twenty minutes or so they were finally able to pull the brick free. Yet the victory was short lived as they heard a screech down the road. Glancing at the screech’s origin the party discovered six flying black creatures soaring towards the group who was exposed in the middle of the road.
Tossing the brick into Baruke’s backpack, the party ran off the road and into the steam vents that lined the south side of the road. Using the vents as cover turned out to be a smart idea as two of the devils were shot out of the air by an exploding vent of super heated steam. The other flyers closed in on the party slashing at the group with razor sharp claws. Two of the devils were able to dig into Baruke before he could make quick work of them with his axes. Anora lashed out with her rapier stabbing one of the devils as the steam vents exploded around the swirling melee. The party eventually prevailed and ran out of the steam vents across the last few hundred feet to the rock outcropping that was their destination.
Upon reaching the rock outcropping a shadowy figure greeted them from atop the stairs that were carved into the rock face. After the variety of strange creatures and people the group met during their journey in Avernus the party stood reluctantly half way up the stairs to deal with the figure. After some demands from the party the creature introduced himself as Al’kermon the guardian of the portal. The figure explained that as the guardian of the portal he has control over who can and can not use the portal. Thus if the party wished to use the portal they would have to perform a simple task for him. The party must carry with them a small silver orb through the portal to Sigil. Obviously reluctant to do the task, as there must be something more to it then the creature explained, the party refused to do the task. Growing slightly angry with the party, Al’kermon, said that if they did not wish to make the deal with him and carry out such a simple task then he could leave them to deal with the other devils cashing them. He then pointed out across the steam vents at the approaching rear vanguard of black flying creatures like those they just dealt with from the Great Road.
Pulling Halitsu aside Anora questioned him as to whom this creature may be. Halitsu explained that he did not know who he was or even if he claimed to be who he said he was. The little devil explained further that all Baatezu strive to advance in rank so that they may one day become a Lord. Bel in particular just achieved his rank not too long ago, displeasing many Baatezu. Thus this creature may be one of those that who wish for Bel’s downfall so that they may take his place. Avernus also has many “rogue” devils known as the Rabble. These are devils who have fallen out of favor with the main Baatezu force but have been able to gather some power on Avernus, as Bel’s hold is a rather tenuous position at the moment.
Baruke, growing impatient with the figure, then leaped forward brandishing his axe and held it to the creature’s throat. Baruke spat at the creature that he has grown tired of the creature’s games and that he will let them through. After a flash of anger, the creature smiled and then slowly pulled back his cloak revealing a suit of black armor and a long bastard sword constructed of some strange greenish metal. Al’kermon then let out a short laugh and reiterated that if they did not accept the deal then he could leave them to the horde.
Deciding it would be better to take the deal, Anora pulled out a rag and asked for the orb. Taking the orb the group walked to the portal. The creature asked for the gate key but Baruke ignored the figure and activated the portal himself, by simply stepping close enough to the gateway. The party then ready themselves for the portal lining up in front of it. Then just as they stepped through Anora tossed aside the orb, grabbed Halitsu and tossed him through the portal. Anora then grabbed a hold of Baruke so that they could dive through together. Al’kermon,reacted quicker however and whipped out his sword slashing at his closest target; Baruke. The sword stung Baruke as it slashed across his face leaving him with a nasty gash that spouted blood. Luckily that was all the creature could do as the duo stumbled into the portal sending them to whatever waited for them on the other side.