I found some gold on the bandits we killed while Ezekiel was digging. It took him a half hour or so to get down to the stone underneath – six feet down. It’s smooth, cut stone, so obviously carved out of the ground here. I’m thinking the dirt was added as part of their crazy rituals.
We headed south, to check out the smaller doors on either side of the big warded one, but when we were almost there another earth elemental rose out of the ground – and a fourth one came at us from the side, flanking us.
Mikael and Corby must have been a little too far away from Yeti, because they both got smacked by the flanking one. I just glimpsed Mikael scoop Corby up in his arms and duck behind Yeti, chanting to her.
I decided to use my sword, since the last elementals were murder on my arrows. The others hammered away at the first one (Yeti, Raven, Ezekiel – and even Lydia, apparently) while I slashed away at the one flanking us.
I heard a great crack and rumble (apparently Raven smacked the elemental so hard it broke into pieces) and then they were fighting beside me. Raven did his fancy blow again, and the elemental crumbled before us.
While we waited for Mikael to finish his healing spell on Corby, and then cast one on himself, Lydia told me how she had hit the elemental with her staff and sent it reeling – twice! It’s not exactly in her usual skill set, so I can see her being excited when it works out.
Next order of business was investigating the doors on either side of the big, chained, warded one. We chose the one to the west first.
I nocked an arrow before we went inside, but there wasn’t anything living.
There was a padded bench – with seven human-sized sandals lined up underneath and seven human-sized brown cloaks hung on pegs above (they’re neat cultists).
Opposite was a wardrobe or cabinet, with eight sets of padlocks and keys (Ezekiel thinks they’re for the manacles on the pillar). Also a scroll in a bone scroll-case (Ezekiel thinks it’s Protection from Earth Elementals), an ivory bracelet, and some cups and plates.
The plates were weird, too, because they each had a different kind of dirt on them – red, yellow, brown, black, and pale grey. I hope Mikael or Yeti can shed some light on this…
Someone (I think Lydia) suggested we could use the cloaks as disguises, so we threw on some cloaks while Raven checked for secret passages (none).
As we got ready to open the door on the other side of the one with chains and glowing writing, Ezekiel was sure he smelled rotting flesh – which meant undead.
But when we threw open the door, all we saw was a big pile of dirt. We poked around, and sure enough, it was a pile of dirt and gravel – although there were also casks of oil for the lights in the corners.
Yeti was heading back out when he found a note on the back of the door – from the Water Temple to the Earth Temple, demanding tribute. Apparently the Earth Temple had scribbled what they thought of these demands underneath. Raven said he didn’t know all of those words…Lydia said she could teach him more words.
We were heading back toward the curtained entrance we first came in (the one to the north-east of the big room) when we heard a scream from up ahead.
Raven (being very fast) raced ahead. Shortly afterward, he grabbed the curtain and dragged it fully open, revealing a group of ghouls attacking a group of bandits (and two or three of them were already down).
Ezekiel produced his holy symbol, and even from that distance the ghouls must have seen it and crumbled to dust at the revulsion.
When we finally came up to Raven, he was speaking with a funny voice and saying, “Oh, so you really think you’re strong enough to join up?”
“Yes, Grand Master,” said one of the bandits (poor fool).
Ezekiel got his deep pretentious voice on, and asked, “What is your bidding, my master?”
And Lydia played with her veil, and told them they’d have to do whatever the master said.
I, of course, am horrible at talking to people (I have a pale mark under my ribs to prove it) so I said nothing.
Raven and Ezekiel decided to “test” their mettle with Ezekiel’s mace… I can still imagine their screams as they dropped dead from the purple lightening.
I mean, they were Evil, but they were also so clueless and helpless. It took three of them dying just by touching the mace before the last two ran away.
Ezekiel and Raven said, well, we finally scared them off. Lydia said we could have used them to fight other Earth Temple people, if we convinced them to be afraid of/loyal to us.
I just think this is why I fight orcs. I like things simple. Sure, when you’re fighting Evil people, things are going to get messy, but there are still rules of engagement, aren’t there?
Getting them to leave the Temple is great…zapping them to death, I’m not so sure.
Then we all realized that one of the men paralyzed by the ghouls wasn’t actually dead yet, so they lectured him about making good life choices and finding a party that won’t run and leave him for ghoul chow. Then, when it looked like he could basically move again, we let him go.
Poor sucker. I wonder how long he’ll last.
Well…we killed the Earth Elementals for him, anyway.
After that, we headed back to the corridor we’d been to before, with the big yellow triangles on the floor, and headed south (past the branch-off where we’d come from after the divining room).
The first doorway headed east, and slanted a little way from the door. A library ran alongside the corridor, so we spent some time poking through there (and checking for secret doors, of course).
One of the titles was Trial of Earthly Terrors Awaiting the Foolhardy. Guess that about sums up what we just gave the bandits. There were a lot of books on “how to be Evil” – but also some books that seemed to talk about the “judgement of evil,” so I don’t get why anyone would want to join this.
On the other hand…I’m not sure what the party leadership is up to…
When we didn’t find any secret passages, we returned to the main corridor and headed south – where Lydia spotted a secret door in the side of the hallway. (She must have sharp eyes.)
Raven got it open, and we crept in. A short distance ahead was a chest, and Raven checked it for traps and such.
He must not have been super thorough, though, because when he went to unlock it, he yelped and pinched his finger – something had stuck it.
The passage turned south, and a tapestry covered the opening, so Ezekiel marched onward – since he had to find a place to care for Raven.
The room beyond was a neat little bedroom, and some kind of cleric was reading a parchment on the bed in the corner.
Ezekiel told him to keep quiet, and told me to keep him covered with an arrow – so we got him tied up without a fuss.
However, another guy in clerical robes (probably an underling) came through a tapestry across from where we entered. As soon as he saw us, he hollered over his shoulder for “Guards” — and then Lydia pointed her finger and I guess wrapped him up in the tapestry or something (she says that’s a cantrip).
The under-cleric snapped a word I couldn’t quite hear, but Yeti dropped to the ground and started whimpering and hugging himself.
Ezekiel whacked at the under-cleric with his magic mace, and the enemy collapsed at once.
Mikael had gotten Raven onto the bed, where Raven was drooling and saying, “Yeah, get him, Ezekiel! Get rid of the false Ezekiel!”
Hopefully Mikael can prepare Neutralize Poison in the morning…but first we have to survive the night.
And at some point I will have to figure out what my party is up to.
Read the next entry here.
Find the previous entry here.
Start at the beginning of the Temple adventure here.
Subscribe to the mailing list for book updates!