Inside Adrik’s folly, Kara, the thief, found an underground passage with a hallway that emptied into the workrooms. The party opened multiple doors as they continued to search, and by luck and happenstance, they found the kitchens. After fruitlessly searching the kitchens, the party stumbled into a servants’ hallway leading to the Grand Ballroom, where they saw nearly one hundred prisoners chained to pillars – readied for sacrifice.
The abrupt entrance by the disguised party distressed the prisoners until they realized they were being rescued. Among the prisoners was Kivan, Alexandra’s husband, and the party reassured him that his wife was fine and waiting for him. Also among the prisoners was the cleric’s human family, and their relief vindicated the half-Drow cleric.
Once freed, Miah of Embla praised the party, calling them heroes as he said the Drow were much worse underground. Hearing the cries of joy, the Vikmordere mercenaries stormed into the ballroom and were greeted by a fast and furious arrow storm by Ronin. The party guided the prisoners back through kitchens, workrooms, and the secret entrance towards the woods.
The Drow used magic, and Vikmordere mercenaries employed their tracking skills to pick up the trail in pursuit. Unknown to the party, the spirit of Adrik assisted in their escape. Adrik, who had a blood feud with the Vikmordere mercenaries, cast age spells and ghostly spite, aging some of the mercenaries 40 years as he tried to steal their souls.
Once the party and the now-freed prisoners emerged from the woods, they discovered a river and started scouting for a ford across. Many prisoners were weak, and a safe crossing was needed. The cleric healed the dwarven warrior, who was injured in the battle in the ballroom.
Behind them, the Drow pursuers, mounted on wolf spiders, were quickly coming through the woods. Vikmordere mercenaries, who were not aged and still had their souls, raged behind the spiders.
As a passable ford was revealed, the party could see their final destination to the north -- the Galekin Estate beyond the far river bank.