Recounted by: Jameson Sheehan
Where we journey into the depths of level 4, the lair of the commanders and high priests of the Temple…
After clearing the level above and escaping from the cold grasp of death (well, most of us escaped), we climbed down a long flight of stairs and emerged into a hall. Many passages went off to each side as the stairs continued further down until they opened into a hall below. Not wanting to be attacked from behind, we checked the side passages. Down one on the left we met a trio of of giants that were fighting, 2 ganging up on one of them. Our party decided to come to the aid of the one, which to our surprise turned out to be a female elven druid in disguise. She had infiltrated the Temple to find the groves she was sworn to protect. She joined up with our party, rounding us out to a paladin, fighter, bard, cleric, sorcerer/barbarian, and druid. We then descended the wide stairs into the hall below to find what foes awaited us there. Little did we know, our greatest foe yet was prepared for our arrival.
We descended the steps into an octagonal room, well lit by torches on the walls. On the opposite side of the room, there was a raised dais that had steps ascending on all three sides. The back of the dais had a curtain that moved slowly, as if pushed by a breeze where none existed. Staring directly in front of us, on top of the dais, in his full menacing glory, was the demi-god Iuz, prepared to slay us all.
We charged him, though there was little hope we would succeed.
Fireballs exploded across the room, black orbs of necrotic energy bounded off of the walls, and swords flashed in the air. We fought hard, but it was in vain, as we eventually fell one by one to his wrathful fury. It was at this moment that Turjeon (the former cleric of Hommlet, now the herald of his deity and a powerful force of good ) appeared out of thin air to our rescue. . He crashed into Iuz and cast a plane shift spell, transporting them to the outer planes to do battle out in the wilds of the universe and removing Iuz from the mortal plane for a time. Turjeon made a great sacrifice as he was greatly outclassed by Iuz – he a mere herald and Iuz a full fledge demi-god.
At the end, in the void where they once stood, 4 fingers lay on the ground, all that would remain of Turjeon.
We climbed back out of the Temple, beaten and bruised, to lick our wounds in the tower outside. Upon our awakening, the ramifications of the second to last seal being broken became evident. Our cleric found himself cut off from his god with no connection to his divine power. Little did we know the seal was actually the death of Turjeon at the hands of Iuz, the result of which was the severance of all good divine magic from the outer planes to the mortal plane. All followers of good deities lost their powers: paladins, clerics, oracles, and the ordinary man’s attempts at prayer were severed. Our cleric, in possession of Turjeon’s remaining 4 fingers, found out that Turjeon had placed a vessel of his power inside of each of his fingers and left them, providing us with only four days of hope and power to our cleric’s magical abilities.
ng back into the Temple, we returned to the octagonal room and proceeded deeper within the temple. As we approached the curtain, it became active and started lashing out at us, revealing an aberration. We defeated that foe and found our greatest challenge yet: a 5 foot gap over a chasm of lava.
Aside: A word to GMs – never underestimate the danger of a simple skill check.
Our druid companion failed to jump the gap with a fumble, we burned 2 hero points to attempt to save her. Then two more of us failed the check, again with fumbles. The gods of luck were not in our favor.
And yet, we survived the vile 5-foot gap of lava, at the end of which lay four different passages with one of four gems inset into the stone of each: red for fire, blue for water, green for earth, and white for air. Upon pressing the stones, we were transported to small demi-planes nested within each of the four elemental planes associated with the stones.
Inside the plane of air we fought swirling elementals and genies who wished to make a deal. Defeating them, we were transported back to the passageway to find the white gem upon the floor and free for our taking. We then subsequently delved into the 3 other planes, battling burning heat, striking deals with a gargantuan turtle, and evading collapsing tunnels as the earth shifted around us.
Now in possession of the four elemental gems we returned to our tower not knowing what to do. Where was Zugtumoy? Would we be able to defeat her if we found her? What horrors awaited us when the final seal would break releasing her on the world?
Find out the answers to these questions next week where we will conclude the Temple of Elemental Evil and finish up Act I of our story.
Until next time, this has been Tales from the GM.