Weeks have passed since the heroes’ initial assault on Tiamat’s temple; a costly fight for both sides, leaving a behir and a dragon dead and the party drained of resources. After fleeing a Huge blue dragonspawn in a chapel, the party retreated to Brindol, where the Red Hand had begun massing troops outside the gates.
The Hand assaulted Brindol by night; first with hill giants, then with dragons. Finally, the walls were breached and fighting moved to the streets. Several waves of hobgoblins and dragonspawn were fought off, with some small help from the desperate Lion Guard and Starsong elves. Jarmaath, leader of the Council, was attacked by a sniper, leading to a desperate fight against a wiry, cunning assassin, in which Cardagh is nearly killed.
Finally, the fourth finger of the Red Hand, Wyrmlord Kharn, lead a final force into the town square to call out his nemesis – the party of heroes. It turned out to be a last desperate act in service of Tiamat, however, as the party quickly defeated him.
With one victory claimed, the party quickly resumed exploring the Temple of Tiamat in an effort to stop High Wyrmlord Azarr Kul from opening a gateway to Avernus to march dragons and demons into the Prime. Teleporting into the Temple, the party found a scene of bloody carnage and ruin; almost nothing lived in the Outer sections.
Behind a secret door, however, lay the Inner Temple, where Kul’s personal guard (a pair of Erinyes) and treasure (well-guarded by traps) were hidden. Our heroes drove off the devils and looted the treasure, then engaged Kul and his minions in his ritual chamber. A long, difficult battle ensued, with the Erinyes charming people, a pervasive silence spell limiting spellcasting to an area directly above a 100’ pit, and several Abishai summoning even more Abishai. Clever tactics finally felled the devils, however, freeing the charmed heroes to finish off the Abishai.
Without defenders, Kul was the victim of a swarm of black tentacles, which prevented him from escaping or casting spells. After much range combat, Kul was defeated.
In a rage, Tiamat herself reached into the temple, blasting it with dragon breath and consuming Kul. The gate quickly fell, however, and she was forced back to Avernus, leaving an Aspect of herself behind. The party quickly retreated to Brindol to consider strategic options and drink ale.
Some divination and ale later, the party located the Aspect and determined it was headed to the valley to inflict as much destructive punishment as it could. While smart, it was single-minded in its task, allowing the party to set up an ambush in its path. A brutal-but-rapid fight ensued, with John, the wind-walking half-ogre cleric of Kord, delivering the final righteous blow – a Slay Living spell, delivered by fist.