The Red Order spent some time leafing through the tomes and scrolls of the library, but on their way out were acoosted by the imp again, this time offering a contract f mutual non-aggression between our heroes and the devils infesting the city.
Ralvereon took the contract without signing it, and when The Order eventually decided against agreeing, the imp tried to tear Kawaii's face off. While it was thus occupied, the epic adventurers slaughtered the tiny creature.
The Temple of Io was the next stop, and the building had been covered in blasphemous diabolic grafitti. Sneaking in through an upper window, the party killed a devil legionary and snuck to a balcony to spy on a crowded main floor packed with devils and what seemed to be an incarnation of an archduke of Hell.
An argument broke out over whether it would be best to flee, wade into the minions of Hell or - Ralvereon alone suggesting - talk to the embodiments of wordly evil. Somehow, the last option was picked, and a debate began.
The devils wanted The Order to help them by attacking some demons that were holding a portal which could serve as a means of leaving the cursed city. Both groups could work together to achieve this goal. This was tempting.
Then it was mentioned that the devils had sent some of their number off to slaughter the remaining Dragonborn following the tiefling attack. This worked them back out of the good opinion of The Order.
The name of the dark lord behind the curse on the city was tabled, but in exchange for that the devils demanded a soul. They were soon bargained down only to someone's ill-defined 'emotion of sadness', but none of The Order was willing to forgoe that luxury.
The devils then offered more, to tell of where the Banner of Arkhosia was located, in an ancient tomb that could only be entered by a priest of Io (in rather short supply since the god's death) or priests of Bahamut and Tiamat combining their powers. Great,if it hadn't been for the fact that the devils just admitted to killing the last priest of Tiamat in the city!
No, no, it wasn't like that. They explained that any soul that died in the city would rise again in time, unable to escape even in that way thanks to the curse.
Of course, as Arthur realised, devils don't have souls, and would not rise again if killed. They were just using The Red Order to escape! No deal.
The devils reponded with violence.
Laurence J Sinclair