Campaign of the Month: December 2014
Temple of Elemental Evil III
We retreat to the broken tower, a stronghold in the wall, and rest for the night. Of the men we rescued, Cleg and the others want to go with us and find their sergeant, but we talk and decide that they ought to stay here for now.
The next morning on the 24th of Flaurmont we get ready to venture back into the temple. I hope that we can clear out the nest of it today and find how to break these doors. But we haven’t seen the faintest trace of Lady Ilyana.
This time we go in around the western side. We dispatch a few zombies and other undead that were once poor humans. Then we head into a long banquet hall. The marks of the battle years forgotten still mark this place and it seems no one has really come searching despite the clearly large number of current inhabitants in this place. Perhaps there are orders (and reasons) against coming to these places.
We scour the place for some useful things to replenish ourselves, but also try to keep moving as there is no telling when the alarm will be called. In the kitchen we find a few things that the humans want to keep, but Smef, our new friend, finds something I’d have rather left undisturbed. A massive Krait, a venomous black snake, attacks the nosey dwarf. Saddly I haven’t prepared the spells to calm the beast, and its starvation induced aggression requires us to put an end to it. It must have come down the chimney. I do get a nice skin from its back, waste not.
As we dally, a bushwhacker managers to sneak up on us and gets the jump on David as we pass around a corner. We pursue, knowing full well that he is likely leading us on a merry chase to a trap, but they’ll keep coming otherwise.
The halls in this place are insane, they seem be placed as though rooms were built at random. It makes chasing people more difficult. We do not see the trap as it is sprung, a pit opening beneath Huan and David. It blocks our path to a door from which these scoundrels are now firing at us from. A few more start to approach from a door to the west, but I block that with a flaming sphere. we retrieve David and my hound and after repulsing the entrappers, gather for pursuit.
Moving into the next room forward, there are yet more humans, all armed and ready to fight, though they cannot manage to best us even with their number. One of them calls a rear man to, “Go inform Romag.” He must be the one who might know something about this place.
Two of the human defenders get away from us. We do not give chace quite as rashly this time. But following them we find a secret door that we had earlier passed, closer to the center of this place. Opening the door, we see one of the humans who ran, and three goblinfaced brutes. Bugbears, cruel beasts. I am not surprised when one yells, “You lead them right to us,” and murders the cowering human right there.
The battle is not long, but certainly the second human has escaped us for now. The bugbears swing great polearms, but Sergei’s spells and David’s strength win us through.
Having lost the initiative, we take some time to take stock. Instead of going to the center where this Romag character may be, we find a secret door in the back of the goblinoid’s rooms and to our hope there are prison cells.
We go to each door in turn, hoping that the crazed lady we came here chasing to be in one of them. But nay, she is not to be found, rather, there is a pained cry from a torture room from the end of the hall. Inside is another bugbear, trying to wait in ambush. A human man is also here, I judge him as a heartless monster by the company he chooses and his seeming profession. We slay them, but not before the human’s marge axe nearly cuts Huan in two, I quickly staunch the wound with a spell.
Now we find some prisoners, but again not the one we came here for. Two orcs lie in one of the inner cells, and a pair of human women in the other. On the rack, now safe from immortals know what torture, is a human man who we find out is Mace, the sergeant of the men in the tower.
We get the orcs to come with us over Spark’s bigoted protests that they are untrustworthy. We may need more allies, this place keeps seeming to grow the more we explore it. We take these captives back before continuing on. I elect to stay back there a while and care for the freed captives’ needs.