[Gardmore Abbey] Advice on Defending the Watchtower

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My group's about to confront the beholder in the far realmed up watchtower and assuming they win, the watchtower reverts to normal and the adventure presents a skill challenge/combat encounter in which the PCs join mercenaries to defend it from the orc forces.  Which is all well and good and a good time will be had by all, except how in the blue hell do mercenaries get to the tower in the first place? That and the original design for said tower is presumably to defend against threats that are outside the walls and the orcs are in the village within.  I don't need anything too detailed, just something that passes the refrigerator test.

TIA 
Careful, spoilers ahead.

The whole thing is from Lord Padraig's quests in Book 2 on page 9 & 10. "Claim the Watchtower" and "Defend the Watchtower"
It's all about Lord Padraig wanting to hold on to the watchtower to secure the surrounding area. When the watchtower comes under attack, the group can help him hold it against the orcs and friends. So to me it's not about defeating the beholder and suddenly this fight pops up, but it takes some (game) time to establish.
If Lord Padraig is too far away, you might also want to consider having Berrian and his Fey collegues defending the tower. Perhaps their camp came under attack from the orcs and they retreated to the tower to defend themselves?

The tower is most likely more defendable towards the outside wall, but that is why the attacking force can "so easily" enter the ground floor and go up a floor on every failure the group accrues. Ending, of course, in a final showdown on the top level of the tower (this is my interpretation). How poetic...
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