The next day, the party heads several hours east of Lowerton to traverse up the Great Ridge. Cham casts a Solipsism spell, and the party is a little more faithful this time. Between the spell and the Boots of Levitation, the party doesn’t need to use either of the Potions of Levitation Lady Salinda gave them. They head back towards Gatetown and wait ‘til nightfall. They decide to avoid the main gates this time and attempt to enter through the river gate.
The party floats down the White River, and Swashy uses her Ring of the Ram to smash open a hole at the base of the portcullis extending down into the water. Unfortunately, this is the last of the ring’s charges. The party quietly takes care of a couple of spinagons guarding the other side of the gate, and continues to swim down the river as it winds through the city. They duck under a bridge to avoid a roving patrol of dretches accompanied by a slaad. Once they eventually get out of the water, Cham puts his plate armor back on. The priest then casts a Silence spell so he can run through the city without drawing attention to the group.
Swashy stealthily scouts ahead, and is able to guide the rest of the party from building to building without the group being seen. The party arrives at Tirinil’s keep and decides the time for stealth is over. They charge the front gates, eliminate a slaad along with a few dretches outside, then rush to the main doors. Having set off any alarms the keep had, they meet stiff resistance inside. In the main hall of the keep they face off against several demons, including a slaad, several spinagon and lemures, a Cambion demon, and Tirinil himself. The Cambion is a deft swordsman, and a magic-user as well. He dispels the Confusion spell that Myx places on the slaad, and dispels Cham’s Silence spell as well. Fortunately, the party is able to take the slaad down before its devastating croak paralyzes anyone.
The epic battle rages on, and Tirinil flees soon after being injured by Barlongren. Reinforcements arrive, as another slaad and several more lemures burst into the hall. Myx is frozen by the slaad’s croak, but fortunately Cham resists the attack and is able to cast another Silence spell. However, Barlongren soon drops at the hands of the Cambion’s serrated sword, and a pack of lemures pummel Myx into unconsciousness.
As Swashy steps in to duel the Cambion demon, the rogue calls on Tortette to climb out of her pack, as the party is in desperate straits. She tells the tortle to rush over to Myx and retrieve the party’s last remaining fruit of life from her pack, and to come back and administer it to Barlongren. Tortette bravely rushes across the room, and retrieves the fruit just as Myx drops to the ground unconscious. One of the lemures takes a swipe at the strange creature, but the infant tortle is somehow able to dodge the demon’s blow. As Tortette pours the juicy innards of the fruit into Barlongren’s mouth, the Cambion hacks down Swashy at the same time the remaining slaad brings down Cham.
Barlongren is fully rejuvenated by the magic fruit, and the barbarian leaps back to his feet with axe in hand. He tears into the two remaining demons, who are already severely injured, and Barlongren is thankfully able to bring them down. He bandages his party mates, who are all three unconscious at this point, but amazingly finds that none of them have passed from this world. He hears some demons approaching the front doors of the keep, and quickly slams shut the heavy, iron bound doors. He looks around the hall and finds a huge wooden beam to bar them with which he hefts into place.
The barbarian proceeds to chase after Tirinil, moving deeper into the keep, but going very slowly as he takes the time to drag all three of his unconscious companions with him through the halls. Fortunately, there don’t seem to be any other demons inside the keep for now, as they all came down to battle the party in the main hall. Barlongren eventually finds Tirinil in a large library on the ground floor of the keep, just as Myx and Swashy struggle back to consciousness.
Heading inside, the group sees Tirinil holding a vial of acid over a summoning circle carved into the stone floor. The circle surrounds a Marilith, which the party assumes is Zarastra. A standoff ensues, with Tirinil insisting he will free the Marilith to slaughter the party if they come near him. Zarastra pleads for the warlock to set her free “as he promised”, and even offers riches and power to the party if they will kill Tirinil and set her free themselves. Barlongren tries to talk the warlock down from his mad proposition, as it is clear the Marilith may simply slaughter Tirinil as well if she is set free. Eventually, Tirinil slips into a fit of mad rage, and hurls the vial of acid at the floor, shouting that, for interfering with his plans, the party will pay for their lives at the hands of the vicious demon overlord.
From the doorway of the library, Swashy deftly activates her Ring of Telekinesis, catching the vial of acid in mid-air as soon as Tirinil releases it. She calmly directs the vial through the air, floating it directly into Barlongren’s hands. The barbarian keeps his eyes on Tirinil with a determined look on his face and hands the vial to Myx, saying simply, “Myx, hold this,” before hefting his axe in both hands. Tirinil goes apoplectic with rage, foaming at the mouth and rushing at the barbarian with his hands outstretched. Barlongren meets the warlock’s face with his axe blade, as he splits Tirinil’s head in two.