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Helderik
Looking around
(3/5/03 9:35 am)
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Just another Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
Just another Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil

Eindhoven, the Netherlands

Yes, I know. This is just another campaign log, probably nearly the same as all the other ones. I hope though you can still enjoy my stories. Also, I would like it if some of you can give me some advice or info, from time to time.

The campaign started in Niola Dra, the capital of Keoland (world of Greyhawk as most of you will undoubtedly know). The first adventure was the sunless citadel. I chose a standard adventure because it was our first experience with the 3rd Edition. With most of the players not knowing the rules very well, I thought it would be easier to run a pre-made adventure so I could focus a bit more one the new rules, not worrying to much about the course of the adventure. The group dealt with the adventure quite well, considering all the problems of changing to the new edition.

After the sunless citadel, I decided to play the Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. But the characters were only 2nd and 3rd level, so I made a short adventure, luring the group to Hommlet. The group started exploring a small island in a lake, about 50 miles south from Niola Dra. Instead of a warband of orcs (that's what they expected), they stumbled upon an excavation of a hidden (and previously sealed up) Temple of Tharizdun (at that point unknown to the players). After some small encounters the group realises that they have let the main Archaeologist get away (with some important relics, probably a tentacle rod or something like that). They are only able to find some clues (a half burned log) that are leading them to Hommlet. Back in Niola Dra they find out that the temple belonged to Tharizdun long ago.

The reason I played an adventure involving another lost shrine/temple of Tharizdun is that I believe that freeing the dark god from his prison will take an awful lot of relics and ceremonies. I wanted to give the cult an even more worldwide-operating image so that it would be clear that their objective was very important. In my opinion, the cult excavated a number of ancient shrines to discover other relics and clues to freeing Tharizdun. The group found no clues whatsoever that showed the existence of a cult that was going to free Tharizdun. Anyway the group left to Hommlet. They have heard about the Temple of Elemental Evil, but only through a series of rumours. They travelled to Hommlet to investigate the (missing) link between Tharizdun and the Temple (a link unknown to the Flanneas). The party members:

-        Melissa of Ambrigian, Female Human Paladin 3 of Heironeous
-        Dunbar Untgart, Male dwarf, psionic warrior 3
-        Gwerlin the Great, Male human fighter 3
-        Ravier, Male elven rogue 3
-        Marcellus of Greyrock, Male human fighter 2, wizard 1
-        Erky Timbers NPC, Male gnome fighter 1, cleric 2
-        2 horses (dawn and dusk) and a mule (pedro) and a fairly well equipped cart that is used for all the travelling and camping.

The group rescued Erky from the sunless citadel. He has stayed with ever since. Melissa, Dunbar, Gwerlin and Ravier are almost at 4th level. I'm a bit concerned about the lack of spellcasters.

The group has arrived in Hommlet. There they got to know some NPCs like Elmo and Rufus. The group stayed at inn of the welcome wench. Maridosen did a fairly good job in gathering information for the cult. The group has heard of some rumours about the Moathouse. Next morning they will travel to the Moathouse. Before they leave Hommlet though, Chatrilon will try to convince them either to leave the moathouse alone or convince them that he is a useful addition to the group.

So far for this introduction.

Helderik
Looking around
(3/5/03 9:37 am)
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Re: Just another Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
And off they wentÖ.

In the previous session, the group decided to check out the moathouse. They picked up some vague rumours concerning the moathouse. The group stayed the night in the Welcome Wench and got up early in order to reach the moathouse. Last night Maridosen talked to Ravier, the elf, and learned the group was heading to the moathouse, so she decided to warn Chatrilon Unosh. Maridosen and Chatrilon knew one of the partymembers was a paladin of Heironeous, so he used his scroll of undetectable alignment and approached the party. He posed as a greedy treasure hunter, always looking for some cash. He couldnít convince the group to leave the moathouse alone. Upon realising that, he tried to join the group. Even without a detect evil, the group agreed easily. They did however check with Maridosen if she knew something about Chat. Off course she told them nothing they didnít want to hear, so the group departed. As a DM, I didnít expect this to happen, but I sure liked the idea. Now all Chat had to do, was wait for the right moment to make his attack.

Chat told them he visited the moathouse a few days earlier, but couldnít convince them to head straight to the old temple (they agreed that after their visit to the moathouse, they would go to the old temple to slay some goblins. Especially the dwarf Dunbar liked that idea off course). And so they approached the moathouse, met olí Del and had a nice conversation. Even at this point the group still didnít ďsenseĒ Chatís true intentions, despite Delís warnings about the holy men and the dragon. They surprised me even more when they thought olí Del was trying to keep them away from the moathouse :eek . They did however decide to let the trapper go, and went on to the moathouse. After a quick peek from Ravier, they entered the courtyard. With the group not being particularly cautious, Utreshimon was aware of them and attacked the moment they entered his lair. He caught the group by total surprise. Driving them back into the courtyard, he started hovering and attacking the group. Before that, Chat had told them he thought it would be a waste of time to explore the ruins and he waited at the main gates. The dragon attacked, Chat stepped out of the gates and decided to make his move if the group defeated the dragon. The party lost sight of him and reasoned he planned on stealing their wagon and horses (together with al lot of day-to-day equipment). Chat however cut loose one of the horses if a quick escape would be necessary. After that, he made himself invisible and had a look at the battle (studying the groups tactics).

