Balthazar charges into the office at the same time that Semprona Coras enters the room, and a long and difficult fight begins. The warden orders an unarmed guard to break a glass panel in the wall marked "Compromised." Layric the Laugh ducks behind tables and uses acid splash to gain sneak attack. Semprona steps up to smite the Balthazar, but gets smited herself by the more powerful paladin and goes down immediately. Rache uses true strike, then disarms the paladin before getting shield bashed into pulp. Aislyn picks up Rache's cure light wounds wand, but fails to use it to revive her two dying allies and is knocked into negatives by the guard. Jephthah jumps onto a table and attempts to hit the heavily armored paladin, but it knocked into negatives.
With all of his allies dying, Layric decides to think laterally. He runs and unlocks the door separating the prison riot from the warden.
The mob spills out and devours the paladin as Layric giggles madly.
After a few threats and inspiring words by Semprona and Rache, the mob is temporarily placated and settles down a bit. However, the exit is still blocked by a single door whose key is held by a single nervous guard on the other side. Lengthy negotiations ensue, including threats and the murder of hostages. Eventually, our heroes agree to let the remaining guards go in return for the key. They honor their word, let the guards flee to a boat, and then open the floodgates. Prisoners pour into the island. General chaos ensues, including the settling of old prison grudges, the rape and murder of the prison workmen and the destruction of the immense storehouse and workmen's quarters, while our heroes decide to take it easy for a bit.
Layric, however, has slipped off. He takes Balthazar's key and enters Balthazar's private quarters. Here he finds a strange soulstone mechanism, a bed, some books, accounting documents, and a desk... as well as Balthazar's kid, Peter Corinthian. After a lengthy conversation where Layric pretends to be a friend, his guise eventually slips. Peter steps forward, draws a small great sword and smites the halfling, who flees. Peter rushes after him.
They barrel down that stairs right into the arms of the rest of the party. Semprona is immediately intrigued, relishing in the opportunity to turn a paladin into an anti-paladin. He shows Peter the corpse of his father, then locks Peter in his cell. "I'm your mother now" Semprona tells the pissed off kid.
As the prisoners tear apart Gallowhall, our heroes further investigate Balthazars room. It is determined that Gallowhall is heavily in debt. It is also determined that the pedestal controls the movement of Gallowhall, and that somehow the sacrifice of prisoners in the gallows helps to jump start the thing. Semprona decides that the best way to test this is to ask groups of prisoners who they don't like, then sacrifice the victims. A man named Aver suggests a few people, who are then hanged, but when Aver himself is suggested a fight breaks out. This devaluing of life only stokes the metaphorical flames.
The physical flames are burning high. When our heroes head out to the immense, several story store room, they find it completely ablaze. Jephthah strides in to look for weapons. The intense heat burns through his fire resistance and, after two stifling trips in which only a falchion is found, the warehouse falls apart. Thousands of gold, food, and supplies are lost.
By this point, our heroes realize that things have gotten out of control. Corpses are everywhere. Excluding the 4 high security prisoners and the 20 in solitary confinement, there are only about 80 prisoners of the 180 left. Rache gathers the remaining group, tells them to band together and stop the chaos, and murders anybody is dissents. With about 70 prisoners placated, our heroes go to sleep.
The next morning, our heroes decide to check out the high security prisoners.
The first is Thur'duKahn, a short, dark skinned man with glowing red tattoos across his body. He was the assistant to the High Priest of Fire in Narset. Kah'mat killed the High Priest of Fire and sent Thur'duKahn to Gallowhall when she consolidated power. When our heroes release the priest, he recognizes Jephthah as the God of fire and falls at his feel. He begs to be named High Priest of Fire, and Jephthah raises him to the title of Thur'Kahn. Jephthah then tells him his true name, Thur'aash.
The second is Zuz a Zul, a short, talkative gnome. Zuz a Zul worked for the drug dealer Gerbo in Kamai. When the Sartori gang started taking over Gerbo's operations, the drug dealer appeared to comply but sent Zuz a Zul to kill a Sartori leader. When Zuz was found, Gerbo denied any sort of responsibility and sent him to Gallowhall, secretly promising to set him free. That was 10 years ago. Zuz a Zul has now sworn vengeance on Gerbo. Zuz a Zul was also the wizard who actually captured Layric and put him in prison. Zuz says they are now both on the same team, and they uneasily shake hands.
The third is Krannick, a pale elf covered in scars. After it becomes evident that Krannick's tounge has been removed, our heroes let him out of his cell, only for the agile elf to jump over the side of the prison and escape.
The fourth is Norb. Our heroes can hear heavy breathing when they listen at the door, but cannot see anything. When they open it, a screaming Orc barbarian leaps out and attacks!
It is January 3rd, and our heroes played this session at character level 3, ascension level 1.