The others were having their own adventures while we were busy with the barracks.
Yeti, Mikael, and Raven came across a group of ghouls that attacked them…but, of course, they couldn’t get near Yeti, so their ability to attack was limited.
Apparently that doesn’t work if you palm-punch them, which Raven did, and then couldn’t move. The ghoul was also stunned by his attack, though, which made it an open target for Yeti – and after it was killed, Raven was able to use his spear to help Yeti and Mikael kill the others.
They found everything quiet in the cleric’s apartments (entering by the secret door again to avoid disturbing the guards), and came back with Cleric Romag’s chainmail and mace (which Mikael had previously told us were magical).
They also fit most of the money into the bag of holding, and untied Romag’s legs so he could walk himself out (not his mouth, though, since we’ve learned our lesson).
Meanwhile, Ezekiel removed the Jailor’s chainmail (since he won’t need it anyway), and gave it to the man we rescued from the rack (his name is Heiran Karreneth).
I admit it was awkward, standing around in the hallway trying to make conversation with two orcs and a bugbear standing there…but eventually we heard something coming down the hall, and we could see the light of Yeti’s shield shining as the rest of our party came closer.
We heard growling and gurgling, too, and saw two ghouls following them – though they couldn’t get close enough to be dangerous because they didn’t want to get near Yeti.
I turned to Ezekiel to let him deal with them, but he was staring off into space with a kind of vague smile on his face.
It didn’t look like anyone had stabbed him with a poisoned needle or something, so I told Lydia to hold things together while I shot the ghouls.
Heh…hmm…So I shot one of them through the throat, but after winging the other one, it got smart or something and I spent four arrows without doing any damage.
Raven apparently got tired of watching me humiliate myself, and skewered the ghoul to the wall with a single thrust of his spear.
With that dealt with, I could tell everyone that I’d noticed a secret door in the wall (maybe that’s why I kept missing my shots? I was distracted?) so while Lydia slapped Ezekiel until he shook his head and started talking again, Raven checked it and opened it with his spear.
We put Mikael in charge of Romag (the orcs and bugbear seemed to be behaving themselves), so Ezekiel and Raven headed in to check the passage (although I thought time was getting on and we should rescue what prisoners might remain).
Well, I guess I was wrong, because when they came back, they had some gnome-sized leather armor, backpack, and a short sword.
They say there are iron doors leading into the backs of the cells where we found zombies, and another secret door to the bugbears’ guard-room. There’s also a room behind a curtain that we assume is the Jailor’s quarters – especially since we found the gnome’s gear there – where Ezekiel opened an iron chest (first by bashing it with his mace before he realized he had the Jailor’s keys) and found a bucket-load more money. (Also a couple potions that they both think are for healing.)
They also brought back a couple little flasks of oil for Lydia, and we waited while the gnome put his gear back on (his name is Wonillon, and he says he came into the Temple for treasure and profit. He got more trouble than he reckoned on, but he’d be willing to return with us if there was adventuring to do).
(About that point, Raven’s pet bugbear complained it was typical racism for us to give the gnome and the human prisoner stuff, but him nothing…so Mikael cast Cure Light Wounds on him, and then he said, “Thank you.” So I guess it’s just as well I didn’t point out that he and his pals had imprisoned the others. He did give us credit for what we did give him, which I guess is pretty broad-minded of a bugbear.)
So the bugbear directed us to the right corridor to get to the cells – through the barracks, past the pit with the water in it, and west.
A couple ghouls came up on us, but Ezekiel turned them into dust (good to have him paying attention again), and the bugbear said, “You’re going to want to use that trick again, around the corner to the left.”
Sure enough, we passed through a door into another corridor, and we could smell the filth and rot of something vile. Ezekiel advanced with his holy symbol, and some pale, ugly creatures came at us through a doorway to the west (I gather they were ghasts, since they looked a little different, and they didn’t turn straight to dust at the sight of Ezekiel’s sheep).
One of them got too close to Ezekiel, and he brought his mace down on it – there was a flash of light, and a crackling sound or something, and the ghast crumbled into dust and ash. It was hard to see from all the way in the back, but I think the eyes of the ram on his mace – and that rune on its forehead – were both glowing right after he hit it.
Maybe that got him excited or something, because when the ghasts fled back into the room, he charged after them (“charged” as fast as he could), and Yeti and Raven went with him.
I got kind of nervous with both our powerhouses against undead gone at once, but the corridor was quiet. (Very quiet…the orcs and bugbear didn’t seem keen to make conversation with us any more than we were to make it with them. Lydia did talk a little bit with the two women we rescued – reassuring them, I think.)
