Investigating the double doors, the party finds them too strong to break through and there is no visible lock to pick from their side. Aces knocks a few times to see if anyone answers, but to no avail.
They decide to head back around the way they came in and try another set of doors that they passed during their first fight in the northern fortress. These doors are crudely boarded and nailed shut. Aces swings her hammer through the obstruction and pushes the doors open. Before them extends a crumbling curved bridge that leads across the chasm and into another section of the northern fortress.
Being sure footed, Megilwath heads out over the chasm to find a safe path around the cracks, holes and loose gravel. When he reaches the other side, he tells the party what parts are dangerous and tells them to come across slowly. Aces and Krushi make their way over the bridge with little trouble. Mentathenis slips on a loose pile of broken stone and falls off balance. One of his legs drops through a crack in the floor, but he manages to grab hold of some jutting stones to catch himself. The Maven, attempting to jump over one of the holes, misjudges her leap and stumbles forward sliding into another large crack. She lands on her belly and begins sliding back through the hole, frantically clawing at the ground in attempt to stop her fall. Megilwath runs out over the bridge, jumps a few dangerous sections in a single bound and slides in to her rescue. He pulls her up and she gazes into his eyes. Still terrified, she falls into his arms trembling and tells him she forgives his torture of the Duergar.
Once reaching the double doors on the far side of the bridge, Aces again breaks through the makeshift barrier of wood and nail to reveal a dark, crumbling room. The ceiling has partially collapsed, rubble is strewn about the floor and a demonic statue stands on a pedestal in it’s center, one of it’s arms has broken off and lies on the ground nearby.
Megilwath cautiously steps into the room and notices, despite the darkness, what shadows he can see start to shift around the room. One slides down the wall to his right and begins to coalesce into a spectral humanoid form beside him. It appears to be a ghostly woman, skin tight on her bones, and lips peeled back in snarl. She lashes out at him with her claws as four more wights appear around the room. Aces and The Maven step forward as Megilwath, still injured from previous fights withdraws behind Krushi and Mentathenis as they hurl spells into the room at the undead creatures. After sending the wights back into the darkness, the party feels quite drained. They attempt to bandage the scratches as best as they can, but are out of ways to tend to each others more serious wounds. Though not in great shape, they decide to press on through the next locked door which Krushi is able to show up Megilwath and The Maven in the art of lock picking.
The next room releases the smell of death and decay, as Aces and Megilwath move in ahead, dust and cobwebs are stirred up in clouds. It appears to be some sort of ancient tomb, as a dozen decaying skeletons of minotaur warriors lay in alcoves along the wall. A large statue of a skeletal Grim Reaper minotaur watches over the entombed. Across the way from the statue is another iron door, but this one has a lock that Megilwath is able to pick, and he moves to the side so Aces can listen through the door. On the other side she can hear two voices talking about tearing out something’s eyes.
They burst into the large room to find that it holds two slave pits and a drinking water pool. They encounter another Duergar Theurge named Framarth, two of his duergar guards and two Spine Devils named Durkkel and Marshk who are still debating tearing out one of the fourteen slaves eyeballs in the pits.
The adventurers attack the duergar and their abyssal allies. Aces in front with The Maven, and Krushi, Menthathenis and the injured Megilwath in back throwing his dagger. Framarth tears up the heroes with his Brimstone and Hail, Vile Fumes and Wave of Despair while both the guards and the devils launch volleys of Spikes and Beard Quills, slowly wearing Aces and the Maven down with burning and poisonous pain. During the fight Krushi and Mentathenis go prone, and Megilwath gets knocked unconscious. Mentathenis gets up and drops his Stinking Cloud into the room causing issues for the evil creatures. Krushi stays huddled under her robes on the ground and is able to talk the two devils out of the fight when they become too injured. The Maven runs back into the tomb to aid Megilwath, She bandages him to the point of consciousness, and gives him a kiss to welcome him back. Mentathenis and Krushi work together with Aces to finish off the two duergar guards and kill Framarth before he escapes.
Only one slave was killed during the fighting, and the party releases the others, including Delphina Moongem of Winterhaven and Harwin the Honest of the Seven Pillared Hall. Delphina thanks the heroes for their heroic bravery in coming to their rescue but tells them that two of the Winterhaven slaves were sold to a group of Gnolls called the Blackfangs, and were taken to a place called the Well of Demons. Harwin says he can lead the others back to the Hall. Krushi lets the two Devils go after Aces asks where Murkelmor is. They point to the next room before leaving quickly.
Too badly injured to go on to tackle the duergar leader, they decide to shim up the doors around Murkelmor’s room to attempt to trap him inside, and then head back to the camp that Terrlen set up, just around the bend from the main entrance to the Horned Hold. When they get back they find Terrlen with a small fire burning and the corpses of three creatures. An Orc, and the two Devils. It seems when they attempted to flee the Hold Terrlen’s Lycanthropic side emerged and defended itself. Terrlen offers a sincere apology for killing those they let go, and the party takes an extended rest in preparation for their confrontation with Murkelmor.