The Djinn Devil is furious at the arrival of Lady Oscar, yet another contender for his hell throne, and allying with Tobin. He calls forth a wish to trap the injured Tobin with him inside a pentagram. The ground inside the pentagram starts collapsing beneath her feet. Lady Oscar tries to reach Tobin, but to no use.
“Not even a wish could undo that barrier”, the devil says to Lady Oscar, amused at her attempts to punch through it.
“How fortunate for me, since my dagger is made of a hundred wishes.”
Lady Oscar plunges her weapon Shadowblade into the wall of force, and opens a tear through which she dives in after Tobin, who is already falling. The pit seems to be miles above ground, if you could call lava ‘ground’, and at the bottom a hellish throne surrounded by jagged rocks. Faust uses his skills in space time manipulation to keep the tear from closing just long enough for his nimble halfling frame to go through. The pentagram then disappears from sight.
Brothers in Arms
Back at the castle, Lazpad Shadowfox still thirsts for blood against his half-brother. He sends one of his tiger warriors to attack Mazith, who is clinging on to a fallen bridge on the other side the chasm. The tiger-man grabs Mazith by the throat, but the sly warrior is able to wiggle himself free, and kicks himself off from the wall with one of his gravity defying jumps, landing next to his brother to end this confrontation once and for all. Rad Longhammer does not want to be left behind, so he uses his meditation skills to appear on the correct side of the chasm, bringing Aishe Malinova with him. Aishe uses her powerful voice to force her enemies to dance to her deadly tune, maneuvering them to the edge of the cliff with lava beneath. Rad charges into the other tiger warrior, and the beast is pushed and falls into the lava and burns. Aishe forces the final tiger warrior to let go of the swinging bridge, and he too falls and burns.
Lazpad prepares for his final assault against Mazith.
The Djinn devil opens his wings to slow down his descent, planning to watch Tobin and Lady Oscar fall to their deaths. An arrow pierces him through the mouth, with a golden rope attached to it with Tobin’s mastery of the Starlit Bow of Sagittarius. With one hand she holds on to the rope, and with the other she grabs on to Lady Oscar to prevent her from falling, swinging beneath the winged devil. His attacks miss, since the two ladies are immune to his inner fire of hatred and to his aura of fear, as they start becoming demons. Lady Oscar climbs through the rope and sinks in Shadowblade into the devil’s chest. In anger he stabs Tobin in the leg with his poisoned tail, and swiping it to push Tobin away.
Faust is about to lose sight of the struggling pair of lovers, so he uses his flight abilities to propel himself downwards at even more exhilarating speeds. After crushing several blocks of falling debris with his head, he gets close enough to cast a featherfall spell on the ladies to prevent them from plummeting to their deaths. With the added stability, Tobin takes aim and uses her split the tree technique to shoot two simultaneous arrows at the devil, each of them splitting the bones on his wings in half. The devil being the devil, decides to make Tobin pay a high price for his throne, and holds on to Lady Oscar with massive arms as they are about to collide with the jagged rocks beneath. Lady Oscar uses her free arm to hold on to Shadowblade, and slices an X into the devil’s injured chest, barely digging into his ribcage.
The X-mark that Oscar slashes on the chest of the Devil is a reference to Tobin’s and Oscar’s old sparring sessions. Oscar would quickly slice an “X” on the practice dummies and Tobin would have to land an arrow in the point of her mark. When Tobin sees the mark on the Devil, Oscar and her were already on the same page and they are in motion to execute their routine strike. This combo attack had become one of their staple movements that gained infamy during their time in the Strike Team. Tobin takes aim, shoots, and the arrow goes through the weakened armored skin of the devil, between exposed ribs, and into his heart. The cold grip of death makes his relax his hold on Lady Oscar, and he plummets into the lava as the two ladies fall like feathers into the vacant throne of this realm.
Quick as a feline, Lazpad Shadowfox sneaks past Rad and Aishe and lunges into Mazith. The warrior digs his heels in, and avoid being thrown into the lava pit. Lazpad’s momentum carries him over and he holds on to the Shadowfox Family Armor that Mazith wears. Lazpad is finally touching the inheritance from Cynthia Shadowfox, that he claims should be his by right. But Mazith received it from his father the Olympic swimmer Hazmat, and is disgusted at the scene of his half-brother holding on to it. With a powerful slice of his sword he cuts off both of Lazpad’s hands! His half-brother flails but there’s nothing more to hold on to, all his chances are gone, and he falls into the lava and his hatred is consumed by the fire.
Mazith picks up the hands of the fallen warrior. They will make a great gift for Cynthia Shadowfox.
Faust teleports the trio back into the castle. With her new found power and status, Tobin summons the denizens of her realm. Jazz’ari and Saif-al-Din appear and ask for freedom from the chains of tyranny of their previous ruler. Tobin and Mariel grant it and the enslaved djinns are able to exercise their magic. A hundred of them are summoned to aid the ritual to help them redefine history, but they can only send the group back in time for the same amount that the group remain inside the ritual circle. The group gets prepared, and camps inside the ritual aura for five days, sending them back five days before the start of the ritual, to possess their former selves.
