(image by William O’Connor, from Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss)
The Aspect regarded them all in unblinking silence, its enormous bird-like eyes glowing red with lust and madness. Everyone felt their hearts in their throats and an overpowering urge to turn and run. Then Haden cleared his throat.
“The lord comes before us in a great storm of dread
stinking of Hell and the hosts he has bled,
our hearts will shrink and our terrors quicken . . .
But look, he’s really an overgrown chicken!”
The Aspect gaped. “WRETCHED MAGGOT-SPAWN OF A LEPEROUS GOAT’S LEAVINGS!” it squawked, sounding, indeed, very much like an oversized chicken. Joris found himself laughing, the aura of dread broken. The Aspect hurled itself forward and clubbed the cleric to the ground with its oversized sword. Mal chanted rapidly and hurled a swirling mass of purple energy at the screaming, flapping monster, but the spell had no apparent effect on the demon.
Sheen charged, claws growing as she ran, and ripped a hole through one of its wings, sending hot blood and feathers flying. Talan and Ari darted sideways, angling to flank the Aspect. Talan’s weapons brushed it several times, but didn’t seem to have much effect. Ari grabbed its leg in her teeth and hung on as best she could while it hopped, trying to shake her loose.