Kerrick is still pondering how to substitute some poor victim for Sashesh in the upcoming execution. So he turns to Pazuzu for aid. A little gift of his blood has to suffice as an offering. Pazuzu is out for blood apparently, as he suggests replacing the witch with a demon and burning down the inquisition members once and for all.
All Kerrick has to do is bring the cleric to the summoning circle in the cellar. Thana meanwhile inhales some holy incense smoke to get in touch with her goddess. Thana complains about the unfairness of the trial to Chauntea. Suddenly a figure clothed in white appears and introduces himself as Helm, the all-seeing god of justice. Even though Helm the god is dead, he seems to be working on reclaiming his godhood. At the moment he is the most elated paladin of the Order of the Sword. He seems very interested in Thana having such an intimate relationship with her goddess.
Helm also warns that evil forces are on the verge of freeing the dark cleric. He also advises Thana that there's always a third way in regards to a fair judgment. She is provided the use of old scriptures of law to find a solution for her dilemma. She also reads that hardliner parts of the inquisition even keep watch on Chauntea as one of the questionable faiths since it's pretty current.
Meanwhile Jhaele warns Shiel that her supporters have found a dead guardsman and that someone is trying to free Sashesh. Shiel intends to speak to Scott Harikon and ask for more guardsman, he also asks Jhaele to provide more of her men for the job.
Thana contacts Sashesh from her dream to offer her her life in exchange for abdicating her dark faith and switching to the worship of Helm which would deprive her of most of her power but at least alive. Sashesh's other option is being burned at the stake at the moment, so she is about to agree…
…just when Mort Morden and Kerrick intrude to free her. Mort has killed a guardsman and is trying to cause confusion by summoning another blood well which he describes as a portal to the realm of Bhaal.
Thana notices Sashesh fading from her dream and notified Shiel who runs over to the prison with Scott Harikon and his men. He also takes Nimue along. Thana's attempt to contact [[:kerric
Kerrick poses as Munroe but is recognized by Nimue who tells some of the guardsmen to help her deal with the blood well. Shiel has an inspiration and decides to check out the old brothel, Sister Tara's old hideout. His sword seems to point him this way.
Kerrick offers his second favor which he can get from Pazuzu to create a doppleganger demon looking like Sashesh in the circle while he and Mort flee through a secret door with the unconscious Sashesh slung over Mort's shoulder. Unluckily the secret door does not close completely so some of the soldiers are still hot in pursuit.
Nimue's research of the magical circle doesn't yield much information, she thinks someone may have intended to sacrifice Sashesh in exchange for dark powers.
On the next day, the inquisition has started the trial. Alosios is frothing at the mouth as he recounts Sashesh many misdeeds, most of them true. When he sentences her to die by fire, Shiel asks her if she doesn't want to say anything for herself. Sashesh spits in front of his feet.
So the burning commences. Suddenly a booming laughing voice declares the inquisitors to be fools and that Shadowdale will burn! Sashesh is consumed by the flames and turns into a giant burning demonic figure!
She roasts the head inqusitor with a beam of fire! Thana takes a swig of her potion of divinity even though people have warned her that she may be drawing power from Chauntea forcefully.
The people run away screaming as it begins incinerating the immediate area. Kerrick tries to assassinate Haresk Mallorn in the confusion but the panicking people disrupt his crossbow shots.
Thana sees through the creature that it is basically just feeding on Sashesh while it burns and will run wild until Sashesh's life has burned away to nothingness. Most of the villagers have fled. The giant monstrosity seems to be mostly impervious to damage.
Nimue tries to reach the ritual circle to find a way to suppress the demon while Shiel tries to contain the damage by keeping it in the middle of the village.
The ritual disruption seems to be a success and the holy powers of the paladins' weapons seem to affect the fire elemental. Thana's repeated dips into Chauntea's power finally give her enough divine force to melt down the remains of the fire elemental. Sashesh, not surprisingly, has burnt to a crisp meanwhile.
The remaining members of the Order's inquisition invite Thana to accompany them to their headquarters since they're awed by her display of divine power.