Sharke read the poem on the folded note, "There was a handsome mage of bloodstone, his deeds were far from complete. When he returned from a corner of hell, they exclaimed, “Is this a spell?” That handsome mage of bloodstone."
Loki and Artemis quickly realized that it was not a knock ritual that was activated from the scroll as they had thought. All of a sudden, a circular ring of fire erupted on the ground. Within seconds a pillar of darkness rose from its center. Various faces shifted and dispersed around the pillar, reforming again and again in an endless rotation around the darkness. Then, the smell of sulfur filled the chamber and a dark ominous scream echoed around the room. Stepping forth from the dark pillar was a tormented fiendish humanoid figure with a very long tail. Half of his face was scarred and burnt beyond recognition and a single horn protruded from his forehead. Burnt and parched hands brandished a black staff covered in various runes. As the figure leaned on his staff the party noticed a large hunch protruding from the back of his tattered robes. The figure quickly looked around the room and smiled at the party.
Artemis Greencloak recoiled when he realized that the note activated some kind of gate ritual. Torment gasped, “I think we may have just summoned what Elzid had been trying to when he blew this place up!” The figure addressed the party in a raspy voice, "Welcome mortals, and thank you for considerately returning me to the realms. I had expected the duke’s men or worse, but I will thank you nevertheless. My name is Elzid may I ask who you heroes are? Upon hearing a familiar voice Erilyn move from behind the party looked at the figure and asked, “Who is that? Is that you Elzid?” While looking at Erilyn accusingly, Chotuk replied, “My name is Chotuk Hab, sir.” Ignoring the halfling, Elzid turned his head to look in the direction of Erilyn and upon seeing her; attempted to cover his face with his hands. When Erilyn realized that the creature she was looking at did indeed appear to be Elzid she screamed in terror. Elzid turned his head away in shame and tried to explain what had happened to him, “You mustn’t see me this way. I can explain. Please let me explain. I was tortured. They twisted me into what you see today. I did all of this for you. Please look past my outward appearance. I love you with all my heart”. Erilyn so revolted at what she saw standing before her cried out, "No it can’t be! You are a fiend! "With a further attempt to console her, Elzid pleaded, "No please Erilyn, I am not a fiend and I never was. You know that I am a good man. They did this too me! Don’t be afraid, my love. Have pity on me. I am still the man you love. "
Noticing Erilyn’s predicament, Remiel moved to her side and became ready to comfort or restrain her as needed. “Elzid you are too horrible to imagine! I trusted you!” exclaimed the girl. “Umm, maybe calling him names isn’t the right approach”, Chotuk replied. With a curious tone Torment interrupted the two of them and asked, “Have we summoned you back from the nine circles of hell Elzid?” Remiel paused to consider the ruins, the notes, the letters, and agreed, “I believe you are right Torment. Elzid left behind his own escape clause, a way to evade the devils he had previously made pacts with.”
Ignoring the conversation between the deva and the Tiefling, Elzid screamed, “No! Erilyn you can’t say that. I will still make that perfume I promised you.” Elzid continues to attempt to convince the girl of his genuine love for her and after several moments of crying from Erilyn. She finally dismissed him telling him that she couldn’t love him anymore. Then, unexpectedly and in a fit of rage, Elzid turned on the party and yelled at them, "No! You will all pay for this! What thoughts have you poisoned her with? I was going to let you have all my treasure and let you leave in peace. But now, it is clear to me that you must pay for your crimes. You no doubt already had your way with her. With that Elzid slamed his staff on the ground and unearthly screams of agony filled the room. Chotuk Hab commented, “What? We can’t get her to shut up, if that’s what you mean” “Don’t be ridiculous”, Remiel interjected. Torment followed with an accusation of his own, “What spells did you use sir, to keep her blind and captive in this tower?” Then when he noticed Elzid’s chanting, Torment readied his battleaxe and proclaimed, “If a fight is what you want sir then we shall send you back to the depths of hell from which we summoned you.”
The battle began with Artemis Greencloak taking no chances by invoking a Lighting Lure through his sword, but Elzid was too quick and deflected the attack with his runic staff. Sharke was also quick to react and slammed his shield into Elzid’s side knocking him prone. Despite being prone, Elzid teleported to the other side of the room and black shadowy claws rose from the ground around Sharke’s feet. Fortunately, the fighter was far too quick and the claws failed to injure his legs. Torment charged into the fray, raised his battleaxe over his head and slammed it hard into the floor missing Elzid. The avenger then followed through with another strike that sunk deep into Elzid’s leg. When he was hit again, Elzid teleported to another location in the room and several shadowy like claws appeared under Torment and slashed into the flesh of his legs.
