All goes to Hell

It is a planet of utter desolation, of volcanoes and lava and fire, of oppressive heat and ash in the wind. In the sky, flying high above, humanoid creatures ride the heated air currents on wings of leather, their eyes glow red and their hands and feet end in claws. From above you can see hundreds of dark creatures of deferring sizes and shapes, all chomping at the bit and eager to cause chaos and death. On the ground, standing atop a stone column stands a creature that is covered in leather robes the color of blood, he watches as ten of his casters struggle to cast a spell that will open a portal to Pencia, a world of wizards and magic.

Taking up his staff he strikes the end on the column at his feet and the red crystal at its top flares to life and glows red with restrained magical energy. The Arch-Mage lifts his hand, holds his palm close to the crystal and starts channeling more energy into the crystal until it glows even brighter; the crystal started to hum and the staff itself starts to vibrate. After he finishes he looks down at the ritual and sees that a black disk was forming in arches that where set up at the intersecting of two ley lines. When the Arch-Mage feels that the disc was about to collapse he points his staff at it, unleashes the pent up energy in the crystal and feeds it to the black disk. When the crystal is emptied it was no longer red but black; the arch mage shatters it on the column. The disk is no longer black but is now a shimmering silver portal, twenty foot in radius. The Arch-Mage lifts his now useless staff and then waved it towards the portal; he watches as 300 demons rushed through it.

As the demons went through the portal one of the winged ones land next to the Arch-Mage and bent a knee to its leader.

"Make sure they bring back what I want ALIVE. "The Arch-Mage looked down at his minion. "Bring me back as many as you can, unharmed, you hear me?"

"Yessss My Lord," With his orders confirmed the winged demon took to the air and led his clan through the portal and into a moonless night on the other side. Looking at all the other demons making their way to the small city that was their destination, he led the flyers higher into the sky. His clan's mission is to take what the Arch-Mage wants while the ground demons cause destruction and mayhem to distract the wizards away from the true prize.

As the action on the ground picked up, the clan leader watches as the civilians left their homes and head to a secure location in the center of the city." Sooooon, we takesssssssssss," He watches as fire and lightning played across the battle field and buildings were destroyed, "follow and killssssss and take what we came for, now." He and the rest of the flyers angled down towards the center of the city and half of them dropped in amongst the fleeing humans and started killing anything that moved except the ones they came for. The ones that didn't land angled to a group of children, started grabbing them up and pressing medallions to their chests to put them to sleep, then took back to the sky and headed back to the portal. The ones fighting in the crowd, that survived grabbed the children that were close at hand and took to the sky also.

The Arch-Mage watched as the winged ones came back through the portal and placed their sleeping charges into cages. He smiled with malicious glee at the sight before him. He turned to the portal and watched as the clan leader came through, placed his sleeping charge into a cage and flew up to him.

"That isss the last of the onessss we were able to capture lord." The creature said as he kneeled before the Arch-Mage." Asssss ordered none hasssss been harmed."

The Arch-Mage nodded his approval and looked over to the wizards that were still chanting around the portal, "Close it now," He ordered them.

As ordered the casters stopped chanting cutting off the flow of energy into the portal and watched as it collapsed on itself.

"What about the othersssss on the other side lord?" The clan leader asked.

The Arch-Mage cackled at that question, "What about them? They can be replaced easily, plus I want them to cause as much destruction and carnage as possible before they die and they will rejoice in it." He turned, jumped from the column, and mounted a creature that looked like a giant lizard. He held up his burned out staff, "Move out." The wagons that held the cages started to move forward. 'Soon the great one will be free and we will bring chaos to all worlds.' He looked over at one of the children," Soon your life will finally have meaning," He started laughing.

Sitting at his desk doing requisitions and going over promotion recommendations, Ris'lon set the papers down and rubbed at his temples to get rid of a headache that was steadily building. 'I really hate paper work; I wish we could figure out a way to do it with magic.' Laughing to himself he just shook his head. 'No matter what; technology or magic, when it comes to bureaucracy there will always be paper work that needs to be done.' Hearing a knock on his door he looked up. "Come in."

