Here is the third session recap. I apologize for the snark—I meant to tone it down, but I find I am not in as much shape to do that at the moment as would probably be beneficial. Please note that the snark is not directed at anything specific, nor does it really represent how I feel about the adventure…it just sort of happens sometimes.
I also very much suck at remembering names, and when I write them down, they’re often horribly misspelled. So I also apologize for the liberties I have taken with the villain names. It will, likely, continue to happen. Someone else may wish to keep track of actual names.
Lastly, of course, please feel free to let me know if there are corrections that need to be made, additions to be thrown in, etc.
Picking up where we left our intrepid heroes, the action finds Sage making a futile gesture of attempting to cause the Head of the Evil Ritual of “Mystra” to slip on water down the stairs and break his neck. If only it were so easy. However, the HER"M" had managed to bar the door and prevent our weary band from following, causing the water to be little more than an admittedly slightly spiteful gesture.
Annoyed at their lack of equipment, the group followed hard on the heels of Vlad to their belongings, only to find him gone (but a copy of the contract remaining thoughtfully on the bed for Nikolai) but little else disturbed. Taking a quick breather as they hoped the remaining guard would summon some help, (and turn the temple guards to
their side) Sage, Nikolai, and Prae (no longer a wolf) got into their equipment and healed up a bit before a clatter interrupted their peace…
Meanwhile, K’Larr and Sued reached the town, following the tugging of a magic ring and, well, a few general directions left behind. Of some sort. Hand wave. Figuring (rightfully so) that K’Larr’s wife and their gnomish friend might have found adventure already, the two tracked the rest of the party to the “Mystran” Temple, where a sad Dolomite waited outside the gates. After receiving a “Come back at daytime, you adventuring hooligans” (or as good as), the two looked for a more surreptitious way inside…
The three adventurers on the inside came into the main sanctuary to find a small contingent of guards, a sorcerous devotee and one of the Doubtlessly and Overtly Unfriendly Creepy Hierophants of Evil accusing them of murdering the remaining guard and defiling the temple. Annoyed, the adventurers attempted to counter this with well-meaning
diplomacy and evidence, but the DOUCHE was having none of that. Nikolai then changed tactics to “confirming” the accusations while Sage and Prae rolled their eyes and rolled for initiative.
Tymora smiled upon Sage and Prae, granting them the ability to duck back into the initiates barracks from which they’d come and protesting the turn that things had taken. Seriously, the guy had blood exactly where someone would who had stabbed the guard himself! And there’s no blood on our blades! But it fell on deaf (and idiotic) ears. Unfortunately for Nikolai, though, this caused the majority of the attacks to fall upon him initially, bringing him down to critical levels.
With some quick thinking, he then proceeded to “teleport” away (into the corner, where he fell unconscious while invisible) and the two remaining continued to face the guards. While the DOUCHE cast spells and generally annoyed the heroes, and the sorcerer cast a few things (like magic missile), the guards proved mostly ineffective until one managed to score a critical hit on Sage, who returned the gesture in kind, killing one of them. Prae, meanwhile, cast a holy and awesome flaming sphere at the sorcerer, who died like a punk. Tiring of the odds of fighting so many guards as were crammed into the initiatives’ barracks, Sage cast color spray and put the rest of the guards to sleep…
K’Larr and Sued had found a conveniently open gate door, in the meantime, and quickly raced in to act as reinforcements when they heard the sounds of battle (and Sage’s annoyed voice protesting their innocence). This drew some of the ire of the DOUCHE, and the guard on the battlements came forth to challenge them. Noticing the fray, though, the guard from the battlements quit his job on the spot and wandered off (thus perhaps being the only guard from the temple to survive, as it will turn out). After severely injuring the DOUCHE with some well placed magic missiles, the coward turned invisible and led the heroes on a wild goose chase. Or wild badger chase, as the case might be, ending with the group “finding” the friendly guard tied in the guard barracks that the rest of the mess had come from.
K’Larr attempted to guard the doors to prevent the invisible DOUCHE from leaving, and Prae flailed blindly about after glitterdust blinded him. In the meantime, Nikolai stabilized and Sued helpfully tied up the rest of the guards. Annoyed at the disappearing act of the DOUCHE, Sage attempted to question Dolomite as to whether the guard was, in fact, the DOUCHE in disguise (under a polymorph spell or something similar). After all, they had said that the other guard was murdered (if they all came from the guard quarters, wouldn’t one of those other ones have spoken up at the miraculous “recovery” of their friend?— LK), and the invisible DOUCHE had not had long to set up his nefarious scheme of changing into the guard, tying himself up convincingly, and all that.
Luckily for the DOUCHE, things happen quickly in D&D, everyone rolled poorly on their Sense Motive checks, and Prae was distracted healing Nikolai up to consciousness to properly question Dolemite. After some more healing, hemming, and hawing, the DOUCHEin disguise (secretly, a priest of
Bane Cyric, as it turned out, that we theoretically aren’t seeing again but may see again due to the DM’s sense of humor) convinced the other guards of the adventurer’s pure motives and the group debated what to do with the guards. Knowing that they were, essentially, cannon fodder but being of the good dispositions, the group settled on the course of sending the guards back to the town to act as warning if need be.
After some refreshing beverages provided by the excellent chef, Sued, the guards left and are undoubtedly dead, as the adventurers then took some more time to figure out just what had happened with the DOUCHE. Thanks to some conversing with Dolomite at a more leisurely pace, discovered the ruse. Annoyed yet again, the group figures that the remaining guards have little chance to make it home now. Nikolai also took the opportunity to summon his special friend.