Tobin says goodbye to Lady Oscar, who stays behind to guard the Djinn realm from other devil contenders, and the group disappears from sight.
Thief of Legend
Tobin aims the ballista bolt that Mazith had positioned just seconds earlier. It crashes into a lich in service of Orcus, and from its pouch drops a magical portal scroll. In a few hours, the Freak Squad will use it to establish Faust’s base, but right now their future versions have replaced their former selves, and they need to change these current events that happened in their past.
Mazith savors the moment that defined his epic destiny, and he learned much from observing first hand Lolth’s robbery of fate from The Raven Queen. He is ready to match and outdo her stealth and thieving skills. As the spirit of Jania Goldenflight appears, he sneaks behind her and strikes directly at her mind with nimble fingers that can steal even intangible objects. In it she finds the true name of The Raven Queen, given to her by the former God of the Dead Nerull. This was confided to Jania under Lolth’s veil of deceit, which tricked Nerull’s remains into believing Vecna would use the name against the Raven Queen to blackmail her into reviving Nerull. In reality, Lolth had been planning this deceit for a decade just to put her nemesis in a vulnerable combat position, so that the spider goddess might reclaim Fate for herself. Now that Nerull’s remains were eradicated and the memory stolen from Jania’s mind, only Mazith knows the godess’ human name.
Further prodding in Jania’s mind, Mazith sees a soul in turmoil, one that sacrificed honor and morals to uphold freedom. A life of service for Chedhurst that could never be recognized. And a heart that had been broken by the breakup of the Strike Team, leaving her to become a monster to defeat worse monsters living in the ugly underbelly of the kingdom. In an act of compassion that he wouldn’t even share with his own family members, Mazith steals those memories away, leaving Jania’s soul at peace, free of guilt and hatred. Jania’s soul says goodbye to Tobin, and the soul of the Carnival fortune teller, which had stuck around for this moment, holds Jania’s hand and together they leave towards an eternity of rest in the realm of the dead.
Tobin is able to spot Lolth, in her tiny spider form, waiting in ambush for Jania to weaken the Raven Queen. As she sees Jania’s soul leave, she gets ready to attempt her attack regardless. Tobin lets loose two arrows with golden ropes attached to them, which pass through the spider’s body an into the ground behind, anchoring Lolth.
In the mean time, Aishe Malinova has been busy aiding her comrades and allies to gain the upper hand in the fight against the avatar of Orcus. Faust is able to plan his attack better, and casts featherfall on himself to prevent plummeting to his death as before. Rad Longhammer uses Aishe’s aid to avoid attacks from Orcus, lest the tian inside his former body, Hyperion, be awakened by divine energy. Aishe then grants her goddess an action of fate. With it, she changes her tactic, and instead of creating an icicle by grabbing the storm clouds with her hand, she uses two hands to grab two separate icicles to use against Orcus. And the weapons crystallize, Faust transforms into lightning itself and descends right into Orcus’ core as the Raven Queen embeds both weapons in a crisscross pattern into the skeleton’s ribcage. Thanks to the preparation, Rad is able to avoid the falling Orcus’ avatar and the icicles from the Winter goddess as they fall.
With Rad’s Titan still sleeping, the group plan their return back to the future. Rad uses his new meditation powers to infuse his brain in this present with calm instead of anger.
Faust wants to hide Mazith’s secret of The Raven Queen’s human identity even from himself, so he uses his magical powers of persuasion to make him think that it is another name. Of course Mazith is now a god-like thief, so he hides his secret from Faust and steals from the changeling’s mind the notion that anything went wrong. In the end, Faust believes he was successful at having Mazith remember another name and does not question it further, and Mazith believes he was successful at hiding some name from Faust and does not question if its the correct one, either. The current nature of the Raven Queen’s secret remains ambiguous.
Truce at Olympus
Once back in the Djinn realm, neither Saif-al-Din nor Jazz’ari can remember why the group left in the first place, since no Titans have attacked Aeon Zen. Rad realizes that his calm thought prevented him from looking for a fight with his creator Rhotlzhogok. Armed, prepared, and with the wizard help of Faust’s allies, they attack the mind flayer’s tower with little problem, and save all of Rad’s monster siblings and preserve the fleshy prisons of the remaining eleven titans.
The group takes all the hosts into Hinrik, the location of the Path of the Titans and Chrysanthe Xene’s birthplace. In the mountain Olympus, the graveyard of the gods of old, their descendants the new gods are summoned to lock away the Titan threat. The very existence of the gods are at stake, and they all show up in the most varied, tense and uncomfortable meeting of this era. Lolth and Orcus look particularly angry, but they stand side by side with their enemies as one by one the titan prisons are removed from the monster hosts, Rad included, and locked away in the center of the planet.
The Freak Squad have saved Aeon Zen.