I grew bored aboard the ship… Yes there was now murderer in the brig, a half dwarf half goblonium Captain and all the blood you can drink but there wasn’t really any excitement. Captain Felstorm had told us a Dwarf from his… Clan? Hold? Beard? Whatever Dwarvish word he used was in TinkerTown and would owe us a favour on behalf of saving the Captain’s life. I recalled that Mekk’s tools, toolbox and spellbook was probably in TinkerTown too, or at least if not, suitable replacements. We were also aware that the boat was not stopping in TinkerTown, but would take a few weeks to reach Paradise City. Thus I suggested to the more magically inclined amongst us the following;
“Let’s go to Hell. We can’t directly teleport to TinkerTown but we can shift to an alternative plane and back again… So let’s go to Hell grab whatever isn’t nailed down, maybe kill those fiends we keep bumping into for good and then gatecrash TinkerTown, as long as we get back to the ship with enough time to play a gig and grab our truck we’re good.”
The band wasn’t as instantly receptive to the idea as I thought they would be, but the idea grew on them and they agreed, especially when I reminded them that we’d recently gone up in the LiveWire ratings and had cracked the top ten, some Hell-based apparel wouldn’t hurt our image.
Mekk needed a rod attuned to Hell, I believe Sandman went to Mr. Lupus who loaned us some rods in exchange for a favour whilst we were there. Once certain fact finding rituals had been performed we were ready and we headed for the second layer of Hell, Dis, specifically the Iron City of Dis.
We arrived and it took a little while to take in the humid, acrid air. The Iron road was wide, and hot to the touch. We could see the Iron City, so we made our way there.
Upon reaching the huge Iron doors we were greeted by a booming voice, demanding to know our business. Now, I don’t know why but apparently I’m the only one in the Band that knows how to speak Infernal, which is the preferred tongue of Devils, I believe it was passed down with the Vampire Curse when I was sired. So when the booming voice requested our purpose I shrugged and asked the Band. Sandman guessed “Tourism?” and the booming voice seemed to be satiated as the doors opened.
Now the imp with a megaphone advised us to wear some metal bands, so the residents of the city knew we were protected. When the bands read “Tu’hreisma” we realised there may have been a misunderstanding but we rolled with it. We got directions to the court of Il-Shanis where we were supposed to deliver Mr. Lupus’s message. Passing through the city we drew a fair amount of attention, as I assume either the fiends were fans, or working out whether or not we were worth attacking.
Upon arriving at the Iron Palace where the Court of Il-Shanis was located we realised it was pretty close to the centre of Dis, where Dispater would reside, and that this Il-Shanis must be pretty high up in the political echelons of Dis. We introduced ourselves as Damnation, but they took more notice of our wristbands, inviting us in as guests but claiming we didn’t have a scheduled visit.
We waited in a small suite for some time before we were ready to be seen. Once inside the actual court I introduced us to Il-Shanis proper, showed her the letter from Lupus and explained the misunderstanding. She didn’t take it well, but whatever deal or terms Sandman set in motion with Lupus were now in motion with Sandman and he needed to give her four warrior souls. They took the metal bands and showed us the door rather sharpish.
Without a method of storing souls known to us, plan a. of “grab some mercenaries in TinkerTown” wasn’t practical. So we went with plan b. “capture some already stored souls”. I summoned my Steed Zarathos but we were attacked during the ritual, a winged devil, possibly a Horned Devil had attacked us leading a small group of Bearded Devils. We managed to cut through the Bearded Devils quick enough but the Horned Devil flew off in the direction of some Pit Fiends, so I summoned some fog and mist and suggested we get somewhere else quickly.
Eventually we found a little square where we could stop and rest for a moment and finish my summoning ritual. Zarathos’ body was build in the City of Iron but he didn’t know much about the place, only the name “Wixler” his creator. Sandman noticed a small shimmer on the rooftops and so I allowed myself the ability to sense heartbeats, shifted to my gas form and floated up to the rooftops. I scared the imp into fleeing but was easily able to catch up and grab the bastard.
I brought him down to the group and we asked him a few questions. He seemed to belong to Il-Shanis and knew that Wixler was inside Dispater’s palace. With the option of breaking into the Archduke of the second layer of Hell being a dead end I offered the little devil a deal, help us rob the most useless noble of Dispater’s court and he’d get a cut of the take; power hungry as all devils, he accepted. He directed us to the noble’s palace which was further away from Dispater’s central one than Il-Shanis’ and told us about the half-horse half-minotaur appearance that this devil chose to represent himself.
We were able to sneak in a hidden way, what I could only assume were devilish servants entrances and were doing alright until we found the Kitchen. The imp vanished and left us staring down four chain devils. It was tough going, especially for Mekk who was almost mortally wounded but we were able to magically heal the worst of it. I tore the head off one with my teeth which gave me an idea. I decapitated the rest once the band had dispatched them and took some of their chains, a couple pints of blood and a spinal column. I intend to make a Four Headed Devil Flail once we get back to TinkerTown.