After defeating Kalarel and relocating the remainder of the Red Dawn army, the heroes set their sights back to Granville, where Howell and Skyshatter both were. After making a deal with Dispater, they promised to kill Howell, and as well they learned that the only way to defeat Tiamat feasibly is to craft or augment weapons and armors from the remains of one of her slain exarchs, of which Skatter was one.
So the group teleported the Death Knell into Granville’s airspace and disembarked to see Howell. Upon meeting him they gathered in Howell’s tea room is his recently furnished civic hall and office. There they shared some very fine brandy in an attempt to loosen Howell’s lips. Some conversation passed and the heroes began to suspect that Skyshatter might not simply be “away”, but in fact might be kept as prisoner by Howell.
With some gut intuition to go on, the heroes made the short trip across the bay to the city’s abandoned island-prison. After searching through the creepy atmosphere the heroes found a pit in the lowest levels of the prison; a pit that descended into a series of lava tubes. It seems this island was once a volcano. A volcano that, in the central magma chamber, holds Skyshatter, who is indeed a prisoner, held by magical chains and barriers, as well as inside the soul-stealing magic circle they’ve seen so often.
The heroes decided the best thing to do was to release Skyshatter (using up Tallon’s expensive dagger in the process) and let him kill Howell. However, as soon as Skyshatter was free the volcano began to erupt. To make matters worse, several lava wyrms attacked the party, threatening to keep them in the volcano for too long to escape. But escape the heroes did, back to the city as the volcano blew and filled the harbor with ash and steam. Meanwhile the heroes high-tailed it back to find Howell, as a storm was brewing (literally, a lightning storm raged in the skies).
What was supposed to be the death of Howell quickly turned around as Howell held Skyshatter immobile and quickly beheaded him when he realized that you didn’t believe him. Along with killing him, he absorbed part of Skyshatter’s soul, despite your best efforts to prevent that. Though he only got a portion of it; Tallon got a portion as well.
Howell, seeing that he no longer had to play nice, teleported the heroes to a ruined building atop an icy mountain in the middle of a infinitely large snow-field. Here Howell and the heroes battled it out, finally. Jenkins (Howell’s pet fire imp) joined in the fray, making the heroes’ job more difficult. And when Howell looked to be defeated, he summoned another servant: a pit fiend named Alfred. The fight was gruesome but quick, and ended when Runt smashed Alfred into Howell, knocking them both unconscious.
At first Howell seemed dead as fire enveloped his body and his corpse burned. His flesh and clothes burned off until nothing was left but ash-white skin. That’s when he stood up. The burned figure stood up and the heroes recognized him for who he really was: Sovocles, the devil they encountered in the Imperial City. The devil who destroyed Sorn’s pact. The same devil stood before the heroes now.
Conversation was brief afterwards. Sovocles admitted to disguising himself as “Howell” to ingratiate himself with the party and to build a reputation. He admitted that his patron was Mephistopheles, lord of the Eight Circle of Hell, the Icy Wastes of Cania. He also said that his patron would likely contact them in the future. Though with that said he returned the party to Granville, where Skyshatter and Howell’s body both lay amidst the chaotic and frantic city.
As the heroes rest, Tallon attempted to control the power of Skyshatter’s essence, as it began to manifest by crackling lightning between his fingers. After some effort at channeling the energy he was able to manifest it in a needle-like lightning bolt that he could grasp in one hand and wield like a weapon. While this was going on, the rest of the group searched Howell, and the rest of his office. On Howell’s body was found the rod that he wielded in battle, as well as a key. This key, after some searching, unlocked a small trapdoor in the basement which was revealed after Skyshatter destroyed the building), and that descended into a vast chamber filled to the brim with treasures and riches, all of which is likely Skyshatter’s. Or was.
Treasure you found includes:
Also of note:
h3. You leveled up! Enjoy level 25.