Griselbrand was a powerful black-aligned demon from the plane of Innistrad who would give people what they wanted but always at a terrible cost. He would later battle the archangel Avacyn causing both to become imprisoned within the Helvault. After the Helvault’s destruction he was killed by one of his debtors, the planeswalker Liliana Vess.
Deal with LilianaEdit
As Liliana faced the limits of her human lifespan, her health and power were waning. She contacted powerful demon lords, and one dark deal later, she was restored to her height of power and beauty. Today she appears to be in her 20s, but in truth she's over a century old.
Griselbrand was one of these demonic lords.
Imprisonment within the HelvaultEdit
Griselbrand, the most powerful of his kind and one who had never become imprisoned, committed an act of unprecedented boldness and heresy: he landed on the Helvault itself, under a full moon, and challenged Avacyn to combat.
Avacyn and Griselbrand battled for days, out of view of all but Avacyn's host; the Lunarch, Mikaeus; and his most trusted bishops. Finally, in an act of desperate effort, Avacyn used all of her remaining strength to drive Griselbrand into the Helvault. As his final act, Griselbrand threw his spear and impaled the archangel's heart. The binding spell backlashed as she was impaled, and Avacyn was drawn into the Helvault herself.
Innistrad's most powerful demon was now encased in a great silver mass, as was the archangel Avacyn herself, keystone of the Church and protector of humankind. The words of her own spell imprisoned her: "What cannot be destroyed must be bound."
Liberation and DeathEdit
It's a bittersweet time for demon-kind, and for Griselbrand in particular. Everything this demon-lord has worked for has been fulfilled, and in the same moment, undone. The demons Avacyn trapped in that silver prison have been released again. The Skirsdag cult will have plenty of dark beings to worship once more. And Griselbrand himself will be able to resume feeding the mortals' temptation even as he consumes their souls.
But Avacyn, the jailer herself, is back now, restored and unharmed. Griselbrand's trick ultimately did nothing. The angels are returning, and divine power is being restored. The best thing for him to do now is to slip away quietly to the Ashmouth while the mortals are busy celebrating. He shall bide his time, rebuilding his dominance on this world by luring mortals with promises of power. Then perhaps, one day, he will be ready to plot his revenge. This world, he thinks, will behold Griselbrand in all his majesty once more, and on their knees will they weep. But that thought is cut short.
Liliana has not come this far to watch her quarry slink away. Perhaps the demon did not see her in the blast of light, there in the cathedral yard, or perhaps he did not recognize her after so many years. But she recognized him, one of the demons who claims ownership of her soul.
Liliana abandons Thraben, her work there complete, and stalks Griselbrand to the Ashmouth. The assault at the cathedral took a lot out of her, but she knows that time is of the essence. It appears that angels and holy practitioners are suddenly on this world like a stink. And she knows the planeswalker Garruk will catch up to her eventually, if she lets him. So the time is now.
The exchange, ultimately, is brief. The demon lord is surprised to see her, and he quickly realizes how serious this reunion will be. He leads with bravado, she quickly silences him by destroying a few of his minions. She is not here for games or chit-chat. He attempts to bargain with her, offering her even more power, she sees through his lies and refuses, dead-set on releasing her soul from her contract with him. Finally Griselbrand decides it's time for this upstart to die and Liliana lets the Chain Veil fuel her spell of death.
A vortex of malice erupts from her, seething with a depth of hatred she didn't know she possessed. As satisfying as it is to finally see Griselbrand perish, the feeling unnerves her, and for a fleeting moment she wonders if she will be able to control what her magic is becoming. But in that moment, she destroys Griselbrand utterly, and the deed is done.
The ground where Griselbrand stood is empty now. The sulfurous air of the Ashmouth is uncharacteristically still. A mob of minor demons move away, giving Liliana a wide berth, forming a silent circle around the planeswalker as she prepares to leave.
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