After we killed the goblins, we worked to get our fallen comrades back on their feet.
Lancell is a Paladin, so he can “Lay On Hands” once a day. It helps a little bit.
Snooping around, I also found a secret stash of potions under the rack. Ezekiel decided they were healing potions and promptly quaffed one. When he didn’t turn green, or die on the spot, or start trying to eat us, Raven drank one, too.
Because of course you want healing potions under your rack to heal the people you’re torturing to death. Blah! What is wrong with some people?
Explored the rest of the second floor. Found the room where the goblins lived – it reeked of the beasties, and had sleeping mats and table and chairs too small for normal humans.
Who has been hosting goblins in the Temple of Merikka?! (Raven claims he doesn’t know.)
Opened the last door in the torture room, and spotted a small, stone room beyond – covered with scratches and weird scribbles. Felt just…off. Can’t even describe it. It wasn’t even a stench of goblins, it was just…a bad place.
Lancell and Ezekiel went first, since one is a Paladin, and one used to be a man-at-arms (he’s still got his old armor and mace). Mikael went next, the better to benefit from Lancell’s “Protection from Evil” aura. Raven was with him, and our bowmen took up the rear.
At the far end, the creepy room turned a corner. As we rounded that, a narrow hallway opened up.
When Lancell and Ezekiel neared the next bend of the corridor, our boots stopped making noise. A coin spun through the air, and hit the ground without so much as a tinkle.
“This is not good!” shouted Ezekiel, but none of us could answer him.
It was especially not good, because it hit me that this was the exact same trick the Evil priestess had pulled. You know, the one we had killed downstairs. Which meant things were about to get higher level…
Someone, or something, started attacking Lancell from around the corner. Hard to tell what it was with all my party members in the way – but he actually landed a hit on Lancell, which is impressive with Lancell’s armor and protection aura!
“Are you Abramo, Cleric of Merikka?” yelled Ezekiel.
Raven grabbed at Mikael’s sleeve and gestured to Kelsier and me to move back down the hall.
Not bad for a Monk.
Bows drawn, the archers backed up to the wall, while Raven and Mikael ducked back into the “creepy room”. Lancell and Ezekiel started backing toward us, blocking blows from a man in the robes of Merikka.
“Abramo! We are not Evil. We want to find out who is abusing the temple of Merikka,” Ezekiel shouted.
I wanted to tell Ezie to get a clue – this guy was attacking us. But no sound came out when I tried to talk.
“Raven! Talk some sense into him. Tell him we’re not enemies,” said Ezekiel.
Raven stuck his head around the corner, and shouted something to his old master…but Abramo (if that was his name) made no response, and landed an attack on Lancell.
Kelsier took aim and let fly an arrow right through our two companions, and struck gold. I love that little guy!
Our party had just about reached the wider room, where we could all attack the cleric, when suddenly he was gone.
“He’s retreating!” said Lancell (since we were far enough away from the silence spell to be able to talk).
We reformed our battle line, and headed forward again – before the evil cleric could recover himself or escape.
We crept down the passage, around another twist, and finally into what seemed to be private chambers. There was a sleeping pallet on one wall, some comfortable chairs, and a fancy-ish desk.
Oh, also some chests. All locked.
Our attacking priest had seemingly vanished.
While searching the desk, I found ugly scratches and symbols marked in the wood. Some papers on top were written over with mumblings and crazy talk.
I don’t know what it means…but it’s one more piece of the whole. The caretakers of the temple have gone off their rockers.
Ezekiel came over and found a lever that opened a door behind the desk.
We advanced into the room, only to find that the enemy cleric wasn’t there either.
There was a collection of huge, ugly stone statues – and against the far wall stood a cage and a jade statue. In the cage was a young woman.
We fanned out into the room. Kelsier tried opening one of the two chests that stood against the wall, while Ezekiel, Mikael, and Raven went to talk to the girl.
Lancell and I hung back, watching our exit and checking for where our vanishing cleric might be hiding.
Girl’s name is Cirilli. Says her family was kidnapped from the village some time ago, and smuggled north under cover of darkness to a cave system where “She” was. (Gestured at the jade statue.)
This statue is like an enormous snake with a woman’s face. Apparently it’s the “goddess” Explictica Defilas (spel.?)…Makes my hair stand up just to think of it.
Cirilli says when her family saw “Her”, they were changed – but Cirilli wasn’t…so Abramo brought her back here and locked her up. She also told us that he had just come through here and gone through the secret trapdoor behind the statue.
We finally opened the cage and gave her some of our bread, but it took Kelsier to find the mechanism for opening the trap door.
That’s when Ezekiel started in on his “vision from Ao” again.
“When you see the face of the snake, bar the gate! We have to bar the gate now!” he told us.
He’s a Good guy and all, but I really don’t know where this is heading.
He and Lancell have run down through the trapdoor to lock the temple gates. I just don’t know what’s going on.
Gonna have a party huddle in the corner while the girl eats so we can make our battle plan. Frankly, if we have to fight that Cleric again – and if he brings friends next time! – I don’t know how we’ll survive…
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