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BQ-84: Mid Game Roaming Gankers

Updated: Apr 22, 2022

“Why are you scared?” Tallest asks.

“Zariel’s corrupt!” Lulu screams. “Zariel’s the new Lord of Avernus!”

“Well, we have some experience usurping governments,” Tallest says. “I think there are going to be some new ‘Lords of Avernus’ by the time we get done. How’s that sound?”

“If you say so,” Lulu cowers into her seat.

“If you were us, how would you get into the Flying Fortress?” Tallest asks.

“Let me ponder this,” Lulu says, pondering while the Dungeon Master cusses up a storm and flips to pages in his campaign book that he didn’t expect to need at the moment.

Harken hops on the Devil’s Ride with Lulu flying behind him. Tallest and Sfiros move to the Demongrinder. Sleipnir detaches the Demon Grinder from the Scavenger, allowing them three different vehicles to assault the giant, flying, hellish, nightmarish capital warship. Because three is more than one!

Reckless moos echo through Hell as the Brazen Bulls speed back to Haruman’s Hill.

Legions of imps swarm the castleship, but only Zariel herself is on the ground, chanting above Haruman’s corpse. She is tall and terrible, with scorched skin and blackened wings. Her pale eyes glimmer in the distance, and she raises her hands over her fallen general, resummoning him back to his post!

But she stops, then raises her head. In the distance, she sees three plumes of ash and smoke billow behind the Brazen Bulls. Grimacing, Zariel spreads her wings and lifts herself up 50 feet in the air. Warlords of the Avernian Wasteland coming to challenge her directly? Only fools would do such a thing.

Speaking of fools, Sfiros blesses Tallest, Harken, and Sleipnir.

“Oy, that’s wasted on me,” Harken admits.

As they crest the hill, all three vehicles surge towards Zariel’s destination. The casters ready their spells to aim at the Archdevil, preparing for a titanic battle with the most powerful entity they have ever lain eyes on!

Release,” Zariel whispers. A powerful blue blast erupts from Zariel’s finger, zig-zagging through the sky straight toward Sleipnir!

Counterspell!” Sleipnir demands. To everyone’s surprise, the blue blast fizzles out as his shadow sorcery absconds Zariel’s infernal… something-or-another!

Furious, Zariel focuses her immolating gaze on the sorcerer. Her eyes roar with flickering flames, causing hellfire to combust inside of Sleipnir, which is the worst place for it to combust!

“We should leave,” Sleipnir gasps, smothered in flames.

“You’re driving!” Caeus reminds him, pointing at his foot on the pedal. Caeus launches two lightnings at the Lord of Avernus.

Zariel dodges the first shot, but her movement lands her directly in the path of the second. She shivers from the lightning, then grins at the chaos before her.

Suddenly, a flying elephant blocks Zariel’s line of sight.

“It’s all your fault!” Lulu cries, trumpetting sparkles from her trunk at her former mistress.

From below, Harken grabs the halberd from his back. If he’s going to be a daredevil, he will need all the arcane power possible. “Sorry, pops, desperate times and measures and all that,” Harken says. He then shoves the halberd into the Devil’s Ride’s soul coin slot, his father’s soul shrieking within and powering the vehicle with untold devilish energy, rocketing the bike and himself up Haruman’s Hill.

The wheels bellow in hot flames as the Devil’s Ride flies through the air. Zariel slaps Lulu away and teleports herself directly behind Caeus.

“Faster son, faster!” Harken’s father screams in the bard’s head. Devilish claws manifest themselves on the bike’s handlebars, holding Harken in place. Wires and metal gears erupt from the bike, entrenching themselves into Harken’s skin, becoming one with the spellcaster!

“I’m ok with this!” Harken says, exhaust billowing from his eyes.

A snarling mouth forms on the bike and rumbles in a tone of grinding steel and oil, “It’s good to see you, son.”

“Don’t make it weird,” Harken says. He sees Zariel swing her mace at Caeus and lets out some cutting words, “Fuck you, bitch!”

Zariel’s flaming mace smashes into Caeus’s power armor, which absorbs the fire but doesn’t protect him from the rest of the damage. Still, the artificer stands defiant.

Enraged at how hard the Anacos brothers are to kill, Zariel unsheathes Matalotok, a legendery warhammer. Swinging with two hands, she smashes Matalotok at Caeus…

And into a cloud rune portal.

“Grubba, sorry buddy!” Tallest lies channeling the magic. “You must die for us!”

“Wha-?” Grubba tries. The tiny madcap from the Feywild, after finally finding the adventure he always wanted, stares in awe at the cloud rune portal that has magically opened in front of his face.

Grubba explodes in blood and ichor as Matalotok smashes through the portal and frigid cold blasts from the warhammer, eradicating the madcap from existence altogether.

Caeus shits his pants a bit, seeing his own life flash before his eyes.

Sfiros whirls and hits Zariel with a guiding bolt, and she explodes Sleipnir with another immolating gaze, covering the already burning minotaur with even more fire. Brazen bull indeed!

