Gold Community Okay -- Your Turn
    > Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
        > Campaign Website
New Topic    Add Reply

Page 1 2 3

<< Prev Topic | Next Topic >>
Author Comment
(11/1/02 4:38 pm)
Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes...
Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, Session 14, Part A- Enter the Dragon (or “I came here to kick a** and chew bubblegum…and I’m all out of gum.”

Once the party had paid its respects to their friend Elias, they rested and prepared to return to the Temple. Merkaeytl updated the group on the happenings in Rastor, her job ever since the rest of the party insisted she stay at the rear (her fury over the decision had now abated). She kept an eye on the town with a small group of kids as her informants, and spent much of her time studying the books the party had captured from the Temple. Her most important news was about the strange man covered in tattoos.

A few days before Merk had been relaxing in Rastor’s dirty tavern, her ears perked for news, when news walked in. The stranger was bald with a well-chiseled frame and a very intense gaze. Most strikingly, he prominently displayed bright tattoos all over his upper body. Everyone in the tavern ceased what they were doing to stare at the newcomer – there had been plenty of strange events as of late, but this guy was a new category in himself. Nobody had ever seen anyone like him before. Merk slipped out of her chair and headed to the tattooed warrior, but she needn’t have bothered - he moved towards her immediately. As soon as the rugged men around them turned back to their previous conversations, shaking their heads, the stranger abruptly addressed Merkaeytl after pulling out an ancient scroll with seven distinct symbols on it:

“Do you know anyone who has a tattoo like one of these symbols?”

This guy is even weirder than I thought, Merk thought, as she responded “Do you always start conversations this way?” She noticed that one of the seven runes on the scroll was a red hand, like the tattoo she’d seen upon occasion on the nape of Bandar’s neck.

Merk got the man to sit down while he proceeded to tell her a totally new and interesting story that surprised her a great deal, though she tried not to show it. Her acquaintance was anything but subtle and spilled his whole tale in the course of a few minutes without hesitation.

His name was Gholoth, and he was a psion. He sought the Azure Emperor, the ruler of the psionists in the golden age of psionics long ago. He wanted to find others with the symbols he wore, who represented the Wards of the seven Broken Houses. According to prophecy they would be able to help him find the Azure Emperor so they could restore their great empire.

The tale would have seemed pure fantasy to her, but it was too outrageous to be false. Gholoth seemed very strong in his views and convinced of the critical importance of his mission in the world. Also, Merk had seen Bandar’s tattoo and knew that it perfectly matched one of Gholoth’s seven tattoos, so there must be something to this story.

Merk suggested that Gholoth keep his mission under wraps a bit more – after all, he had told her everything of importance without knowing anything about her. It was news to her that a psionic emperor ruled these lands long ago, and there are probably few left who would know anything about it. Even so, few people would want a golden age of psionics to return. There’s bound to be opposition, so maybe Gholoth should watch what he says? The monk replied that he isn’t on a secret mission and he isn’t worried about enemies.

Merk failed to interest Gholoth in the quest to destroy the Temple of All Consumption, though she explained how vile it is and how serious a threat it poses. The single-minded psion was not interested in a side quest that might distract him. To keep his interest, Merk mentioned that she knows someone with a tattoo like the ones Gholoth has. The monk insisted that he meet and talk to this Ward. According to Gholoth, if the ward knew of the importance of finding the Azure Emperor, he would agree to help. Merk wouldn’t say any more until she talked to her friends, and the strange conversation ended there.

After Merk recounted this meeting with Gholoth to the rest of the Band following their final rites for Elias, they spotted Gholoth again. The headstrong monk approached and explained his quest to everyone, exactly as he had to Merk. Bandar immediately recognized the tattoo of the red hand that matched his tattoo, but he kept the mark hidden by his clothing and armor. He wondered to himself if he were the “House Ward” for House of Faerst and if so, what did that mean? Was this man one of the ‘Brotherhood’ that Tresh had warned them about in his note? It did not seem wise to tell Gholoth about his tattoo until they knew much more about him.

Lathander told Gholoth that they have seen all seven symbols that Gholoth seeks before, on their friend Eblis’ sword. Hearing that news, Gholoth’s eye went wide. He exclaimed that the blade was the Sword of Ages, given as a gift to the Azure Emperor and wielded by his descendents. He must find this man! Merk sensed a way to recruit Gholoth without telling him about Bandar’s mark and having Gholoth try and pull him away from the group. She said that Temple agents captured Eblis long ago and the only way to find him is to go into the mines and free him. This could be true, but in reality the group had no idea where Eblis was, but they could use a new companion, so nobody objected to Merk’s fabrication. Gholoth was ready and willing to go into the Temple to recover Eblis, so he joined the group.

Merk winked to the others as they set out for the Temple. Then she turned solemnly to Elias’ body, and took it away from town to do the elven rites before cremating it. She kept Elias’ house ring, sword, and his ashes, and sent off a letter with a merchant heading toward the elves. The letter explained Elias’ valiant sacrifice and let the elves know to come pick up his belongings. Merkaeytl thought back to all the companions they had lost, especially Strider, and her eyes welled up with tears.

