The Aftermath of the Temple of Elemental Evil:
A sinister, dark robed figure in a red metal mask stalked amngst the soupy remains of Zuggtmoy. “Ah, I see you have destroyed their pet demon queen. These feckless incompetents.” The red mask turns towards Adriel “They have become too clever for their own good, bringing you here sister.”
It turned its gaze on Aerindor, sighing. Then, muttered almost too low to hear, “so far you have fallen.” It shakes its head, then pauses and raises it as if listening.
“Strange, I sense something… Like a confluence of some sort. But no matter. you will not be around to witness its occurrence. This has been dormant for too long I think.” The figure waived its hand and the skulls atop the pillars began to burn.
“Let’s give the Demon Queen one final purpose.” It waved his hand again and the fungus began to pulse and undulate. “And now I believe the local clergy has arranged welcoming party for you.”
The Red Masked One disappeared and the party saw a swarm of bugbears supported by demons charging down the stairs at them.
Adriel rushed forward and unleashed a globe of radiant energy on the staircase that began burning through the first bugbears to cross. Sir Sebastian rushed forward with his shield ready to hold the line against the enemy’s charge.
The vulture demons swooped down upon him but could not pierce his defenses. Capt. Otis rushed to the top of the dais calling upon the stone itself to hamper and harm the enemy. Cruel stone spikes sprang from the floor in the path of the main body, making the floor slick with bugbear blood.
Spells and blades began flashing back-and-forth between the forces. Bugbears began to fall. The skull topped pillars began to smoke and flare and a huge, horned, bat-winged demon lord began to flicker into existence.
Otis’s company turned on itself, the sell-swords cutting down Spugnoir from behind. Otis slew one and took the other prisoner.
Adriel, Aerindor and several others began smashing one of the skull-topped pillars to stop Orcus from materializing. Lykeus threw lightning at his foes, gravely wounding the enemy priest, who retaliated with lightning of his own.
Sir Sebastian carved a swath through the vrocks who proved to be no match for his holy wrath. The writhing, shuddering mass of fungus that was once Zuggtmoy lashed out, grabbing Titus about the face, drawing him into the putrid mess where he suffocated and was quickly digested. The inquisitor’s fire burned some of the mass back but it continued to grow at an alarming rate.
The bugbears launched a volley of javelins at the party but were rewarded for their efforts with holy fire, blasting them to the ground.
Sister Adriel was revealed to be the Angel Adriel and her Holy Fire bathed the bugbears and the altar. The damaged pillar finally cracked and the Demon Lord shrieked his rage then faded from this world.
Suddenly, the battle was over. One bugbear had been captured, as well as one of the sell-swords. All the rest of the enemies had been killed. Titus was also lost. The newcomers, Thomas and Otis, introduced themselves to the party.
They determined that they had similar goals, including finding the lost elf lady, the captured viscount’s daughter, and the missing sword of power. They took a short while to rest, and Thomas used an artifact, a lamp he discovered in the Near East, to summon the Brass Merchant, a genie who sells magic.
The party summoned him with stolen cursed gems, then bartered with cursed magic pillars. As they begin discussing what to do next, they were suddenly ambushed by demonic apes leaping from above.
The crushing arms and gnashing teeth seemed everywhere. Otis’s last companion, Furnok, was killed before the apes were destroyed. They were followed immediately by a troop of nine foot tall goat headed demons wielding giant pole arms.
The new demons were thrashed by sword and spell so quickly that their master, a bone masked man wielding a crooked staff, turned and fled.
The party quickly resolved to stay in the throne room no longer. As they prepared to leave, a strange purplish glow came from a previously hidden hallway. They retrieved a crystal sphere that promised to give them the ability to glimpse into the future.
Thomas’s earlier reconnaissance let him lead the rest of the party to prison where a small group of elves were incarcerated. While, at first, they thought they had rescued the elf Lady, the prisoner was an imposter.
They learned that the elf lady at the taken less than six hours before deeper into the hellish temple. The obvious implication being that the white robed wizard intended to sacrifice her.
The party begin moving a bit more quickly, following Thomas’s divinations into the cold embrace of a Roper. The party moved further into the lower levels, searching for the lost sword Fragarach. Thomas’s magic lead the way and they discovered a mausoleum of darkness and illusion. This was the resting place of the Prince and the sword of power. The Prince was not awakened, though Aerindor received the sword.
Thomas used divinations to locate the Golden skull that he sought. Several further adventures look them into encounters with an ettin, a hill giant, 10 bugbears and four ogres. Most of them were brought low by spells of fire.
They finally discovered a secret room that was the lair of an ostentatious, high-strung wizard. The wizard created a magical wall of stone to block off the party. They were able to breach the barrier before the wizard could loot his secret sanctum. Within, they found a small trove of treasure, as well as the Golden Skull they sought. The wizard fled by means of his magic.
As they were completing their looting of the lizards lair, they heard a horrible sound – stone cracking and grating – to the north. They went quickly to investigate and discovered the remains of Zuggtmoy were spreading as a fungus throughout the bedrock.
The party quickly slid down the wizards escape tunnel surfacing in a ruined farmstead some distance from the temple.
From that vantage they were able to watch as the cathedral which it stood for centuries shattered and fell in upon itself as the evil rot ate away at its foundations.
They have no way of knowing what happened to the white robed wizard, the bone masks, the elf lady, the count’s daughter, Otis’s brother Elmo or anyone else who remained inside.
Lord Aerindor Hadurel: Aerindor found his lost family’s blade, Fragarach. He learned that his cousin, the Lady Tillahi, had been taken below at the behest of the white robe one. It is believed she was slated for sacrifice. The temple was destroyed before he could rescue her.
Though upset over her loss, he discovered a reaffirmed faith in old family legends and decided to take his new blade and go questing for the lost Ailarri Lords.
Inquisitus Secundus Lucius Amicus:
Optio Titus Agarius: