6/17/11: We got in a few hours of temple, making our way to the end!
Carric Cendoria - Elf Seeker
Fayte Bonesunder - Human Paladin
Heron - Half-elf Fighter
Jurod - Changeling Mage
The heroes met up with Jurod and returned to the farmhouse to rest. They'd obtained a number of strange magic items and explored the third level of the temple.
As they prepared to sleep, a shimmering white portal appeared. Out of it came a ferret - Burrage, exarch of Galasis. He explained that Senshock had collapsed the Augury Chamber, and that Galasis no longer had any link tot he temple because of that. Burrage infused Heron's rod of lordly might with arcane energy (giving it 40 charges) so that Heron could access its' three powers. Then Burrage told them some stories (from the Scales of war campaign) and left through the portal, which closed after him.
They headed to bed. In the middle of the night, Fayte awoke and started to make way out of the farmhouse. She made quite a bit of noise (stealth check of 3!) and woke her allies. They stopped her, and noticed she was in a trance-like state. They snapped her out of it. She wasn't sure how that had happened...
The next day, the heroes discussed what was next to do. They could continue to explore the third level, or they could use the orb on the throne, which would lead them to a new dungeon section. There was also the shaft that lead down to level two in the main temple area. They also knew they'd need to meet with Prefect Allrem, head priest of the fire temple sooner or later.
They decided the first thing to do was to go get their cart, which was on the temple grounds. They made their way through the secret passage to the broken tower. From the tower, they headed to their cart. As they got close, they could see there were some enemies waiting for them. It was Ellagoro, Nocticula's Seraptis demon, and three ogres! They were lurking by the cart...
The heroes decided to creep up and ambush the would-be ambushers! Fayte charged in on Skullstrider as Carric fired frost arrows. heron charged the ogres and dropped a fireball on them. The ogres flung javelins in retaliation as Ellagoro demanded that Fayte be rendered unconscious.
Fayte trampled an ogre and Ellagoro. Carric used his wand of a wonder on an ogre, turning it pink. Then he used it again... causing it to dance uncontrollably. Then one more use of the wand gave the poor ogre two more arms. Jurod cast a Maze of Mirrors, banishing the cursed ogre to dance in the maze forever. Then Carric used the wand and summoned another ogre to join the battle!
Out of the corner of his eye he saw Adimarchus, in his white and gold armor, racing across the field. The mysterious deva joined in and helped Heron cut down the ogres. Ellagoro was swiftly defeated, her corpse melting away as she breathed her last breath.
Carric's summoned ogre vanished. Adimarchus flirted with Fayte a bit, and then told the heroes that a huge hoard of ghouls had made their way to level one, lead by an imp of Zev. Adimarchus told them if the heroes needed him, he'd be in the ruined foundation on the temple grounds.
The adventurers made their way into the main temple, and went down the stairs in the shaft. They came to the secret door which led into the skeleton hall on level one. Carric used his ring of x ray vision to peer through and saw no less than twenty ghouls. But these weren't like the ghouls they'd faced in the temple earlier - these were more intelligent beast, some even spellcasters! Jurod had heard of them before - the Darakhul, a type of ghoul from the Zobeck region. Their bite was like an infection that would turn others into ghouls! The heroes could only surmise that Romag, priest of the earth temple, was infected - if he was kept alive at all.
The heroes decided to leave level one be, and to continue down the steps. The steps stopped short, and there was a 55 foot drop to a room on level two. They could see that its' floor was covered in a glowing mist. Heron turned his rod of lordly might into a 50 foot-long ladder, and then had his allies drop via rope onto the ladder to climb down. Baldrim was first. He was so distraught over attacking his buddy Randor that he felt it would be a just punishment.
Below was a weird, misty chamber with an altar. On the altar were crystal knives and a crystal bowl. The heroes gathered around it. Jurod grabbed a knife, and set off a glyph of warding, which created an acid explosion that sent Heron and Carric reeling. A soft, evil chime went off, and a secret door slid open. Out of which spewed a gas-beast known as a drelb!
Carric used the wand of a wonder, and suddenly the room filled with horseflies! The drelb drained Fayte, Heron and Jurod's life force a bit. Fayte conjured up a sandstorm to destroy some of the flies. Heron launched himself into the air with his pole, then came down and stabbed the drelb with his flaming sword. Jurod finished off the drelb with a spell.
The heroes decided to exit the weird chamber. There was a door to the left that had a carving the depicted the city of Olwynn about to be crushed by a massive tidal wave. Fayte figured that door led to the water temple. The door to the right depicted Olwynn's statues melting as the city burned. She figured that led to the fire temple. She was right!
The heroes entered an adjoining hallway and then stepped through another set of doors that led to the vast and impressive fire temple. A huge brass bell hung over a diamond-shaped fire pit and an altar. In the fire pit were tiny salamanders, buzzing around and glowing orange. There were also cauldrons containing glowing amber liquid.
There was a red curtain hanging on a north wall which led to a guard room. The heroes peered in, and saw a female drow poisoning her blade as two bugbears joked amongst themselves. The heroes burst in and demanded to see Allrem. The drow was taken aback, but asked where the heroes robes were. The heroes had them, but hadn't put them on. After a bit of discussion, the drow sent one of the bugbears to get Allrem while she waited in the temple with the heroes.
Allrem arrived and told the heroes that the ghouls had overrun level one and that the fire temple couldn't fight them alone. Allrem wanted the heroes to go to the water temple, and subdue the head priest Belsornig and his subordinates. Then, they were to be brought to Allrem, who would force them to do his bidding so they could team up and fight the ghouls.
The heroes made their way to the water temple, which was on the other side of the fog-room. Allrem warned them that the temple was guarded by a mighty juggernaut of some kind.
They entered what was known as The Hall of Verdigris. It had the strange appearance of being underwater. There was a fish-fountain that spit water into four tiered basins. There were triangular plinths in each corner, all topped with a verdigris-covered gargoyle (who moved slightly upon close inspection). And then there was the juggernaut, a massive stone monstrosity on huge stone rollers that had eel heads, crab pincers and tentacles!
As the heroes entered, the juggernaut lumbered forth! It tried to run over the heroes, but they scattered. Baldrim was caught underneath and was nearly killed. He screamed, pinned. He wouldn't escape for most of the fight.
The gargoyles swooped down and attacked as well!
Carric used an arrow to immobilize the juggernaut, and then Jurod enhanced it with a spell. Garweez took a huge swing and tipped it over! The thing righted itself, crushing Baldrim. Fayte used magic to absorb the damage that poor Baldrim would have taken. Then she slashed into the juggernaut, cracking it. Briny water leaked out.
Heron dealt with a pair of gargoyles. He was bloodied, but healed. Carric hit one with acid from the wand of a wonder. Fayte disabled the juggernaut, and the gargoyles were finished off.
The heroes inspected the remains of the "gargoyles". Once killed, the gargoyles had turned into zombies wearing hooded cloaks. Jurod studied the cloaks, and realized they were magical "gargoyle cloaks". If you put them on, you became a gargoyle! But, if you wore them for two long, you'd mentally become a gargoyle forever!
The heroes patched their wounds. Belsornig was on his way...