This is the final entry in the adventures in the Temple of Illhan. The DM and I are now in the process of remapping the dungeon and keying it for release as a PDF. Watch this space for more information on the Temple of Illhan PDF release.
For those who haven’t been reading the whole series, and those who would like to review the earlier adventures in the Temple (including last week’s climactic boss-fight), here are the previous posts:
- Week 1: Temple of Illhan – A TPK in one session
- Week 2: Temple of Illhan; Second Expedition
- Week 3: Twice More Into the Breach, Dear Friends!
- Week 4: We seem to be having a fighter problem
- Week 5: Halfling Cultists & Plundered Tombs
Another week, another swordsman to sacrifice to the hunger of Bethunel’s dark god of carnage and gluttony. In Oakridge we received a package from Bethunel’s church indicating that a new team of delvers were on their way in a week’s time to take over our explorations. Along with the package was a warrior of the church, Torvull Ragespitter, a new swordsman to help us on our expeditions before our time limit arrived.
We re-entered the dungeon through the secret door that allows us to bypass most of the first three levels in our quest for treasure. However, we were nearly surprised by a flock of stirges that had obviously moved in, probably flying down the stairs and setting up in the room due to it’s easy access to the surface. Thinking that we only had a handful of stirges to fight, we took the battle to them. With two of the four slain in our first rush, we were surprised to discover than another four were roosting under the stairs themselves and we were all under attack by these bloodsucking beasts. And of course one managed to sink itself into our wizard’s neck. The battle quickly turned into a mess, with three of us trying to fight off creatures already stuck to us, and the rest fighting off attackers before they could rescue their companions. Thus, in the very first room of the dungeon, on our fifth expedition into it, we were already bloodied, with Moruth Mel-Arn already down to half hit points.
However, we also discovered that we weren’t the first to be ambushed by these particular stirges. Also under the stairs we found the recently drained bodies of four halflings, along with their treasures (including a magical sword!). Down the stairs to level 2, we surprised another group of explorers, this time wearing the holy symbols of acolytes of the church of Law (the same church as our party that was slain in our first adventure here). As Bethunel stepped forward to speak to them, our new warrior went rushing into battle against them, frothing at the mouth. His blow landed killing the leader of the acolytes (20 on his attack roll, 11 damage from his two-handed sword), and a quick sleep spell shut down most of the remaining acolytes. The last acolyte standing immediately fell to his knees begging for his life, to be split in twain by Ragespitter. Everyone in the group looked at the frenzied swordsman with a bit of trepidation, the elf getting ready to cast a sleep spell himself if Ragespitter was truly berzerk. However he fell with greed upon the slain acolytes, looking for treasure.
Finally on the level of the dungeon we were seeking, we moved into a previously unexplored region, encountering robber flies, another noble and his dungeoneering team (we killed his team and his squire in an ambush, and charmed him into joining our expedition – Lord Tirg of Oakridge Station, a level 3 fighter no less). In the next room we ran into his advance scouts, a team of skilled mercenaries. Our attempts to talk our way past them, with their employer obviously our friend, failed miserably as they quickly ascertained that we had slain not only their employer’s son, but also the rest of his friends. Figuring that we had him charmed, they rushed us. This was the fight where Rudrick finally showed how effective a thief can be. He quickly finished off his opponent in the first round of combat (using his new magic blade), slipped into the shadows, and then delivered a 16 damage backstab on the leader of the mercenaries. We continued exploring the level, seeking routes deeper into the dungeon, encountering more mercenaries along the way. At this point we realized we definitely needed to get further into the ruins because the majority of our encounters in this expedition were with other looters, meaning that much of the treasure here was probably already plundered by the latest groups. So much for the halfling assassin’s cult protecting this place!
However, our continued explorations of this level found no more ways to descend deeper into the sublevels, and our group only discovered the first level of movement ability of the elevator room, so we left the temple with our loot, and the feeling that we had explored everything we could beneath that razed church.
Once back in Oakridge, we passed our maps along to the new team arrived from Bethunel’s church and took a week off healing and training before moving on to our next great adventure. And for the first time, one of our fighters made it to level 2. The wizard and elf are both level 3, and the rest of the party is level 4 – meaning the clerics have finally learned second level spells (Bless and Hold Person are their chosen spells).
As a footnote, yesterday’s game was VERY encounter intensive. We dealt with 8 encounters in a four-hour game. If anything, the fights are getting quicker as we gain levels and magic items.