5/6/11: The heroes got to do a lot of exploring and pretty much covered half of the first level of the dungeon!
Carric Cendoria - Elf Seeker
Fayte Bonesunder - Human Paladin
Heron - Half-elf Fighter
Jurod/Jolene - Changeling Mage
* NPC Hirelings: Mardix the man-at-arms, Vellic the druid, Harmony Helltiger the rogue and Rania the thief.
The heroes had just had a big dinner with members of the earth temple. The Supreme Commander himself, Hedrack, showed up after the ogre Garweez uttered his name. Hedrack tried to read each of the heroes' minds, and he found Vellic to be the weakest. He dominated the young druid and forced him to cut off his own thumbs.
Garweez had gone through the same thing. Once Hedrack left, Garweez bandaged the wounds and tried to comfort Vellic. Hartsch, Romag's right hand man and a voidsoul genasi, walked over to Jolene. He put a hand on her shoulder and said, "The Supreme Commander seemed very impressed with you. You should feel honored. You could be a future priest yourself. Perhaps when I'm promoted to leader of the earth temple, you can be my subordinate."
Jolene mumbled, "Here's hoping".
The ogre chief Karmundree was still suspicious of the heroes. He asked Carric what his mark meant. Carri explained he was cursed by Galasis. The chief nodded.
The heroes were given maps of the first level of the dungeon, made by Garweez, and also were given a writ by Romag with the seal of the earth temple on it (a triangle). Romag tasked them with wiping out the remainder of Zev's ghouls on the east side of the temple. The adventurers headed out to do so, and decided to explore a bit on the way.
As they walked through the halls, Mardix said, "Don't worry Jolene, I'll protect you."
Raina, Jurod's new lover, scowled.
Heron said "This situation is making me uncomfortable." Harmony Helltiger skulked nearby, totally naked.
Vellic shivered and said "This place is horrible! Chaotic Evil!"
Heron said, "I'm sorry, man..."
Fayte said, "Don't worry, we'll get revenge."
Heron told Vellic it was a mistake for him to speak up at the table. Vellic said he had to, to make Aldrelle proud.
"Aldrelle would be proud if you didn't lose your thumbs", Heron pointed out.
"Is that a joke?!" snapped Vellic.
They checked out a room near where the first batch of ghouls had laired. The door was locked. Harmony tried to pick it and failed.
They asked Raina to try. She sneered at them, and said to Mardix, "Why don't you shave that moustache?"
The man at arms spat back, "Never!". He stood closer to Jolene and said to Raina, "You stay away!".
Raina picked the lock with ease. She looked at Harmony, gloating.
Inside, 11 naked people were chained to the wall. The heroes slipped in. Jolene and Mardix insisted that they be freed. Heron had and idea. He had Harmony forge a note from the mysterious deva that Hedrack had warned about (during Hedrack's visit, he told Romag and the earth temple that a deva had been seen in the dungeons causing problems). They left the note and hoped that the earth temple would blame the deva.
All of the prisoners were naked. The heroes swiftly led them up the stairs into the vast and empty temple above. They searched around and found soiled robes of different colors. Jolene was able to use her magic to clean and restore the robes. Soon, all of the freed prisoners had robes on. Then they made their way over to a shaft in the center of the temple. They tied a sunrod to a rope and lowered it. They saw that after about a 15 foot drop, a walkway lined the shaft and led lower. At least one exit was visible along its' route.
Heron had the heroes pause for a moment, to listened (the players just decided to do this with no clues at all!). They realized they were being watched. Someone was lurking behind a pillar. Harmony Helltiger swiftly and quietly crept up on the person. The jig was up. Fayte called out, "We know you're there! We mean you no harm."
"...and we really mean that", added Heron.
The deva revealed himself.
He wore white and gold armor, with a gold skull mask. Gold, decorative metal wings jutted out from the back of his armor. He wore a white hooded cape with gold embroidery on the edges. "Not bad. You spotted me", he said.
He walked toward the heroes. Harmony kept close to him. He asked the heroes what their story was.
"I am Fayte Bonesunder, dark paladin of the Raven Queen", said she.
The deva looked her up and down. "Hmm... nice. All right, Bonesunder, what's your game?"
Fayte explained that she and her allies had come to stop the forces of Chaotic Evil.
