We’re going to be ragged in the morning.
We hadn’t even settled in yet when I heard (and smelled) some kind of ogre coming down the passage. (There was another sound, too…like a grinding, buzzing whine or growl. Very unpleasant.)
Well, I moved around the giant throne thing so I could get off a shot as soon as it came into the room.
My shot hit a good shot – despite the fire being behind me – and by the time Mikael lit it up with faery fire, Corby had clawed a big, ugly scratch down its face.
Raven hurled two daggers into it, and Ezekiel raced forward to finished it off with his mace – sending off what seemed like sparks as he bashed it to the ground.
Well, Ezekiel and Raven took over the first watch, so the rest of us settled down to try and sleep.
It wasn’t too long, though, before Raven was shaking us awake.
A party with torches was just approaching the main entrance, muttering together: “See, there’s a fire there.” “Is there supposed to be a fire there?” “Maybe that’s where the priests are?”
I nocked an arrow and hid in the shelter of the throne, while Raven slid along the shadows by the wall to try and hear more of what they said.
When the group (seven armed men) came into the center of the room, a light shot out from the throne, and Ezekiel’s voice bellowed, “Who comes?”
The leader stammered something about they were looking for an “Earth Temple.”
Ezekiel asked them who sent them, and the leader said some person calling himself “Wag” told them there was loot to be found, and caravans to rob, and food and shelter from the wet, if they came and talked to the “head priest” or cleric of the Earth Temple.
Well, Ezekiel got his pompous act on and told them there would only be Death for them here (which considering the ogres and stirges and undead, sounds about right)…that Judgement had come to this place once before, and was coming again, and they’d best clear out (which kinda explains who we are to anyone with enough deductive skills).
Well, the men must have been enough dazzled by the lit shield and the booming voice that they kinda looked at each other and crept out again. (Here’s to hoping they don’t just turn bandits once they get outside…though I guess if they do they’ll get what’s coming to them.)
Ezekiel came down from the chair, and I said I couldn’t believe they fell for it – and Lydia said she didn’t think they were the smartest around.
I certainly can’t imagine voluntarily marching into a place as twisted and nauseating as the Temple – unless I was here to purge it and kill Evil, which I am. Those guys must be strangely desperate if they came down here for loot and a bandit hideout.
I’d think they meant the Drow Cleric, except that he wasn’t really “earth” related. At least it’s clear they’re some of the “mortal tools” the Lady Bad is trying to gather to herself. Poor dupes.
Well, Raven put out the fire, and Ezekiel covered all the shields, so we wouldn’t broadcast our presence quite so much. (It’s chilly down here, but not as cold as it might be. The earth protects us from the winter weather outside.)
They tell me some snarly voices passed in the corridor (probably some humanoids) but left us alone…but I didn’t hear anything more until Raven woke up Mikael and me.
He said it was almost time for our shift, but first there were footsteps at the door and the jingle of armor.
We heard voices, too, and I gather that whoever it was sent a man in to “check the door”…and he hugged the wall to avoid the “bloodsuckers,” so they were familiar with this place.
They had also left their lights behind, so all we knew was the clanking and rustling of a man making his way along the west wall.
I wasn’t confident of my ability to shoot anything in this darkness, so I held onto my sword – since it glows when I draw it, and I have more chance of knowing what’s right next to me. (Also since I’m running down on arrows. I’ve been recovering them, but they do tend to snap sometimes or get lodged in guts so that you really can’t pull them out.)
Well, the walking stopped, and next thing I knew, there was a sound of cloth and feet as someone lunged.
The nearby opponent yelped, and there was a burst of light and stark shadows – I guess as Ezekiel uncovered his shield and faced the enemies at the door.
A crossbow bolt hit the wall as a bunch of men shouted in surprise.
Raven aimed a kick at our poor scout by the secret door, while Mikael swung at him with his staff.
Seeing that was covered, I rounded the big chair to back up Ezekiel. I must have been dazzled by the light of his shield, because I dropped my sword.
I heard Yeti give a war shout behind us, and Corby dove out of the shadows to peck at the leader’s eyes (you could tell he was the leader because he had nicer gear).
Raven and Mikael must have finished off their opponent, because they came running around the throne to join us. Someone shot a crossbow bolt at Raven, but he deflected it away from his face – almost getting his hand torn off in the process, though.
Yeti charged in from behind us to help Ezekiel against the leader, so I decided they had that covered and turned to the subordinates.
They…must not have had much training. Decent equipment, but almost no experience. I almost felt bad for them as I hammered through their defenses and took them out.
Raven and Corby took down their opponents, and as the last man dropped his weapons and charged for the exit, Ezekiel leveled him to the ground.
I’ll behead orcs and ogres all day long…but I wasn’t built to slaughter other humans. I hope this ends soon.
They all had chain armor, with tabards with a brown and black triangle. The leader also had a bronze medallion with a raised triangle around his neck.
We took their money (mostly silver and electrum, with some platinum and gold), and returned to our “camp.”
Lydia asked (yawning) what they wanted with a “Fire Temple” – apparently she overheard them say something during the fight.
Sounds like there’s a whole system of temples underneath The Temple…and this is only our first night here.
They’d just better not all barge in here, is all I can say. I’m all in favor of a quiet watch, and then a quiet watch for Yeti and Lydia, and a decent morning where we’ve all had some sleep.
Ezekiel covered his shield again, but I had an arrow ready while I watched the main door. It would only take a second or two to drop the bow and draw my sword if the case required it.
It had better not, though, because I’m extra grumpy when I’m tired.
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Find the start of the Temple adventure here.
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