Once the angels ceased fighting, both disappeared and left us to our own devices. I took Ray aside and bade him explain what we just witnessed, and his explanation—that the cult was expendable as there were many like it across the world, such was their order’s accounts—left more questions than answers. At that moment, Eloc reminded me of the demon still out there, and I turned my attention back to more immediate concerns.
At this point I began executing the final phase of the expedition plan. First I contacted both the forward position and the base camp, informing them of our progress. Then I began the task that you, My Lords, put to me: establishing an anchor point. Out came my tools, and with Eloc and his men on guard I began the ritual. The first phase went without incident, but that came with the knowledge that using this much power in such a blatant manner could not be anything but a beacon for the demon to follow to our position. Given previous encounters, we would be foolish not to exploit that fact.
I trusted this task to Eloc and Ray. Ray had expert knowledge of demons, and Eloc’s prowess in war-making needs no explanation. Reinforcing us came Gar and the forward position group. In total, we had three men worth a damn leading a warband of about 40 men-at-arms. I estimated that most of them, even with the best planning and most favorable execution thereof, would die under that thing’s cloven hooves. They were fodder, whether they thought themselves so or not, so all that I expect of them was that they would get in one good strike before being rent asunder by that monster’s might.
The only concern I had was that the demon might again attempt to flank us by bursting forth from some unexpected and unknown space within these ruined halls. When I had a moment to pause, I told Eloc of this concern. Ray then acted, on Eloc’s orders, to ensure that this could not happen within our present position; he went around the room and blessed it such that things of evil could not enter. This forced the demon into a route of our choosing, and we chose a route that we could easily harry it with little or no reprisal.
Well, until it approached the chamber itself, that is. I estimated that, even with the room’s protection by the blessings of the Dawnsman, once I reached the apex of the work the raw power I’d have to handle would overpower any mortal techniques- and thus leave the chamber, as well as myself, vulnerable to attack. My Lords, you now see the situation I faced at the end; I had to do specific work at a specific rate in a specific manner. This was the constant; the variables were all out of my control. I need not tell you, masters, of the terror that being helpless should plans fail mean for us.