Kholark Sunderstone, Half-Orc Barbarian 4
Dormammu, Half-Elf Warlock 4
Jaeger, Human Fighter 4
Mivahl Shimov, Human Fighter 4
Flora, Half-Elf Cleric 4
Cor, Rock Gnome Wizard 4 (out for this session)
Lasair Lightfoot, Wood Elf Rogue 4
Sylvus Treeshroud, Wood Elf Druid 4
Stormsday, the 16th of Rainmont.
The PCs awaken to learn that following Kholark's victory over Bawss Hawg the previous night, the porcine behemoth was given a final keg of beer, washed down and shoved into a smoker. He'll be ready to eat this evening, at two gold a plate. They resolve to get a few plates that evening, along with the remainder of Dormammu's medication.
Firming up their plans for the day, they head to the castle to try and sell Lord Vesper on their plan to "bless" his chambers. Instead, they find the castle in disarray, and their presence called for - Lady Erzebeta has disappeared at some point during the night, and appears to have taken all three of Vesper's children (his daughters Wanda and Julia from his first marriage, and his son by Erzebeta) with her. Fearing that the rumors of Erzebeta being a sorceress are true, Vesper begs the PCs to find her - and asks to accompany them to help rescue his children.
Searching Lady Erzebeta's chambers turned up a vial of powdered Devil's Foot Root, confirming her as the murderer of Lady Talia, two years prior. Similarly, a wavy black dagger, seemingly dropped in haste, was found next to Wanda's bed.
Cor cast Identify on the teleportation circle in the chimney (something Vesper had been unaware of) and determined the magic words to activate it. Intoning the words, the group (minus Cor, who agreed to join a cordon surrounding the target site) jumped through, finding themselves on a stone platform with a fountain in the center of it, seemingly in the middle of a forest, with paths leading off to the north and south. Closer examination, however, determined that the "sky" above was enchanted ceiling, and that this "forest" was in fact growing inside a building.
"I know this place," Vesper said, "This is the house of Count Pavel. It's stood empty for two years; he was a loyal retainer of mine, falling to a troll-thrown spear while fighting orcish marauders two years ago. An empty house on the edge of town...this must be where the cult has been meeting. Tread cautiously; no doubt the bitch has summoned up things to defend from us."
As if on cue, a pair of shadowy, demonic shapes detached themselves from the darkened forest and attacked, their insubstantial claws tearing at the psyches of the PCs; every successful hit forcing them to recall painful childhood memories. Kholark recalled being laughed at by the other children as they chanted "Fang face, fang face, fang face!" at him, and Sylvus relived his mother drunkenly telling him he was a mistake.
In the heat of battle, Kholark's flail broke, the chain snapping and sending the ball flying, while Vesper accidentally threw his sword at one of the fiends.
Handing off his flail to the barbarian, Mivahl summoned the Empyreal Vengeance, the magic lance they'd found in the dwarven crypts beneath New Dawn, which proved much more effective against the creatures. As Mivahl drove the lance deep into the chest of one of the fiends, bloody skeletal hands erupted from the floor to drag it, struggling and screeching, down into the Abyss - confirming Mivahl's decision that he didn't really want to keep this weapon for himself. Jaeger drew his flintlock pistol and fired, putting a lead slug through the head of the second demon, vaporizing it.
Before they had a chance to catch their breath, a scream rang out. "That's Wanda!" Vesper gasped. Jaeger leaped on to Sylvus (in Dire Wolf form)'s back and they took off running up the path, with Jaeger just barely throwing himself off before Sylvus impacted the giant oak double-doors the path terminated at. Sylvus had hoped to go straight through the door, but it was too sturdy.
Throwing open the doors, the PCs were greeted with a nightmare scene, hellishly lit by two smoldering braziers; a once-proud chapel of the Unconquered Sun, now defaced with obscene murals, including one of a two-headed, baboon-faced fiend leering down; an altar on a raised dais, where Lady Erzebeta, naked save for a golden tiara, held a knife high, ready to plunge it into the heart of Wanda, bound naked on the altar, with Julia bound (and the baby in a basket) nearby. Sir Dorian, commander of the Red Brotherhood, looked on gloatingly, while a pair of Brotherhood soldiers stood guard.
Lasair loosed an arrow, hitting Erzebeta in the chest; the sorceress and the three sacrifices disappeared instantly, while Sir Dorian and his men smiled and drew their swords.
[DM's Note: Initially, Dormammu had declared that he was using Prestidigitation to extinguish the two braziers, plunging the opponents - all human - into darkness. We are retconing this because the braziers were not within range of the spell.]