Arthur took Lenwe's arrow to the chest with good grace, but it was the devils swarming around him that put him down. Shibboleth put down the assassin bothering Kawaii with a burst of holy light, but before the avenger could get into the combat Dispater imposed the iron gates of Hell between them.
Of course, that couldn't stop her.
Lenwe, once back in his right mind, began hunting down the cambions skirting the dges of the conflict, hurling spells into the fray. Kawaii managed to find herself toe to toe and hoof with Dispater, her back to the burning gates of Hell. She was overcome, and collapsed alongside Arthur.
Flying back from the fray for a moment, Shibboleth used the very last of his divine healing energies to get everyone back into fighting shape.
The gate fell, and Dispater teleported away, leaving his war devil to deal with Kawaii, hoisting her away on its pitchfork. This time she was saved by her own divine abilities, but left unconscious until Ralvereon could reach her, dodging the war devil as well as the blasts of the cambions.
Arthur is down here not because he is unconscious but because he couldn't be bothered to stand up, fighting on from a prone position.
Once the war devil was felled by warlord Ralvereon, the cambions lost heart,seemingly unable to aim their spells anymore. Dispater proved more accurate, blasting Lenwe unconscious as he teleported back to his throne, ranting and raving.
He had not noticed that the prone shifter at the foot of the throne was very much alive.
Kawaii jumpedto her feet and pulled the devil-lord to her, slicing into him with her sword.
Ralvereon ran up to support her, but was batted aside by the gloating Dispater. Shortly before the devil fell into two pieces in a delayed realisation of his own demise.
The final cambion began wheedling, but that was when Arthur finally brought his giant form to its feet to charge it and lop its head clean off.
The Red Order was in dire need of a rest, and relaxed while they variously looted and restored the defiled temple of Io. In the morning they would head toward the upper reaches of Io'vanthor, to seek out the dread lord that Dispater hadn't wanted to tell them about. What was a dread lord, now that they'd killed a duke of Hell?
Their path upward eventually descended into a tunnel, passing the ancient bonesof dead dragons. Further on in the darkness, a quivering mass of pulsating black jelly dropped from the ceiling, seemingly gargantuan in size...
Laurence J Sinclair