Dramatis Personæ

Brother Mendel (Herodian)
Dane Sardock (Winston)
Gabriel Auditore (Rigil Kent)
Gestlin the Unpredictable (CommJunkee)
Magnifico the Clown (Feste)
Merasiël Alethmist (Melissa)
Rainald North-Hammer (Gigermann)


Of Gods and Prisons

13 May 2014

bs-Hades_1The Heroes stood before the towering God of the Underworld in appropriate awe. Magnifico strode bravely forward to address Hades, with Brother Mendel close behind, and declared that they were ambassadors from the God of Heaven bearing a message; Hades struck his staff on the ground, knocking them over with a blast of wind, and expressed disinterest in hearing any message from above. Magnifico tried again, entreating Hades that there would be no harm in hearing this message, and Hades, amused at the man’s bravery, allowed him to continue, and Magnifico bade Brother Mendel recite The Great Commission, along with some other supporting Christian scripture, of such things as “freedom” and “everlasting life.” Hades found it ironic and amusing, and quipped that the Heroes should go free if they had the power to do so; he revealed that he was himself a prisoner in this realm. Magnifico encouraged Hades to continue, and the god revealed that this realm was created by some long-gone people to gather souls for an unknown purpose, but over the eons, this traffic had ceased—until the Heroes’ recent arrival—and he had grown ever weary of his station here and longed for release, though it would surely mean his destruction. Magnifico pointed out to Hades the sign he had seen of another throne beside his, and the god told of his wife, Persephone, that she had gone mad, and now lived on an island some distance across the water—he pointed to the place. Seeing an opportunity in the Heroes’ presence, Hades declared that he would set them free if they would perform a task for him, to destroy the object that generated this realm, guarded by the very creature that sent them here; but before he could release them, they must first kill his wife, bringing her heart to him. Hades then cast a spell upon them all, that Persephone could do them no direct harm, and sent them on their way.

As they stood at the river, Brother Mendel used the “weaving” magics taught him by Pachacuti in the Otherworld—travel to the Underworld had given him a clarity of thought such that he now sufficiently understood those techniques—and created a magical effect that would automatically heal each of the Heroes a little, should they be injured. They all dared not set foot in the river, lest some spell befall them, so Brother Mendel wove for them a row-boat. The isle was some distance, taking an hour to reach.


bs-harpyNow ashore without incident, the Heroes disembarked. Before them were high stone walls, surrounding the isle as far as they could see; a mile or so distant, atop a high hill, they could see the “temple” at the isle’s center. All they could see was covered in degrees by vegetation of all kinds; the goddess was undoubtedly close to nature and its green things. As they examined the vine-covered walls for an entrance, they were suddenly set upon by a number of flying creatures, screeching and stinking of filth; their appearance that of a haggard old woman, with wings for arms and claws for feet. Some of the Heroes were caught by surprise as the creatures descended upon them, clawing at their heads or faces; injuries were healed by Brother Mendel’s spell. Gabriel set about skewering the creatures with blinding speed as they approached. Magnifico fuddled the creatures’ minds with ridiculous song and dance—with magical effect where there was none before. Brother Mendel cast a Spasm on the wing-arms of one or two, causing them to flop to the ground, setting them up for Dane’s bow, or the fast-approaching Gabriel. Gestlin produced two Flame Jets, one in each hand, and with them set afire his attackers. Rainald wrested himself free of one that tried to haul him to the ground, and smashed it with his hammer, and sprinted to the others’ aid. As the fighting ended, Brother Mendel tended the remaining injuries.

bs-persphoneGestlin activated the magical harness taken from the strangers they had fought with above, and sprouted wings, and took flight to see what lay beyond the walls. He returned with dour news, that inside was a massive labyrinth that shifted about randomly—anyone entering would surely be forever lost. As they discussed how they might circumvent the labyrinth, Magnifico decided instead to call out to the Queen of the Underworld by name, that she might come to them instead. Suddenly, a great tree sprang up from the ground, and from it, emerged a giant, beautiful woman, bearing strange dress. Immediately the goddess, Persephone, saw the slain creatures beside the Heroes and became exceedingly angry, and tried to smite Magnifico with her staff when he attempted to explain their actions, but the staff stopped short of him, and would not touch him, nor any of the others. At this, she knew it must be her husband that had sent them; she supposed they had been sent to slay her, but Magnifico spoke poetically of Hades’ love for her, and his desire for her return to him. She scoffed at Magnifico’s words, and instead picked up the slain creatures, and cradled them as if her children or cherished pets, and disappeared back into the tree just as she had come.

Brother Mendel wove a spell to trace the other end of the tree “portal” before them, where the goddess might have exited, and he determined that it was not atop the hill as they had expected, but inside the walls just beyond the labyrinth, possibly under the ground. Without being able to see the destination, they could not Teleport there; but they could see the structure at the top of the hill. So, Brother Mendel wove a portal, like Pachacuti had done so many times in the past, and they all walked through it to emerge atop the hill before the “temple.”


  • This was the first full session using the new “rebuilt” characters, so some new capabilities were featured
  • Gestlin is from Earth, brought over in the mid ’80s at the age of 10 or so; at that age, his knowledge of Greek mythology was pretty basic, so he wasn’t able to help sort things out quite as much as we originally supposed
  • In the course of the dialog with Hades, the players worked out that this Underworld is actually a construct—like the Matrix—fashioned by the early men that lived on the Keyhole Bay island above, and that the hydra that killed the characters is likely sitting atop the artifact that fuels it