The party stood before what had been Iomedae’s Herald. He wore golden armor tarnished with a gaping hole where his heart was ripped out by Baphomet. His face was a horned skull, and tattered bat-wings rose behind him. In his hands he clutched two glaives. The Herald spoke from a platform surrounded by boiling tar. “My would-be saviors, sent by the child-goddess: you have arrived too late. I am the Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth and the champion of Lord Baphomet now, and you are to be the final step toward my ascension. Come. Be the meek lambs you were meant to be and bow before your executioner!”
The battle begun. The Herald struck to kill, the party to subdue and redeem. The fallen angel began by caging Bendak and Tane in a Blade Barrier. Poonisher tried to subdue the Herald with his deadly arrows, but the Herald turned the barrage back against him and forced him to hold his fire for the rest of the battle. Bendak and Tane both summoned enormous vines which wrapped around and bound the Herald as he dueled with Wase. As the glaives rang against Wase’s holy sword, Svendack teleported in.
Poonisher dodged her spells and shot her to death.
Wase continued dueling against the Herald. Corruption had brought great power to the fallen angel. The Herald struck Wase with blow after
blow, each enough to slay a dozen lesser men. Bendak and Tane poured mighty healing magic into the paladin to keep him standing. Poonisher switched to his swords and helped where he was able. Even the tar pit turned out to be sentient and attacked whichever of the party came too close. Eventually, Tane used his magic to bind the Herald’s glaives against violence. The Herald could not lift his weapons no matter how hard he tried. The Herald was forced to fall back on his remaining spells. He used a Power Word to stun Wase and so provided the idea of his own fall. Tane used his own Power Word and the Herald was unable to resist, weakened as he was by the battle.
Stunned, the Herald was dragged away from the tar and Poonisher lodged the heart back in his chest. The party began using the Atonement spells Iomedae had given them for this purpose. Baphomet’s corruption fought with all its might, but it was not enough. Tane broke through with the last remaining Atonement. The Herald transformed before the party. The hole in his chest sealed and the demonic parts of him fell away. He looked battered and tarnished, but the shadow of his old glory could be seen once again. The angel bowed before the party and thanked them in tearful gratitude. “You have saved me from serving evil forever. I can feel my mistress calling, but I know my time as her Herald is at an end. One of you must take up the banner of Iomedae, and defeat the Worldwound. But we must go quickly, for even now Baphomet draws nigh!”
The party remembered their promise to the Runelord and had to consider this intently. They had to ask themselves, were they truly arrogant enough to try and test their might against even a lesser god? It didn’t take long to decide. Of course they were. The party began preparing. The sounds of healing and summoning magic filled the chamber. The Herald was badly weakened and stayed out of the fight.
After less than a minute, Baphomet arrived with a terrible thunderclap and addressed the party. “I am lord of this realm, and yet you dare defy me? You do not have your strumpet protector with you this time, fools! I have crus-” And then Poonisher opened up with his arrows, and the floodgates of a fully armed and operational Mythic party was unleashed. Baphomet entered the room a god, and he was dead before he fully knew what was happening.
In innumerable worlds, countless wicked clerics and antipaladins found themselves without their powers. Their confused prayers and sacrifices went forever unheard. The Ivory Labyrinth immediately began to crumble without Baphomet’s will to hold it together. The party recovered from their surprise at Baphomet’s quick fall. Using the token Iomedae had given Wase, the party teleported back to her domain with her Herald and Baphomet’s corpse in tow.
Iomedae was overjoyed at the demon lord’s fall and her Herald’s rescue. In thanks, she began to grant the party divine gifts. Although the Herald had been redeemed, he felt he no longer deserved to serve in his old role. Iomedae needed a new Herald. She asked the party for the service of one of their own as her new Herald. As her only worshipper in party, Wase was the obvious choice. The pitborn paladin now served his goodly goddess at her right hand.