Storm the Castle

(Names and places stolen from Lois Mcmaster Bujold's excellent Curse of Chalion novel, which is the inspiration for the culture of the Marches.)

Provided with travel passes, the adventurers cross into the Marches. They head for the town of Valenda, where the Free Marches Army is currently headquartered. They pick up new details about the war. The royal family was assassinated right after the war began which led to some difficulties as various nobles and government officials competed for supreme command. Army marshall dy Gurron came out of retirement and hammered the survivors into a unified force. The party arrives in town, find an inn and spread out to see what they can learn (ie, go to bars, temples, etc and ask the locals). They are summoned to meet marshall dy Gurron who enlists their assistance.
The nearby fortress of Gotorget is a major block in their campaign to free the Marches. It is currently the base for the wizard who is summoning unearthly creatures to attack them. The party is tasked with attacking the keep and slaying the wizard so the army can storm the castle. The party heads off to the attack. Along the way they fight a group of four-legged demonic flightless birds which puff clouds of poison smoke like an octopus sprays ink. They find a secure overlook and watch the castle. They notice there are no guards on top of the tallest tower and that the wall sentries avoid the wall underneath the tower. That must be the evil wizard's area.
(DM's hand wave, Niels moved in mid adventure, so we wrote out Lord Flop, Konrad's brother Chad joined the game with ranger Silvaris. I hate doing stuff like that, we decided the thief had sneaked away in the night, but the ranger had been sent along as a guide).
The party decides to ambush one of the patrols, take their clothes and horses and use that as leverage to get in the front gate. They find a good spot and wait. A seven man cavalry patrol comes into their trap, but spots them and tries to run. They are cut down in seconds. Antonio uses his Cutlass of Disguise to look like their leader, Silvaris dons the clothes of one of the soldiers, Cyrus does the same, then uses Metamorphosis to change his features. They ride up to the gates on the captured horses and spin a tale about being attacked. When the gate guards come close, the infiltrators cut them down. Silvaris uses his Horn of Fog and creates a fog cloud to provide cover. Jozan casts True Seeing and leads Kiriana and Fenric on captured horses through the fog cloud into the castle. Silvarus, Antonio and Cyrus hold the gate, dealing with the first wave of attackers. Fenric Fireballs a group of troops. the party moves to the castle doors, taking arrow fire and returning in kind. The doors are heavy and barred, Cyrus goes through in Ectoplasmic Form and investigates. He uses Psionic Blast on the guards behind the gate, then heaves the bar off the door. The party charges in, finishes the guards, then moves into the next chamber and deals with more guards there. They emerge into the central courtyard and are attacked by a group of crossbowman with magic fiery bolts from the balcony. Fenric Fireballs again, Jozan uses Seeking Sword and Silvaris snipes back. Antonio, Kiriana and Cyrus go across the courtyard and begin looking for a way upstairs. Two of the enemy on the balcony are Liartians, they hit Jozan and Fenric with Reaving Blades spells. Silvaris uses the Arrow of Stone power of his bow and turns a Liartian to stone, the rest of them are finished off with Magic Missile and Seeking Sword. Before they can regroup and heal, three barbed devils Teleport around them and begin ripping into them. Jozan drops a Holy Smite at his feet and Antonio and Cyrus rush back to help finish off the devils. Kirianna finds stairs leading up into the castle.
The party heads up the stairs and finds a kitchen full of terrified servants, then a group of troops hiding in their barracks. They head higher into the castle and encounter Liartian officers, one has a magic lion shield whose roar stuns them and pushes Antonio off the balcony, he falls and breaks his leg in the courtyard. Another is Polymorphed into a dragon-man and breathes fire on Jozan. After the fight, Jozan retrieves Antonio and sets him in the kitchen to rest, his Armor of Regeneration will heal him and mend his leg.
The summoner in the castle sends flying apes at the party, they swoop down on them on the balcony and rip at the adventurers with claws. Fenric casts Monster Summoning and gets a pair of land urchins. The urchins do surprisingly well, releasing volleys of poisoned spines that paralyze some of the apes causing them to crash to the ground. Undaunted, the heroes press on they feel the enemy is close and running out of forces. They find the entrance to the main tower, but it is cloaked in magical darkness. When they approach, shadows attack them. Fenric Dispels the darkness and they move into the tower itself. Out side they can hear the Free Marches army attacking the defenders left on the wall when the party punched their way inside. From upstairs comes a flickering firelight. Climbing the stairs, they enter the wizard's summoning chamber, he is across the room, behind a column of fire. He greets the party and begins to taunt them, but Jozan simple charges through the fire, trusting his Pyrewalker's Cloak to protect him. Unfortunately, the column is a fire elemental and Jozan is badly wounded despite the cloak. The wizard casts a spell and releases a fist size globe of fire that hovers in the air. The party attacks him and the elemental, he begins casting a Teleport spell. Cyrus uses Invincible Foes to plant a suggestion in the wizard's mind that the next blow that strikes him will kill him. Fenric summons giant spiders, the spiders and Kiriana attack the wizard and batter at his Armor spelll trying to get him before he can get away, finally a blow goes home and he collapses. Kiriana finishes him as Jozan, Antonio, Fenric and Silvaris finish the elemental. They begin searching the room while Fenric studies the glowing globe. Unfortunately it explodes as a Delayed Blast Fireball. The party is severely injured, Cyrus and Jozan are nearly killed. Jozan is almost out of strength. He casts a few last healing prayers, then sinks down to sleep, the party barricades themselves in while the army clears the lower levels of the castle.

Quotes and smart remarks
Niels "Men of my rank and character cannot become alcoholics, just eccentric."
Jim "Do zombies consider blondes to be empty calories?"
Kevin "Wizards always use the carpool lane, you can always summon something for the second seat."
Matt "The fortress is French, they'll never let us pass."
Chad "By the Mighty Phalus of Tyr!" picking on Konrad's cleric.
Mike "It's so nice to attack regular humans again." (They were mowing their way through a group of 1st level soldiers)
Kevin "They're much squishier."
JoAnne "What did you say? Cyrus the Inept?"
Konrad "I just don't want people interrupting us while we're trying to kill them."