Ashira (Jesse): Dragonborn Battlemind
Jerry (Nick): Human Cleric
Kossack (Nick [Cliff]): Minotaur Fighter
Krusk (Rick): Half-Orc Monk
Kryla Bloodfang (Matt): Dragonborn Cosmic Sorcerer
Nyx (Rick [Bryan/Tamara]): Halfling Thief
Pixie (Leigha): Gnome Wizard
Last session ended with us just barely defeating a group of Bugbears. Kryla was killed, and the party took her back to Hommlet to be raised. While in town, Krusk joined our party. We headed back to the moathouse to check out a some stairs we'd seen last visit.
We thought it would lead down to another level of the dungeon, but instead it just went to a small room with a pool. Kossack bravely jumped into the pool to investigate. (This is Nick running Cliff's character. Ever notice how much braver your characters get when someone else is playing them?) Kossack was immediately attacked by a giant crayfish.
The crayfish was tough, and did a lot of damage. Some of the melee characters had a little trouble finding a good place to stand, especially when the crayfish submerged (which granted him concealment). But it was still a one-sided battle, since we outnumbered him by so much. Once it was dead, we explored the pool some more. There was a short tunnel in one of the walls, but it didn't lead anywhere. We found a some gold at the bottom of the pool, some bones, 3 rituals, and skull with a gem in it. A couple of sessions ago, the church asked us to look for a missing woman. We wondered if this might be her skeleton. We decided to take the gem back to Hommlet to see if it belonged to the her.
Back in town, we asked about the gem, but were told it didn't belong to the woman. Good for us - that meant we could sell it. With the moathouse cleared out, we decided it was time to head for the Temple of Elemental Evil itself. We had a long discussion about whether it would be best to buy a cart with horses, or individual horses, or just walk. Finally we decided to buy a cart and two horses.
We rode until sundown, and used a "Create Campsite" ritual scroll (one of the scrolls we found under the crayfish). We had a good night's sleep. In the morning we saw some wild boars rooting around, but they didn't attack us so we let them be. A few hours later we reached the small town of Nulb. It wasn't much of a town, really; it was more of a slummy hub for pirate activity.
We rode into town looking as tough as we possibly could (which isn't very with Jerry in the party). We parked out in front of a tavern, where Ashira and Nyx went in to find out more about the Temple. The bartender told them that the Temple has ears, and they should be careful what they say. He also told them that "The Earth Temple controls most of the first floor. But the Fire Temple pays more." Finally he told them that if they decide to join the Fire Temple, to say that Wat sent them.
Outside, our cart became surrounded by children looking for handouts. Jerry threw them a few coppers, but they picked his pocket for some silvers. That was about as much as we could stand of this town, so we headed on to the Temple. The road became more and more overgrown, until finally we decided to continue on foot. We reached the ruins of the gatehouse, and Kryla used her Blazing Starfall power to clear out some of the vegetation. We saw some birds circling - they looked like ravens, but much bigger - but they didn't bother us.
At the temple, was saw some large stairs heading up to some massive bronze doors. There were runes inscribed on the doors, and we realized that the doors were designed as much to keep things in as they were to keep things out. We had a bad feeling about this, so we looked for another entrance. We found some similar doors further down the wall, but kept looking. Finally we came to some smaller doors that didn't fill us with as much dread. Kossack climbed up the wall and attempted to peek in through a window. Unfortunately it was a stained glass window, so he didn't really see anything.
The door was locked, but Kossack hacked at it until he broke through. Nick: "Heeeeere's Kossack!" We entered the Temple and started exploring the extravagant hallways. We reached an altar that appeared to be designed for human sacrifice. Nearby there was a pit, which was too deep to see the bottom. There were some 1-foot wide stairs spiraling down the inside of the pit, but none of us were brave enough to investigate.
At one point we saw some words inscribed on the wall: "The Power of Elemental Death Brings Mortals Low, But Raises the Nameless One High." We saw a grand staircase heading down, but passed on that one for now. We saw a lot of colored tiles - red, white, brown, and green. They were in specific patterns, and we tried to figure out if it was some kind of puzzle. We attempted to interact with the tiles in various ways, but we didn't get any results. We explored a bit more, and found two silk robes - red with lavender lining. We're assuming these go to the Temple of Fire.
In another wing, we found a small skeleton in pool of black water. We discovered three more robes, these were moss green with black lining. In this area we found another set of stairs. We started to go down them, when a couple of Ghouls came running up the steps. We fought them from the top steps. After they were gone, we proceeded down the stairs (A) to the lower level.
|1 Square = 10 Feet|
At this point we pulled out some graph paper and started mapping out the lower level. We explored several empty hallways and a few old rooms (B). Nyx found a decent magic crossbow. As we were heading North in the Eastern hallway, we smelled the foul odor of death from a hallway to the East. Jesse: "I smell dead people."
Being the sort of people who make inexplicable decisions, we explored that hallway immediately. We came to a large room with eight columns (C), with excrement on the floor. As soon as we'd entered the room, a barred gate came down. It slammed shut in front of Nyx, trapping him in the hallway, while the rest of us were stuck in the room. This wasn't such a bad thing for Nyx, since he could still fire his crossbow through the bars. But it's a good thing nothing came down the hallway behind him, or he would have been slaughtered.
The party was soon attacked by a pair of Harpies. They weren't particularly damaging, but they had an annoying power that could daze and immobilize a large area, so most of us spent a large portion of the battle rooted in place. And since the Harpies could fly, those without good ranged attacks were pretty useless. We failed a lot of saving throws that battle, so we didn't get to move around much.
Just as the final Harpy died, a door opened (D), and some Ghouls started to join the battle. It was a total of six Ghouls, but they came through the door one at a time. We took them out fairly quickly, so we never fought more than three at once. Still, it wasn't an easy battle. Ashira kept failing her saving throws from back when the Harpies had immobilized her, and she has no ranged attacks, so she spent most of the battle standing off to the side and cursing.
Kryla rolled a 1 on her Daily Power, and as a result of our Critical Fumble Deck, she lost the use of a random spell for the encounter. She ended up losing Acid Orb, which left her with burst attacks only. She had to be very careful not to include party members in her blasts. Pixie rolled a crit on another enemy, and due to the Critical Hit Deck, she sent him to another plane. He even took damage as he left for leaving Kryla's Blazing Starfall zone. Nyx fumbled and drew a card titled "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out," causing him to crit himself in the face. On his next turn he fumbled again, but the card just made him provoke Opportunity Attacks from all adjacent enemies, of which there were none. So he got lucky there.
Despite all our fumbles, we eventually defeated all the enemies, and ended the session there.
We ended after the battle, but haven't taken a rest yet. We got 1 action point after the battle, so those who didn't spend theirs earlier now have 2. Kryla still has one more milestone to go before she stops rolling -1 to everything.