Safely away from attack, Elzid picked himself up and began to invoke an area of effect spell, but hesitated when he realized that such an attack wasn’t possible with Erilyn in the way. Elzid then launched a charm spell at Remiel, but failed to control the deva’s mind. Despite being attacked, Remiel tried once again to calm the man down, “there is no need to fight!” Elzid coldly replied “you must be joking”. Well if you will not renounce your past, then you deserve the damnation you have brought upon yourself", answered Remiel. Chotuk Hab seconded the comment. Then as the deva spoke his last words, "a surge of divine power filled the air in front of him, destroying the claws under torments feet. At that time Torment tried to convince Elzid to stop his attack. Surprisingly Elzid paused for a bit to consider what the tiefling was saying. Perhaps Elzid could identify with the tiefling and realized that he was now no different in appearance to Torment, but his anger soon overwhelmed him and Elzid shrugged the thought away with a huff.
Loki attacked with a phantom bolt that failed to injure Elzid. Loki quickly tried again with another bolt and this time hit Elzid in torso, pushing him back several feet. Erilyn worried that she could be in a dangerous situation asked, “Should I stay here?” Remiel answered, “Yes, stay with me Erilyn.” “He will not harm you.” Loki told Erilyn, “you are our only hope to save him”, but then held his breath after telling such a lie. Artemis attacked with a Crackling Burst blasting Elzid and followed through with a Booming Blade but missed. Torments divine guidance allowed Artemis to make another attack that hit him. Unfortunately, the hit caused Elzid to teleport to another section of the room and summoned more claws under Artemis’s feet. The swordmage was far to nibble and easily avoided the attack. While spinning around Sharke took a swing at Elzid with his broadsword, but missed. The attack allowed the fighter to land in a stance that would allow for a more powerful subsequent attack against Elzid. Chotuk took the opportunity to talk to Elzid diplomatically, but his efforts were completely ignored as Elzid was far to enraged. Torment attacked the claws under his feet, but they were far too quick and easily avoid his battleaxe. The claws responded by latching on to Torment’s legs and raked his flesh.
Enraged Elzid raised his runic staff over one shoulder and slammed it into Sharke causing a shockwave to shroud his entire body and immobilize him. Elzid then spun around and slammed Artemis with his long tail knocking him back several feet away. Noticing that Elzid would not listen to reason, Chotuk attacked Elzid with a Lance of Faith, but the spell hit the ceiling as Elzid ducked. Then Remiel proclaimed, “As you will not submit, you shall reap the rewards of the pain you inflict!” Remiel then invoked a Crown of Retaliation on Elzid, but the crown failed to have an effect on the wizard. Sadly, even the deva’s attempt to alter fate failed to guide the crown on top of Elzid. “Can’t say we didn’t try!” exclaimed Chotuk. Loki then invoked a zone of flames on Elzid and the claw. Elzid was burned a bit by the blast and was knocked prone. Not knowing what to do, Erilyn cried and hid behind the party. Remiel responded by patting her on the shoulder, but quickly turned his focus to the battle in front of him. Artemis then commanded his sword to freeze over as he spun around and attacked low with his long sword. Elzid avoided the strike, but freezing cold emanating from the long sword caused Elzid to become frozen in place. The cold also destroyed the claw that was under Sharke’s feet. Without the claw attacking him anymore, Sharke focused his attention back to Elzid and swung at him with a powerful diagonal chop of his sword, but Elzid deflected it with his black staff. Torment, concerned about the claws under his feet, swung his battleaxe and easily destroyed them.
