Ladies in Hades and the Dyval Wears Prada
Journal - Trent - Entry 27
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We all agreed we needed to get back there. I didn’t trust trying to physically travel the distance, not after our “six day journey” earlier. I gathered us all together and used a scroll of Teleport: Superior, relying ont he memory of the Ziggurat provided by the Deevil amulet I was still wearing. We arrived safely and rushed into the throne room, only to find the mysterious man and his skeletal entourage just as we had left them. The star-map illusion I had activated, curiously, was still active, and indicated 17 years had passed! More issues with the fluctuations of time.
Pall Mall and the naked man talked for a bit about Ishtar – he actually reacted to her body being there by openly sobbing! IN their conversation the man seemed like he was about to hurt Pall Mall but unfortunately the Sowki managed to talk his way out of whatever trouble his comments had caused. I finished copying down the new positions of the star chart.
James, however, had meandered back outside and decided to see if he could “jump start” the ritual that had been performed out there. Standing inside the still-active magic circle he pricked his own finger, letting the blood fall on the crudely reconstructed altar. It worked, and his blood began flowing into the altar and through the channels designed to carry it. He cried out for help just before falling unconscious, and Steve flew out of the room to his rescue.
Someday, someone isn’t going to be around to save him, and then he’ll finally die – just as the multiverse apparently intends. Or maybe as he intends, since he seems to constantly get himself into these situations.
The rest of us in the room watched as the channels filled with blood, quickly making their way to the man in the throne. Recalling what the purpose of this room seemed to be, I realized it was time to leave before that blood could complete its journey and fulfill its purpose. Sure enough, we all got out of the room just in time for light-energy beams to spring up around it, encapsulating all within and trapping them.
Including the Pandemonium, who we had forgotten about.
Just then we heard the arrival of the spider-demon and she managed to burrow her way up through the ziggurat and into the throne room, THROUGH the prison beams! Some of which went flying. I suspect it was a combination of her power and the fact that James had been pulled out of the ritual circle before his blood sacrifice could complete that allowed the prison to be so easily destroyed.
Within a few moments there was a psionic scream that ripped through all of our minds! In the wake of it I felt… a presence in my mind. Or more than one, actually. It was like there was suddenly a fight to keep my consciousness intact! What in time was THAT about? Possession? Something else? It’s something I knew I would need to explore, but this of course wasn’t the time.
It’s never the time, really, not with the way things have been going.
With the light-beam prison shattered and dispelled, we entered the throne room to survey the damage. The place was utterly destroyed, but the naked man was unharmed. The Pandemonium was nowhere to be seen, though the partial ceiling collapse could have buried her. I used the Retro-View spell to witness the events we ran away from, and watched the battle that unfolded. It ended with the Weaver Demon making her escape, but that didn’t make any sense when I considered the psionic assault from earlier.
As my experience has taught me I re-watched the fight, but this time with the Dragon’s Eye gem firmly in hand to see through any tricks of metamorphosis, and sure enough I witnessed the Pandemonium deevil take the form of the weaver demon just after the naked man had soundly defeated Widow.
By the inexhaustible energy of time, he made short work of her. What sort of being is he, exactly, that he has so much power? And why does he remember nothing?
I communicated this all to the group, that the Pandemonium was now on the loose somewhere, but we do have one advantage – we know the real Widow was defeated, and should we encounter her again we’ll already be prepared for this trick of disguise she’s set up. Something also came to my attention again, as we were in that place, that the flow of time seemed to be normal in the room again, not accelerated as it was during previous visits. I guess this rooms purpose was soundly destroyed in the battle.
We all discussed our next move, and James once again brought up the Hanging Gardens – as if the Moomoo from this dimension had extended the invitation to us. But then James brought up an interesting point, that the gods were themselves multi-dimensional, so there’s no reason that the Moomoo we encounter there couldn’t be the same Moomoo we encountered back in our own dimension!
We all went to the Hanging Gardens in order to rest a bit before trying to find Moomoo. Even the naked man followed us – I guess with his throne room gone, he didn’t have any other plans. I started trying to organize all my thoughts (my own thoughts, not someone or something else’s!) in order to try and piece together everything which he had experienced, and in order to separate fact from conjecture. James had tried to tell the naked man what we “knew” so far, but his words were so full of assumptions and false beliefs that I nearly fell over! How did he travel with us all this time but grasp so little of what was really going on? I hoped to correct that soon, but I’ve had little patience for the man recently. He’s proven less of a companion and more of a ward to be babysat. And I’m not a babysitter.
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