The party discussed what to do next. Their primary options included: a) assault the tower by ascending the stairs; b) leave by teleporting back to Greenbriar, bringing the rescued lord back with them; or c) Canicus could teleport back to Greenbriar to obtains some wands and/or other reinforcements, teleport back to the tower basement, and then assault the tower.
“The evil lord is here. He has been torturing and killing my people, just as he has tortured me. I will not go to this Greenbriar of yours and leave my people. If I go, I will just have to come back,” said the rescued lord. Having failed to convince the lord to return with them, the party abandoned that approach. Ultimately, the party decided to assault the tower; however, Dravik was short on spells, and Anton could not effectively ride his mount. So the party waited an hour or so, during which time Dravik attempted to pray for new spells. Dravek failed, which meant dawn had not yet arrived. Anora, however, was able to switch out a spell to enable her to cast a Mount spell, which she cast to summon a medium sized pony for Anton to ride. Everyone donned a Cap of Disguise, which the party had previously acquired, making themselves appear as city guards leading a horse. Thus, without the advice or consent of their own king or queen, the party sought to initiate hostile force against Fort Drevel, its evil lord, the allied barbarian horde, and the ruler of Pitax.
Somewhere, sometime, Craig had turned invisible and had wandered off. Having lost that option to stealthily probe ahead, the party proceeded as best they could. They could hear screams coming from somewhere above. As the party started to (not quietly) ascend the stairs, a mercenary guard opened the door from the first level to the stairway. The mercenary looked over what appeared to be city guards leading a horse up the stairs.
“What the fuck are you doing with a horse in the stairway? And why are you down in the basement with the lord’s liquor?” asked the mercenary.
“We’re just doing as the lord asked, sir,” bluffed Jessica. “I don’t know why the lord wants a horse upstairs,” she said with a befuddled look on her face, “I’m just doing as I was told.” The mercenary looked consternated and closed the door. The party looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders at their good fortune, and once again started up the stairs. Before they had taken two steps, the door reopened.
“Alright, you guys. Come on out of there,” ordered the mercenary. The party filed out of the stairway into a large room. In addition to the mercenary were several city guards sitting around a table. The door to the outside of the tower was on the far wall.
“I don’t know what you dumbfucks think you’re doing. Put down your weapons. And you, get off that pony!”
“But sir, we’re just doing as we were told. The lord wants a horse up there, so we’re bringing it to him. We don’t want to incur his wrath by disobeying him,” pleaded Jessica. Others in the party mumbled their agreement. The mercenary looked at the city guards sitting around the table.
“Do any of you recognize any of these guys or know anything about this horse?” said the mercenary. Of course, none of the city guards knew anything about the horse, and one stated that he didn’t recognize any of the party members.
“We’re new recruits. Just started. We got assigned this task of dealing with this horse. Like I said, I don’t know why the lord wants it. We were just ordered to bring it to him in the tower,” bluffed Jessica.
“You guys are all morons! The whole town is full of morons! I hate being in this stupid town! You! Take the horse to the lord and then get out of here. And you,” the mercenary said, turning to the city guards sitting around the table, “get out of here and go on patrol!”
“Huh?” said one of the guards.
“Yeah, you! Get out of here now,” yelled the mercenary, pointing at the door. The party, feeling inwardly giddy, returned to the stairs, with Anton in the lead. They passed the second story and then the third story. As Anton approached the doorway to the fourth story, the door opened. Standing there was the evil lord’s wife.
“What are you doing there, clanking all around? I’m trying to sleep. And why is that horse on the stairs? It’s going to stink up the place and foul it all up. You’ll be cleaning it up with your tongues, I’ll see to that. Just wait ’til I tell the lord. Honey! Honey!”
On the third level, the captain of the guard was standing watch. The lord was currently on that level, as was one of his followers, a summoner/sorcerer. The captain opened the door to the stairway and saw a procession of city guards with a horse. Knowing his ass was on the line if his own guards caused a ruckus, the captain ordered the party to leave the tower. However, the lady of the tower kept on yelling for her husband, and the evil lord soon noticed. He came out into the room on the third level, and, incredulous at what he saw, asked what was going on. The captain, not wanting the lord to get riled, answered that he was taking care of it. The lord ignored him and approached the stairway.
Things happened quickly. On the fourth floor, the rescued lord tumbled past the lady and tried to quiet her. Anton approached her from behind and knocked her unconscious. Shortly thereafter, both Anton and the rescued lord saw a blurred figure pass in the hallway and turn around the corner. The lord caused his holy avenger to dispel magic in a burst, but did not see anything in the hallway. He and Anton headed down to the third floor where combat had erupted.
On the third floor, Magnus successfully dominated the evil lord, causing him to take less than optimal actions. The captain, who had originally served the original (now rescued) lord, stepped back and attacked the evil lord. Soon after, other party members entered the third floor and engaged in combat. The summoner/sorcerer opened a door in the room and, for the first time, witnessed the melee that was taking place. Part of the party attacked the summoner/sorcerer, who escaped by jumping through a wall. The wall was an illusion that concealed an open window. The evil lord was brought low, begging for mercy, before Princess’s vicious bite ripped his throat open. The party could not find the summoner/sorcerer or bard, the lord’s two followers, and considered them as having escaped justice for the time being.
The party searched the tower, finding a map of the surrounding territory. The map indicated the location of the barbarian horde. Otherwise, the party looted the evil lord of his magic armor and sword, which were given to Jessica and Magnus. The captain of the guard went downstairs, telling everyone that the lord and his lady did not want to be disturbed. The party rested up. The next night, the party lured the giants out of town and destroyed them. The mercenary army, having been hired and ordered by Pitax to follow the evil lord, left town upon learning that the lord was dead. The party made arrangements to feed and heal townsfolk in need. However, the rescued and reinstated lord, as well as the rest of the townfolk, would not feel secure unless and until they knew that the barbarian threat was removed.