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Session #45: All's Well that Doesn't End ... Yet
The party slept in Sai's abode and took note of his various weapons and relics, especially the collection of unique animal figurines made of different materials. With their long day of fighting Peryton's and Hags in the Fey Wild, the Pillarmen easily drifted off to sleep -- all except Lena, who was still coming to terms with her nature and the reality of her relationship with her father. She ascended to the canopy once more. Sai noticed.
As she sat among the tree-tops, Sai ascended to speak with her. They spoke for hours about nothings so that Lena could clear her mind. The elf decided to offer her a gift. Knowing Lena had an affinity for owls, what with her companion, Raphael, Sai showed her the majesty of a giant owl beast that seemed to be under his direction. The two owls played together in the everlasting twilight of the Fey-wild sky for a while when suddenly Sai recalled the bird which magically transformed into a little green owl statuette. He offered it to Lena as a token, explaining that creating such creatures was a trade-skill in his family, passed down for generations, and that all of the figurines in his possession were likewise enchanted. Lena refused the boon with the pretext that she already had an animal companion. She rubbed her cheek against Raphael's feathery body. She did, however, ask for another figure: the small bronze griffon she had seen earlier. She explained that the sudden dissolution of her biological father-daughter relationship had caused her to consider more deeply the relationship of her true father, Igan, who had been there for her through everything. The relationship had become turmoltuous over the course of the last few years, and Lena told Sai that being able to confer this griffon figurine to him may just be the catalyst needed to repare their relationship. He agreed.
The following early hours sparked the beginning of the second Elf-council adjournment. The discussion had to do with plans of action. Whether the elves should harbor Lena to protect her (and the Material Plane) from the reach of Varda. All-out war was discussed. Betraying Lena to Artel in exchange for the Bismuth shard and Metorin was considered to halt their plans of waking Tar'ok. The council considered expelling these troublesome guests from their domain so they could preserve their secrecy and way of life. They decided to wait on making a final decision for new information that would surely present itself between then and the third council. Information that might be extracted from Lena's pursuant devil, for which they had been preparing to ensnare.
As evening approached, a small contingent of elves along with the Pillarmen made their way to a small clearing outside of the Elvish territory where they left the Fey-wild and returned to the adjacent Material Plane. As the elves began preparation, the Pillarmen led by Lena's direction encouraged them to leave the binding of the Devil to them. Not knowing what the party had in store, but sure of their ingenuity and legendary accomplishments the elves ceased preparations and merely readied themselves for the coming trial. The Chain Devil arrived.
Unfortunately, Lena had misunderstood some of the preparations necessary for creating a Magic Circle of entrapment, and the plan of capturing the creature seemed doomed. Her entrapment spell required ten minutes of preparation, and so the party and elves were forced to stall the devil, who swiftly realized the deception and recognized the ambush. The Devil tried to teleport to safety, but his magic was dispelled. He tried to escape conventionally, but his progress was halted by warriors. He fought to free himself, severely wounding many of the warriors and it became apparent that the Pillarmen and elves were, indeed, outmatched. Using temporary binding and mind-altering magic, they managed to hold the creature in place long enough to complete the magic circle and force the devil into it. After examining the area closely, Sklooh discovered that the devil had secretly left four of his enchanted chains in the underbrush to ambush the party and free break the spell, but they were subdued and forced into the circle as well.
Impressed by their tenacity, the devil offered a deal -- information for both freedom and also Lena's compliance in a mission of his choosing, which he did not disclose. He explained that keeping him contained in Segerstrom's dungeon in a secret room below a haunted and abandoned former military prison when he was just a Barbed Devil was one thing; keeping him bound in the middle of the forest in his new, more powerful form was quite another. Eventually he would be free, but the terms of that freedom would be best served if everyone got something they wanted out of the matter. The elves took a while deliberating before deciding to put it to a vote, and taking the deal was rejected. Lena proposed a new deal: the devil goes free if he promises not to harm any of the elves or Pillarmen until he had at least gotten out of the forest -- and that goes for any of his underlings, too. He agreed, the circle was broken, and he left into the woods.
After a long time of wandering around the forest, Lena and Sklooh finally came upon Igan -- the real Igan this time. They shared their experiences of the strange creatures they'd encountered, including the Peryton, the Satyr, and the strange doppelganger, when suddenly Sklooh felt an invisible hand rest upon his back. A creature became visible -- a old, crone-looking haggard woman with green skin. A hag. Sklooh became cursed by the woman, and just as the party made to retaliate, both Igan and Lena felt the touch of two more who had joined the fray. A hag coven. A battle began in which celestial warriors were summoned, curses were broken, and all manner of combat ensued. Eventually, one hag was felled, one flew into the woods, and one was under Lena's magical control and was compelled to lead the Pillarmen back to the elves' society.
Upon approach, a fire erupted forth which consumed the hag. Then a lightning bolt after that. Sai came forward from the borders of the elvish village and assaulted the hag. The Pillarmen joined in taking care of this last witch with the elf. Sai wondered why they would allow themselves to walk with such an evil creature, but nevertheless expressed gratitude at having broken up a hag's coven so close to their borders. The three of them followed Sai back to his home and prepared themselves for dinner and sleep... and tomorrow when the council would be reconvened.