*Spoilers* Story dead end with the continued presence of devils *Spoilers*


Age of Ashes


In the game I am running, the PC's just finished clearing out the waystation at the beginning of book 3 and made the bargain with the bone devil for aid in the combat against the coven and I have run into a minor story conundrum.

Plot spoilers:

I read through the AP in advance and while Cheliax / The infernal bureaucracy are not directly featured, given the vassalization of Isger to Cheliax, the history of the Hellknights, the presence of The Widow Queen in Northern Isger, the noted but unelaborated on presence of Posandi and Amera as Asmodeans, the simpering of Finney towards Cheliax and the hellknights and the presence of the Osyluth and later the pit fiends as well as both the "Areas of concern" and "Anathema" sections on the deity page for Asmodeus I made the decision to elevate them into a subplot line and flesh out their role to make the infernal bureaucracy as interested, officially neutral observers, with some internal bickering as to the role they should play.

Some of my decisions were influenced by character backstories as well and I have certainly added some elements to the AP as written, mostly at the close of down time between the books. Some relevant developments are....

Monk PC backstory: Parents from Kintargo, killed by Hellknights, raised in a monastery as an orphan. Goblin PC backstory, references Goblinblood Wars, so I played up some of the lore. This lead to:

- The visit to Breachill by Chellish authorities to collect taxes, etc. by way of the Sisters of the Golden Erinyes and some Hellknights, who "retained" some former Goblinblood War orphans who had escaped to Breachill, notably an elven NPC the PC's were close to. The PC's also discovered some more info about Laslunn who was also in contact with the SGE. (Chaos for orphans. Train some to be monks / hellknights sell the undesireables as slaves.)

- Posandi's Asmodean worship coming up when the PC's were looking to hire contractors for the citadel after Book 1.

- The PC's breaking into Posandi's house to investigate his labor practices and affiliations. (They discovered a summoning chamber in the basement, as well as a cursed Asmodean signet ring, plans for him to build a secret entrance into their citadel, communications with Lady Kaltessa Iyes as well as a contract for repairs at one of the Sisters of the Golden Erinyes monasteries.

- The consequent raid on the monastery to rescue their friends and an encounter with an Erinyes, whom they failed to kill, but injured enough for her to flee.

- The PC's did not tell anyone when they would be back when they journeyed through the portal and proceeded to not check in for their entire journey through book 2, only returning about 6 weeks later, which led to...

- Posandi seeking revenge on the PC's in absetentia and solidifying his contacts with the SGE, and Scarlet Triad to intro Heuberk Thropp's presence in town.

- The PC's raiding a hide out and killing Posandi to rescue Rorsk Axebane, whom Posandi was attempting to bind with an infernal contract a la a contract devil, whom they fought and AGAIN did not kill before he fled.

- And finally, making the deal with the Osyluth (whom they failed to identify after 3 different recall knowledge checks)

Now, my party has not been derailed by this sub plot and suspects that Dahak is the big bad and is heavily invested in stopping The Scarlet Triad who they think are working on his behalf somehow. I have also made it clear that Hell as an organized presence is monitoring the situation with passive interest, but individual actors have been taking their own risks. Posandi was hung out to dry by Iyes and the SGE were making unauthorized moves. Thrune has not been a relevant player and I am happy to keep it that way.

But... I feel like the PC's failure to dispatch any of the three devils they have faced (erinyes, contract devil, bone devil) and to enter into a deal with the third one should bring about SOME consequence or further attention by the forces of hell, but am not sure if doing so would prove a distraction to the main objective, nor am I sure what consequence to bring. The objectives of hell are not clear to me and are somewhat far afield from this AP.

Any suggestions would be most welcome.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I have done something largely similar but with rakshasa. My party has been quick to accept the help of a rakshasa on several occasions (Vaklish escaped from them and has been showing up to offer them tainted deals).

My thought is that Vaklish will sweep into the power vacuum in Katapesh as soon as they have lost interest in the region. For the devils I might assume something similar, in the aftermath of book 6's opening there's going to be a good chance of a lot of devastation and misery and those devils might be waiting for that time to sweep in and make deals with various townsfolk for a strong foothold in the region.


Tikael wrote:

I have done something largely similar but with rakshasa. My party has been quick to accept the help of a rakshasa on several occasions (Vaklish escaped from them and has been showing up to offer them tainted deals).

My thought is that Vaklish will sweep into the power vacuum in Katapesh as soon as they have lost interest in the region. For the devils I might assume something similar, in the aftermath of book 6's opening there's going to be a good chance of a lot of devastation and misery and those devils might be waiting for that time to sweep in and make deals with various townsfolk for a strong foothold in the region.

I like the idea of both the indirect consequences and the long game. That fits with my understanding of Hell. I think it keeps the PC's as "interesting" to hell, without them being directly adversaries nor allies and sort of plays up the opportunism that devils / hell may gain from the chaos... I like it. Thanks!

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

Spoiler tagged some Adventure Path spoilers.

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