18 - 3/31 : Thoughts and Prayers
Before returning to the sensory stones, Star took the time to ask Ashton a bit about her past and where exactly she had gotten her diminutive dragon companion from. Ashton was a bit unsure, but remembers grabbing an egg from a truly horrific place before being teleported to the material plane by a strange Lizard Wizard named Turasjir. Since then Ashton has done her best to survive, and had gotten wrapped up in the attack on Darnagal which led her back into the planes. Next the group went to see what else could be found around the festhall. At the secondary stage, an older man approached the stage and introduced himself as Death's Advocate. He gave a speech regarding the afterlife, how after death he touted that one would go to whatever plane best matched how one was in life. The group, unimpressed by his speech decided to heckle the old man, with Nagar taking the stage and questioning his conviction. He was insulted, and stormed off angrily at the impudence. After the speech the group set off to experience the remaining sensory stones. After the first few which were all somewhat unpleasant experiences, including one where you felt as though your hand was submerged in lava, Star decided she had enough and returned to the bar. The rest of the group decided to see the remaining stones, and as they were completed a sensate steward told the party a group experience of stones was ready! It was best experienced with five people, and after collecting their inebriated tiefling friend from the bar, each chose a sensory stone. The stone brought the group to a mysterious room containing an artifact sealed in shimmering light. Behind them was a golden archway leading to Excelsior, the gate-town to Mount Celestia itself. A horde of demons had suddenly assaulted her keep, and Halloway began by giving a rousing speech. She was adamant to keep the horde from gaining any more ground and to prevent evil from taking the artifact. Demons began pouring into the hall, but the heroes stood firm and repelled wave after wave of some of the strongest demons the abyss could throw at them. While the large demons were slowly struck down, it seemed that the worst was far from over. From the doorway strode a terrifying sight: Graz'zt himself, Demon Lord of the Abyss. More demons renewed their assault, and things began to look grim. Suddenly the experience ended and the festhall began to slowly come back to focus. The steward claimed that the person recording the experience, Aemie, had suddenly perished and unfortunately ended the recording. But the group felt themselves being pulled back in, Ashton came into clear focus for the group and the experience continued. From the cover of an invisibility spell, the Archmage Tasha appeared and used a Word of Power to instantly kill Aemie! She turned her magic on the remainder of the group, with each of the heroes meeting grizzly ends at the waves of demons that poured into the room. With her foes slain, Tasha strode over to the artifact, annihilating its magic with a blast of energy, before collecting the second volume of her Demononicon. With her prize back in her possession, Tasha opened a gate and triumphantly strode through with her Demon Lord consort by her side. The experience finally faded, and standing before the group was Ashton, covered in demonic traits. The group calmed her down, for in Sigil this was not so uncommon a thing, but it was still hard for Ashton to relive the experience. With a better idea of who stood against them and the stakes at play, the party left the sensorium to discuss the gravity of the events that had transpired.
The Heroes of Radiant PassCompanions of Halloway (now known as Ashton), these heroes were experienced through the sensory stone at the Civic Festhall. They held fast against the terrible demonic hordes that descended on them, long enough for a host of paladins and celestials to arrive and save Excelsior from certain doom. While the stone only recorded the first part of fight, Ashtons memory kept the group in the flashback, where they saw the archmage Tasha and the Demon Lord Graz'zt put an end to the valiant heroes.
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