Belfas the Greatheart sat down with a glass of mulled wine. His feet were kicked up before his great fireplace, in his lap sat a lightly purring tabby cat. He breathed in the spiced wine, savoring this rare moment of bliss amidst the hustle and bustle of a hero's life.
That was, until a knocking like thunder boomed against his heavy banded iron door. Belfas set down the book, sighing heavily.
"I'm never going to finish that accursed book," he grumbled as he stomped towards the door.
The knocking only increased in strength and frequency as the Greatheart neared it. He could feel shudders in the stone floor, dents were forming where fist met iron.
"By the Twelve Heavens! Stop that racket! I'm coming!"
He slammed open the heavy steel bolts holding the door shut, flinging open the door.
"I swear if you've broken my damned door..." the words died in his throat.
Standing in his courtyard was Belphagor the Blackblade. The giant of a man stood at over seven paces tall, his obsidian black armor shone with unnatural light.
Belfas backflipped away, grabbing onto a warhammer he kept near the door to ward away intruding demons....and insurance salesmen.
"Avaunt thee demon! Another step and I shall-" He was interrupted by Belphagor raising his free hand and saying "Wait! Hold on!" His voice was the rumble of an avalanche, but something in his pained voice stilled his hand.
"I saved her from a party...I know this is weird, but I didn't know who else to go to."
In the crook of his great armored arm rested a young girl, obviously of Elven descent.
Belfas lowered the warhammer slightly, still wary of a trap. "Bring her in. Third door down the left. Stray, and I will slaughter you."
Belphagor didn't hesitate, nodding his scarred and disfigured face in thanks. True to the agreement, Belphagor went straight to the temple as indicated.
Belfas walked into the room behind them, calmed by the room despite his alertness. The walls were clad in gold, the floor done in marble, bespoke with silver filigree depicting angels in song. Warm light flooded out from an idol in the center of the room, filling the heart with courage and love.
Just as Belfas was calmed, Belphagor was in obvious distress.
"Why risk the pain of this room Blackblade? Who is she to you?"
The great monster laid her down on a slab of marble which raised from the floor at his approach. "I...I...I can't say. Please. Help her Greatheart. I need you."
Despite his misgivings, he walked over to the girl, reaching out to touch her chest. With a growl, Blackblade snatched his wrist. Belfas turned a sharp eye on Belphagor, hefting his hammer in his off hand. The Blackblade's eyes dropped, letting go of his hand.
"I'm sorry...She is precious to me. I can't let her be harmed."
Belfas nodded slowly, understanding. "I need to touch her to determine what ails her and how to fix it. I swear by the Light of Ilsilda that I will do no harm to her."
This was no empty vow, light exploded from the idol, pouring into the Paladin's chest. "The vow is made and the deal is struck. I can no more hurt her than turn invisible and fly away."
At the look in Belphagor's eyes, Belfas laughed. "No. I can't do either of those things."
He turned his eyes back to the girl, her breathing had slowed notably since arriving. Belfas reached out his hand, pressing it lightly on the girl's willow thin chest.
"Ilsilda, let me know her pain. Let me see her sorrow. Let me feel her soul." The prayer was answered. Light from the idol flowed into Belfas, then poured into the girl. It filled her, the pale skin of her body glowed with light. The light then began to flow back into Belfas...but it was wrong. The light which returned to him was sickly and black, filled with taint. In his mind he saw something dark and powerful. Something more ancient and malevolent than any mind he had before touched.
A thunderclap sounded, sending Belfas hurtling from the marble bed on which the Elf girl lay. Belfas looked up to see the impossible. The idol began to crack. With a sound like mountains colliding, the idol of Ilsilda, greatest of all Gods, exploded.
He looked up at Belphagor, almost hoping to see treachery on the villain's face.
Instead he saw horror. Horror and fear.
The girl was no longer there, in her place was a lingering miasma of darkness.
Standing, Belfas marched up to and seized Belphagor's chest-plate, dragging him down to meet his gaze.
"What in the Twelve Heavens was she? And I want the truth!"