Chapter 5, Part III: War is Hell(blade)

Inside the Watson Chapel, Bart's parents hanging from the ceiling below two burning sigils, Hellblade welcomed the Platinum Talons to his ritual, and asked, "Did you come to watch?"

"No," Xerxes replied. "We came to kick your ass."

Firebrook expressed his surprise that Hellblade had clawed his way back into Hellspear's good graces, to which Hellblade assured him that he was able to make it all up to Firebrook's daddy by providing the leader of the Sianfete family another one of his children.

Tired of the small talk, Hellblade began the ritual, setting off a pool of darkness that began to slowly pour across the floor.

In a clash of blades and spells, the Platinum Talons faced the formidable Hellblade in a battle that tested their mettle. Hellblade began the battle by revealing a fiery red sword and unleashing a magical onslaught. The Talons, undeterred, rallied their strengths.

Vance, the bard, used his mystical talents to coat Hellblade in Faerie Fire, exposing him to the group's attacks. Nohki summoned two dire wolves that lunged at their adversary. Meanwhile, Bart, in a desperate attempt to free her captive mother, noticed arcane runes on the cage and a mysterious chain leading to a sigil in the ceiling.

Firebrook called upon lightning to strike Hellblade. The enemy retaliated fiercely, dealing a near-fatal blow to Firebrook. Vance's quick thinking and use of Cutting Words saved Firebrook from succumbing to death.

Hellblade, changing his sword to green, linked Xerxes and Bart, causing damage based on their distance from each other. The battle took a surreal turn as Bart summoned a flock of pigeons with her wand, distracting Hellblade momentarily.

Vance showed his mind was as sharp as any sword, and used his Acid Rain power to burn away Hellblade's armor, giving the Talons a much-needed advantage.

The Platinum Talons, feeling the strain of the darkness, turned to divine aid as Hellblade continued to cycle through different sword colors.

Xerxes, hearing a call, ventured to the white altar in the chapel, seeking Kiln's assistance. As the linked damage threatened Bart and Xerxes, divine prayers and interventions from Marista, Vortegus, Phasma, Spriggit, Nihm, and Genesis provided a shield against the encroaching darkness, each being prayed to by the Talons in between blows to Hellblade. A critical use of the Slow spell in Hellblade's frenzy showed Vance was once again helping to keep the Talons' heads above water.

In a pivotal moment, Tali arrived, lending her expertise in illusion magic and her connection to the divine to push back the advancing shadows and free up the Talons to focus their energy on the enemy. Drez, drawing on his meta powers, landed critical hits, bringing Hellblade to his knees. The battle climaxed with Vance conjuring a giant hyena from his Bag of Tricks and using Vicious Mockery to land the final hit to vanquish Hellblade.

As you deal the final blow to Hellblade, the makeshift altar begins to crumble and fall apart. The heavy darkness that was invading the room is now gone and, along with it, the evil essence that Hellblade had been summoning into this sanctified space.

"You may have stopped the summoning of Yoth-Sogin," Hellblade chokes, "but you won't be able to stop the final ritual. Once we've contained the power of the darkness, we'll be unstoppable. It looks like there is a Bloodmoon on the horizon. Say hi to mommy and daddy for me, Firebrook." And with that, Hellblade draws his last breath and collapses onto the floor.

In an act of vengeance, Firebrook sent Hellblade's soul to his god, Vortegus. Bruised, battered, but triumphant, the Platinum Talons emerged victorious, their unity and divine connections prevailing against the forces of darkness.

Completed: October 2023