Sleipnir uses the strength of the grave to stay alive. He turns around from the driver’s seat and summons Sophie, the hound of ill omen.

“Hey little lady, you better stop doing that,” Sleipnir says, pretending to speak as the white puppy.

Sophie nips at the Lord of Avernus, who responds by teleporting back into the air and speaking that same, cryptic spell, “Release.”

Another blue blast erupts from Zariel, aimed directly at Sleipnir.

Counterspell!” Sleipnir shouts again, dissipating the blast. At one HP with half of his clothes and face burned away and a cute puppy on his lap, Sleipnir wants nothing to do with a creepy high-level spell focused on him!

Enraged, Zariel knocks out Lulu with her flaming mace.

“She’s got The Plot in her brain!” Sfiros cries.

Fused to his daddybike and noticing the distraction, Harken revs through the air, flame and smoke billowing out from behind on a collision course aimed directly at the Archdevil of Avernus. He smashes into her!

“Fuck you guys, remember me!” Harken screams.

An explosion.


Maniacal glee.

The chaos fades around an injured, ash-covered Zariel. Harken and the Devil’s Ride are no more.

Zariel scoops up Lulu and flies in front of Sleipnir. “A fine attempt,” she says as she slams her mace into the sorcerer’s face.

“Wake up!” Sfiros shouts a healing word at the hollyphant in Zariel’s clutches. Lulu flutters to life, but she’s still in Zariel’s clutches.

Release,” Zariel grits again, then with a victorious cackle, she teleports back to her ship with Lulu. The hollyphant and the angel are gone!

Counterspell!” Sleipnir screams.

This time the counterspell fails. The blue blast siphons through the air, past Sleipnir’s head, and collides with Sleipnir’s scythe, Silence.

The weapon explodes in a green and yellow burst of noxious fumes, and rising up from the back of the Scavenger is a new passenger: elder, decrepit, with tattered verdant robes and a pockmarked face. This withered creature with its moldy beard and rotten hood throws his gnarled hands into the sky.

“He, he, he!” the ghoul laughs its necrophic laugh. “There will be chancres by the acres!”

“Lulu is gone and we’re stuck with Rotund’jere?!” Sfiros cries.

Sleipnir quietly hopes that he and Rotund’jere became good enough friends that he doesn’t have to find out if they’ll be friends friends.

Caeus casts reduce on the escaped champion of Nurgle, making a little version of the pestilent monster. Even at such a small size, the lord of contagion knows that even microscopic life forms can fell great creatures!

Tallest uses the trapped champion of Tzeentch in the Blade of Ahn-Nurunta to misty step next to the reduced Rotund’jere. The massive minotaur grabs the ghoul.

“Release me!” Rotund’jere cries.

“Release?” Tallest complies, throwing Rotund’jere into the Demongrinder’s demongrinds.

The blades on front of the machine mangle and chop at the demon, grinding it appropriately for its namesake. The battered demon erupts from the exhaust port, then shouts “Q!” as it releases a death pulse, restoring himself a bit of vitality while blasting all around him with a wave of necrotic energy. Sleipnir drops unconscious, then Rotund’jere throws his hands up again and casts circle of death, blasting out a sphere of negative energy from his position. The wave smashes everyone around him, dropping Caeus to zero Hit Points.

“Everyone gets 8 HP!” Sfiros shouts his mass healing word, waking up the Anacos brothers. The spellcasting minotaur brethren assault Rotund’jere with their spells.

Tallest slashes through the ghoul with the Blade of Ahn-Nurunta, and a cruel laughter fills the air. The Chaos gods seem to fight through these avatars, with the power of Tzeentch overwhelming the rot of Nurgle.

“My boils!” The tiny rot of Rotund’jere cries as he withers into a pile of noxious fumes.

In the distance, Zariel’s castleship retreats through the broken sky.

“Yeah, you better run!” Tallest shouts.

“She’s got Lulu!” Sfiros reminds them.

Everyone takes a moment of silence to mourn their losses. They’ve lost Lulu to Zariel, and Grubba died. The magical cursed scythe Silence is gone, too. They even lost their bike, the Devil’s Ride! And it had a soul coin in it, too!

From the patch of Haruman’s Hill where the bike exploded, a shape appears and stands into the form of a metallic humanoid with pointed ears, a nasty smile, and holding a halberd.

“Hello, boys,” the figure smiles.

Haruman? No…

“It looks like Harken’s dad,” Tallest stage-whispers.

The tiefling machine stretches out his limbs and leans against the halberd with a sense of self-satisfaction.

“Your son just died!” Sleipnir says.

“No, no, no, you misunderstand,” Harken’s dad grins and nods to the halberd. “He was replaced.”

“He’s in the halberd?” Sleipnir asks.

“That’s a good spot for him,” Tallest says.

“Do we call you Mr. Beremon or Sir or…?” Sfiros asks.

“You can call me Elrich, boys,” the tiefling laughs.

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