Into the black ziggurat!
The doorway was weird: just a flat black void. Loodra went to push it open and ended up going on through. Eventually, everyone followed her.
They moved through odd spaces, not real, more like a dream. First there was pain. Loodra agreed to give up some of her life in order to help the others survive.
Then they met two beings.
First, an odd robed figure sitting on a pile of skulls, holding a skull wand. It said only the dead could pass. Some heroes convinced it they were dead, and vanished. Some failed, and had their names written into a book.
Second, a vision of Orcus himself. He demanded things of the players. Some were defiant, some begged for mercy, and some agreed to help Orcus and slay Zirithrian, which seemed odd, since Zirithrian seemed to be serving Orcus.
Finally, they arrived in the throneroom of the Midnight Ziggurat, and fighting broke out at once.
As usual, Loodra charged into the thick of it, and promptly got smacked down, unconscious. And to add insult to injury, the dragon statue in the middle of the room had some kind of evil enchantment on it that caused her make a death saving through immediately upon falling unconscious. She failed. But, fortunately(?) for her, Danna commanded her to get up and fight. This happened 3 times in 3 rounds, and by the 3rd time, Danna sounded a bit angry.
There were plenty of nasties in this room: Boneclaw Impalers, Abyssal Ghouls, an Immolith, Lord Dust the Lich, and Zirithrian himself, wielding a large sword. There were also a bunch of Vampire spawn, which kept getting in the way, and distracting the defender from doing his job (although, he did manage to tie up 2 of the ghouls as well).
It was a brutal fight, but eventually the heroes got the upper hand, killing everything but Lord Dust, who turned out to be a very mean person. Among his many powers, the Choking Shadow (which prevented characters from being healed) was one of the nastier. He also managed to blind Loodra, help Zirithrian knock out Wynne, and release an Orb of Wraiths which bloodied Alissa, and knocked Maarth and Squib to the ground, dying (but Nef managed to bleed on both of them and get them back up).
But, finally, it was over. All that was left to do was stick the talking sword into Orcus’s eye, and figure out what to do next.