The Bard, the Paladin, and the Demon

Ages ago I DMed an AD&D 2nd edition campaign. It was a really great group of players, and they always did a good job of sticking to their characters. They played the characters’ personalities to the extent that some of the good aligned characters once killed the chaotic neutral mage that stepped over the line one too many times. But that’s a story for another day.

The story today is about a journey the characters took to the outer planes. I have to apologize to the characters, as I don’t remember their names. I do remember the players, so I’ll use their names instead :).

Mark played a very devout paladin. Tim played a bard who doubted Mark got his power from an all-powerful deity. The so-called “gods” were just very powerful beings to him.

They were traipsing about one of the lower planes (the planes of evil) on a quest to find one of seven keys needed to free a chieftain’s daughter. There was one key in each of the lower planes, so I don’t remember exactly which one they were in at the time.

Earlier they had made a quick trip the upper planes, specifically the Seven Heavens. Tim surprised everyone with the detour. But the bard was looking for holy water. The bottom layer of Seven Heavens is composed primarily of an ocean composed of holy water. The fact that Tim was looking for holy water seemed a bit strange. But he just said it could be useful.

So, back to the lower planes.

The group had to cross a bridge, which, in true fairy tale fashion, was guarded by a demon. Now, this demon didn’t mean any ill-will to anyone. He was just doing his job and wouldn’t let anyone cross. Tim, as was his wont, struck up a conversation with the demon, with Mark joining in. At some point, the conversation turned to holy water. I’m not going to do it justice, but it went something like this (Mark and Tim, if you see this, and have corrections, please let me know!):

“Isn’t holy water harmful to demons?” asked Tim.

“Of course, but I thought you didn’t believe in the gods? So how can you believe holy water can harm a demon?” asked Mark.

“Couldn’t it be there’s something in the water the demons are allergic to?”

“Yeah, that could be,” said the demon. The debate was quite engaging.

“But the water is holy and the unholy demon is burned by the holiness of the water!”

“I still don’t think so, but we could try an experiment…”

“How would you do that?” asked the demon.

“Like this.” Tim casually tossed a vial of holy water at the demon. It broke open, splashing the holy water over the demon. Of course, a battle started. And, of course, the heroes won. They had a chieftain’s daughter to save, after all.