ADVENTURE 24: Cleansing of the Upper Temple
Telok: Elf cleric of Obad-hai, divine disciple, level 12 CG
Jerry Springwater: Human Fighter-Paladin-Justicar, Level 11 LG
Jestyn: High Elf Wizard, Level 11 NG
Verrof: Earth Genasi Ranger-Foe Hunter, Level 10 LG, ECL 11
ADVENTURE 24: Cleansing of the Upper Temple: The following day there was a meeting at the Temple of All Gods. High Priestess Karsyla had spoken with the remains of Saracek and Zelkor. What she learned from them was dire news indeed, for they spoke of the priests plans. According to the undead heroes, the Orcus Cults goal was to revive their master, the demon prince Orcus, once again summoning him into the world. To do this they had constructed three temples within Rappan Athuk, to be used as a source for channeling Orcus divine energy. In order for his summoning to fail, all temples needed to be destroyed. After her speech, Verrof got up and spoke on his experiences in the upper temple, the first of the three. Suddenly, a figure stepped into the room, stunning the whole crowd. In black spiked armor, with the symbol of Orcus scratched into his undead skull, it was the high priest of Orcus known only as the Disciple. He taunted all, saying that their quest was a vain joke, that they could not possibly succeed. He warned that if the heroes dared to strike at the temples again then their city and its people would suffer greatly, enduring terrible curses for each wrong they did to Orcus. Soon he disappeared, only an illusion.
After this meeting, the characters urgently discussed their plans. Some wished to look for the rumored holy sword, while others wanted revenge on the temple, feeling confiden that they could take the clerics this time. In the end the latter was decidedthe characters would once again raid the temple. Preparations for battle were made. Telok bought Verrof some new equipment, while the church supplied Jerry with some basic gear. Spells were prepared, spells were cast, and plans were made. Finally Jestyn teleported the party to the front gates of the temple. They went in.
There, two undead beings: the sword-wielding ghoul and the armored skeleton, awaited them at the doors. Some zombies also rushed them, the remains of the clerics that they previously killed. The others waited back near the altar and prepared some spells. Another Vrock was here too, the demonic bird ready to fight again. Jestyn cast a wall of force, preventing the higher clerics from reaching the party again, while the others concentrated on fighting the first wave. As Telok began the battle he cast a Harm spell on the armored skeleton, knowing that few attacks would pierce his armor. It did nothing, seeming to heal the villain more that it hurt him. He quickly realized his mistake, and Healed the undead abomination later, nearly destroying it. Another minor heal from Telok caused the thing to die. Jerry battled the ghoul with two swords, decimating it with his similar style as they fought. Eventually the ghoul too was dead, a pile of dust on the ground. Verrof battled the shadow archer, hurting him greatly. His greatest victory came when the archer managed to fumble multiple rolls and knock himself out. Verrof soon beat him into nothingness. As for the demonic birdman, it battled Jerry for a while, but was soon banished back to its own plane by Telok. Soon, however, the specter returned, casting another dreaded confusion spell, which again affected Jestyn. Soon the priests began teleporting past the wall of force using their leaders ring, and though many of their spells didnt effect the party, eventually their Dispels began to wear down on the PCs defenses. Eventually the high priest himself teleported through, intent on slaying the party. He barely got a chance to act, as Jeb sneak attacked him and Jestyn launched a disintegrate spell at him, wounding him greatly. The evil cleric was finally finished off by a chain lighting from the wizard, killing him. His underlings didnt fare too well either. Most were either slain by the warriors or backstabbed by the rogue. The wizard used one of the last charges of his wand to summon up a celestial, who slew many of the lesser clerics and injured the specter, though she was soon banished by the temples evil curse. The zombies were barely a fight. None of them could hit with their clumsy blows, and all perished one way or another, several killed by Jerrys falcon, one killed by Snaggletooth. Yet as victory was looking close, Telok was killed. Already weakened by several wounds, the cleric was dropped by one of the specter-wizards magic missiles. Verrof killed the specter, though, and soon the battle was won!
Afterwards, Jestyn stripped the bodies of their treasures, and burned all except the high priest. The two warriors attempted to push over the statue of Orcus, though they had little luck. Eventually Jeb rigged up a pulley system which allowed them to pull it down easily. Verrof them pulled it into the lava pit, destroying the evil idol. As it sunk into the lava, there was a feeling of lightness, and the temples evil began to subside. They had succeeded in their quest. Only two temples remained.
Back in town, they spoke with the High Priestess. She congratulated them on their victory, and resurrected Telok (though not for free). Jestyn gave her the skeletons of the evil clerics, and she told him to bring the bodies to the Temple of Nerull. (They decided to build a sort of monument out of them, to dissuade further worship of Orcus. Sartorious later chastised Jestyn for dealing with the evil priesthood of death.) Later that day Jerry went straight to bed, being very tired, though he planned to soon make some speeches at the temple. Verrof tried to speak with Jacko about buying half of the Filthy Harlot Tavern, though he didnt agree with inkeepers hefty price. He later decided to help out in the kitchens. He also took a single item to the church of Thyr for cleansing: a shield of rust monster scales which was also unholy. Sartorious charged him a hefty fee, though told him that it could be cleansed of its evil enchantment in a weeks time. Telok went to the poor sector of town, again wishing to aid the citys diseased and destitute. He was briefly hassled by some thugs, but managed to avoid them by becoming ethereal. Jestyn, after identifying his new magical items, contacted Anna Marie and the two went on a date to the citys opera and then to an expensive restaurant completely operated by magical servants. The date was a lovely affair, only mired slightly by the presence of an annoying mosquito (a bit odd in the late fall). Afterwards, Jestyn took his lady back home, though his kiss to her was a bit coldly received. The day ended well, or so it seemed, little sign of the impending curse that had been promised by the Dark Disciple.
DM’S COMMENTS: This time they did far better against the temple, even though the priests got around their force wall tactic. I think it was mostly due to them getting better rolls, and me getting some pretty bad rolls. This time the vrock didn’t get it’s summoning off and nobody was teleported into the lava. Still one death, Telok’s first. Overall a fun session. They earned their victory here, considering that a total of eight PCs have been killed at the upper temple.