In the meanwhile the battle was going wrong for the heroes. Taking some serious damage some of them decided to run for cover in the dragonís lair and thereby escaping the blindness caused by the hovering. Meanwhile Marcellus (ftr2/wiz1) and Ravier (rog3) attacked Utreshimon with missile fire. Melissa (pal3) tried to cover the retreat of her wounded comrades. As soon as Utreshimon realised that some of the PCís entered his lair, he got even more furious. He made his way to the lair and attacked Gwerlin, Erky (NPC) and Dunbar. Utreshimon was able to do some significant damage to Gwerlin and Dunbar, although at that moment he himself had also taken considerable damage (52 hp left). Next Utreshimon turned his attention at the small gnome (Erky). In one round he finished off the little gnome (who already had taken some damage). Gwerlin, despite being seriously injured, attacked the dragon once more and scored a critical hit with his greatsword. At that point the battle started going bad for Utreshimon who didnít expect to get hit like that. The group did over 47 hp of damage in one round, so Utreshimon (with only 5 hitpoins left) decided it was time to retreat to the tower outside and use his breath weapon to cover his escape. However, on the way out, Dunbar managed to score an attack of opportunity, inflicting another 12 damage and thereby killing the dragon. The beast crashed to the ground and the group cheered loudly.

At that moment they didnít realise Chat was missing. Chat however decided this was the moment to strike. Most of the groupís fighters were severely wounded and only the rogue and fighter/wizard werenít hurt. He sneaked up to Marcellus (still invisible) and studied him as a target for his death attack. Marcellus failed his listen checks and Chat took his change. Marcellus got hit, but made the save. At that moment Chat got visible, realised his death attack had failed. He immediately ran for the horse outside the moathouse. The PCís cried in anger and charged after him. Chat however was fast enough and reached the horse in time. Ravier managed to hit Chat with his short bow, but in the end Chat got out of sight. The group healed some wounds (their cleric, Erky, was killed), and searched the dragonís lair. There they found the two bodies and the limited treasure. End of session.

Gwerlin, Dunbar, Ravier and Melissa gained enough xp to advance to 4th level. Chat got away and uses his potion of cure moderate wounds.

So far the first real RttToEE-sesion. Next session will follow within a few weeks.

Anybody has any suggestions what to do with Chat?

ZansForCans 
Here for a while
(3/5/03 10:26 am)
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Re: Just another Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
Welcome aboard! None of these logs are the same in the least, so don't feel like it's a duplicate :)

{The reason I played an adventure involving another lost shrine/temple of Tharizdun is that I believe that freeing the dark god from his prison will take an awful lot of relics and ceremonies.}

I so wish I could have done something like this, but time constraints made us want to jump in at the beginning of the printed adventure. I personally think this is exactly the right thing to do if you start from 1st level. Great to hear it went well. The problem I'm having right now is a bit of floundering on the part of the party to figure out the tidbits they do have (moathouse, Hommlet, and now just in Nulb) and get the fire of justice burning ;) . Having that backdrop will probably keep your group focused a bit more.

{Anybody has any suggestions what to do with Chat?}

First and foremost, with a jump on any possible pursuit, he will probably head back to town to warn Dunrat. Remember, they don't know about the dragon at all back there. That might elicit some response from Dunrat and depending on how you want it to go, he could send someone back to help. IMC, Chat got captured by the party, freed by "Jaroo", and after chatting with Dunrat, headed back there with Chenashi before the party returned from their trip back to Hommlet.

If your party stays there and starts exploring the dungeon, I think he (and if you send someone back with him) is in prime position for yet another sneak attack--from behind :)


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Helderik
Looking around
(3/6/03 1:36 am)
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Re: Just another Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
Thanx for the reply ZansForCans,

The pre-adventure worked out pretty well. They still donít know what to expect, but they know that Tharizdun might be behind some evil scheme. In the pre-adventure they found out that the archaeologist was sent by a certain Master D (dunrat off course). They also found out that the name of the archaeologist was Redgor and that he was to return to Hommlet. Further more, they learned that Redgor received help from a female Tiefling (Vacra). What they donít know is that Redgor was slain by Vacra after recovering the relics (at the moment he found out what kind of relics he discovered).

As soon as they realised that Redgor got away the group decided to follow him to Hommlet. They picked up some advice at the Temple of Heironeous in Niola Dra (their former base of operations). There they learned Tharizdun was a banished god, once worshipped in the forgotten temple near Niola Dra. The high cleric of the temple of Heironeous, Rugan McGardant, seemed disturbed with the news the group brought to him. Not so strange after all if you imagine the true nature of Tharizdun. He made sure that the group would travel to Hommlet to investigate the situation. He would continue to search for more information of Tharizdun (I raised the DC for recognizing Tharizdunís symbols because he was banished a very long time ago). On the way to Hommlet (a aprox. 600 mile journey) they encountered a number of creatures and an ambush (set up by Vacra to get rid of the PCís). Thatís about what happened before they went to the moathouse.

So it worked out pretty well. The group is determined to find out whatís behind the excavation they discovered. And probably next session, they will discover another excavation. Also they will learn master Dís location (the flour mill) so that should prove interesting.

Chatrilon will certainly make another move. I agree with you that he would probably return to Dunrat to tell him about the (defeated) dragon. Dunbar will probably sent him back to get rid of the PCís (maybe together with Vacra or Ghenashi). I certainly hope that Chat will be able to get away again this time (again he will plan a clever escape). The group would certainly like revenge for his betrayalÖ. They already hate the guy (probably because they trusted him way too easilyÖ.:evil )

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