Temple of Elemental Evil

Krusk goes slowly mad

When we returned to the moat house from the previous day’s adventures, Finn celebrated heavily with the refugees seeking shelter their. It was one of his characteristic evenings of revelry, except it reminded the other adventurers that they hadn’t seen this behavior from Finn since the party’s first venture to Nulb. The next morning, Finn was decidedly hung over; truly a first in the party’s experience. Before setting out, Krusk urgently pressed Susheer to prepare a potion of fire resistance and then convinced Wonnilon to take it. Finn wasn’t entirely clear what was going on, but it seemed pretty important to Krusk. With that, the party set out and, thankfully, Finn managed to shake (nap) off his hangover before reaching the ToEE.

We went to the rooms behind the water temple. In the two side rooms, we defeated the water paladin and the two aides that came to his rescue. Krusk picked up a +3 bastard sword. We also saw a leather cape and a trident in the paladin’s private rooms. Thanks to Wonnilon’s unexpected with water magic artifacts and the bits and pieces of lore each party member had picked up, we identified the cloak as one that’ll turn you into a manta ray if you’re wearing it and encounter salt water and the trident as one that causes a powerful yearning for deep water. There was also a potion of underwater breathing.

Behind the door to the third room, we heard lapping waves. Krusk was cautious of a trap and, as our strongest swimmer, volunteered to spring it while the rest of the party took shelter in one of the side rooms. Thus, he tied himself to a fixture in the main room, held the potion, and bravely opened the door to discover a pool with a merman chained to the bottom. The merman telepathically reached out to Krusk telling him, “Hurry! Dive in here and free me so I can save you from the Kraken! It’ll be here soon!” Krusk shut the door and called back the rest of the party. Shaera knew enough of their race to point out that if we freed him, we still didn’t have the resources to get him to any other body of water before he suffocated. Finn pointed out that the last time we met a denizen of this temple that told us to “Hurry up!” and do something, it was demon trying to lure us to our doom. Krusk contributed that he looked less malnourished than some of the others we’d rescued, but Krusk mostly seemed distracted during the debate, as if he was hearing arguments the rest of the party didn’t.

In the end, we left him there and went to the air temple. Inside the temple, were a couple of braziers emitting a sweetly-sick smoke, though no fire. Finn didn’t like this and decided to cover one of them over in an attempt to smother the smoke. Though before doing so, he recognized it as a potential trigger and urged the rest of the party to take up positions near the door where we entered. When he did so, it began spewing a more acrid smoke and summoned both an air elemental and an air doggy to attack. The party retreated to the door way, though it did take Finn a bit to convince Krusk that we really didn’t want to be fighting in the rapidly expanding smoke. Fortunately, the party defeated the enemies just as the smoke was spilling out into the hallway and obscuring their view of the air elemental. After the battle, we found another stairway down inside a wing of the air temple.

Before pushing on to the next floor, we decided to do something about a couple of ogres in one of the rooms the party had left alone on a previous excursion. On the way there, Krusk thought he saw a shadow, but when the rest of the party stopped to investigate we could find no traces of an enemy or arcane force. While listening at the door outside the Ogre’s room, Krusk heard a baby crying. The party entered the room and defeated the ogre’s, finding no baby. Following the battle, Krusk’s hallucinations appear to be increasing. That’s where we stopped for the night

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The party finally rescues the mysterious little girl

For what we currently know of the dungeon:
https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B9XIMJZ8VwZ5OTE4YTZkMGYtZTEwNi00NWRiLTgxMjMtOTEzZGVjOTM4MTEx&hl=en_US

The party starts in 243, where two people have been arguing over a ring. We had decided that neither of them deserved it, so we went in and took it from both of them. Finn let one of them live, so Susheer asked politely where a nice little girl might be. The prisoner didn’t know, but thought there might be prisoners to the South east. We let him live, but put him in a cell on the first floor (where the wights attacked us)

Following his directions, we went to 227, a huge hall full of bad tapestries, and all difficult terrain, due to broken chairs, tables, etc etc. Exactly where 227 was, there was a staircase that only Susheer felt nauseous around. Using arcana, Susheer thinks that it only affects certain alignments and/or races. However, Wonilon is both Fey origin and unaligned, but felt nothing.

When walking by 209, we did not see it. Instead, we saw the southeast corridor off 227, and followed it to 208, where werewolves attacked us. We quickly subdued them, even though they were healing, and then searched the room, finding an entire stash of silver, wolfsbane, 1 sword/3 vs werewolf, and everything else the temple might have against werewolves. From now on, Susheer vows to search during combat.

