As the delvers finished catching their breath, Thorzin finally rejoined the group. He seemed rather miffed about the whole wild goose chase/fiasco in Rivergate, but didn’t want to talk about it…
The delver crew headed down the stairs into the secret underground temple. They immediately encountered a pair of guards in a large common room, who jumped up from their card game to attack the intruders. Our heroes rushed in and attacked, hoping to silence the guards before they could raise an alarm, but one managed to bang the alarm gong before falling!
Everyone looked at each other in alarm, and they quickly moved to cover the other exits from the room. From somewhere deeper within the temple they could hear high-pitched cries of pain and fear in the distance, but they could also hear the sounds of nearby guards approaching from another tunnel. The heroes decided to deal with the guards first, before investigating the far-off screams, and they quickly prepared an ambush.
The guards didn’t stand a chance. Aendir and Thorzin started carving their way though the half-dozen temple guards that came racing up the stairs, while the other party members launched ranged attacks from afar. The battle was going great, and things were looking good…
Until a six-foot-tall blonde stepped around the corner. She had short hair, a wicked scar running down her cheek, and a bizarre axe-like weapon with a buzzing, spinning circular blade! She immediately swung this terrifying weapon and struck down Yona!
Aendir leapt to her aid, closing immediately to cross blades with this new foe, while Thorzin Oakwood took care of the last few remaining guards. Nethwen was able to drag Yona back and give her some much-needed healing, and the rest of the team focused their attacks on this new threat.
The battle was not going well though, as this fearsome warrior managed to drop both Aendir and Chesh. The adventurers got in their licks though, and after trading numerous fierce blows the stranger unexpectedly offered to parley. With the holy rollers on the ground, Mos took the lead and started questioning her. She turned out to be a mercenary, hired as guard commander of the temple, but she felt no actual loyalty to the cult. She claimed to have no involvement in any abductions, and begrudgingly gave her name as Fyerrin before stalking away up the stairs to exit the temple.
For some reason, Chesh and Aendir were really mad when they learned she’s been allowed to escape…
No other defenders appeared, and after discovering – and drinking – a few healing potions on the temple guard sergeant, a quiet argument broke out over what to do next. During that discussion, Mos snuck down one of the side halls to snoop around a bit and found the guard barracks and the now-departed commander’s bedroom; poking around in there, he found a decanter full of wine (CLAIMED!) and a map of the entire complex. Satisfied (and chugging wine), he returned with his spoils.
The screams and cries had died down (and gotten disturbingly deeper and deeper) as time went on, and they eventually decided to peek down that tunnel to see what was going on there.
The main temple chamber held the high priest (a guy in a big black mask), two underpriests, and a huge, hulking brute chained to an altar. The nine-foot-tall thing had coal-black skin with oozing green tears in its skin…
With the entire party seriously hurting after their run-in with Fyerrin, they realized this was a fight they simply weren’t capable of winning at this time, and they chose to retreat back to the upper level of the temple to try to get some rest.
With Thorzin and Aendir sitting on the trap door and the main building entrance barred closed, they felt reasonably secure enough to get some much-needed rest.
A few hours after sunrise, Thorzin felt someone trying to lift the trapdoor from beneath, but with the added weight of two tanks in heavy armor atop the door, it wasn’t budging. Whoever it was, they gave up pretty quickly and went away.
Later, right about the time they’d all finished preparing for another round of temple-diving, they heard someone pounding on the main door of the temple. Mos disguised himself as a cultist and tried to shoo away the two temple guards, but they weren’t buying it (they apparently “came all the way around from the back exit”) and rushed in to attack. They didn’t last long against the combined strength of the entire team.
Now full prepared and ready for more, the crew headed back below. They heard voices coming from that same common room (Chesh distinctly heard “keep a close watch, because I’m going to bed”), and after waiting a bit to let whoever that was leave and go to bed, they attacked again. This time there were not only another half-dozen guards but also a pair of cultist priests in the chamber, and battle was again joined.
These guys didn’t last long, even with the spellcasters. After defeating yet another guard force and that big black-skinned monstrosity they’d seen earlier (it hit REALLY hard), the delvers chose to further investigate and found the armory, the underpriests’ barracks, and a room where many sacrifices had been performed (based upon the amount of bloodstains on the altar, the chains and the rest of the room). Beyond that chamber they poked their heads into one more room, where Nethwen immediately spotted an ochre jelly, but a greedy Mos just had to look for treasures and got walloped in the face by a second ooze that was sticking to the ceiling. They slammed the door and resolved to deal with the oozes later.
There was one more uninvestigated room in that wing of the temple (according to the map), but the door was locked and Aendir’s evil-sense was a-tingling. Whatever was in that room was really bad. They chose to also leave THAT for later.
They next investigated a lounge area that held some comfortable chairs, bookshelves, and a pair of snoring priests. One was covered in grotesquely bulging muscles, and the other was the boil-covered creep who’d tried to recruit Yona upstairs the day before. Yona quietly slit the big guy’s throat, but Thorzin whipped out a pistol and blew the boil guy’s face across the room…
End of session.
LEVEL UP: Thorzin Oakwood
DM’s Notes: Ladies and gents, this is already starting out as one of the very best campaigns I’ve ever run. I’m so glad you’re all having as much fun as I am. Sorry we can’t get together on the next scheduled day, but I’m seriously excited about where we go from here. Happy Turkey Day, and see you all in December!