Remi wants to ask Andra about the Hell Heist, which Betha allows. She thinks it’s a terrible plan but at this point is resigned to the group’s stupidity.
Andra’s Hell Advice
1) Devils can see through magic darkness
2) 10 VERY good guards
3) Combo of stealth and bluffing is probably our best bet
Remi (armed with this knowledge) goes back to plan with Betha and Fen. Betha realizes Kean has no real reason not to let Yannic go outside of valuing his life more than he values everyone else’s and goes to bring Yannic into their brainstorm sesh.
Yannic proposes that he and Kaiva go alone, with him bluffing his way through and Kaiva acting as a bodyguard. Fen immediately he assumes he’s trying to cut her out and prevent her from yearning that good, good diamond and protests. There’s more discussion amongst themselves and with Kean, but it is eventually decided that Yannic’s plan (but with everyone else acting as invisible backup) is the one they’re gonna go with.
Before they leave Fen decides to throw Kean off the scent by asking him to find them alligators (or baby alligators, if that’s more manageable) and a llama for when they return.
Kean takes everyone through the teleportation circle and they find themselves in a clearing with 3 doors. They go through the stone door into a room with a LOT of stone arches. So many. In the Room of Stone Arches, Kaiva and Remi both hear someone speaking a language they don’t know and everyone decides to put a lil pep in their step and hurry up.
They then arrive in the Hell Bog, which greets them with a cheeky sizzle drizzle of acid rain coming from a grey-green sky. There are bodies everywhere in the water, a la that one scene in LOTR.
Team Hell Heist is immediately confronted with an 80 foot tall crumbling stone wall. Two non-human (hellbunny crossed with a xenomorph crossed with a porcupine) guards notice the ragtag pair immediately and Kaiva and Yannic approach as confidently as they can. Yannic uses his rich boy voice on the exceptionally polite guards, saying that he’s on a mission from Keanvari and needs to retrieve some jewelry so take us the vault.
The guards take them to a house where Yannic impatiently snaps at them for not taking him directly to the vault. One of them wanders off to try his best, comes back and is like “We can’t just let you into the vault but the lady of the house is here?”
With a put-upon sigh and a “Very well” worthy of a middle aged woman agreeing to speak to an employee’s manager about her expired coupon, Yannic agrees.
They’re led to a room with a giant body on the floor and Mercury! Yannic crit fails on deception and Mercury is like “lol whatever you’re here for, no. BUT lemme show you what I’m working on.” It turns out what she’s working on is “unnatural corruption”; the body on the floor was corrupted by outside influences but responded to her… treatment? She wants to perfect it and save Keanvari.
After trying to convince Yannic that Keanvari is just corrupted, Mercury gives him an ultimatum: leave now, fight her, or she’ll call Keanvari. Yannic talks about trying to embrace his role and says the ruby is important. Mercury looks, like, 10% swayed which is a huge step from the 0% swayed she looked before that.
Mercury abruptly shuts off when she sees the string on Yannic’s finger and asks him again what he really wants the ruby for. Yannic explains that we went back in time but seems wholly uninterested in diving into the Ruby Incident yet again.
Mercury, unimpressed, calls for the guards and goes to get Keanvari. Fen tries to throw her voice to make it seem like the corpse is talking and the guards begin investigating. Mercury comes back, saying she needs to escort Yannic to the basement. Everyone gets visibled.
The basement seems not like a sweet finished basement with a movie room or whatever but very bad, actually. There’s heavy mysterious ominous breathing and everything. As such Remi makes a morality plea while Kaiva tries to mime to Yannic that he should amulet them out of there. After a few more steps down Yannic does and the gang ends up at Keyberry Ford where they find Kean…. Not there.
Yannic scrys on Kean and sees him talking mad shit to Andra and Ondelin, saying that waiting on the Hell Heist gang is a waste of time and they need to go do other shit. Remi messages Andra who tells them to wait an hour or two and if the NPC Three don’t show up by then, run.
Fen casts a spell of nondetection on Yannic and they all decide to walk into the woods while they wait, just in case. They might even be lucky enough to see another deer die horribly right in front of them.
3 hours pass and Remi gets a sending from Ondelin saying that they’re back in Keyberry Ford. They head back. Remi and Ondelin reunite and it feels so good. Ondelin, after asked by Remi, explains that they killed Kean and he brought him back and it was very awful. Ondelin offers Remi some advice: “when you guys are doing things maybe you should stop and…..y’know, not do those things” which, good luck trying to get these morons to see reason, Ondy. The besotted two head off to go for a walk. Betha (with Fen following) sees Andra down by the river and goes to talk to her. Andra, distant, tells Betha that the gang should stay away from her brother for a bit.