- The hell hounds charge the adventurers, Durgyn charges back, slamming the devil dog with his horns. Landen is take by surprise as another pack emerges from an alley at his flank. The hell hounds spew a cone of fire, burning some of the adventurers. Cleaving in succession, Durgyn places heavy gashes into three of the beasts in one attack. Landen feints and a hell hound lunges, his jaws grasping his leg and the burning coals in the dog’s mouth singe Landen’s skin, but it created the perfect opportunity for a strike. Landen’s elven curved blade, frosted with magic, slices the evil animal in two behind the front legs. Durgyn kills two more hounds. Franz’s pet badger, Hanz, scrambles under the legs of a barghest and claws at his side. The barghest is angered, finds the badger under his legs and takes the animal in his jaws. The barghest then rips the remaining portion of the small creature hanging from his mouth to pieces with his claws. The barghests then disappear, Sapphira is able to see them on the ethereal plane as they blink between planes, surprising the adventurers with their attacks. But Landen manages to sneak an attack better and kills one of the monsters. Soon the patrols of hell hounds and barghests are slain, and they approach the front of Pelor’s temple.
- The temple of Pelor stands before them, a massive stone dome flanked by two story wings on each side. The once splendorous temple is now covered with ash, the glass dome on the roof shattered, and the column of fire roars into the sky. Climbing about the dome roof, a bone demon, osyluth, spots them on the street below and lets out a terrifying scream. Its tail strikes the air and he climbs through the broken roof, unaffected by the fire. In answer, Durgyn marches up the temple steps and kicks in the double front doors.
- Inside, 6 clerics encircle the column of fire. The floor is coated with ash, and the column of fire lights the camber completely, filling it with radiant heat. The clerics attack, summoning magical weapons and striking with touch attacks, inflicting magical wounds upon the adventurers. They make short work of the clerics, although also taking damage themselves, and Sapphira battles the last standing near the column of fire. The cleric grasps Sapphira’s throat, draining her health, and Landen grabs the cleric’s other arm. He grabs the enemy and rips him into a grapple, freeing Sapphira. He forces the cleric towards the fire and pushes him towards it. The cleric’s robes catch fire on his back and Landen pushes him in and lets him loose, sending him fully into the stream of fire. The sanctuary is now empty except the adventurers.
- Where the alter to Pelor once stood there is now a massive crater, belching the column of fire. Sapphira looks towards the ceiling, searching for the osyluth. “I can sense him here…” She casts magic circle of protection against evil, and as she turns around the bone devil suddenly appears. The osyluth bites Sapphira and strikes with claws, and its boney tail whips around striking through her armor. Landen charges in to join the attack, and the large sized osyluth has an opportunity and stings Landen with his tail. The stinger pierces his leather armor with ease and its point burns into Landen’s side. Before the battle had barely begun, Sapphira shouts holy words and casts a spell of dismissal. The osyluth fails to resist the effect, and as a vortex begins to envelop him he growls infernal words, summoning forth another of his kind. The vortex takes him into a portal, dismissing him back to his home plane. The room again falls silent of battle, the only sound is the roaring fire column.
- Another osyluth bursts from the pillar of fire, flying around the dome above them. It flies down to strike and is kept at bay from Sapphira’s magical circle of protection. The adventuring party huddles around her to be contained within the spell’s sphere. The osyluth claws at the invisible dome protecting the adventurers and growls with a fierce hatred. He flies to the dome ceiling above them, slowly in circles, watching them, knowing that the spell will end before he must return to his plane. “You may be holding this one at bay,” Heronious speaks into Sapphira’s mind. “But it is only because he was called. The one you dismissed was not the only one that had come through the portal, and another will come forth of his own will if the portal is not closed soon.”
- “We must close the portal,” Sapphira says to her companions. Hillfort taunts the osyluth in its own language: infernal. The osyluth looks right to Hillfort, and telepathically replies, “you will not be safe for long,” a growling, gutteral infernal voice says in Hillfort’s mind. “Then I will rip the flesh from your bones.” Landen notices a burning where the other osyluth had stung him, and a fierce pain suddenly spreads into his chest; his legs and arms begin to ache. Not knowing how much longer they will be standing under Sapphira’s protection, he steps to the pillar of fire and thrusts his ice blade in. The handle heats, and his skin burns from the radiant heat. Seeing no effect on the fire, he withdraws his blade to see it glowing red hot. The metal is so soft from the heat, gravity bends it out of shape. Landen steps back and the metal cools, becoming rigid once more, and the icy frost covering the blade before is now gone.
- Sapphira remembers what Heroneous had told her when she asked how to stop the fire. She turned toward it and held out her holy symbol, calling forth the same holy power used to turn the undead. Her symbol glowed with light and she called for Heroneuos’ aid, but she sensed it was not strong enough to affect the fire. She tried again, and still the power of the column of flame was too much. Landen grasped his abdomen, pain now overtook him and he felt his strength leave him. He dropped his swords to the ground and fell to one knee. Sapphira calls forth all she can, and her holy symbol glowing bright. She yelled for the power of Heroneous and the fire seemed to writhe.
- Landen’s vision goes blurry. His head is pounding with pain and he is barely able to understand what’s happening around him. Pain fills him; every limb. Through his blurry and dizzy eyes he sees Sapphira’s glowing holy symbol. The column waveres, loosing its jet-stream shape. Tendrils of flame brake from the main body of the column and then the room goes dark. Landen falls to the ground, unable to support his own body weight. The last thing he sees is the light from Sapphira’s sword illuminating his companions in the pitch black room that was once Pelor’s sanctuary.
Speaker in Dreams
The heart of the fire
Attack on the temple of Pelor