Warning: this post may contain spoilers for the “Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus” 5e module.
Nearly all of the Menagerie had returned to the Anti-Chrysler, save for Horns and the now-enfeebled Grey. With most of his higher, complex cognitive functions stripped away, Grey knew only he was in pain, and that Horns wasn’t a friend. The hybrid-form blood hunter attacked bear-form Horns, and the sight of the combat drew the attention of several of the party. OneShoe, Grale, and Zed-astride-Bullwinkle all rushed out to try and sort out the conflict.
The sibriex, knowing that the time for negotiations had ended, revealed its true horrid nature and began spewing gouts of acidic bile at anyone and everyone it could target. Horns, OneShoe, Grale, and Zed-upon-Bullwinkle hightailed it back towards the demon grinder, and Grey hightailed it in pursuit of Horns. Grale was able to interpose himself between the two parties for a brief moment, and Horns dropped his wild shape and took to the air upon infernal wings, just out of reach of Grey’s slashing claws and snapping jaws. With his quarry no longer available to him, Grey did three turns inside the helm and laid down for a doggo nap.
Meanwhile, OneShoe had caught the full brunt of a particularly nasty jet of the sibriex’s bile and had been laying curled up on the hull of the Anti-Chrysler, oozing blood and bile and liquified flesh while the rest of the party failed to notice.
With the party finally all aboard, Val was able to slam the demon grinder into gear and start tear-assing away from the sibriex - but their progress was halted by the sudden appearance of an unreasonably attractive elven man aboard their vehicle, seemingly from out of nowhere.
In a voice that dripped with easy languor he idly wondered why the party was playing with a sibriex. Val demanded of him and introduction, and he took her hand, bowed and kissed the back of it, and told her that his name was Graz’zt. In such close proximity to him, Val could sense a powerful, nearly-tangible aura of seduction and dark promise around the elf, and she quickly suppressed a tiny, unbidden urge in the back of her mind to give herself to him. Graz’zt said that he was here to take care of a small bit of business and then vanished, reappearing in front of the sibriex with a long black sword in his hand; the blade had been forged in a serpentine, twisting back and forth along its length. With neither ceremony or apparent effort, he carved off chunk after chunk of the demon, while Horns struck it with repeated bolts of electricity from call lightning.
Moments later, the sibriex discorporated into a thick, fuming puddle of caustic ichor, and Graz’zt teleported back on board the Anti-Chrysler to continue his idle conversation with the group. The elf proved very forthcoming with answers to whatever questions the group (mostly Val) asked of him. He gladly stated outright that he makes his home in city called Zelatar, situated within the Abyssal domain Azzatar, where he rules from a structure known as the Argent Palace. He invited Val and the rest of the group to visit if they ever found themselves in the Abyss. With eyes fixed firmly upon Val, he told the group that life in Zelatar was full of pleasures beyond any of their wildest imagination. When asked about why he destroyed the sibriex, he explained that it was inconvenient for such a repository of Abyssal information to remain in infernal hands, and by destroying it on Avernus it would be able to reform within the Abyss. When the group asked for information about the nine adamantine rods, he confessed that he knew little of any use, but made some suggestions towards Zed about various applications of rods. And finally, he was prompted for more clarification on why he was here, specifically with the party. He shrugged and said that their encounter was merely an entertaining accident while he waited to meet someone.
Then he pulled Val into a dip and kissed her, with tongue; a lot of tongue. Too much tongue - like, physically, there was more tongue than an elf should be capable of having. The saliva that he pushed down her throat - just a taste of the warping effects of an Abyssal prince - magically altered some of the chemistry in Val’s brain and she became afflicted with a madness, convinced that nothing in the world was more important than herself and her desires.
Before he could continue, an angry, burning light flared within the churning clouds of Avernus' skies. Like a comet of wrath, Zariel screamed down from on high and collided with Graz’zt in a thunderous impact. The force and angle of her attack flung Val dozens of feet away; Graz’zt took the brunt of it, and she drove him off of the demon grinder and onto the cracked ground. His elven form was ablated instantly, revealing his true nature; nearly nine feet tall and horrifically beautiful, Graz’zt looked like he had been carved out of solid obsidian.
Wielding both a flail and a warhammer, Zariel pressed her attack on the Abyssal prince, deriding him. “Countless times have you come to assassinate me, and every attempt ended in utter failure. What makes you think this one will be any different?"
Graz’zt’s long and curving blade met and turned aside her attacks, and he sneered at her. “When I die on Avernus, it’s temporary. When you die on Avernus, it’s forever. You must be lucky every single time we meet; I must be lucky only once."
As the two nightmare titans clashed, the Menagerie realized that the smart move would be to leave immediately, and so OneShoe slammed open the throttle of the Anti-Chrysler and set the roaring engine to the task of moving away from the grudge match with all possible haste. Neither Zariel nor Graz’zt made any attempt to stop them, and the group began to believe that they were in the clear. Val siezed upon the moment to climb down into the cargo bay and take a nap, hoping to recover her strength and abilities before anything else decided to fuck with the party.
Then Horns turned back, moved by the memory of his loyalty to Zariel and the time he spent in the service of her infernal legions.