ADVENTURE 35: The Second Temple Falls
Jerry Springwater: Human Fighter-Paladin-Justicar, Level 14 LG
Jestyn: High Elf Wizard, Level 14 NG
Verrof: Earth Genasi Ranger-Foe Hunter, Level 12 LG, ECL 13
Kirian Ylestos: Human Figher-Barbarian, Level 12 CG
ADVENTURE 35: The Second Temple Falls: The next day ,the PCs all met at the temple of Muir and Thyr. As they spoke of their plans, another man appeared at the temple: Kirian Ylestos was his name; a tall muscular warrior who wielded a huge greatsword but wore no armor. He had been told to come here by Karsyla, and was looking for Jerry Springwater. When he met the others, he told them his story. He was from the far north, from a tiny tribe of mountain people. Many years ago, a gate to the Abyss had opened up in an old mine near his homeland. The village had been plagued by demons for years, until a charismatic priest named Gudmund offered to banish them all for a price. That price was high indeed, as each year he took the youngest and prettiest girls from the village, though nobody knew what became of them. The villagers dealt with this for years, but eventually they rebelled against this cleric. Kirian joined them, as two of the girls taken were his sisters. Gudmund responded to this by reopening the gate and freeing all the demons. Controlling them, he murdered half the villagers and had his demons drag the other half away, flying to some far-off place in the south, cackling maniacally. Kirian barely managed to escape, swearing vengeance against the evil cleric. His searches took him to Nenkal, where a divination from Karsyla revealed the identity of this Gudmund fellowhe was a cleric of Orcus, and had been controlling the demons all along. He, along with the missing villagers were in Rappan Athuk, legendary dungeon of graves, in a place called The Lower Temple. Karsyla suggested he go to Jerry if he wished to enter the dungeon. Thus he arrived. Sensing no evil from this young man, the party let Kirian join.
First, however, they had other business to attend to. They needed Teloks earth-blood to complete his quest, but after consulting some wizards they found out that there was no way to get it back other than free Telok too. Jestyn spoke with Hemarraki, the greatest wizard in the city. He offered to cast the freedom spell in exchange for an insane amount of money. Jestyn bargained him down by giving him some ninth level spells, then paid his fee. The golden-skinned wizard agreed to free Telok.
The party went back to Navarres tomb and Hemarraki cast the freedom spell. Telok appeared again, very confused, though not angry at first. Jestyn wanted to be paid back for all the money they spent on freeing him. Telok refused, deciding to cast a wind walk spell and escape. He did not get the chance to. Verrof and Kirian knocked him out before he could get away. Taking much of Teloks valuable gear to pay the party back, they decided to spare his life and allow Telok to lead his life in peace, though not as a party member. Telok left, going back to his own gods temple, though he felt his faith quickly fading away. After a bit of shopping and restocking, the party was nearly ready to leave. First, however, they decided to check back on the former cleric of Orcus they had captured (whose name was Rachel.) She seemed different now, almost brainwashed, preaching the virtues of Thyr, but without questioning them at all. A bit distraught by this, Verrof and Jestyn questioned Sartorious on the matter, and there was a long talk about what was to be done with her. After hours of discussion, the party decided to let her go free and lead her own life in the city. Rachel would get her freedom, but the church would still watch over her, and the PCs would be responsible for every evil act she committed.
Now, they tried finding a new cleric, but had little luck. Eventually they managed to persuade Sartorious to come along, though only for the attack on the next temple. They went back to Rappan Athuk, and a divination revealed that Level 7a contained an entrance to this temple. Going through a maze, they fought some minotaurs and giant rats, then found the stairs leading down. They descended into a circular room with two other stairwells and a door. A black light covered this whole level, along with eerily illuminated symbols of Orcus. They took the southern door, going through a hallway, past an intersection and eventually to a set of evil double doors. They disabled the trap on them and went in.
Here, a globe of scintillating colors flashed in the center of a hellish altar. The room was cross-shaped, the sides featuring pools of boiling blood. There were many Orcus priests here, along with a man in a skull-mask and plate armorwho Kirian recognized as the fiendish Gudmund! Beside him was their old foe Korashaag, from the Tomb of Abysthor, and guarding them both was a horrible demon! As they entered the room, they were attacked by a clay golem as well! The battle was a hard one. Kirian immediately leapt for Gudmund, using his powerful jumping skills to leap across the temple like a frog. He attacked the high priest, but was soon put to sleep by a spell of command. Gudmund cast harm upon him, draining most of his health. After the warrior awoke, he jumped back againbut a single weak spell from Gudmund was enough to kill him. Meanwhile, the others fought their own fights. The golem almost killed Verrof, but was eventually brought down after Sartorious healed him. The demon was little threat, and was quickly banished. The others lasted longer, but eventually they were all slain, along with Korashaag and Gudmund, who was frozen by one of Jestyns spells. Though all were injured and their newest friend was dead, the party was victorious. They smashed the globe in the center of the room, and all the evil began to fade from the place.
DM’S COMMENTS: With Telok finally retired, it looks like things are getting more calm…but not in the dungeon, of course! The second temple was a bit easier than the first, mostly because the PCs were at a better level. There was still death, but death is to be expected in Rappan Athuk. The golem gave them a lot of trouble, as it took them a few rounds to figure out how to hurt the damn thing. Overall, it was a good battle.