However, they were hired to do a job (which was proving to be far more work than initially thought) and there still was some possibility that there might be hapless victims remaining. Plus there was a score to settle with HER"M", and mysteries to be solved about the temple, other than the fact that it was decidedly not a temple to Mystra.
Cthulhu, perhaps, but not the Lady of Mysteries. At least, not any longer.
After some wrangling with the door, the group proceeded down the the cult’s stairs into a subterranean area. More Shadow Soldiers met them (and died quickly), along with the HER"M" and a pet earth elemental that could glide about the earth easily. The HER"M" proved to be only slightly challenging due to the group now being armored appropriately and healing up some. He was, of course, cut down inside his creepy quarters, with a few chops of Sage’s blade and another well-timed, well-placed flaming sphere from Prae. K’Larr and Nikolai’s friend, meanwhile, after taking out a SS guard, met the earth elemental with some dismay and set the husband-wife tag-team switch into motion. Nikolai also directed his friend to get some good thunks in. Thanks to some quick thinking by Sued, the Earth Elemental was slowed down a few rounds due to a pit and the group managed to break him to rubble soon enough.
The chamber that they found themselves in, now that the battle had ended and they had time to look around, was obviously a part of the ruins that the temple had been built upon. A statue of Mystra, standing tall amid rubble that seemed to indicate the “priests” of the new temple trying to destroy it, gave the adventurers a happy “lucky” feeling when standing within a few feet of it. Five doors led off the room, and the group decided to investigate where the HER"M" had fallen first. This proved to be a few bedchambers for the vile priests, including the HER"M"’s room which had a few taxidermied heads hanging from the walls, likely the unsuspecting Mystran Priests that the Guy Who Hired Us mentioned as being missing. Prae’s character quickly took them down and put them into his bag to give them a more natural burial.
Another door, locked to begin with, but that K’Larr used his excellent lock-picking skills on, proved to be dusty with disuse. Later, the group would find a diary that suggested this priest had disappeared into the void of space. Soon thereafter, Sued and Sage, while examining the “Mystran” holy symbol that the HER"M" wore, would figure out that it was a transfigured Shar symbol. Shar being bad news, the group figured out that the priests of Shar were attempting to summon Cthulhu and subvert worship of Mystra in the area. Additionally, a letter was found from the head of the temple (the Shar Loving Über Tramp) furthering confirming the group’s beliefs on the evilness of the temple.
Going through the doors, the group then figured out the privy (with some noting that there would’ve undoubtedly been other adventuring groups that would’ve tried such a method), a rusty iPray portcullis that Sage was convinced led to horrible, horrible things, like a monster. A big, vicious sewer monster. There was a door that K’Larr had some trouble opening, so the next door was opened and the library discovered. Scrolls were found and Sued then spent some time looking everything over happily. Finishing the rubbing of half-elves on walls, though, the rest of the group, meanwhile, tried that stuck door again.
This time, there were results. Finding themselves in a hall with quite a bit of statuary, the group warily proceeded forward (never know when those statues are going to spring to life). Their caution was rewarded when the next hall led to more SS, a whirling vortex of crazy looking doom, and the SLUT. After several people charged in, including Prae, Dolomite, K’Larr, and Sage (with Ialokin and Nikolai hanging back and Sued still in the library), the SLUT summoned a number of fearsome shadow snakes, cursed K’Larr with blindness, and then plunged the room into absolute darkness. Sage got at least one decent hit, and Prae realized he didn’t have much left in his bag of tricks. While the players scrambled to figure out what the darkness meant (and it was determined to
just be darkness be supernatural darkness unless cast specifically at a light spell as a direct counter), the group attempted to fight even through this.
Vicious snarls proved that Dolomite was doing awesomely. After Sued, upon hearing the shouts, called for the group to retreat back past her, the rest of the gang all attempted to move slowly back. Prae followed last, hoping that his beloved badger was coming, but the badger was already beyond hearing the words of gnome. Instead, of course, he took down all three shadow snakes by himself.
Meanwhile, the rest of the group cleared out and Sued cast a fireball in the room, fully prepared for it to back-draft and hit her. Luckily, this didn’t happen and instead the SLUT took some damage. Therein followed another game of “try to find the attacker the group can’t see” with Ialokin guarding the door until being dropped by the SLUT. After that, Nikolai started summoning spiders that could locate the SLUT, while Sage attempted to find her the old fashion, follow in the dark, sort of way (after retreating to find her husband and try to cure him but realizing that he’d been cursed blind), Sued cast a few more spells, Prae began trekking back to find Dolomite, and Nikolai scurried around for a better hiding space—but kept having to call out instructions to the celestial spider he’d summoned. The SLUT tried to curse Sage, who managed to successfully save through the grace of Tymora, but K’Larr, who had come up to help Sage flank the SLUT, was not so lucky. Now doubly cursed, K’Larr began to pause for moments, further annoying Sage at the SLUT. With the spider, the two managed to corner the SLUT and web her, leaving her stuck in one location that Sage began describing. Soon thereafter, the group was able to drop the SLUT and push her body, with it’s Greater Darkness bubble, into the library.
Eventually, they were able to search the body, her room, and the rooms in the hallway (barracks for the SS, a torture chamber where the bodies of the heads found previously seemed to be, and a supply room with a barrel of awesomely fresh seafood that excited the chef for good measure was), and a bit of the area beyond that hallway. They figured out that the whirling vortex on the wall, was in fact, just an illusion and that the real portal was in a room beyond that, on a cursed altar and with evil emanating from it. Evilly. Now faced with another unknown area to the temple and tired (but with a bed sized for a giant refreshingly near by), the group debates what to do next and whether to use the Hallow they have to attempt to consecrate the evil altar or just let one of the several temples in town know about it.