"Well then we have something in common. Is there anything I can help you with? They call me Adimarchus." Adimarchus offered to bring the freed prisoners back to Nulth. He flirted with Fayte. She used her insight to determine a mighty, unearthly bulge in the deva's groin region.
Fayte said "Maybe someday I'll see your prowess in battle."
Adimarchus said "As long as you can hadnle it."
Heron said "I get the feeling we're not talking about fighting the temple anymore."
Once the prisoners were taken away, the adventurers further explored the empty temple. To the far north was a throne on a dais, standing on stones in a color pattern. Jolene could sense dweomers and magic radiating from it. The heroes threw things on the colored stones, but nothing happened. Fayte tried to poke the throne with her ten foot pole. As the pole got close, they heard dark, demonic moaning and Hedrack whispering about his latest dream... They decided to leave the throne be, for now.
They headed down below and traveled to the area where the ghoul and harpies were. As they walked, Fayte held out her ten foot pole. Romag had warned the heroes that a gelatinous cube wandered the halls and was hard to spot, so Fayte figured the pole would hit the cube and the heroes could avoid walking right into it.
They got to the ghoul and harpy lair, and used their pole to discover a pair of pressure plates near the entrance. When stepped on, the plates would cause a portcullis to lower and possibly split the party in the hall and the lair.
Fayte jumped over the plates. The harpies lurked in carved-out alcoves in high-up pillars. They attacked, screeching, and alerted the ghouls in adjacent rooms. The ghouls joined the fray.
A ghoul stepped on a plate. Jolene tried to enter the room, but Mardix shouted and intimidated her into staying in the hall. He wanted her to be safe. The portcullis dropped. Carric and Jolene were in the hall, and fired through the portcullis bars (at -2 to hit) while the others fought fiercely. The heroes were victorious. They lifted the portcullis and searched the rooms. They found quite a bit of treasure, and a little alove in the floor coveredby a stone block.
They did more exploring of various rooms in the southern temple. There were quite a few empty storage rooms and barren armories. They found a strange maul made of stone. Jolene studied it and realized it might be used for special, specific rituals. Heron thought it best to hide the maul in the stone alcove in the ghoul lair, so they did that.
They came upon a trash room. Fayte entered, and was immediately attacked by 20 rats! Jolene cast a shock sphere that killed 14 of them in a single mighty explosion! The other rats tried to run but were slaughtered. Nothing of interest was found in the trash room.
The heroes cautiously entered a series of linked rooms that were home to gnolls. They used their writ to explain that they were just looking around. The gnolls were perturbed but let the heroes look around. One gnoll was wearing a pendant that Harmony wanted. She whispered to the others that it was worth over 100 gold. She approached the gnoll, who snarled at her. She backed off.
In the third linked room, which was home to 4 gnolls and two hobgoblins, Carric realized one wall was on a pivot - it was a secret door. The monster snickered and encouraged the heroes to use it. The heroes activated it, the walls rotated like a revolving door, and swept them into a room where two ogres were having "relations". Specifically, Balacokra was tit-fucking Mosey while she ate a salted fish. The heroes revolved into the room, eyes wide, and promptly revolved out.
But Harmony wanted to snoop around. She went back in, determined to find treasure. She was able to keep from being seen while Balacokra pumped away. She opened a chest but found nothing but weapons. She made her way back to the door, just as Balacokra orgasmed. A big glob of ogre semen hit her in the face just as she re-entered the other side. The gnolls and hobgoblins found this to be hilarious.
The adventurers then made their way to a long hallway covered in bones. There were bones of 100, maybe 200 dead humanoids. As the heroes walked over them, the bones animated! Fire skeletons rose up on the ends of the hallway, while sword-wielding skeletons rose up in the midst of the heroes!
The battle was long and arduous. Raina was hit with a series of fire orbs, and was killed! Heron and Harmony were repeatedly burned and fell unconscious numerous times, only to be healed by Vellic moments later. As the fight wore on, Fayte and MArdix dealt with three fire skeletons (with Fayte's Black Iron armor and faith in the Raven Queen giving her resist 5 fire) while Heron, Vellic and Carric dealt with three on the other side. Jolene kept in the middle (ordered there by Mardix) helping out with her magic.
The heroes wore down the skeletons, and destroyed them. Raina was dead, and Vellic, Heron and Harmony were burned badly. They needed rest, and discussed returning to the scumbag village of Nulth...