Demon. Hellfire. Church. Attempted assassination of an Army officer on his wedding day which is actually a ritual for a devil-worshipping crime syndicate.
Morgan transforms into a towering demonic monster, and belches fire everywhere. I have the guys roll to resist fear, and Jeb and Magnus get a damp feeling in their britches. The soldiers aren’t much better off. Mr. Sable scampers off to leave the group to deal with the proverbial shitstorm.
DemonMorgan thrashes about and kills the remaining Redbrand bandits. He then belches fire everywhere, unintentionally igniting the dynamite that the guys had set in the pillars. There’s a series of explosions, which stuns the demon.
“Guys, if you haven’t worked it out, this is your chance to run like buggery.”
They escape the church – though Jeb takes the opportunity to snatch up Dies Irae, Morgan’s discarded master-crafted volcano gun – the soldiers dragging the wounded Colonel Jefferson. Outside, things seem just as bad. A bunch of Quiet Brother agents have gone all Hydra, and revealed themselves among the crowd and start attacking people indiscriminately, causing all kinds of mayhem. John immediately starts taking pot-shots, gunning down the Quiet Brothers.
They get a safe distance away from the church, and an army surgeon starts attending to Jefferson, who is less than pleased with John.
“Well well, Captain god-damned Dwyte. I knew you’d come crawling back and take a shot at me. I suppose this devilry is your doing! You dishonorable coward!”
John seems about ready to knock out Jefferson’s teeth, so Magnus and Jeb haul him to one side and explain the situation to Jefferson while John vents his aggression on any Quiet Brothers who make the monumentally terrible decision to get within sixty feet of him.
They hit on a plan to track down Mr. Sable, who clearly seems to be the ringleader of the whole situation. What they’ll do when they find him is up in the air, but it’ll probably involve rolling for damage. Jefferson seems to think that they’re the city’s best hope, and despite his personal feelings on John, he gives him a squad of soldiers as back-up.
The group heads round to the back of the cathedral just as DemonMorgan bursts out the front and starts taking rifle fire from the soldiers. DemonMorgan has gained some friends since they last saw him, and a flock of gargoyle-like demons fly out and add to the chaos. Jeb, the Dwytes and the soldiers fight off a few of them, and end up finding Gabriel Forrester cowering. Apparently, he saw Mr. Sable running away, and heard him mention to his flunkeys about heading “back to the Imperial.”
The Imperial is the Aurelia Imperial, the fanciest hotel in the city, down by the waterfront. The group make their way there, fighting off more Quiet Brother goons and gargoyles on the way. They then storm the hotel, losing some of the soldiers in gruelling room-to-room combat. They head up, figuring that Mr. Sable will be the swankiest penthouse suite. They’re not wrong, but before they can get to Mr. Sable, they have to fight through his personal bodyguard of knife-happy supermodels, which gave me an excuse to re-use the stat-block of Jenny the Razor; it was fun to see them tear through three of these enemies, when not too long ago just the one gave them trouble.
With the bodyguards dead, they burst into Mr. Sable’s private rooms. He’s standing there by the window, all sinister and Bond-villain-esque, watching the city burn.
“I’m very disappointed in you Dwytes, letting yourselves be led astray so easily by this charlatan priest. You’ve drunken deep from his fountain of lies, blind to the path that he leads you down, just like your parents! You may think that I and my brothers are monsters, but we are nothing compared to him and his god! Whereas we would make this world better, he would see it destroyed completely!”
“What’s he talkin’ about, Jeb?”
“He’s just crazy, son. And I’m about done lissenin’ to a crazy person.”
So, yay, BBEG fight! John wades in straight away with his dual guns, but Mr. Sable has all kind of dark magic up his sleeve. He curses Magnus, blasts Jeb with invisible, lacerating force, and sets John on fire. He also has a basic “infernal touch” attack that does a ton of fire damage. He gets his hands on Magnus, and Trev was forced to burn his Destiny point to cheat death; however, as a compromise, we agreed that Nate, Magnus’ trusty pet ferret, sacrificed himself by going for Mr. Sable’s face, distracting him for a moment before he was immolated. Then Mr. Sable went for John, and then it was Darryl’s turn to cheat death, allowing himself to be thrown across the room.
While all this was happening, Jeb had taken cover in the bedroom and was taking shots with his new volcano gun. With the Dwyte brothers badly hurt, Mr. Sable turned his attention to Jeb.
“It ends here, priest!”
“It sure does.”
Jeb throws the ceremonial dagger to Magnus, who grabs it and stabs Mr. Sable in the back. The wound blazes with the same weird silver-green fire that had consumed Jenny and Locke when they’d been cut by the dagger. By now, Mr. Sable is seriously hurt, and makes his escape by leaping from the window and invoking his emergency escape spell, a pair of shadowy demonic wings that will let him fly away. But John takes aim, and finishes Mr. Sable, with a critical hit no less.
The Quiet Brother leader plummets to the ground, dead. The Dwytes and Jeb heal their wounds, and look out over the city; Mr. Sable may be dead, but there’s still plenty of hero-work to be done.
We wrap things up narratively; the group hook up with the remnants of the army and spend the next few days clearing out the remaining Quiet Brother henchment and summoned demons. Afterwards, the governor calls them to his office, and in recognition of their efforts, grants them a huge cash reward. He also pledges to help the Dwytes rebuild their family home in River’s End, and, although Jefferson is not exactly thrilled, he reinstates John back into the army.
Jeb has an odd request; he wants to go back to see the aelfar clans, and act as a diplomatic liaison between them and the humans. The governor sees the wisdom in this, and says that Jeb will be the leader of a group of ambassadors whose mission will be to ensure that human and aelfar can live in harmony and learn from each other, blah blah blah.
Jeb says his goodbyes and heads west to the aelfar lands, but promises to return and visit when he can. John and Magnus return to River’s End. Before he leaves the city, John finally lets Mildred go, and gives her his blessings, hoping that she has a happy life with Jefferson. Ah, the feels.
We timeskip a few months; work is progressing well on rebuilding the Dwyte family home, and John is home during a break in his life as a newly-reinstated military officer. There’s been no news of the Quiet Brothers, and the Red Brand gang are now non-existent with the death of Morgan. Things finally seem to be going the brothers’ way.
And then Jeb rides into town, with a worrying look on his face.
“I think you boys better come with me.”
To be concluded…