We followed the corridor SE, towards 206. There was a privacy screen around 206, and knocking it down, we found 2 bugbears and 1 human, which we quickly left only the human alive. The human also didn’t know exactly where the girl was, but told us to turn back, and that north of us there might be prisoners. We stuffed him in another cell of the wights.

Listening at the door to 205b, we heard someone writing a letter. Jumping into the room, we found an Anti-Paladin, who quickly summoned help from an Ogre. We defeated them both. In room 205d, we found a little girl, crying. We recognized her, and she mentioned that bad people had taken her … soul?? shadow?? and made it do bad things including spying. Susheer and Krusk helped convince the nice girl that freedom with Susheer was better than a jail cell, and then the party took the girl home.

Susheer made a quick stop to pick up most of the ballista, and put it on the disk. Then, floating home, we bring the little girl and the prisoners to the moathouse. We lock the prisoners in cells in the moathouse so we can interrogate them. Susheer then uses a ritual to make the ballistae whole. The party sleeps, happy and content.

The next day, Susheer casts a Floating disk and just Barely makes the roll necessary with help from his friends. Therefore, the ballista perches on the disk, with Susheer riding shotgun.
The party floats to 202 and sees a sleeping Fen Hydra — a 5 headed beast that would be a serious challenge to us. Worse, there corridor to 203 looks invitingly like a trap. So, we float back to 203, and listen at the door. Behind it, in 219, we hear Trolls. The party attacks foolheartedly, with no preparation. Even though there are only two trolls ( three heads, though, making the math difficult ), the party struggles to hit the trolls enough to do any sort of damage. The ballista is super underwhelming, and Susheer gives up on it in disgust. However, the party is victorious, and loots the room.

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The party finds a stairs down

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.

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Outsmarting Ogres

Ogres and stirges fight it out.
Gnolls.

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Gnolls with crossbows.

Stirges
Human defender with Archer-friend that krusk hated.
Gnolls with crossbows

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The Rats of Elemental Eeeevil

Primed and ready, Finn convinces us to go down the main staircase first. The adventure is off to a rough start, though, when the hallway deadends in a door full of mystic runes. So, instead we head down the West staircase. The party finds a complex vast catacombs, with stairs down. However, Krusk opines that this level must be completed before we can go down, so we explore the level.

The party finds a room with a pressure plate. Hearing chains in the wall, the rest of the party runs back to the corridor, except Susheer, who doesn’t see why everyone is running and screaming all of a sudden. However, Finn calls to him, so Susheer returns back, only to have a porticulus slam down behind Susheer. The harpies in the room scream their frusteration.

The party leaves, finds a pile of refuse, which Finn pokes with a stick. Out jumps rats and rats and rats, but the party prevails.

The party returns to the porticulus room, and instead of just attacking the harpies, Finn opens a door to find ghouls as well. The battle is brief, even with 2 groups out for our blood. Then the party hears a scream from a room beside us, and so we run in. Chained to the wall is a mysterious woman, but 4 ghouls are there, and they are hungry. However, we soon prevail,even though we had used many of our resources in the previous battle. Of course, one thing we did not do is use the Holy Water, which we’ve been keeping for just such an occasion, but we all forgot, in the heat of the battle.

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The Temple of Elemental Evil
Finally, the party has enough courage

The party decides, today, to assault the Temple. But first, they see an abandoned tower, so they investigate it. Finding some Mages with their guards, the party feels very confident in subduing the mages until…. one mage whistles. The party freaks out, with a variety of interesting yet likely invalid strategies proposed. Seconds later, a ginormous Crow appears, and starts pecking at Shaera.

However, Krusk spends his time taunting the barbarians, and because he cannot be hit, the party escapes mostly unscathed. After tossing the tower, the party finds some money and some robes.

Then, the party tries to enter the temple. We see a great variety of gruesome stained glass, and we attempt to destroy them. However, any attempts are useless, so we try the front door. The front door has runes that threaten to make a demon stronger if they are disturbed, so we try the side door. That opens, after using some Elbow Grease. The temple is laid out in all it’s glory: (see Wiki)

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Trouble in verb-o-bonk
Finn finds his own brand of trouble

Susheer hires some guards for the Moathouse, and a carpenter — charging them to “make the place look nicer”

The party travels to Verb-o-bonk, and does shopping. Susheer tries to get a party portrait for the new Pimped Out Moathouse, but only Krusk plays along. Finn has been trying to chase down the mysterious child-ghost, and has found it bears resemblance to a certain potion seller’s daughter. The party investigates the potion seller’s house, but is interrupted by the town guard. A trail of blood outside leads to a den of low-lifes, who the party surprises. One of the lowlifes has a potion that breaks onto the wall, creating a portal to some dimension that contains gargoyles. Even though Susheer believes the town guard will subdue the gargoyles, the party decides to subdue the gargoyles as well as the lowlifes. The party returns to the moathouse with 2 new statues, and Susheer proudly shows off his new invention — a way to seal doors so that only the party can get through. He uses this on the back door, allowing his guards and carpenters to open the door as well.

