The End of Everything
At the beginning of winter, the magi fly down to the tribunal of Thebes, to the covenant of Oikous tou Eleous in order to try to talk to the grigori Batariel. The hope is that he may be able to invoke the Prayers of Making, so that they do not have to try and trick Samael into doing so.
Oikous tou Eleous is located in the city of Thessaloniki, and is made up entirely of women who used to dedicate themselves to God, before He left the world to the demons. They still try to carry out God's work, and have set up several places in the city which are protected by Aegis, in order to protect the people from demons.
The head of the covenant, Anna Psellus ex Jerbiton, is initially unwilling to tell the magi where they might find Batariel. He is one of their last defences against demonic threats. On being told part of what the magi plan, she relents and takes them to a nearby lake where the dragonic grigori currently resides. There are also several powerful Titans on Mount Olympus, which are working with the magi of Oikous tou Eleous.
There is much discussion, in which Batariel tells them of what he knows of events in Transylvania. The great walled garden that now surrounds Tablinum is the Garden of Eden remade by Samael. It is heavily guarded, but the guards are demons who are lazy and inattentive. Anything approaching that is obviously dangerous or magical will be stopped and attacked, but more subtle things may be ignored. The dragons of Transylvania have all been united under Samael as well.
However, many go into Samael's domain, for slave caravans carry hundreds of people daily into there. The caravans follow the white road of skulls, but are unguarded. Most of the slaves are dead by the time they arrive, but that is of little concern for they are as useful in their undead state.
Batariel reads Shale's mind and determines everything that he knows. He is interested to hear of Eira, the Second Coming, and wishes to speak to her, so he and the magi head back to Stonehenge.
Batariel and Eira discuss how to get in with the modified golden tablets. The initial plan of sneaking in as slaves in a caravan is eventually discarded, and they decide to go openly, present Eira to Samael and try to earn his trust. She will try her best to fight him, hopefully distracting him from noticing that the tablets have been changed when he invokes their power. There is also a decision to send word to all the Demon Princes that Samael has everything in place and plans to destroy their power, in order to try and create a distraction.
The plan is made, and the magi go to Transylvania with Eira, Drogo (who's mind has been cleared of any of their plans), the tablets and the magi. On leaving England, they hear that King Henry III has been murdered by his two sisters, who have claimed the throne for themselves.
On approaching the gates to Eden, they are met by demons who block their way, but then turn and flee as Eira allows them to see her true nature. Beyond the gate is a beautiful garden, which has a divine aura of ten. In the middle of the garden is a black ziggurat, guarded by demons who flee inside at the site of Eira.
Within the Ziggurat is a massive cavern, the outer walls of which are home to a shanty town of hundreds of thousands of slaves subservient to the will of the demons and Samael. Beyond is another inner wall, above which rises a black tower.
As Eira stands, she is surrounded by a Divine light which burns away demons in the nearby area. A darkness falls on everything though, as a voice demands that His Sister-Wife joins with Him. A blacker than blackness forms out of the dark, and claims Eira, dragging her up towards the tower.
As the darkness clears, the magi are left in the shanty town, with their wagon, slaves cowering in the corners and Demons rising up towards the tower, but apparently ignoring them.
They quickly head towards the inner wall, and find an entrance to the central city, the streets of which are too narrow for the cart. At this point, they need to find where the other copy of the tablets are, and replace them with their own, before the Demiurge can invoke the ritual to re-make the world.
Hiding within the inner city of Samael's domain, the magi try to seek the location of the other golden tablets by using the ones they have as an arcane connection. Being in a level ten infernal aura makes this difficult for most of them, but Vladimir, who is both dead and infernally tainted actually finds it easier to use magic here. His scrying finds the tablets - they are sitting on three pedestals, in a room ringed with molten fire with a blue light filtering down from above.
It is decided that he will try teleporting to the other tablets, try to find out where they are, then teleport back again. He succeeds in doing this, but immediately discovers that the far end is in a Divine aura as strong as the infernal is, and his magical abilities are now completely crippled. Unable to come back, or to break out of the room, he is stuck where he is. The only exists seem to be six corridors through which is pouring lava.
After some attempts, the others manage to make contact with him, and it is decided that he will begin to move the 'real' tablets closer to the molten lava so that they can be destroyed.
Umbriel risks scouting around the city in bird form, narrowly avoiding being crushed by battling demons. It appears that battles between demons is quite common here, and she sees several conflicts ongoing. The city itself surrounds the great pillar atop which resides Samael (and now possibly Eira). There are other towers spaced around the city, each of which is guarded by two demonic angels - carrying flaming swords, with bloody wings and whose eyes are merely bleeding sockets.
