Second time's the charm

The blast resounded across the halls of the demon lord’s palace, as it begun to collapse. The two half-bloods were close, but not close enough to be caught in the blast. But they recognized it for what it was. The unmistakable sound of a balor being killed in the abyss. The explosion sent the entire palace crashing down on them and they found themselves beneath the debris, but luckily alive. Dying in the abyss while being a demon is a really bad thing. Recovering inside the debris, their initial reaction of teleporting out was overcome by their curiosity to at least see what had killed their master and was now apparently fighting off against the marilith in the palace. Tanar’ri nature overcame survival instincts and they dug out of the debris. The death throes of the marilith just outside faded as they witnessed its slayer. Apparently polymorphed, they saw a barefoot woman in a white, bloody dress holding two of the marilith’s arms. She tilted her head and grinned wickedly. The cambion and the alu-fiend teleported right to the portal that lead to the 1st layer of the abyss. But their danger sense peaked. They realized there was danger where they were going, but staying there meant there was even more danger. They opted for the first. If the woman of unknown (not totally unknown, having casually disposed of a balor and a marilith) power was worse than whatever was at the portal, so be it.

The twisted, metal platform that surrounded the archway to the Plane of Infinite Portal in the abyss steed at the top of the mountain in the 452th layer, usually guarded by only a few chasme. But now, an army was invading through this portal. An army of demons sent to destroy this layer entirely. Hordes of bar’lgura, dretch and vrocks, even the occasional goristro and hezrou swarmed through the portal, teleporting right in the heat of battle, at the home of the lord of this layer, blowing up and tearing apart anything they could find there. The molydeus stood in front of the portal, unmoving, its snake head constantly hissing and scouting for enemies. The great, vorpal axe on its hands ensured noone would pass through the portal on the wrong way, escaping this layer. The jackal head grinned as two small figures teleported right in front of it. It gave no quarter. The vorpal axe sliced the air, aiming to cut through both of them in a single strike. But its enemies managed to teleport out right before the axe struck. Annoyed, the molydeus have a snarl and resumed its position.

The cambion and the alu-fiend reached a random mountaintop and sat down to take in what had happened. Teleporting out of the presence of their masters’ slayer and a molydeus just in the nick of time was too much for a day. It was too much for a lifetime, actually and the Tanar’ri live a lot. Within a few minutes, someone had invaded their home, killed their masters and now procceded to destroy the place entirely. What of their lord? Was he killed, too? There was no way to be sure and approaching the city now would mean certain doom. The planars knew well enough not to challenge their luck a third time. This was the planes, after all and the Rule of Three was prevalent. Most of the times, at least.

The duo opted to take a closer look, risking being detected by the vrocks flying around, but took comfort in the alu-fiend’s invisibility spell. Besides, they knew each other for several decades and could work quite well together, having successfully completed several missions for their lord in the outlands and other planes. Their goal now was the prison complex of this layer, that housed a portal that would take them out of this place. But it lead to Acheron. They saw the prison had not yet been taken over, as the massive bulk of the Warden kept the demons at bay. Weighing the option of escaping from their layer, which had become a prison now, to another prison, they opted to wait and hide hoping their assailants would either leave this place or give them an opportunity to stealthily go through the portal and to more hospitable planes.

It was only after a month and several attempts of unknown, shadowy creatures to eat them, that they returned to check how their city was. They had spent all that time in the endless expanse of the unexplored, desolate regions of the layer, risking random encounters with any kind of creature that would roam or be spawned by the randomness of the abyss. Their city was being reconstructed, to their dismay. That meant their assailants would not just leave, but make a permanent residence there. However, the portal was being guarded by a glabrezu. Not that it matters how much more powerful a molydeus is compared to a glabrezu, if they can both casually kill you and a dozen others like you without breaking a sweat. But at least, it was not a molydeus. The glabrezu was not as unwavering a guardian as the molydeus. It disliked its post and would entertain itself by chasing and dismembering hapless dretch all around the portal.

The cambion and the alu-fiend took such an opportunity and teleported right to the entrance of the portal. The glabrezu saw them, but they entered fast before it could stop them. A series of random teleportations later would take them out of the glabrezu’s grasp, for now. Their final stop was the gate to Plague-Mort, the gate-town of the Abyss. At last, familiar ground. A place they could blend in and not be hunted. For now, at least. Most important of all, though, they were free.

Now what, they thought.

Second time's the charm

Planescape - Halfbloods Igrith