The utter desolation of the First Hell is an awe-inspiring if terrifying, sight. Red skies periodically rain down fireballs, battering the landscape.
Through the haze that envelops Avernus you can see the blasted landscape dotted with lakes of bubbling magma amongst the towering ruins of iron and basalt.
In the distance, you can make out the legions of Avernus marching in unison.
Horrifying creatures are chained up by the thousands far below. Enormous devils rake them with whips, shaking with laughter after each strike.
After a long ride on the lift we find out we are not in fact too late and Caelar along with what’s left of her crusade is locked tightly in a life-or-death battle with devils and fiends. Belhifet and Caelar duel as Hephernaan gradually picks off the remaining crusaders one by one.
Three paths with increasing degrees of difficulty await our choosing:
- Belhifet & Hephernaan (Caelar’s Aid)
- Belhifet & Hephernaan (No Caelar)
- Belhifet & Caelar (No Hephernaan)
Editor’s Note: I did not design this walkthrough to be a strategy guide, but I would be remiss not to point out a few crucial nuances to this battle. One, on core rules we’ll need weapons or ammo that are +3 THAC0 to hit Belhifet. Two, potions are incredibly important and although I find it tedious and annoying to have to painstakingly load my characters up with various buffs, we’re gonna have a bad time if we don’t. Three, may Lathander (or your chosen deity) have mercy on your soul if you want to play beyond core rules. I would anticipate a great deal of kiting to take place…which I also find tedious and annoying…
Belhifet & Hephernaan
After being knocked back by Belhifet, Caelar finally realizes that Hephernaan has used her for his master’s plans instead of being the trusted advisor she took him to be. In a moment of utter despair at just how far she’s fallen, she admits defeat. At this time, if after all she’s put us through, we can offer Caelar an olive branch and invite her to fight with us; side-by-side versus the very evil that brought us here.
- If we were so bold to show up to this party with an open companion slot, Caelar will join as a fully controllable NPC.
- If we don’t have an open spot the scenario that unfolds is a team of six-plus-Caelar. We’re not able to control her but the computer AI is solid.
Caelar is incredibly robust with 135 HP and on the core rules will hold her own and almost makes the fight too easy if you have a competent tank in your party to occasionally take the heat off of her.
Belhifet & Hephernaan (No Caelar)
Option two is to attempt to take Belhifet and Hephernaan on with no help from Caelar. In fact, she is incinerated before the real action even begins.
- Selecting the dialogue option “Well… Yeah.” will result in Caelar charging directly at Belhifet only to get one-shot by a pillar of flames.
Now we better have those buff and +3 weapons because there will be no paladin to redeem herself because she’s now a pile of ash we have to walk through to kick devil @$$.
Belhifet & Caelar
When Caelar despairs and admits defeat to Belhifet, selecting any option besides encouraging her to join us will see her willing transformation into a blackguard. Unfortunately for Hephernaan, the deal struck between the paladin and devil involves him getting incinerated in a similar manner to Caelar in the previous scenario.
Who will survive? And what will be left of them…?
Belhifet falling will see us gain 45000 xp. Hephernaan’s scalp is 12000 xp. Caelar, the Shining Lady, a respectable 15000 xp.
Victory with Caelar
And without Caelar…
Closing the Portal with Caelar
Closing the Portal with Aun
- Return from Avernus
- Disturbing Implications