The group rallies and enlists one of Miles’ men and retraces their steps to the lair of the ‘witch queen’. They are all invisible thanks to the efforts of The Malformed and manage to navigate the steps to the 5th level of the zighurat. They begin searching for the concealed door that they know is present, but are unable to find it until the changing guard shift alerts them to it by exiting in the midst of the party. This begins a running battle that carries into the zighurat, and attracts the attention of the crowd in the town square. Eventually, the guards are slain, but the alarm has been raised.
The group swiftly returns to the area where the crystal vial of fire claimed the life of Kruss and explores further. A guardpost is explored and a grand meeting hall, and a curious sheet of darkness. Dudley and Thunderbear investigate, carrying the last firevial. Inside is a large audience hall, dominated by a large cauldron and a throne, flanked bya pair of large ogres, or perhaps small giants. As Dudley prepares for battle, the witch speaks a word of evil and sprouts demon wings. Thunderbear steps up to hurl the globe and promptly drops it at his feet. The ensuing explosion slays Dudley and severely wounds the barbarian, who falls victim to a command spell and is slain.
The scene that confronts the Torm cleric is grim indeed. He assesses the scene and decides a retreatbis prudent. The group escapes despite an organized pursuit and returns to Botkinsburg. They debrief the Baron, then obtain an escort to the coast road. The journey north is uneventful, and they sell the barbarian’s horses and book passage back to Impiltur.
The next few months are full of travel and settling of debts. They obtain the services of another Tormite paladin at the request of the cleric, and pick up an elf fighter through one of Malchor’s contacts.
The group plots another foray against the witch queen, and perhaps this one won’t be marred by such horrific luck.