1.6b – Lucille’s Invasion

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We established last time via the Assassin’s Handout that there will soon be a devil invasion into Baldur’s Gate. These devils are led by the pit fiend Lucille and seek to kill one of the PCs, Wellum Smith and Sergren Hall – all of whom are either current Elturian knights or their descendants.

To do this, the Cult of Zariel is sending several of its members to give their souls in order to tear open a portal so that the devils can invade, under the orders of the pit fiend Lucille.

Lucille’s Plans

  • Have Velnar kill Duke Portyr in The Wide and throw the city into disarray (complete).
  • Send 8 Zarielite cultists to Stormshore Warehouse to ritually sacrifice themselves to open a portal to Avernus.
  • Once the portal is open 3 consecutive waves of devils will enter Baldur’s Gate.
  • They will immediately secure the portal and begin killing everyone in Stormshore Warehouse.
  • The devils will rally around Lucille, who will kill anyone else on the list who wasn’t present (the PC Hellrider/descendant, if they weren’t present).
  • Finally Lucille will try to take control of the Cult of Zariel in Baldur’s Gate, capturing the Shield of the Hidden Lord and supplanting Gargauth.

While these are Lucille’s plans, it is likely the PCs will intervene and either arrive at Stormshore Warehouse just before the cultists, or just as the portal is opened.

Defending the Warehouse

Arrival

  • If the PCs caught the assassin Velnar and weren’t otherwise distracted before coming to the warehouse, they have 10 minutes to prepare themselves for the assault.
  • If the PCs caught Velnar but did get distracted, either helping in The Wide, trying to talk to Liara Portyr or Flame Zodge, or something of that sort, then they arrive only 1d4 rounds before the cultists.
  • If the PCs failed to catch Velnar, they will show up just as the cultists ritually sacrifice themselves and tear open the portal to Avernus.

Features of the Stormshore Warehouse

Stormshore Warehouse is a single-story building, with a walled exterior loading area, full of old dusty storage containers.

Walled Warehouse: The walls are 8 feet high and feature small horizontal windows 6 feet up, which only a Small or smaller creature could squeeze through.

Crates: Whoever sold the warehouse to Vasha Hall let her keep the hundreds of containers full of mostly junk, as they were just after a quick sale. Each has 15 AC and between 1d6 and 3d6 HP depending on size. Each contains mostly just packing straw, although perhaps a few useful mundane items could be found if many were searched.

Entrances: There are two large loading doors that open onto the loading area, securable with locks (DC 15 to pick, DC 20 to smash). There is also a back entrance on the northern side (DC 15 to pick, DC 15 to smash).

Loading Area: This 45×65 feet area has a 6-foot-tall wooden fence surrounding it. There’s a large double entrance to the south and smaller side entrance to the west. There’s a couple of carts out here too, but no harnesses or horse tack (AC 15, 20 HP).

Preparations

If the PCs arrive before the cultists, it is likely they will want to either prepare defences, or try to get the refugees to flee. Let them!

They are especially likely to achieve their plans if they have 10 minutes to do so. Give the players an opportunity to roleplay out their warning the refugees of the incoming danger.

Crate Barricade: If someone stacks crates to prevent entry to the warehouse, a Strength (Athletics) check of DC 15 is required to break through them. If a PC or refugee is attempting to brace the crates (as their action) this check is made with disadvantage, however the defender is knocked prone should the attacker succeed in breaking through the barricade.

Dara, Ghorin and Clyde aren’t present: They are at the Shrine of the Suffering. The other refugees know this, and possibly the PCs already, as she’s been going there every day since getting inside the city to read from the Book of Exalted Deeds.

Evacuating: If the PCs arrive with ample time to get all the refugees out of the warehouse before the cultists even show up, that’s not an issue. Simply have the cultists conduct the sacrificial ritual as planned, with the devils amassing before the warehouse.

The devils will spend a few minutes searching for anyone inside before Lucille sets it on fire with a fireball. They’ll then begin conducting a search to find the assassination targets and then take over the Cult of Zariel in Baldur’s Gate, which is beyond the scope of these articles (see Lucille’s plans above) although the next article will discuss options on how to still involve Dara’s Intervention.

The Ritual

Once the PCs preparation time is up, the invasion begins. 9 cultists arrive, coming together to begin a ritual. They chant magical words in Infernal, although the phrase “…and in the Dark Lady Zariel’s name, we offer ourselves. We call out to you – Lucille” is repeated in Common after each verse. As they do so a vertical rupture forms in the air, growing increasingly in jagged lines as the ritual continues.

Intelligence (Arcana):

  • 5+ They are conducting a ritual which will open a portal to somewhere else.
  • 10+ The ritual is powered via self-sacrifice. Each cultist is pledging their eternal soul in death to someone named Zariel.
  • 15+ The portals destination is the Nine Hells, killing the cultists will expediate the ritual.
  • 20+ The destination is the plane of Avernus. The portal is likely being fuelled by something there as well as here.

GM Note: Killing any of the cultists won’t slow down the ritual, as their freed soul will now further fuel the magic. Instead knocking the cultists unconscious is the best course of action.

Opening the Portal: Each round Roll 1d20 + 1 per living cultist and +2 per dead cultist. On a 20+ the portal opens, immediately killing all remaining cultists.

Even if all the cultists die or are knocked unconscious before the portal opens, it can still be opened from the other side and checks should still be made.

With the ritual complete the rupture in the air tears wide open, its outer edges blazing with hellfire. Through the portal can be seen a blighted wasteland of black sand, a sky of blood red clouds and an amassed horde of devils.

The Portal Opens

Round 1: The portal spews forth 4 nupperibos devils and a spined devil.

The spined devil will fly through one of the high windows into the warehouse and try to kill anyone hiding inside.

Round 3: Next emerges 9 lemures and a bearded devil named Ghazriol, who is a Primus (See: The Ranks of Hell)

Ghazriol will charge recklessly into battle, targetting the most heavily armoured and martial looking opponent.

Round 5: The pit fiend Lucille strides through from Avernus. As they do so Dara, Ghorin, and Clyde arrive. (Don’t worry, the PCs don’t have to fight a pit fiend at level 4, as you’ll see in the next article!)

GM Note: If the PCs are handily dispatching the devils you might want to speed up the process (or let them have a round or two to breathe). On the other hand, if they are struggling, make sure the refugees lend a hand and have Ghazriol not enter combat until after Lucille shows up.

Lucille, The Great Destroyer, Commander of Devils,
Bearer of Zariel’s Banner

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