Originally Posted by dariathalon
3. I'm really feeling like I need to read up on the blood war as well as the various fiends etc when I find some time. My nerd knowledge feels like it's failing me. I never really bothered reading up on this stuff, so I feel like Pavick would probably know a lot more about this all than I do right now.
No worries. Here's the super quick history (in 4e lore):
From outside the world, there was a Shard of Pure Evil™ that entered our reality and crashed into the elemental chaos. It corrupted everything around it, turning elementals into the first demons and some of the primordials into the first demon lords. It also corrupted one god (Tharzidun) who decided to claim it's power and destroy everything (because it was Pure Evil™).
Other gods stepped in, stopped Tharzidun before he could really get things going, and chained him at the bottom of the Abyss (which is why he's usually just called "The chained god"), and the unnamed god "He-Who-Was" (a god of protection, nature, and the creator of humans) set his chief angel down there to guard Tharzidun & the shard of evil.
Well, the chief angel (named Asmodeus) grew frustrated that the gods were losing the dawn war, and was slowly corrupted via proximity to the shard of pure evil. He took a sliver of the shard, convinced all the other angels to rebel with him, and killed He-Who-Was. Asmodeus led all the rebelling angels to war against the primordials, and helped keep the gods from losing the Dawn War. However, when He-Who-Was died, he cursed Asmodeus, all the rebelling Angels, and even his own Astral Dominion so that the angels changed to devils, and the astral dominion changed from a paradise to the 9 Hells.
(There was some other drama here about the other gods deciding whether or not to let Asmodeus in, and him tricking them into signing the Pact Primeval that I'll explain some other time).
So once the Dawn War started dying down, Asmodeus said "Hey, I was able to kill one god with just a little bit of the Shard of Pure Evil™. I'd really like to get the rest of it and dominate the cosmos." The Demons all looked around and said "Hey, we want to destroy all of reality, but we need the entire shard of pure evil to do it! How dare you take some of it!"
That's what the Blood War is. Asmodeus trying to get the rest of the Shard of Evil so he can take over the universe, and the Devils trying to get back what Asmodeus already stole so they can destroy the universe. For the last few hundred years, there's been a truce, mainly because neither side could gain the advantage.
The other bit that's relevant to the plot is the first big push that the Devils made. One of the Lords of the Nine, Graz'zt, lead the armies of Hell into the Abyss and captured one of the layers of the Abyss. However, eventually he said "Nope, screw you guys, the demons are right, let's destroy the universe!" and became one of the 3 most powerful demon princes. (So the big 3 demon princes are Orcus, Demogorgon, and Graz'zt).
The "big reveal" is that Graz'zt apparently has been playing the long con for Asmodeus for tens of thousands of years, and was secretly still working for Asmo. So now the Devils are getting ready to head back into the Abyss and finish the job Asmodeus started back during the Dawn War, get the shard at the heart of the Abyss, so he can take over the world.
Is that enough, or do you need more info?
Zorella's trinket coming back into things was not at all unexpected. It was already pretty much a given that what we brought back to her would come back to bite us and was tied into this whole situation. It doesn't take Elan to see that; it's just the way these stories work.
Yep. Although in fairness, what I initially had planned was completely different, until during your first meeting with Zorella, Mando Knight asked if she had six fingers on her hand. That question basically changed the entire course of this plotline.
1) Turn on Meph and offer to kill him.
2) Fake turn on Meph and offer to kill him. Then offer to kill Baalzebul instead when Ash comes in contact with his Master.
3) Offer Meph the deaths of the other archdukes and Asmodeus for the safe extraction of everyone at the dinner, Zyrr and the Jammer crew plus Ash's soul returned.
4) Keep talking and hope he is Meph's last shot at redemption, so he saves Ash before Jabba kills him.
5) Shut up and most likely lose whatever loyalty points he had gained so far with his arena act.
6) Grovel to Jabba, lose loyalty with Meph, get out alive, but have no way of regaining his soul, most likely.
7) Attack Jabba, make Hzurr figure out his stats, get blown away by Slug Face and probably get everyone else in the room killed.
8) Something completely random like jumping on the table and dancing...
Hmm...a large number of these options revolve around loyalty to one archfiend or another. You should really re-think that strategy. In the long run, it will never work out well.