I wanted to have the group deal with the aftermath of a battle between Iggwilv the Witch Queen and a home-brewed demon lord of mine named Bazuuma. I decided that now was the time to rip off the Chris Perkins Acquisitions Inc storyline! I was going to have my group bust in to a vault and try to steal stuff just like on the show, but re-flavored and shrunk down a bit.
I wanted the vault to be owned by a demon lord, but I couldn't figure out who. I decided to go through one of my favorite books, Books of the Damned vol. 2: Lords of Chaos for Pathfinder. I struck gold when I saw Socothbenoth. Few demon lords are more suited for my group's ridiculous sense of humor:
- Socothbenoth is the demon lord of perversion, pride and taboos.
- He lives in The Cathedral Thelemic, a place where there are thousands of rooms devoted to the demon lord's vices.
- His followers are all half-demon/half-monsters.
Making Friends With Monsters: I feel like I should mention that a lot of times in my games, I make the bad guys be kind of nice or goofy. I really like having the group be friends with pit fiends and demon lords. I've always run my games like that, but it is even more prevalent now that I am a bit older and more mellow. I just find it more interesting, even if it really isn't "by the book."
(Jessie) Bidam - Platinum-Scaled Dragonborn Fighter
(George) Theran - Half-Dabus/Half-Elf Wizard
* NPCs - Selinza ("Litorian" Wizard, level 8), Drokkarn the Pit Fiend
Each character has powers linked to the Lady of Pain:
- Theran can create buildings in Sigil and he can banish people to extra-dimensional mazes.
- Bidam can look at people and cause cuts to appear on their body and he can create portals in Sigil.
The heroes own a cluster of buildings known as "Deadbook Square."
Last Time: Bidam sold his soul to a contract devil. Theran got trapped in his own spellbook. The heroes stole the Iron Tome, the item the bad guys were using to control the Iron Shadow and "unmake" entire planes. Bidam and the warder devil Feurina ended up sharing memories. They have the power to summon each other.
Drokkarn, the pit fiend, was with the group. He had been a nothing more than a sentient cloak named Fiend's Embrace, but Bidam gave him a wish and Drokkarn wished himself back to life. Drokkarn hated being in the Abyss, and Bazuuma's demons (jovocs and foul-mouthed red unicorns) didn't like him either.
Saving Theran: Theran was trapped in his own spellbook along with the entity known as the Iron Shadow. Selinza eventually opened the book and was almost unmade by the power of the Iron Shadow, but she made a successful saving throw. Selinza cast dispel magic on Theran's page and Theran was able to escape and rejoin the group.
Iggwilv vs. Demon Lords: The place was a little trashed. It turned out that Iggwilv had shown up with two of her arcanaloth apprentices and tried to force Bazuuma to serve her. I had read somewhere that Iggwilv secretly controls up to 12 demon lords, and I decided to run with that concept.
Bazuuma is a demon lord of positive energy. She wants to be friends with everyone. She asked the group to go try and smooth things over with Iggwilv. Drokkarn is in love with Iggwilv, so he also wanted to go.
Son of Bidam: I should note that Bidam and Bazuuma's son, the abyssal dragon wyrmling named Pyranicus, was very excited to see his dad. Bidam actually forgot that this kid existed.
Iggwilv is Hurt: Using their cubic gate, the group went to Iggwilv's mansion. She was all messed up. Her nice arcanaloth apprentice, Landerbold the Dandy, cooked up a scheme with the heroes. Landerbold spent a lot of time in The Cathedral Thelemic spying on Socothbenoth for Iggwilv. He knew that there was an item in the vault there that could help Iggwilv. It was a scarab of protection (DMG page 199). It helps you make saves and stuff.
So, the plan was have Landerbold cast plane shift to the Cathedral. Then the group could try to steal the scarab. Landerbold gave Drokkarn a hat of disguise. You can't really have a pit fiend walking around in a demon lord's home without some kind of disguise. Selinza stayed with Iggwilv, her buddy.
Bloodquake gawked at the heroes and was a real jerk to them.
The group went ahead and checked out some of the rooms of perversion. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say one room contained a half-demon/half-owlbear having quite an experience.
They got to the vault and went to bribe the guard, who was a solamith (my favorite demon type). They give him bottled breath and he referred them to Socothbenoth's daughter, Domitia (I made her up for this).
|A solamith, probably my favorite D&D monster|
It turned out that Bloodquake had stolen a belt of giant strength from a yeti-woman. He was trying to pin it on the heroes, but it wasn't going well.
The Pit Fiend Goes Rogue: Drokkarn the pit fiend had been complaining constantly about the chaos in the cathedral. As a devil, he can't stand disorder and he can't stand demons. His skin was crawling.
Drokkarn took off the hat of disguise and revealed himself. He handed the hat to Bidam and whispered to him to go to the vault. Drokkarn would provide a distraction. The pit fiend attacked everyone in the throne room with a massive fireball.
The heroes ran to the vault and Bidam used the hat to impersonate Socothbenoth. The Solamith fell for it and opened the vault. In Acquisitions Inc. there was this whole thing about needing two keys for the vault, but I didn't use that idea because I wanted to get this done in one session.
The group got in the vault, grabbed the scarab and a bag of holding as well. I thought the group was good to go. They could use their cubic gate to get out of there.
But, to my surprise, they didn't. They went back to get Drokkarn! They ran into the throne room where Drokkarn the pit fiend was battling Socothbenoth the demon lord. Drokkarn was hurt really badly. We rolled initiative, and the heroes actually went first and second! They ran over to him and used the cubic gate. They all escaped.
Their New Friend: All of them appeared back at Iggwilv's. I asked the players why they did that. They told me that they really like Drokkarn.
We played out a little thing, as Drokkarn was shocked that they came for him. The group told him he was their friend. I think Drokkarn is going to stick around for a while, as I like doing his voice and the group really likes him, weird as that may seem.
The group gave Iggwilv the scarab and there was much celebrating.
New Trouble: But then... Bidam disappeared. Feurina, the warder devil who is bonded to him, summoned him to the lair of the devils - the chained fortress of Panos Qytel in Hell! The devils want their book back.
That's where we stopped! Next session should be awesome. I am kind of running this week-to-week. I do want to get to the Hellbound adventures soon but I don't want to kill the momentum, as we have a nice episodic thing going on. I think I can use next week to set up the climax of the whole Iron Shadow/Infinite Staircase storyline.