With bells ringing all over the city, the party gathers outside of The Spoke and Cellar with Ruxley and her men. Joining them are Keishara, Gilex and a another tracker. The party heads north towards the major road that cuts through artisans’ row. A few blocks north they encounter two groups of armed men dressed as city guards facing off against each other. Drugan notices that one group’s uniforms are well worn while the other group’s look much newer. Thinking quickly he advises the others to ally with the well worn group. Oath casts Hypnotic Pattern subduing the whole group. The city guards thank them for their aid and move to disarm and bind the imposters.
Moving on the party feels the ground shake as they hear a thunderous boom and the skyline to the east is briefly illuminated. Flaming rocks crash down around them. Mira hears someone moving around the corner of a building. Oath moves to investigate and runs into a cultist. Surprised at seeing Oath it calls out in a infernal tongue summoning three nearby fiery hounds. They chase after Oath with the lead one breathing fire at the party. Lyra reacts quickly by casting Sleet Storm causing the dogs to slide on a suddenly icy ground. The whole party hustles on towards the north gate before the hounds can give chase.
A few blocks later the party finds a giant crater surrounded by buildings on fire. Debating about the best way forward, the party considers following the exposed sewer versus skirting the buildings on fire. After a short discussion the party decides to make their way around the obstruction an continue following the main road.
Moving through artisans row they encounter several cultists holding open a portal while armed men are forcing townsfolk through it. Rushing forward Drugan and Jasper engage the closest armed men. Grom using his grappling hook to climb the side of a nearby building. Lyra casts Thunderwave scattering several of the armed men. Mira moves to engage one of the cultists. Oath casts Hypnotic Pattern subduing most of the armed men and most of the townsfolk. As Grom reaches the top of the building a large gorilla-like demon with blue skin and orange fur comes charging at him across the rooftop slamming into him and sending them both tumbling off the edge. A second gorilla demon launches off the opposite roof and lands near Lyra. Jasper rushes to engage it. Grom casts Compelled Duel on the demon that through him off the roof followed by Oath casting Dissonant Whispers. Panicking the demon flees only to be knocked down by Smoke and then stabbed to death by Ruxley and her men. Drugan and Mira dispatch the cultists closing the portal. Jasper and Lyra finish off their demon. Ruxley leaves her men to bind the armed men and help the townsfolk.
Continuing on the reach a fork in the road where one branch leads north towards the gate and the other leads south towards the keep. Signs of battle are everywhere. Bodies are strewn throughout the intersection. A makeshift barricade lies in ruins. The feeling of arcane energy lingers in the air. Ruxley seems disturbed by this turn of events. She mentions that per protocol, the Council meets at the keep in case of emergency. Mira contacts Samal with Sending asking which way the group should head. He informs her that the keep does seem to be under attack and that aid would be appreciated.
Heading south the party passes some nicer walled residences on the way towards the keep. A jumpy house guard accidentally looses a quarrel at the party narrowly missing Grom. The guard mutters a quick apology as the party glares at him as they pass.
Approaching the rocky no man’s land surrounding the keep the party sees signs of battle at the first watchtower, which lies in ruins. The party sees figures moving around atop the wall. Mira can make out that many of the figures are engaged in close quarters combat. The party rushes towards the gate dodging a few errant bolts fired in their direction. They pass through the shattered outer gates into the kill box. A few more quarrels are loosed in their direction, but not find purchase. Oath fires back dropping one of the crossbow men. Jasper throws Flicker at another, knocking them off the walkway as he delivers a killing blow.
Entering the courtyard the party sees signs of battle everywhere. Bodies lie strewn about. Carts and buildings are on fire. Craters pockmark the ground. The party sends Gilex and the other scouts to check out the buildings surrounding the keep for survivors and allies. The party along with Keishara and Ruxley rush into the keep through shattered doors.
Inside the entry hall the party sees armed men and cultists in familiar black robes dressed similarly to the ones encountered holding the portal open. They around surrounding two figures arguing: a young man in plate with a wicked greataxe slung over his shoulder and a pale elvish woman with white hair garbed in leathers and a loose half cloak.
Sinala: You risk to much Jaccard. We have what we came for.
Jaccard snarls: You have no room to speak Sinala! Just because you’ve replaced Darius does not give you the authority.
Sinala: What do you hope to achieve by this?
Jaccard: Vengeance for my fallen brother! Those who ordered this should pay!
At which point Oath interrupts them by casting Lightning Bolt. Drugan and Lyra notice that it seems darker than normal, as if the core was an absence of light instead of brilliant white core. Mira attempts to cast Spike Growth, but is Counterspelled by Sinala. Grom and Drugan rush towards the pair in the center of the hall. Lyra wild shapes into a rhinoceros and charges one of the armed men, while Jasper throws Flicker at another. After taking a blow from Grom’s lance Jaccard retaliates. Sinala attempts to cast Hypnotic Pattern on the party, but Oath Counterspells it. Drugan and Jasper pursue Sinala as she retreats from the melee. Oath cast Dissonant Whispers on Jaccard causing him to rush towards the Council chambers. Lyra backs up and charges another man at arms. As Mira casts Sacred Flame both her and Jasper notice that Oath recoils slightly from the light. As Drugan and Jasper harry her, Sinala alternates between taunting them and humming a tune that causes a magical arrow to attack them. Rushing forward Mira cast Watery Sphere try to restrain Jaccard, but merely throws him soaking and wet to the floor. Lyra reverts to her elven form then Polymorphs Jaccard into a squirrel. While Ruxley handles one of the remaining armed men, Keishara chases after an armored attacker. Surviving multiple brutal attacks from Sinala, they are stymied as she reads a scroll and casts Wall of Force separating her from them. Waving at them she heads down the hallway with her men. The armored fighter busts through a side passage and attacks Lyra, causing her to loose concentration. This restores Jaccard to his normal form as Mira moves her Watery Sphere to engulf him and the chamber guards. Jaccard fights free again only attack several of the Council members, slaying one and wounding another. Keishara dashes in behind the armored fighter and downs him with a well placed arrow. Grom rushes forward smiting Jaccard and placing himself between the other Council members and danger. Lyra summons two giant eagles with Conjure Animals which she instructs to grab the wounded Council members an carry them to safety. Back in the entrance hall, Drugan, Jasper and Ruxley deal with several intruders that have just entered. Moving in concert Drugan and Jasper rapidly dispatch them, amazing Ruxley with their prowess. Inside the Council chambers Mira casts Spiritual Weapon smashing Jaccard with one final brutal blow.
In the aftermath of the attack on the keep, a few remaining city guards arrive reporting many sightings of demons and portals around the city, reports of citizens taken and finally that a pale elf and a few armed men were seen fleeing. The several of the council members decry the party for bringing this upon the city. Samal comes to their defense stating that evil should not be left to fester. Hearing both sides, Lord Alric makes his decision. If the party deals with this festering evil in the Tower of Night, then he will see them rewarded in the manner of their choice: a title, a holding or wealth…