Following the liberation of the gnomes and the removal of the local Redhat leaders, the group journeys to Botkinsburg with the news. They meet with the Baron and borrow the Baron’s personal prestidigitator to suss out a thing or three about the mirror of mind enslavement. They get news that it is a tool of the agents of the Horned One – in particular the Witch Queen – and some vague directions and a target – a ziggurat built when the Horned Lord ruled these lands, many centuries past.
The group dispatches itself to the regions surrounding the ziggurat and scope it out from afar. A massive seven-stepped pyramid caps the end of a broad avenue flanked with two and three- story buildings on either side. They approach and encounter slaves – downtrodden and dispirited, malnourished and sullen. They pay the group no mind, but the group notes that there is a robe hierarchy that exists and the bundle of spidersilk robes they looted may well come in handy. They don the robes and stride confidently up yhe steps that run from the ground level all the way to the top of the structure.
Upon gaining the top, they encounter a group of uber-orcs wearing magical chainmail and bearing magical weapons. The group attempts to bluff, but apparently chooses the wrong passageway to enter – which prompts an attack. The fight is swift and brutal and fatal for the guards. The bodies are hauled off to the side and the group hastens to descend. Within a few minutes of entering they have located and slain another group of guardians, then they are off and moving, passing by a set of huge trolls guarding the stairs.
They descend through several levels, having exceptional good fortune by not meeting anyone in a position to question them. Eventually they do make contact with a guard room, but bluff their way through. they journey onward and investigate little. They discover a few exits, though these exits only allow access to the stone tiers of the ziggurat and not an actual exit from the complex.
More descent eventually leads to trouble and the group finds itself engaged with a trio of uber-orcs. Two are slain, but one escapes to raise the alarm. The group pursues and finds their way blocked by another massive set of trolls. The group prepares to deploy the crystal fire-vials they found in the gnome complex while battling the drider. Kruss starts off the assault by dropping his vial on the ground in front of him. The resulting explosion vaporizes the hapless Kruss and nearly slays the rest of the party. Those that survive hurl a second bomb into the troll’s midst and slay them, but the poop is most surely en route to the fan blades, and it appears to be time for a decision. The group pursues, dragging the unconscious Bababobo behind them. The fleeing orce appears to have taken a narrow staircase that terminates in a glowing disc of runes.
Plunging in, the group finds itself in the courtyard in front of the ziggurat, facing the double line of buildings. It becomes clear that the alarm has been raised and the group bolts to the horses, flings themselves on board and ride like their lives depend on it – which they might well. They leave all possible pursuit well behind, then slacken their pace. Some executive decisions are made and they undertake a long journey back to the area where Miles and his crew are to be found. There they hope to hire a few fighters to help them in their second attempt to quell the evil of the Queen.