After some nonsense with Susheer, the party goes back to the temple. Ignoring the Bone Golems, the party goes into a central room, finding 15+ human minions. As effective as Finn is, he’s not able to kill all of them before 1 runs north for reinforcements, and one runs south into the pit of bones. He throws a vial of water into the bones, and they start moving ominously. At this point, the party finishes up the minions, and seeing a potential for reinforcements sandwiching them, they retreat.
After a reasonable period, the party starts exploring the edge of the map again — avoiding the bone golems. They come across a giant destroyed ballroom, and must pick through slowly. As they do, a party of humans attacks them. The wizard continuously knocks the party down, and pushes Susheer out of any effective healing range. This means the encounter goes poorly, though the party does survive, and eventually triumphs.
Since the mage was THAT annoying, the party doesn’t kill him. Instead, after knocking him out, they tie him to the Tensor’s Floating Disk, and float it into the Stirge Room. When a couple of stirges attack it, they float the disk out, and using new nets, net the stirges. Doing this a few times meant that 3 escaped, the first one we just let go but the next 2 the party decided to chase down and kill. After doing the bait & net trick a few times we managed to kill ~1/2 the stirge threat. At this point the party said, we’re tired of these bugs, let’s use our poison potion. Thankfully, the DM was also tired of the stirges and everybody could get on with their lives (except for the stirges).
The room past the stirges was the Augury Chamber. It was a circular room, focused around a shallow depression. We discovered some assorted stone, bones, & such in a drawer in the room. Susheer felt compelled to toss them into the depression. As a result, he heard a voice in his head. He proceeded to ask the voice questions out loud, toss the bones, and hear replies. At least, he told Finn and Krusk that he heard replies. Finn believes Susheer on this, mostly because Susheer quickly became bored that the voice wasn’t telling him things he wanted to hear.
Seek the upper room
Where is the key to the upper room?
Shun the cursed idol
Where is the key to the forbidden stairway?
Seek the forbidden altar
Who are you?
Seek the arcane temple
Then the party finds a room with triangles on the floor, looking a lot like arrows. The party instead finds the jails, and rescues some humanoids. Attempting to rescue more humans, they find that the humans are actually Wights, and a battle ensues. The battle is short, and the party takes the prisoners home.
In the course of the night, the party uncovered almost the entire map of the earth temple floor. This included stairs down that ended in a door sealed by sigils similar to on the front door. It also included another set of stairs down near the prisoners we rescued that did not appear to be sealed. We also discovers a burnt library that contained guide books on how to be evil. One are of the temple that we did not explore was the back center (relative to the location of the stairs we took from the first floor) portion. This was where the triangles, which the party learned were a symbol of the earth temple, in the floor led to from both sides.
Finally, the prisoners the party rescued included two human women, two orcs that Susheer tried to leave imprisoned but Krusk wouldn’t allow, and a gnome “warrior” (rogue) that has offered to join our party. The gnome helped us defeat the wights, nearly taking fatal blows if not for Susheer’s healing. In response to the gnome’s request to join the party and seek treasure in the temple, Finn has stopped Susheer from voicing his opinion and deferred the request by telling the gnome that first we must get these prisoners safely from the temple and then we can discuss such matters. This should give the existing party a chance to talk about the gnome behind his back.