D&D Chronicles: Temple of Death

ZILLAH

Now that we are returned to Reyim Baal, the Temple of Bahal awaits. It is hard to turn our attention to anything serious while grieving our fallen comrade, but we cannot ignore the fact that one of the Eyes of Varrien could be inside the spectre-infested temple. If the Eye is there, we need to at least try to retrieve it — before someone else does.

But the very thought of tackling the Temple of Bahal — known as the Temple of Death — is terrifying. The clerics of Bahal here in Reyim Baal have already tried and failed to reclaim their temple from the decades-old spectres of its guardian priests. If they cannot succeed, what hope is there for us?

A new companion

Without Blizzard, it seems a mad quest. But there is a paladin here who may lend us a hand if we can be persuasive enough. His name is Blaze and he’s impressively kitted out with armour and a warhorse, of all things. He serves Nievor, god of the vine, and has been sent by his church to find out what’s going on. (As well they might.)

We tell him that if he wants to find out “what’s going on”, he could do worse than aid us in our quest to reclaim the Eye of Varrien for the priests of Elloran, who commissioned us in this task. (A truth.) We tell him we believe the Eye to currently reside in the Temple of Bahal, since Elliana and Tob took it inside several weeks ago, never to emerge. (Also true.)

In return for his aid, we offer him Blizzard’s share of any reward and the loan of his most superior greatsword. Blaze looks understandably overwhelmed by our mission, but eventually agrees.

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Fighting in the forecourt

We’re standing outside the gates of the Temple of Death. The clerics have warned us we’re likely to be attacked the moment we enter the forecourt… which is exactly what happens. There are 12 skeletal figures, all former clerics of Bahal, now the undead guardians of the temple. Alix manages to turn some of them, while Blaze and I lay into them with swords.

Turns out they’re not that hard to kill. Squirrel and Nightshade are lurking outside to work from a distance — one of them produces a flame, and I have a feeling it’s Nightshade. (When did she get that spell?) Then Squirrel’s up on top of the wall.

It’s all over pretty quickly and we drag the corpses out of the precinct for the priests of Bahal to perform last rites on their brethren. That’s 12 fewer undead guardians for us to face later.

One of the major challenges of this place is that most of our spells won’t work inside the temple precinct. So any healing needs to take place outside the gates. Once that’s sorted, we reenter and approach the entrance to the first building.

Ambush in the antechamber

We’re in a large antechamber, a group of shadowy figures at the far end. “Begone or die!” we hear. It figures. We could of course leave, but considering we’re here to find the Eye — and possibly clear out the temple while we’re at it — we’re not backing down just yet.

First a fireball hits us, then we split up and move down two side-aisles, which might provide some cover from similar attacks. Before too long, we’re surrounded by more of the skeletal guardian clerics. Ambush.

Nightshade and I are together on one side of the antechamber, and I have no real idea what’s going on elsewhere. We clear our side and retreat towards the entrance. Blaze and Alix are already there, just outside, and Squirrel rushes past through a fog of some foul miasma… Once we’re healed up outside we return to find the chamber deserted, save for all the corpses, which we again drag outside the gates.

There’s a library in the basement of this building, but not much else of interest. We prise Squirrel away from all the books, because there’s still more to do… plenty more undead clerics and probably worse still infesting the rest of the temple precinct.

Grappling with the golem

Opposite the main entrance to this building is a short bridge over water, leading to a second building with a courtyard. In the courtyard is a statue… hmm.

It animates, of course, as soon as we get close, and reveals itself as a golem. As we’re fighting this enormous creature, hidden magic users cast spells though murder holes, most notably an ice storm. The ice tears into our party, and as soon as we’ve defeated the golem we flee.

Back with the living priests of Bahal, we ask about healing, since we’ve exhausted our supply of spells. But unfortunately these clerics use vile magic to draw out the life force from their lackeys — which is absolutely out of the question for us. Although we’d prefer to finish clearing out the temple today, we’re going to have to wait at least a night to recover. Damn. That gives our enemy time to recover as well.

We do, however, decide it’s worth Squirrel and I sneaking back in under the cover of invisibility to see if we can push the golem into the water — otherwise they’ll doubtless reanimate it so we have to fight it again tomorrow.

We creep inside once more… to find four minions fussing with the fallen creature. Squirrel’s fireball scatters them, giving us a few moments to act before they return. With several giant heaves, the enormous clay figure makes a satisfying splash as it plunges into the water.

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