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Worst laid plans also gang aft agley
In which the party annoys every living person in Nulb

The bartender in Nulb mentions that if we are looking to make money, we should go to a particular house and ask for work. When we get there, we are told that Caravans have been disappearing, and we will get a reward if we find the root of the problem. We volunteer, and camp outside Nulb.

Day 12:
We find the caravan on the road coming back to Nulb. Shaera is on the lookout for an ambush, and soon enough, an arrow whizzes past Shaera’s ear. Battle is joined, with the light of Susheer’s shield giving succor to the two guards, and the party. Seeing no-one but the two archers, Krusk mocks the archer, asking “where’s the rest of you”. At this point, the two guards stab Susheer! Vile treachery! Vile bottomfeeders! Susheer squeals at being hit, and Krusk therefore drives his blade into the archer’s neck, turns around, and charges the two guards. Battle is longer and bloodier than usual, with Shaera losing control and turning into her cat-form. The craven wagoneer grabs a bag of holding (including a spellbook) and attempts to run away, but Shaera drops him with a 2nd well placed arrow.

The rest of the backstabbing brutes are quickly given justice, and now only the crows will know them. The wagoneer is revived, and refuses to answer our questions, claiming that we’ll kill him no matter what. Convinced by his arguments, the party decides to kill him. At that point, he mentions that Johannes has been responsible for the attacks, and when we describe our quest giver, we find that Johannes is behind our attack.

We stake out Johannes’ house. Krusk is ready to burn the whole thing down, and kill anyone who escapes. However, while reconnoitering, Shaera steps on a sleeping chicken. Two guards come out,and question Shaera, who cannot convince them she’s drunk. Susheer joins the party, but even he cannot convince them that Shaera is drunk. Therefore, the guards escort us to the edge of the town. Satisfied, they turn to leave us, when we attack them with a well placed tactical ambush. They cry out for reinforcements, who come from the house in vast numbers. We kill one quickly, and knock the other out. Krusk slings that one over his shoulder, and we all start running. Unfortunately, they are faster than Krusk with his burden, and soon we need to drop the guard (stopping to slit his throat), and run full speed away. We camp with the safety of the woodland creatures.

Day 13: We stake out the road to the Temple of Elemental Evil. Nothing happens, so Susheer reads his newly acquired spellbook. He seems to be practicing some ritual that requires playing his viola and his rainstick at the same time. He tries putting his rainstick in either hand, attaching it to his head, etc, but nothing works until he grabs it with his legs instead. By gyrating, he can play both instruments, but it will obviously take time to learn. He soon gives up and goes back to reading his book. No one comes to the Temple durning the day, but at night, there is a party of 4 elves. The elves are talking to themselves, when the party attacks. Susheer cries out “if you are followers of Bahamut, lay down your weapons and we will not harm you” before blasting the mage. Krusk says: “sorry about the misunderstanding… and the javelin” before spearing the mage with his javelin. The party quickly subdues the elves.

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Roast Pork
Burn Baby Burn

The party, having finished off 4 bugbears, and poisoned the bugbears food, decides to create a diorama. In this case, the dead bugbears appear to have been attacked by the Cult of Fire, with an obvious trail leading to the Moathouse. The party waits in the moathouse, hoping the bugbears will attack, since the party has constructed a flaming trap. Instead, in the night, a little girl appears saying “have you seen my daddy?” The party feels she is an evil apparition, and locks her in a room. In the morning, she is no longer there. Creepy.

Day 11: The party has prepared for every eventuality, except what actually occurs — the 8 bugbears, who have always been short range only, appear with a crossbow wielding Bugbear assassin, and two Bugbear mages. The party, especially Finn, feel like this may be their last stand. Still the fire trap works perfectly, as does Finn’s cave in. Because of the fire trap and the cave in, the front line bugbear soldiers die even before the mages can enter the fight. However, the mages quickly daze the party, and then daze them again. With Finn repeatedly being crossbowed by the assassin, it is only his brief respite, along with his focus on defense that lets him dodge 4 crossbow bolts. Krusk helps by marking when he can, and being impossible to hit when he cannot. When the smoke clear, the party is all alive, and only the mages are alive, escaping. They escape to a clearing, but the tracks end in a circle of fire. They were either teleported away, or burned to a crisp.

The party looks for the last “Beware Evil” spot marked on the map. They found an abandonded camp where 20-30 humanoids used to live, but they’ve been gone for a while. You estimated somewhere between 6 months and 2 years.

The party gets to Nulb.

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