The heroes start off hunting Belshalelkar, an evil ice devil who’s been spreading disease and stuff throughout a region.
When they find him, they discover he’s doing some kind of evil ritual. They figure it would probably be better to stop him, and the five pit fiends with him.
They take him out rather handily, although he manages to summon thirty-two bone devils! The terrifying sight of Spike makes them run away. Good, it would have taken a lot of swings to kill that many enemies! Not that they would have been much good but being in the way.
Then a gigantic Xixecal appears. It’s basically a walking glacier. Desis, in the guise of a force dragon, tries to grapple it. He’s really good at that. The only problem he encountered was that Xixecals are really, really big. (Like, REALLY big).
During this time, the rest of the group is busy blenderizing all of the pit fiends. They don’t die because they aren’t using silver good aligned weapons, but they are… quite incapacitated.
Everyone rushes in and attacks the Xixecal, who’s freezing cold manages to slow Bulwark. He doesn’t seem very injured though. He doesn’t even shiver. The slowing was not a big enough deal, though, since they still turn him into a pile of crushed ice.
After promptly finishing everything off with Desis in the form of a solar, the group loots the bodies.
Pretty boring stuff. Just a spear, some notes, and a stone tablet.
Wait, that’s an epic spell! Those capable of understanding magical powers pore over it, but they discover it’s pretty evil. They decide to break it. Since he’s the most talented at that, they give it to Spike. Stone with epic spells inscribed on it is pretty tough. Not that you’d know that from Spike casually snapping it in half.
They go back to town and tell the nearby villagers that they are safe. Yay! They collect their reward of 25 gp. Seriously, what do you expect from villagers. Then they are told that someone in the village wants to meet them. Not being the rude, careless sort, they agree. It was a good thing to agree too, because the dwarf who wanted to meet them is none other than Bob, high priest of Floenneth, one of The Nine!
Bob is a very muscular but otherwise plain dwarf. He was travelling around visiting villages and healing people, in the guise of a humble cleric. Then, he discovered a problem! He lost his clerical powers, and could no longer contact Floenneth! (He made note that he hadn’t done anything that would cause this- he’d been healing people which was 100% in line with the teachings of Floenneth).
The party helps him get back to his “temple” at the granite bowl arena, where they discover that the rest of the clerics of Floenneth have also lost their powers. Clerics of another deity who is not a member of The Nine nearby have not lost their powers. They help the group contact the other good aligned temples, who have had similar troubles.
The heroes decide the quickest way to check if all of The Nine are gone, and not just the good aligned ones, is to go kill a necromancer. After all, The Grinner should show up. They go kill one who hadn’t been causing enough trouble before for them to deal with. No Grinner.
Then they go “trade” information with the member’s of Lucen’s cult, the evil god of disease and member of The Nine. They learn that Lucen is gone as well. Desis says the good deities are still around, and the cult of Lucen is sad. Who are the bad guys in this situation? (It’s still the cult of Lucen. They are not nice).
Then the group goes to find someone knowledgeable to talk to. Obviously, they decide to go see Vecna. It takes them a few days (which is pretty quick) and they find a nice secret hideout he has.
They have a fairly cordial discussion with him, and nobody gets their souls annihilated or anything! Vecna isn’t really big on visitors though. The heroes do learn that the only detectable trace of The Nine appears to be around their artifacts, although Vecna won’t say where they are. Fortunately, they heroes know a high priest!
Bob tells them that Floenneth’s artifact is below the granite bowl arena, but that a sufficiently impressive contest must take place to open the path (to a series of trials).
In the end, it is decided that a colossal-sized Spike will wrestle a tarrasque-formed Desis. There is a lot of clawing, but in the end Desis comes out behind. It wasn’t his optimal form, but it made a more exciting fight that way.
The group enters the underground passageway that will hopefully lead them to Floenneth’s artifact… and maybe some answers with it.