Recap from 2/2/08
The group started off where we left it the session before – exploring the upper level of the sinister and gothic looking Temple of Elemental Evil! We had partially explored the upper floor of the temple proper last session and so picked up where we had left off…
Remnants of the previous battle lay scattered about – glass jars, bone pottery fragments, burned robes. There were even signs of the attackers attempting to destroy certain alters which had received strong blows and still bore the marks of them. A huge bronze vessel 8’ in diameter was in the center of the building in front of the main alter and appeared to contain blackened lumps and bones. A pit in front of the altar revealed a 12” wide ledge beginning 15’ down leading to winding steps leading down into darkness. Another central stairway led down to a padlocked and apparently warded entry door which had been sealed off some time ago by the invaders.
Within one of the ruined side temples we saw bones and torn brown robes littered on the floor with burned out candle stubs and evidence of the past carnage. After exploring the upper floor of the original Temple we decided to explore a side staircase near one or the ruined temples in the right hand wing of the building. As we entered the tunnel complex below with the aid of torch light there was an eerie silence. We made a few turns and ended up passing a gilded set of double doors that appeared to be bolted from the other side. After Iggy and Golgoroth examined it and determined this we kept on going.
At this point Golgoroth noticed that the tunnel was slowly sloping downwards. It got to a point were there was a branch to the left down a wider tunnel and straight ahead the elevation started going back up again. At this point we turned left down the tunnel apparently deeper into the earth. We eventually ended up another level down on the second level and turned left. In the hallway past that point we encountered an Owl Bear that had apparently been chained up in the hallway as a guard. The group killed the creature in a fierce battle having the advantage of being able to attack it with bows as well as melee weapons. We searched the area and found some loose coinage stashed inside some trash in the area.
We went into an irregularly shaped room and were attacked by a solitary troll who was hiding amongst the rubbish. The group quickly dispatched the troll and searched the room finding a barrel of wine and a leather sack containing more loose coinage including a hefty quantity of platinum pieces. The group checked the next door in this room and eventually opened it up to be confronted by a huge troll which was practically as tall as the ceiling. The troll said in a guttural voice “Go away and great ugly Troll Chief not eat you”. The group continued to menace the beast and he said “Go away and I give you this ruby necklace” and he threw a ruby necklace in the direction of the group which Iggy quickly snatched up. At this point Iggy cast an illusion of another troll using silent image and the great chief began to have a conversation in Trollish with the illusory beast. He was a bit mystified as to why it wouldn’t do what it was told.
At this point Ryn decided to try to web the great beast. He succeeded in immobilizing the creature and one of the group quickly threw a torch onto the webs. The troll shrugged off the fire and the great ugly troll chief just laughed at the group and appeared to be completely unharmed. Apparently, this troll had some kind of protection from fire or something. The Knight engaged the troll in hand to hand with his sword and missed. The next round the troll hit back and scored a crit with one of his three attacks and threw the knight back into Ashe knocking them both on the floor of the room. Sir Darion was hit so hard that a hole was torn in his magical plate armor.
The Knight slowly got up and tried to resume the parley with the beast. It noticed Iggy at that point and said something about not being hungry now and for the “sweet meats” (the Gnome Iggy) to come back later. It went on to say “I help you destroy one of the temples for one fourth of the loot”. Sir Darion replied “I would guess you would prefer to destroy the fire temple right”? It said, “It doesn’t matter we just pick one. I not hungry now so will help you.” At this point the knight said “We will consider your offer and come back later”. It replied “I might be hungry later but I have owl bear to eat now” since we had told him that we killed his pet out in the hallway. At this point the group returned back up into the previous hallway and back to the first level. Sir Darion realized that we were very deep in the complex and near some of the very temples where active worshippers were doubtless lurking about waiting to ambush intruders.
After returning to explore one of the passageways near the staircase where we had descended earlier we came into a hallway with a padlocked door on the left and another door straight ahead. Golgoroth tried to pick the lock with no luck so the knight pulled out his mace and started pounding on the lock. He hit it four times and then all hell broke loose – the door straight ahead opened up and the group was confronted by a group of ghouls! Sir Darion backhanded one with his mace and Ashe joined into the fray. We killed a couple and then one of the clerics managed to turn the remaining ones. After the last of that group fled, anther larger group came in the door. We fought them for a round or so and then one of the clerics managed to turn the larger group too. We followed the retreating monsters in pursuit through several rooms that led to other rooms all with doors.
After about the third room we caught up with them. There were also a couple of different looking ghouls in there as well. Immediately, the group members up front had to save to resist the foul stench permeating from the newest group of creatures. We didn’t know it at the time, but these weren’t ordinary ghouls – they were ghasts! The clerics tried and failed to turn this group of creatures. The knight managed to kill one of them but it turned out to be one of the last ordinary ghouls in the pack. The remaining ghasts pounced on the knight and Ashe who bore the brunt of the attack. They managed to hold off the creatures for a round or so and then three of them turned on Ashe and they managed to paralyze him with their claws. He was further out in the room than the knight and was surrounded on three sides. The knight and squire behind them tried in vain to hack at the remaining ghasts to no avail – they tore the helpless Ashe to shreds and started feasting on his extremities.
At this point, the knight didn’t want to retreat and lose all hope of recovering Ashe’s body so he stood his ground and tried to fend off the creatures. By this time the group had turned its attention to the knight and managed to paralyze him too. Viggo, the knight’s squire, pulled the unmoving knight from the front line and out of further danger. At this point there were two ghasts left in the room while the other two had departed to try to outflank us in the hallway. Seeing the desperation of the situation, the group fell back to the doorway and contemplated what to do. Both fighters were out of action and Ashe’s body was being torn to shreds by the creatures – but it looked like they were protecting and nurturing the body two. That’s when the true horror of the situation dawned on Aeth El Bar – he said “they intend to make him on of their number”.
As the remaining group fought off the last two ghasts and contemplated closing the door to retreat, Aeth El Bar began casting a spell. He cast Sanctuary and walked into the room in the midst of the ghasts and pulled the mauled corpse of Ashe out of the room. At this point, the group fought off the ghouls with Geth Rel Dane’s war dogs and managed to close the door and beat a hasty retreat. As they hastened down the hallway, they saw the other two ghasts that had departed earlier. The group had only narrowly managed to escape without being trapped between the two groups of creatures.
The group retreated to Nulb and immediately went to go see Mother Scring the town’s healer. They explained that Ashe had been killed by ghouls and we needed her help. She asked where this happened and the Knight said “in yon evil temple”. We offered to pay her to help us keep Ashe from being transformed into one of the undead. We paid her 300 g.p. for the spell and then returned to Verbobonc post haste. We went to see the Druid by the river in the city and he cast reincarnation for the second time on Ashe’s ruined body. This time, the new body that Obad Hai offered up was not humanoid but was in fact a wild boar! The Battling Boar of Bissel!
TO BE CONTINUED…