Heinrich, Lux, Bruilinde and Odos were traveling through the Nine Hells, looking for the villain Tragar Hax and a way out of the realm entirely. The towering orthon, Moriet, was leading them to the Pillar of Skulls, which they hoped could help them find Tragar Hax.
Following their battle on the big bridge, the group – especially Bruilinde – had been wounded and needed rest. Moriet felt that the group was weak, and repeatedly referred to them as “nupperibos”, the lowest type of devil, which Odos in particular found incredibly offensive. The orthon did find the group a suitable spot to rest in caves dotted by pools of lava, following a few attempts at making them rest in searingly hot chambers.
While Odos tranced, Lux quietly stole back via mage hand the dagger she’d thrown at him when the group was in Mordenkainen’s tower.
Once the heroes were healed up, Heinrich noticed that someone else had rested in here. Footprints and soiled bandages led the group to believe that Tragar Hax and an unknown person might have been here a few days prior – a filthy scrap of cloth was positively identified by Lux as being from a Scarlet Brotherhood elder’s robe. The amount of bloodied bandages seemed to suggest he, or whoever he was with, was injured. The adventurers theorized that somehow, the portal had warped time in a way that meant that Hax had a big head start on the group.
The orthon led the groups through the tunnels. They came upon a battle – a devil was fighting two armanites, demons from the Abyss. The orthon immediately charged in and attacked the demons. The heroes paused for a moment, and then decided they’d better help. If their guide was slain in this battle, then the group was likely to be stranded in Avernus forever.
The group made quick work of the demons, and then saw that the path ahead was unclear and covered by a lava field. After a bit of persuasion, Bruilinde convinced Moriet – who is immune to fire – to carry the group acorss the field. He agreed, and also sniffed them each extensively, revealing he had bloodhound-esque tracking capabilities. After a bit of searching, the group found a statue of Bel, a former ruler of Avernus. During this journey, Odos saw that Lux had his dagger. He demanded its return, and a slap fight almost ensued, to the chagrin of Heinrich and Bruilinde who awaited them on the other side. They settled it by Lux agreeing to let Odos look through her things later. Odos found a few drops of blood on the statue – sudden;y, with a flash of brilliance, Lux pulled out the bloodied bandages they had discovered earlier. Moriet sniffed them and the bloodied statue, confirming that not only was it the same blood, it was the blood of a being from the Material Plane.
Examination revealed that the statue could be slid aside. Beneath it was a shaft leading into darkness. The heroes prepared to descend, uncertain of what awaited them deep beneath the crust of Avernus…