Elzid stood up and invoked a charming command of obedience at Torment, ordering him to kill the deva. The spell overcame Torment’s will power, and forced him to charge at Remiel. Torment could only watch in horror as his body raised his battle axe and hacked into the deva’s side. Pleased with the success of his spell, Elzid replied to the tiefling, “Yes that’s it. Now we really do understand each other”, but Elzid’s mocking comment was cut short as the radiant energy from Remiel’s Crown of Retaliation burned Elzid’s flesh. The spell however, disappeared as Elzid shrugged it off. Chotuk tried again to attack Elzid with is Lance of Faith, but Elzid effortlessly dodged the attack. Torment, now recovered from the charm that Elzid placed on him apologized to Remiel, “I am sorry, I just felt compelled to strike a squishy.” Remiel enduring the pain from Torments axe shouted at Elzid, “You may try to turn us against each other fiend, but we know our enemy.” Remiel noticing that Elzid was vulnerable to radiant energy blasted Elzid with a Sun Strike twice. Causing him howl in pain each time the rays burned his corrupted flesh. Erilyn then screamed at the top of her lungs, “Stop Elzid stop!” Elzid however, completely ignored her. Torment called out to Elzid, “continuing this fight will only ensure your demise Elzid!” Then Artemis attacked with his Booming Blade power only to see it furiously wacked away by Elzid’s staff. Noticing an opening in Elzid’s defenses, Sharke expertly poked his long sword into Elzid’s side, but just as before, Elzid teleported into the hallway and more claws appeared around Sharke’s feet. The claws attempted to rend Sharke’s flesh, but failed to penetrate his scale armor.
Now in the hallway, Elzid seized the opportunity and blasted most of the party with fire and brimstone. Sharke, Artemis, Chotuk, and Torment, were all knocked to the ground and burnt badly. Chotuk Hab was hurt the most and is relentlessly burnt by the flames. While grimacing in pain, Chotuk Hab managed to stand and attack Elzid with his Lance of faith. The pain however was too much and caused Chotuk’s lance to miss wildly. Remiel attacked again with a Sun Strike and burned Elzid’s flesh with radiant energy. Loki took the opportunity and cast a chilling cloud in the area around Elzid. The spell froze his flesh and destroyed one of the claws. Erilyn cried out yet again for Elzid to stop, but he continued to ignore her. Artemis then charged into the hallway at Elzid and hacked into him with his long sword, but Elzid teleported away back to the room. Just as before, a claw appeared under Artemis’s feet, but failed to injure the swordmage. Sharke then stands up and attacks one of the claws and obliterated it. Torment picked himself up from the floor and swung at Elzid with his battleaxe hacking into his flesh and burning him with radiant energy. Another claw then appeared under Torment and flailed wildly, but the avenger found their attacks far too predictable and dodged them with ease.
While suffering greatly from his injuries, Elzid lifted his staff high in the air. Gradually, the sounds of tormented souls filled the chamber. Erilyn, Loki, and Torment became stunned with fear. Initially, torment tried to laugh it away with maniacal laughter, but his voice turned into a whimper and he was overcome with fear. Chotuk then healed everyone in the room and the claws in the room became weakened by his Beacon of Hope. Remiel moved back to defend the stunned Erilyn and yelled, “Fiend! You have caused too much suffering!” He then called forth another sun strike on Elzid, but the tears in his eyes blinded him, sending the ray of light off into the corner of the room. Chotuk asked Remiel, "Why are you crying? For which Remiel could only lament, “Those poor tormented souls” Ignoring the sounds, Artemis attacked with another lighting lure and teleported him into one of his own claws of damnation. When Elzid appeared in the claws he recoiled in pain as they raked his flesh. Sharke moved up beside Elzid and took a careful strike at the wizard, but it was blocked by Elzid’s black staff. At this time, one of the claws under Torment’s feet slashed his wide legs open.
Elzid then invoked another charm command at Sharke and ordered him to attack the Eladrin. The fighter tried his best to resist the command but had no choice but to swing his sword. Thankfully, the swordmage was prepared and parried the strike away. Chotuk Hab then attacked Elzid with a sacred flame, but missed Artemis attacked Elzid with a lightning lure and hit him. Sharke with a sure strike missed. The claws under the avenger attacked and raked his flesh. Elzid tried to attack Sharke and Chotuk with his staff and tail but missed both. Chotuk Hab used a divine glow on everyone and tried to attack Elzid with a sacred flame, but misses again. Finally, Remiel followed through with a yet another Sun Strike and knocked Elzid unconscious.
Elzid awoke to find the party surrounding him with their weapons and spells at the ready. Elzid begged for his life and the party agreed not to kill him. After some convincing Elzid broke down and revealed much about the situation in the valley. He also promised to make amends for the evil that he caused. It was agreed, that he would begin his acts of restitution at the monastery of St. Dionysus and help rebuild the library that he had once burnt down.