It felt like hours until the threesome joined us again – although it’s hard to tell down there.
They told us they found several rooms used as undead quarters, including some old “chapel” with a smashed altar and a grotesque bas-relief on the wall (a human-like face with squashed features and a mushroom head…I think whoever carved it must have been on the mushrooms. At least that’s what Raven said).
Ezekiel also found an ivory statuette in a box, a sack of clothing (that was mostly intact and not vile-smelling), and also a locked chest that contained a brooch and a heavy hammer with the symbol of Ula.
Yeti is carrying the hammer of Ula and seems very excited – he says it’s a throwing hammer.
Ezekiel seems worried about the brooch – he says it has the heraldry of Veluna and the Knights of the Hart on it…which to me says someone was captured/killed and plundered by the Evil things here.
They also lugged the chest back so they could dump the money it contained into the bag of holding – which seemed to impress all the prisoners.
We kept going until we reached a cross-road where the bugbear said to go right. He kept shushing us, too, so I did my best to watch all angles at once.
Raven unlocked the door, and he and Yeti went inside. From the hall, I could glimpse a bunch of naked men chained to the walls.
Turns out Ezekiel had a good idea when he grabbed that bag of clothing, so while Raven unchained all the prisoners, Ezekiel arranged outfits for them and helped them dress.
There were two women and six or seven men altogether in that room, and once we had freed and clothed them all, we could head to the nearest stairs (with the bugbear shushing us all the way).
We reached a staircase without meeting anyone, and climbed to what was once a vestry – but is now largely broken up. There’s a broken rondite bowl and ewer, and torn brown garments everywhere.
In the larger “sanctuary” outside, the pillars are sandstone, the floor is red, and there are broken rocks and shards all over the floor.
A bronze chain, manacle, and maul are near the altar, but they’ve all been broken or wrecked in some way.
Well, it was already evening – but we decided to head out. Ezekiel didn’t want to spend any more time in the Temple than necessary, and I agree we didn’t have a good place to hole up – especially with so many people to protect.
The big main doors of the Temple – west and east – were still unlocked, like we’d left them, and we headed out toward the gate where we’d left our horses.
Yeti called for his war horse Syphon, and the whole group appeared – with the dead bodies of some gnolls scattered around them. Clearly Syphon knows how to handle himself, and the herd (which is very good).
The bugbear seemed nervous, but did admit we’d dealt straight with him. Ezekiel gave him the “blessing of the God of gods” and sent him off “in peace.”
The bugbear made some kind of cultural gesture and disappeared into the darkness. (Without a sound. They creep me out, honestly.) He also said he’d remember what we’d done – so I hope that’s a good thing.
We offered to escort the orcs farther away from the Temple, but said they probably didn’t want to come to Homlette with us. They said they’d make do with the flail, and headed out into the woods.
Lydia dismissed her lion Simba, and we headed out – the prisoners all piled into the cart (and sitting on Romag…he had a pretty bad day, all things considered).
Apparently most of the “new arrivals” were from Nulb (the two women were the wife and servant of a merchant, and there were a couple other merchants and men-at-arms). They say they were captured by ghouls and were going to be fed to the undead…I said I’m glad we got there first.
Since we had to go through Nulb anyway, we dropped most of them off – handing out six silver to every person as consolation money.
The three from the torture room were from the Chron Hills, so they continued on with us to the Welcome Wench – as did a sailor captured from Nulb, since he didn’t really have a place to return to right away. (And Homlette has lots of traffic going through, so he should be able to catch a ride to wherever he wants to go.)
We will see what this turn of events brings about in Nulb. I mean, ghouls going around kidnapping people isn’t a good thing.
We talked some more with Wonillon, and it sounds like he’d like to join the group when we return to the Temple. Heiran Karreneth also sounds interested in joining us – maybe after we return the ladies to the Chron Hills, I can show him the basics of archery, since having another ranged weapon in the party would be very useful (not counting Raven’s daggers).
Ezekiel says he has some questions he wants to ask Brother Celmet up at the chapel of St. Cuthbert, and maybe that will give us others time to escort the women home (I mean, we could just send them off with a merchant caravan, but I think it’d be nice to follow through).
Several of us are sleeping late, but we can discuss it more at lunchtime.
Oh, yes, and we will need to meet with the village elder, too. We didn’t have time to give a detailed explanation when we knocked on Master Bern’s tower late last night and handed over Cleric Romag.
I wonder what they will get out of him…?
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Find the previous entry here.
Find the start of the Temple adventure here.
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