The next day, the party woke up, had breakfast and headed out to the Magister’s office to follow up on the Cassalanter problem. Things didn’t go the way they planned. Instead of being taken at their word, they were held in the temporary holding cells until the Magister could confirm the truth of their stories. They were getting really tired of the delays to their missions because of the slow wheels of bureaucracy.
They were only in the cells for little over a half hour before a soldier came in and released them from the cells. He could not tell them why, only that their presence was requested at the City of Dead immediately. They rushed over, fearing the worst. As they ran through the heavy double doors of the Magister’s office they saw the sky was filled with the moon instead of the sun and it was red as blood. Knowing something really wrong was happening, the Hand of Destiny sprinted towards the danger that encapsulated the City of the Dead. The city itself seemed dead as many citizens were hiding in their homes hoping the danger of the Blood Moon passed them over if they stayed still and quiet.
When the group arrived at the City of the Dead they were met with the sight of various bodies strewn across the vibrant green lawns. As they entered the boundaries of the cemetery they were met with various cult members and cambion demons working together to battle newly arrived heroes. The cult members were clad in bright red cloaks with large hoods that hid their faces well. The battle started almost immediately and the party scattered a bit to try and take on the fight from multiple angles. A Bone Devil appeared almost immediately and began attacking Kariss, forcing her to transform her snake, Kess, into a young silver dragon to help in the fight.
A spell sniper tried to take out Aleera but was thwarted by Kaladrax’s quick actions. Almost immediately after defeating the Bone Devil, another major combatant showed up in the form of a Pit Fiend in order to fight it, Kariss used her blessing to turn into a giant Water Elemental and managed to defeat it with the help of her teammates. By that time, the rest of the party had taken out the smaller cult members and cambion demons. Dezu also managed to show up to the fight as he followed Milo to get his revenge. Milo was saved from a killing blow by Dezu when Aleera used the last of the pearls they had received that could turn into a Resilient Sphere. It protected Dezu from damage but kept him away from Milo long enough for him to go invisible and regroup.
They ended up in a portion of the City of the Dead that was tucked further back and as they finished fighting the last of the stragglers, heard something. A low chanting could be heard from one of the mausoleums Seeing no way to open the way through. Kariss used her elemental form to flood the entrance and forced the stone open under the weight of her water. Once inside, they were met with even more cultists and one person clad in robes more ornate than the others. While some of the cultists rushed to meet them with weapons in hand, the majority ran towards the leader standing at the pulpit and threw themselves on their knives, giving their lives and power to him. He pulled back the robe and revealed himself to be Vittoro Cassalanter.
He was distraught over the loss of two children that had already gone into trade to fulfill the demonic contract and the death of his wife at Aleera’s hands. He was only focused on completing what they had begun and killing those who had, in his eyes, destroyed his family. Almost as an afterthought, to the side of the pulpit was a small metal cage that held prisoners, an older boy and girl. Vittoro gathered the power given to him and morphed the demonic statue behind him into a Balor Demon after slitting his own throat to finish the spell. The empowered demon began to rip through the place. The only thing the group could do was wear it down and eventually hope to kill it. Aleera tossed everything she had at it, including many fey creatures she summoned and commanded.
After a bloody and terrible fight they managed to kill off the Balor Demon and dispatch the remaining cult members. Now that the danger was over they went over to investigate the cage and found the last remaining children of the Cassalanter family, Elzerina and Terenzo Cassalanter. They introduced themselves in trembling, confused voices. After freeing the terrified children and assuring them that no harm would come to them, they escorted them out of the bloody chamber and out into the sunlight. The Blood Moon had disappeared and the sun was back where it belonged.
The Hand of Destiny found the Captain of the Guard, Cobol Disc, as he hurried with a contingent of soldiers to respond. Kariss let him know about the events that had occurred and swore on her connection to Bahamut that all they said was true. He knew it was being a paladin of Bahamut himself and knowing what a huge deal it was to swear by his name. After offering to take care of the children while the surviving family was contacted, the group headed back to their tavern to rest for the rest of the day. Tomorrow was a big day, Laeral Silverhand was to go on trial for her alleged crimes against the city and the group hoped to persuade the judges to let her go.