Tower Invasion

After escaping from the Cassalanters' mass murder/sacrifice, the party continues with their assorted quests. They revisit the magic sellers looking for items and stock up on healing potions. Finding out the the wall of force around Kolat Towers can be breached with simple spells, Valder commissions a couple of scrolls of Misty Step. They discuss other means of getting around the wall, including hiring workers to tunnel under the wall or up from the sewers. Barakiel suggests employing homeless and other street people and offering them living quarters in the former wizard's tower he purchased. Fenriz goes to the Zhentarim and is given a new mission. On of the younger sons of the wealthy halfling Snowbeatles family is missing and they are offering a 500 dragon reward. They expect a 40% kickback and suggest he investigate. Fenriz' search leads them to the Cursed Hammer bar in the South Ward. Fenriz intimidates, then bribes the barkeep into sending word to Dasher Snowbeetle, but it will be several hours.
While they wait, Valder, Harker and Tetsuo go back to the Yawning Portal to work on their mission for the Blackstaff, to investigate the health of a former member of Force Grey, Meloon Wardragon. Valder speaks to Durnan and leads off with his letter of authority from the Blackstaff to show they are on official business. Durnan confirms Meloon has not been himself and seems depressed. On their authority, he takes them to see Meloon's room and they read his diary. The handwriting in the diary changed recently, is it because of illness or injury? Meloon's writings say Azuredge spoke to him and had to be rebuked. It wants a new home, but Meloon won't give it up. Durnan says Azuredge is Meloon's enchanted battleaxe, apparently its sentient. Valder thinks it must be bored, owned by a retired adventurer. They return to the Cursed Hammer.
The party meets up again for Fenriz' meeting with the halfling, who shows up with the rest of his gang, the Shard Shunners. Dasher doesn't want to return to his family, says his gang is his new family. Fenriz offers to help him disappear for more money and they haggle down to the amount of the reward. Dasher meantions in the discussion that he and the gang are some kind of lycanthropes. When they settle on the deal, Fenriz rips a piece of cloth from Dasher's sleeve and cuts him with a dagger, wiping the blood on the cloth fragment. Fenriz returns to the Zhentarim with the bloody cloth, spinning a tale of finding Dasher's body and paying over 100 dragons. Since this is less then the expected reward, his Zhentarim contact sends him on his way without offering a new quest.
Rumors raise across town that the force wall around the famous Kolat towers has disappeared!! The party rushes to the scene and finds a crowd standing around, just outside the line where the wall was. The party walks in and heads to the only external door. Fenriz picks the lock and they enter a large store room filled with crates of provisions. The supplies are fresh, indicating someone is living here. In the next room they find three Zhentarim guards who are surprised by the party's appearance. When they ask the party who they are, Valder tries to intimidate them by saying "Force Grey" and they attack. Valder yells to take them alive, but Barakiel isn't listening and slaughters the first guard. They subdue the second and wound the leader who surrenders. While Orie and Barakiel question him, Fenriz and Harker head to the next door which opens into a kitchen with a halfling cook. But the cook is a wizard and he hits them with a Cone of Cold, seriously injuring Harker. The rest of the party comes to their aid and the halfling is also subdued. Searching the guards and cooks turn up some rings that may be magic or pass tokens to show membership. They bind and gag the prisoners and head upstairs. On the next floor, they find a half-orc reading a copy of Volo's Guide to Monsters and Fenriz tries to convince him they're expected visitors. Fenriz isn't doing well, but is able to name his two Zhentarim contacts and bluffs their way past. They go through a door and enter the tower itself. They come out onto a landing with a spiral stair going down, a balcony with two chests on the other side of the tower and a door halfway up the side of the wall. Orie casts Detect Magic, nothing in the shests, but when she sweeps it around, she finds invisible stairs going up the wall to the next floor up. Barakiel summons his wings and flies across to check the chests. His hand sticks to the first chest and it grows a tentacle, it's a mimic!!. The party shoots it from a distance while it tries to eat Barakiel and it dies. The other chest has some small precious items, mostly wands. Barakiel flies to the door and opens it, it reveals a walkway extending to the other tower.
