It turned out that getting into the keep wasn't that hard. The ogres had already done the hard work of tearing the gate off the hinges when they'd invaded a few weeks ago, so it only took Elsie two rounds to rip the badly-repaired gate back off its hinges so they could go inside.
The ogres had an ambush set up just inside, where the entry hall hit a T-intersection, with burning braziers set up to narrow the passage enough that only one person could fight them at a time, unless they wanted to stand in the fire. The party all had a Communal Resist Fire spell going though, so... yeah. It didn't go so hot for the ogres.
At least two different people asked if we could just burn the fort down, but no -- it was made of stone. Sorry. Tipping over the braziers would not instantly consume the entire keep in a massive blaze.
One of the ogres turned tail and ran, and half the party followed them. The others went the other way because... reasons. 'There's no room for everyone to fight at once in these hallways' might have been the main reason, I guess.
While Kaito, Ash, and... Kale? faced down the fleeing ogre in the infirmary (where he had a friend), the stragglers from that side and the folks who'd gone the other way managed to find a barracks full of sleeping ogres, and proceeded to silently assassinate them. Mostly silently. Elsie gave a shout as she punched one and woke the last ogre up, but being awake didn't help him.
Ash kept encouraging June to fireball various formations of ogres, but he was reluctant after his last attempt had nearly killed him and stuck to single-target spells. Eventually, she got fed up and fireballed the infirmary on her own... engulfing everyone nearby in the backlash. Her fireballs weren't insanely overpowered, though, and the Resist Fire managed to keep everyone safe.
Once the immediate defenders were down, and the rest of the ground level given a cursory search for hiding ogres (it's not like ogres are good at hiding), the party had decided to head down to the basement next. There, they found the cult leader from the casino boat, who tried to talk the party into switching sides, because she didn't want to fight.
Phoof and Ash indulged her for a bit -- Phoof honestly, because she didn't realize at first that it was the cult leader, Ash more ironically ("She does realize I'm wearing her sister's mask right now, right?"). There was no real hope of a peaceful resolution, though, so Kaito snuck around and got into position to try to bull-rush her away from the door she'd been conspicuously standing right in front of.
He failed. He also failed to trip her when she turned and ran, and she was able to open the door and run into a hallway full of prison cells. June finally decided to toss a fireball, at the end of the long hallway... the flames washed over the entire prison area, burning through the cult leader's defensive spells and incidentally murdering all her minions who'd been hiding in the cells.
"Just so you know, the next one won't be fire," he warned the rest of the party.
This kept most of them from charging in, although Elsie used spring attack to get a single punch in. Unfortunately, June didn't get the chance to cast another fireball as the lady started casting quickened spells out of her boobs (or, well, out of tattoos on her breasts) and paralyzed him. With all her minions down, however, there was no real path to victory for her, so after spending a second round harassing the party with mind-affecting spells, she teleported away.
"Dimension Door," June said, identifying the specific spell used. She was still somewhere in the keep.
There was a secret door in the basement that led to some twisty natural caverns, but after spotting a lightning lizard they figured it was the secret tunnel the rangers had warned them about earlier, and decided to close the door back up so that it would remain undiscovered by the ogres. Noggin was still in the passage when it was closed, but it wasn't like he was any help in a fight. He managed to float his way outside and return to his valet.
Back on the ground level, the part of the party that hadn't been able to fit down the stairs in the previous fight reported that there were noises coming from upstairs -- the ogres were obviously setting a trap! Kaito, Ash, June, and Altei snuck upstairs to look for a back door into the top level of the keep. Kaito found some windows to a deserted tower that were small enough that only foxes could sneak through, but they decided to use the open door with a dead ogre standing near it that June found instead.
So they snuck in through the hallway... or, well, Elsie, Kaito, and Altei snuck in, while June and Ash thumped their way down the hallway semi-stealthfully. The plan was that the rest of the party would rush upstairs once they heard fighting, and catch the ogres in a pincer maneuver.
It sort of worked? The ogres weren't really guarding the hallway, and they were able to sneak all the way to the top of the stairwell before the people in back alerted the ogres, who rushed out into the hallway to fight them, and ended up between the stealth characters on one side and Ash and June on the other. Elsie and Altei stabbed the boss-looking ogre to death from behind, while June barbequed the others with a burning hands spell.
Unfortunately, there were still some ogres left -- a lightning bolt flew out of one of the doors, catching the stealth half of the party all lined up in the hall. Altei rushed in to stab the offending wizard, only to spot *two* wizards, both with Mirror Image spells running. One was the wizard from the basement, so he went to go stab her, only to be mind controlled.
The other wizard advanced out into the hallway to see how the fight was going -- not well! So she cast a confusion spell, catching Elsie, Kale, and Kaito, the two (not-already-hypnotized) melee fighters in the party and the remaining melee ranger, all of whom were standing right next to each other. Unfortunately for her, they managed to hurt themselves and stand around babbling instead of fighting each other. More unfortunately for her, June, Ash, and the two archer-rangers were unaffected, and did horrible things to her until she died.
Ash *didn't* immediately turn on Altei after he reappeared and stabbed her, thanks to the suggestion being badly worded and wearing off after a single attack.
Which left the party mostly intact (for now) but with three people still confused (and Kaito and Elsie both confused and standing right next to each other, which could turn *really bad* in a hurry since they were both heavily offense-tilted melee combatants), and facing the lady from the basement as well as -- according to Kaito's sense of smell -- the ogre necromancer from the cabin hiding somewhere nearby as well...
We stopped there since a couple people had to leave early, and the fight was obviously not going to end soon.
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