(In their defense, the attackers did carry a medium sized Blue Dragon with them...).
Judging by the corpses scattered around the pillars entrance, the fight happened no longer
than a few hours ago. Fortunately this imposed no further problems for our heroes,
as they were heartily welcomed by the Assault Teams commander, a Tiefling named Hugo.
After they assured him that they had no quarrel with the Blue and were rather unwilling to
die for the archmage (an icon none of them was too interested in), Hugo invited them into the tower. He also guided Craven to the Shadowprince Agent, who had survived the battle unharmed by going full swiss and staying neutral until the end of the battle.
The agent turned out to be a female Gnome by the Name of Gisela (Yes, one of the PCs).
Hugo then took the chance of having all
adventurers to task them with checking the shrubbery.
The shrubbery is an Outpost just west of the pillars that is used as some kind of emergency magic energy generator to fuel the pillar if something goes wrong. However, it seems to have stopped functioning, as it was supposed to shield the pillar from attackers and, as Hugo and his men quite thoroughly tested, failed to do so. Hugo promised an monetary award to the players as well as his gratitude and send his Smith Xrael (Yes, another PC) along with them in case shrubberys generator had somehow been damaged.
After leaving the tower Craven and Gisela did their Shadowprince business: In exchange for the mysterious bag, Craven got the magic sword Schmetterling, which the Shadowprince seemingly wanted him to have (This couldn´t be a bad thing, could it? I definately wasn´t part of the original Deal...). At this point Gisela found a note in her pocket urging her not to open the mysterious bag under any circumstances (The players of Xrael and Gisela were late to the table and I had added the note to her charactersheet while she wasn´t there).
Of course Gisela did the only reasonable thing...and opened the bag, releasing a gelatinous cube on the unsuspecting adventurers. After defeating the pudding (with some help from Hugo and his troops, who were not happy about the adventurers adding problems instead of solving them), the bag also produced an imp, covered in ooze and more than thankful to the person who rid him of his cubeshaped travelling companion and got him out of the sack.
The more you know (about the Dragon empire): Halfling Boxers are regularly excluded from Contests because they are physically struggling to not hit below the waist.