Zephon thinks that the Vladimir might be 'down', and suggests that even if the tablets are at the top of the central tower, going there is something to be avoided for as long as possible, for they are sure to be noticed by the Demi-urge. For now at least, they seem to have been forgotten and are being ignored. Reading the mind of one of the inhabitants, Umbriel determines that there are chambers of pains below, and also 'hope', and the way to them is through the smaller towers.
Deciding to avoid confrontation, they locate a building not too far from a tower (and out of sight and hearing of the blood angels), and Shale begins to dig a tunnel down to intersect with a guessed at route down. Eventually he breaks out into a huge well, the walls of which have dead humans, angels and demons nailed to them. There is also a great spiral staircase which winds down the sides of the well, to a bottom maybe a mile below.
With the tablets in tow in their magical sleds, the magi head downwards. Eventually they reach a point where a large hallway, decorated with scenes of torture and suffering, heads horizontally in to the 'centre'. The well continues down however towards a red haze.
At some point, Vladimir, who is still stuck inside the strong divine aura, decides to pray to God for aid. It worked once before in the room where they found their versions of the tablets, so he figures it might work this time as well.
As Umbriel is planning to scout ahead down the hallway, Zephon says that he has a feeling that there is something down below, and suggests heading all the way to the bottom. They follow his instincts, and find themselves eventually standing on a cliff top of red sand, which overlooks the plains of Hell itself. Great battles are being fought down below, and far off ruined cities can be seen through the red haze.
Zephon moves further away from the bottom of the staircase, and Umbriel follows. They are suddenly accosted by a giant dragon, which is being ridden by a gaunt man in armour. As Umbriel dodges and rapidly backs off, the man calls her name. He removes his helm to reveal himself as Oberon Ex Miscellanea, the Necromancer who was head of her House and vanished some time ago during an attempt to invade Hell and defeat Mephistopheles.
He explains that he is dead, but did not consider this a problem on account of being a Necromancer. He has taken control of many of the dead of Hell, and until recently has been fighting Mephistopheles. Recently though Mephistopheles came to him with information - that he may be needed near the domain of the Demi-urge. Based on information ripped from the dying mind of a grigori (the magi guess that this was Batariel), Mephistopheles was now aware that the magi were attempting to steal some things of importance. He then heard a voice that told him to come to this place at this time, so he did.
He offers his armies in aid, and the magi decide that a distraction is probably a useful thing to have. With his armies of undead heading up to the city itself, Oberon accompanies the magi back to the hallway in search of Vladimir.
Eventually they come to a great cavern, which has five other entrances, in the middle of which is a city of glass. The city is surrounded by a moat of liquid lava, and is bridged by six bridges each of which is guarded by a blood angel. The whole city is in a Divine aura, and seems to be filled with stone statues of angels suffering torment. At the centre is a tower topped with blue crystal - most probably the place where Vladimir is.
An army of dragons and undead are summoned by Oberon, which distracts the angels long enough for the magi to get to the tower and locate Vladimir and Samael's copies of the golden tablets. He has managed to destroy a couple of them, and the last is also thrown into the fire. The new tablets are put in place, and the magi leave as the forces of the Demi-urge begin to strike back. Oberon and the magi fall back, fleeing to Hell, hoping that the Demi-urge will think that the attack has failed.
Some indeterminate amount of time passes in Hell, when a great thunder is heard, which rips open the red sky and letting in a bright, burning light. The miserable souls of Hell, where they are touched by the light, are torn apart and remade, pulled up out of Hell. The magi are also touched by the light, and find themselves on a land that is being reformed, under a sky of blackness in which burns the Sun.
Eventually, normality seems to return, and the magi are in Transylvania. Vladimir and Oberon lay dead on the ground, though their ghosts are there and 'alive'. It seems all those that were dead or undead have been raised as ghosts, and now populate the world amongst the living. A strong magical aura also fills the land, possibly a residue of the remaking. On the distant horizon though is a dark tower, that of Samael.
The bodies of Vladimir and Oberon are given Christian burials, though their ghosts remain. Zephon appears to them at this point, in full angelic form, and thanks them for their aid. He says that Samael and Eria live on together, both two sides of the same being now. Her story needs to be told though, and the most suitable person to do that is probably Drogo, who loved her.
Much of the world is still in a state of distress, but things can begin to improve now. Demons are no longer infernal, though many will probably Fall again back to Hell. The covenant of Cruentis Petram still survives, and the magi head back there to begin the next chapter of their lives.