"Sorry to interrupt sir, but the General wants you in his conference room ASAP."

Smiling at the corporal, Capt. Ris'lon just shook his head. "You're not interrupting corp. and did he say why he wants me there?"

"No sir he just said for you to get there ASAP," The corporal said.

"All right," Ris'lon said as he got up and headed out.

Entering the battalion headquarters Ris'lon saw other company commanders also entering the conference room. "Captain Gideon, do you know what this is about?"

"No, I'm just as in the dark as you are," The captain said as he sat down.

Ris'lon sat next to Capt. Gideon at the conference table and look around, 'Something bad went down and we are going to be in the middle of it.' He started tapping on the table with his stylus as he looked towards the podium where the General was yet to appear. 'My stomach is really acting up, 'He thought as he turned to Capt. Gideon. "I have a real bad feeling about this."

"You're not the only one my friend." Gideon said and motioned towards the front. Everyone in the conference room came to attention, stopped talking and gave all their attention to the General.

"An hour ago an island known as New Avalon was attacked by demons." He stopped till the room quieted down; when it did he continued. "The attack was just a diversion for what they truly wanted…" He sighed because he knew what he was about to tell them was even worse. "Several hundred Camazotz fell upon the civilians that were heading to the center of the town, killed almost half of the adults and flew off with several hundred children. The number of the missing children is still not known yet." He took a deep breath before continuing. "It's believed that the demons flew back to hell with the children then closed the portal."

Waiting for the uproar to die down the General was patient, he didn't blame them one bit, when he first heard the news he wanted throw and break things in his office. "Capt. Ris'lon and Capt. Gideon's companies will be taking the lead on this; their companies are rapid response." Looking over at both Captains the general continued, "As soon as this meeting is over I want you both to get your companies on the move, supplies will be waiting for you both at the departure site." Both captains nodded.

"Hell is a large world sir; do we have a way of finding them?" Ris'lon asked.

The general nodded." Fortunately yes, one of the children taken was the princess and the King had a tracking rune placed on her before they left for their tour." The general slapped a stick into his open hand." When you get to New Avalon the kings' aide will give you the compass that's connected to her rune."

Ris'lon and Captain Gideon took out silver plated styluses that had runes etched around the borders and started writing out orders for their aides. "Hopefully she knows to keep her mouth shut and the demons don't figure out who she is."

Captain Gideon nodded, "That's if they don't already know."

"All right people let's get those children home where they belong," At that every officer in the room got up and hurried out. "Captains Ris'lon and Gideon, get to them fast we don't know what they have planned for them."

Both captains nodded as they got up to leave.

Twenty minutes later Ris'lon stepped through the portal and onto the island of New Avalon and walked up to the delegation waiting for him. "I believe you have something for me?"

"Yes, here is the compass it will lead you straight to the princess." The royal aide said as he handed the device to him.

Ris'lon glared at the aid, "I'm sure you mean it will lead us to all the children." The aide cringed.

"Um, yes it will lead to the children by way of the princess."

'Fucking royals only care for themselves,' Ris'lon thought as he turned away from the group and watched as his company came through the portal and headed to the site were the demons came through.

The Arch-Mage watched as the wagons carrying their precious cargo rolled by and smiled. A demon came running up and kneeled before him. "Make sure a welcoming committee is waiting for any that dares to pursue."

"Yessss my lord, they will not get passs usssss." The demon got up and gathered up his clan to set up the trap.

The Arch-Mage turned his mount, hit it with his staff to get it into motion and followed the wagons. He came up to his second in command." Make sure that they stay asleep and none harms them."

"Yes lord, your will is my command."

"I will be at the citadel preparing for your arrival; don't be late," With that the Arch-Mage turned his mount and spurred it to get it running. It spread its wings and took to the air, and its master guided it in the direction of his citadel.