The party peeks downstairs, its a library with two gargoyle statues. But maybe they're real gargoyles, and no magic is detected, so they decide to head upstairs instead. Coming up to the next floor, they find an old laboratory, but it's smashed and ransacked. Climbing further up, a ritual is in progress on the next level. Three grey cloaked wizards surround a binding circle holding an ape like demon. Deciding that if they complete the ceremony, they will have control of the demon, the adventurers attack. Fenriz sneaks up to one and backstabs them with a poisoned dagger, and the wizard drops dead. Barakiel tries to take one alive since he sees them wearing robes like he wore as an apprentice, but the rest of the party isn't concerned with demon summoner prisoners and shoot them down. The demon wakes up and Barakiel panics and flees the tower. Orie shoots the demon, it smashes free from the circle and everyone engages it, killing the demon before it can escape. Harker takes two tusks as trophies and they search the wizards. They recover more rings.
Meanwhile, the necromancer Edgar has been kidnapped and imprisoned in a cell downstairs. He makes a racket and the half-orc guard comes to investigate. Edgar controls him with Crown of Madness and forces the guard to free him. When the door opens, a magical glyph triggers, blinding and deafening the orc. Edgar slips out, grabs his equipment from a nearby table and tries to escape. He stumbles into some guards on the way out and flees, hurling spells as he retreats. Upstairs, the party hears the ruckus and comes to investigate. They run into the guards from behind and help Edgar defeat them. Reunited, the party heads back up the tower, passing the demon summoning floor.
The next level of the tower is a large room with the floor covered in junk and debris. The floor creaks and seems to be held in place by large metal clamps with levers mounted on the walls. A ramshackle staircase heads up. Fenriz examins the clamps to see if they're designed to drop the floor. When the party enters, bits of garbage fly together and assemble into an animated suit of armor that attacks them. The party reduces it to junk and the pieces fall back on the floor. Fenriz climbs the stairs and passes down a rope to help everyone else climb. At the top is a circular hallway, halfway around the tower is a door guarded by a humanoid creature that looks like it was sewn together from body parts. It moves forward to attack Fenriz and releases a pressure plate that causes green poison gas to spray into the room. Fenriz hits it with Witch Bolt that does nothing and Harker's arrows sink in without affect. Tetsuo chops it with his great sword and Edgar and Valder throw spells and drop it. Harker, Tetsuo and Valder are poisoned and fall back down the creaky stairs. Fenriz tries to shut off the gas but can't and moves through the door into the next section of hallway with Orie and Edgar. Once the gas clears, the rest move up and join them. In the next section of circular hallway is a burned out rune, it may have maintained the force wall around the towers. Fenriz finds a secret door going into a secret room at the center of the tower. The room is dusty and contains an old bed and bookcase. A Flameskull rises from the bed and tells the adventurers to leave and starts shooting fire rays from its eye sockets. They crush it, but Harker knows they can regenerate and destroys the remains with holy water. The bookshelf has been ransacked, nothing important is left, but one of the books is fake and pulling on it opens a secret compartment and Edgar finds a Wand of Binding. The party decides to take a rest before moving on.
The party goes back downstairs and needs to jump across the gap to the open door. Fenriz gracefully jumps across and they rig ropes to help the rest of the party. The catwalk leads across to a door on the other tower and they enter the new tower. A landing gives them access to stairs up and down. A stone statue is on a balcony across from the landing. When they enter it levitates and threatens them, claiming to be Duhlark Kolat. But nothing happens, so they ignore it and go upstairs. The next floor is split in half, the first half is a ransacked library with a beautiful sign saying "Alcidor" over the shelves. Harker uses Detect Magic and finds nothing. They go through a door into the other half, its another library with a sign that says "Duhlark". Harker detects that all of the books are magic, they decide not to mess with them for now. Stairs lead up to the top floor of the second tower.
The top floor is one room, there are five chests around the walls and a circle of magic runes on the floor. In the center of the runes is a beholder like creature with only four eye stalks, a spectator, and four flying snakes hover in the room. The creature communicates with them telepathically, telling them to leave by orders of its master. Fenriz tries to convince it he is a descendant of one of the Kolat brothers and the creature's rightful master. The monster replies the Kolat wasn't its master and it attacks with eyebeams and the flying snakes attack as well. Harker is struck by an eye beam and seems confused and actually attacks the spectator randomly. Orie leads the salvo of missiles and spells on the spectator while Fenriz and others kill snakes. The spectator hits several people with eye beams, but most are able to resist its magic. The flying snakes are weak and easily slain and the party gangs up on the spectator and slays it. Harker checks the chests with Detect Magic, one has several magic items in it and all the locks are magical. Examining the runes, it appears to be a teleportation circle, but nothing happens when Fenriz crosses it. When Valder gets near, the rings he has taken from the tower's defenders vibrate. Pulling one out, it has a glowing "M" on it.

