With Evil-Varnix and Evil-Azm down, the tide had turned -- but, seeing the writing on the wall, Celeste's mother decided to abscond from the pocket universe and rejoin the battle below. By the time the party managed to clear out their remaining duplicates -- evil Heyyou was the last holdout, although evil Ariel did the most damage before being taken down -- the forces of good were routed, and the thin sliver of light that was all that remained against the sea of darkness was rapidly shrinking.
The witch was there, with a dancer that acted like Celeste's treasure chest, only better -- luring people in and immobilizing them. She also had a bunch of shadowy demon minions.
Celeste dropped a bunch of ashes on her mother, as the party dogpiled her -- she'd tried to swap places with Varnix, covered by an illusion, but Ariel saw through it and warned everyone -- and meanwhile, Heyyou had pulled in all her minions with 'come and get it' and taken most of them out; the others were taken out by the real Varnix casting a fire storm. So the evil witch cast a huge explosion that flung the party back from her -- dazed and immobilized. Asm and Heyyou were flung clear into the next round, and vanished entirely.
Celeste handed Beware the sword and jar, and told him what to do -- he had to stab her with the sword (which did rezise into a form he could wield, at least) and then use the jar on her for a full round, staying next to her the whole time. Buh?
At that point, the forces of light unveiled their trump card -- as the last sliver of true light vanished, the party was informed that they could 'place their boons'. Most people placed them near the witch, a few scattered elsewhere or in their own squares, unsure what the boons would involve. The boons turned out to be a square of shining, healing light, with an angle minion standing in or near it. The mother was kept trapped in the light, and the ring of angels, as Beware shook off the unwanted effects, accepted Celeste's offer to teleport him nearer (which involved getting zapped with a pretty nasty spell, ouch!), and somehow managed to stab her with the sword on the first try. They kept her held for a full round, while the shining light -- one boon had been placed in her square, and most of the surrounding squares had them too -- kept her from using most of her powers. And then POOF! Her soul was in the jar!
Now all they needed was Celeste. Oh, and Beware hadn't actually been standing in the light while doing that, and had been stunned repeatedly by the pouncing skulls from the darkness, until the advancing wall engulfed him. And the sword. And the jar. Oops! And most of the rest of the party, including Celeste and half the angels, was drawn in by the still-active dancer and immobilized!
Azm wasn't, though, and managed to pull Beware out, diving into one of the squares of light that she hoped was still there inside the darkness. Once he'd shaken off the pain and terror, knew what to do. He had control of Celeste's mother, thanks to the jar, and had her blind celeste, then he advanced on the immobilized party member and stabbed her with the dead gith's silver sword. Then ran to a farther off spot of light, while handing the jar to Heyyou to suck in Celeste's soul and complete the ritual.
Celeste was having none of that, and teleported away. Half the party, still immobilized by the now-vanished dancer, was eaten by the darkness.
Beware: "Celeste, if you don't let us do this you're going to die in 30 seconds anyway. Is the rest of the multiverse worth less than 30 seconds of life?"
Celeste: *doesn't talk, but keeps running away.*
Beware: "This won't evil kill you! Yes, it'll turn you back into the lady of pain, but that might be fixable! If you let everything be destroyed there'll be no one to fix it!"
Celeste: *still not convinced*
Ariel: *says the same thing as Beware, but with a much higher Diplomacy check*
Celeste: *is distracted for long enough for Heyyou, still stalking her, to suck out her soul*
With a swirling WHOOSH, the combined souls sucked everything into a hurricane. There was a blinding flash of light...
...and the party found themselves standing around a table, which was the new world, with the people of the world their game pieces. A new pantheon of a new prime material plane.
Heyyou: Machine god of order.
Ariel: Storm god of chaos and destruction.
Varnix: Apathetic but vaguely benign god of good and healing.
Beware: "I'm not the god of evil, damn it! We don't actually need balance."
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