The party set off from Hommlet and headed back to re-enter the Temple. Almost immediately, a feeling of uneasiness settled on the group. About an hour outside of town, the party was stopped by a squad of Etrusean soldiers. They demanded the immediate surrender of Haek for alleged crimes that he committed against Etrusea as a soldier. The soldiers revealed that they had been searching for Haek for several months. After a brief parley, a skirmish began. The Etrusean soldiers deployed in typical military fashion, a stout shield-wall with long spearman forming a second rank and archers well behind. Moving in a straight line, the solders advanced with grim determination. Kaleb, Haek, Bricker, and the bugbears Zook and Oni moved forward while Aldoron unslung his bow and began a deadly rain of death.
The Etrusean archers archers answered in kind, their sheaf arrows finding Aldoron with deadly accuracy. Aldoroan slumped over, dead.
The rest of the party rallied forth, Kaleb and Haek anchoring the line against the Etrusean onslaught. Bricker’s daggers began to find their mark, and Zook and Oni’s halbards began to cleave holes in the once-solid Etrusean shield-wall. The Etrusean line began to falter and the Etrusean archers turned tail and began to flee, knowing that sure death waited for them. One soldier was captured alive, quickly questioned, and released to find his way back to his fellow soldiers, unarmed and morale shattered.
The party escorted Aldoron’s body back to Hommlet where the local clergy performed another expensive miracle and resurrected Aldoron. After allowing several weeks for Aldoron’s recovery, the party set off for the Temple again. It was agreed that the bugbears would stay outside the temple and watch the party’s supplies and pack animals.
Upon reaching the Temple, the party discovered the damage that they had done earlier to get into the temple repaired. The descended once again into the first level under the evil church and picked up exploring it’s dark secrets where they had left off before.
Finding a locked door in their way, the party began to loudly force their entry into the room that lay beyond. After breaking the door in their path open, the party discovered an empty room before them. Looking at the damaged door behind them, a peephole was discovered. Another door led from the empty room. The party proceeded. After forcing their way into the next room, the party saw a group of 8 gnolls armed and ready for battle with long spears. One gnoll stood by two torches, the others around the room next to a large shelf which ran the length of the room.
Kaleb and Haek ran into the room. The gnoll by the two torches reached up and pulled a rope which dropped a weighted net over the two warriors. The other gnolls reached for vials of oil on the shelf and hurled them at the entrapped victims. Oil splashed over Kaleb and Haek. Bricker and Aldoron moved to aid the netted fighters. The gnoll by the torches threw one into the oil, and flames erupted over Haek and Kaleb, burning them. The two struggled with their swords and began to cut their way out. Bricker and Aldoron fired into the room. The gnolls swung mercilessly at Kaleb and Haek trying to kill them outright. Haek and Kaleb finally cut their way free and Bricker rushed into the room, dagger and shortsword promising quick death for the gnolls. Gnoll after gnoll fell, and the one by the torch made a run for the door which led from this grisly room. It escaped to the room beyond.
The party charged head-long after the runaway gnoll. The next room beyond revealed a secret door that the gnoll had apparently ran through. The party immediately followed the runner into yet another room. This one was occupied by the runner and two of it’s friends: ogres. Haek and Kaleb entered the room, Bricker on their heels and Aldoron’s bow covered their entry. Bricker was greeted with a heavy swing and connection, almost knocking him unconscious. The three foul-creatures were finally overcome. While searching the chambers, Bricker discovered a magical Longtooth dagger. The party decided to carry out their treasure to their base camp where Zook and Oni were and rest there.
After an uneventful night, the party re-entered the Temple, and found the leader of the previous two ogres. After dispatching him, the party entered into an L-shaped room with some gnoll occupants. The gnolls were easily defeated and the party became interested in a large fireplace in the room. Aldoron looked up into the fireplace with his infravison and saw some item of note about 20 feet up inside the chimney of the fireplace. Bricker entered quickly and scaled the walls of the chimney and found a large diamond resting on a small outcrop. He grabbed it, and a large grate slid across the chimney cutting off his descent. A large rumbling could be heard overhead. Dust and soot began to fall down on Bricker as he lowered himself down on the grate and tried to bend the bars. Unsuccessful, he called for help from below. Aldoron spied a large stone buttress scraping down the chimney, headed directly for the trapped halfling. Taking out his rope, Bricker tied his grappling hook to it, hooked it solidly on the grate and lowered the rope. The rest of the party grabbed the rope and pulled with all their might, bending the bars of the grate and allowing Bricker to tumble down to the fireplace and safely into the room.
Wanting to lead the way, Aldoron decided that he would break through the next locked door the party encountered. Using his brute force, he forced himself into the next room…straight into a deadly quadruple crossbow. A smiling gnoll pulled the trigger and a flurry of crossbow bolts flew into Aldoron and Kaleb, who was directly behind him. The gnoll was not alone however. Human soldiers were also in the room and they deployed to defend themselves. Hearing the ruckus of battle, the leader of the humans stormed into the room. He threw a javelin of lightning, which went wide of it’s mark, and then closed with a scimitar of speed in hand. After a fierce fight, all of the denizens of the temple were overcome and the party left for the surface yet again.
Elapsed game time: 29 days