Silly Quotes and Smart Remarks
Discussing the Cassalanters' surviving children
Jim "They were put in the divine witness protection program"

Orie is a half-drow, so there was some curiosity about her appearance
Michael "How dark are you?"
MC "Are you talking about my complexion or my alignment?"
Lee "She looks Scottish"

Killing time at the dive bar
Lee "Do you want to get some lunch?"
Mike "No thanks, I don't want to get hepatitis"
Lee "You could get some liquor, unless its Dominican Republic liquor"

The halfling gang walks in to the bar
Mike "It's like the Lollipop Guild"

Lee is looking at an NPC's list of spells
Lee "Holy fuck; I'm casting that!"

Harker fails his saving throw versus Cone of Cold
Mike "Get this man a blanket"
Jim "And a hot toddy"
Mike "I put a pot of tea on the stove"

Jim comes back in from the other room and missed a Bang Bus comment, Bang Bus 32: That's Above My Pay Grade"
Jim "How did it come up?" wanting to document the origin of the quote
MC "It just kept coming up"
Lee "Bang Bus 33: It Just Kept Coming Up"

Barakiel finds some finely crafted and bejeweled wooden wands or batons
Michael "Maybe we can get them enchanted into something"
MC "A buttplug"

Chmiel and Michael missed part two
Lee "Hey, we've only got one Mike, that's going to streamline things. We'll be 5% more efficient"

MC rolls very low damage against the monkey demon
Mike "Tis but a flesh wound. This game is kill the monkey, not spank the monkey"
Jim "Bang Bus 34: Spank the Monkey"

The prison guard tells Edgar to shut up
Callum "Make me"
Jim "Is this your first time in a prison scene?"
Mike "Have you seen Pulp Fiction? That's what's going to happen to you"
Jim "Does 'Turkish prison' mean anything to you?"

Edgar casts Color Spray
Mike "A necromancer after my own heart"
Jim "It's all shades of black and grey"
Callum "Goth Color Spray"
Mike "You cast it by blowing the smoke from your clove cigarette"

'Get on your knees boy' was a repeated phrase
MC "Is there a Bang Bus for get on your knees boy? Bang Bus 35: Get on Your Knees Boy"

Discussing a possible trap
Lee "If the clamps released, the floor would no longer communicate with the wall"

The party finds a Wand of Binding
Callum "Kinky"
MC "It just makes you constipated"

Discussing Edgar's personal washing habits
Mike "You use Dove body wash, but its just dead doves"

The bridge and catwalk have no railings
Jim "Oh, its Imperial construction"

Going through the book shelves
Lee "Bang Bus 1: Hot Elves. Bang Bus 2: Hot Elves, signed edition. Bang Bus 3: Hot Elves, My Ears Aren't The Only Thing That's Pointed. Bang Bus 4: Hot Elf on Dwarf Action"
Mike threw out a couple about halflings and hairy feet, but I missed them
Callum "Necromancer 1: The Dead Aren't The Only Things Rising"
Mike "Spectator 1: I Like To Watch. Spectator 2: Will You Do My Wife?"