Extinguishing the fire sadly does not turn off the flame barrier in the hallway. So the group decide to deal with the drow witch first who has encourage the matron into taking over these cellars.
The witch declares her plans for the surface world. She has happened on the prison of the Bringer of Famine and plans to unleash him on the unsuspecting surface dwellers. She conjures up a flame wall which holds back the attackers and motions her two tiefling skeletons to attack.
Meanwhile a tiefling cleric in the background conducts a nefarious ritual over a portal which is filled by flames. Something seems to moving in the infernal fires…
Also she casts a hex on Nimue which will damage her everytime someone hurts one of her allies. Which is very painful since the adventurers don't really show any signs of holding back either.
The skeletons use cursed blades which wrest part of their victims' life force away to empower the tiefling cleric and the drow mage.
After her skeletons are overwhelmed, the witch moves the wall of fire backwards to protect her cleric's ritual. Kerrick's shots through the flames hit their mark however and hurt her badly. Nimue teleports through the flames after using them to damage herself.
The mage breaks her staff and tosses it through the wall which results in a major explosion which the group mostly survives intact. Without her staff the mage soon dies and the cleric follows her in death soon after.
Nimue holds the unholy rod into the flames in the portal and the magical energies lessen being drawn into the rod which forms a burning scepter which can be used as a sorcerer's implement.
The ritual scrolls detail the progress in unsealing Balam: apparently four of the five seals holding him have been broken. The cult seems to have had connections to the faith of Chauntea as well though it doesn't reveal much.
The drow seem to be all about restoring a position of power after getting kicked out of their city due to their Lolth worship when the city switched allegiance to the Raven Queen. Apparently Mort Morden has his hands in this as well as he has provided the Matron with a magical dagger and a black book which might help her control a freed Balam. Suddenly, a piece a metal detaches from one of the alcoves and flies towards the statuette the group found before: it is a sickle which somehow magically welds to the one of its hands!
The adventurers extinguish the magical fire behind the portal and prepare to visit the matron's chambers.