Meanwhile, Lathander introduced Gholoth to the Band’s rule: each member was part of the team and was willing to give up his life for the others. Gholoth would have to prove his willingness to follow this rule – he would soon be tested. Lathander cast Bull’s Strength on Aramek and Gholoth in preparation for whatever they might face.

Bandar mused about what they had learned of the Temple after their last incursion. Before Merk had concluded that the Temple was a large loop with each of the four Elements ruling a quarter. In between each of the Elements were areas ruled by the Tharizdun cult overall – entrances on the east and west, and bridges to the center of the volcano at the north and south. Now they had found the South Western part mostly abandoned, and the dragon had told them that the Fire Temple was in the center of the volcano. So the Band had cleared the Western Entrance, the Earth Temple, the Northern Bridge Complex, and most of the dragon’s sector. The armored troll they had faced was probably from the Southern Bridge Complex, if their concept of the Temple was correct. Clearly, the water creature that had saved the party from the Earth Temple had expected them to destroy the Earth Temple and the Northern Bridge Complex and then prepare to go into the center. Instead, the Band had decided to clear the outer loop before going to the center. They could go through the Southern Bridge Complex, the Wind Temple, and the Eastern Entrance before encountering the Water Temple at the other side and deciding what to do next.

The group worked their way back through the tunnels of the Mines, checking the areas they had cleared before going any further. They went around the dragon’s lair and checked a side room they hadn’t explored the last time through. Inside they found strange hard animal droppings and a foul stench assaulted their nostrils. As they looked around, a sudden shower of acid from above surprised them. Gritting their teeth against the pain, the group looked up saw that there was a hidden ledge above them, occupied by a bizarre two-legged human-sized lizard with an acid-spouting snout. The group backed up, attacking the monster with whatever ranged weapons they had. Gholoth presented some new and helpful talent by using his mental powers to heal himself as he leapt back. The monk took note of Bandar’s mental blast of energy that pummeled the creature. The strange monster responded by jumping on Lathander and mauling him with its large claws. With great skill, Stacy came out of the shadows and tore into the beast with his dagger, then melted away again. Gholoth closed into melee with the beast using powerful kicks and punches, and kept it at bay. Aramek had earlier shaken his head that someone would go into the Temple without weapons or armor, but Gholoth was quickly proving why he had no need for either.

Now that the monster was amongst them, the party struck at it with their usual fervor. While Aramek and Lathander battered it with their weapons, Bandar fried the creature’s skin with psionic energy and Gholoth landed bone-breaking punches and kicks. Stacy would suddenly appear at an unexpected place and jab at the monster, then fall back and out of view. The monster managed another painful shower of acid, this time on just Lathander and Aramek. While they sputtered with pain, Gholoth did a series of powerful kicks that snapped the lizard’s neck in three different directions so it was utterly dead before it even hit the floor.

Bandar, in his usual understated way, simply said “I guess you don’t have to use weapons.” Gholoth pointed out that Bandar hadn’t used weapons either, and hadn’t said that he uses psionics. Bandar admitted that he uses psionics, but left it at that.

After ascertaining that the rest of the room was clear, the party healed and proceeded further. They passed through the cavern filled with mushrooms and explored a side cavern that they had bypassed on their last visit. There they found curious glowing fungi obviating the need for a lantern in the room. After a bit of searching they happily discovered a stash of gold and silver which they left so as not to burden them.

Beyond the Band found another large, fungi-filled cavern, this one littered with bones. In the lead of the group, Aramek and Gholoth discovered a deep pit the hard way. They were battered but alive. While the others readied ropes to drop down, Bandar noticed that a mound of mushrooms was moving toward the group, but nobody else could see it. By the time they could see the danger, it was too late – they glimpsed the creature’s eyes and lost control. Lathander sat down and began praying with his small shrine. Bandar felt as though he was wandering on a carefree night, and enjoyed the stars. Despair overcame Stacy, and he sobbed on his own. Aramek and Gholoth, busy climbing out of the deep pit, were disturbed by the sudden lack of communication with their companions above. Bandar thought that there was an “Orc” disturbing his peaceful nighttime walk, and attacked back, injuring the “Orc” with his spear.

Gholoth came out of the pit and saw what was going on. Thankfully, he resisted the fungi-covered Umber Hulk’s magical gaze, which had sent the others crazy. Aramek reached the top and resisted the magic as well, but the Umber Hulk ripped the dwarf with its claws before he could get to his feet. Stacy sat, jabbering in a foreign tongue while Lathander continued to pray fervently, both oblivious to the battle raging around them. Bandar snapped out of his reverie and tried to shake Lathander to his senses before blasting the monster with psionic energy. Gholoth and the Umber Hulk traded blows as Aramek flew into a rage and smashed the beast with mighty chops of his hammer. But the rest of the group were far less productive – Lathander thought Bandar was an unholy enemy disturbing his prayer and attacked him, but that was happily ineffective. Bandar returned to his dreamy star-lit walk disturbed by an “Orc,” and tried to impale his enemy, but thankfully missed.

Gholoth fell back from the fray to heal himself while Aramek went toe to toe with the Umber Hulk, trading blow for blow. Stacy believed he was in a dungeon, armed only with a dagger, and his jailer was coming. He attacked his jailer when he appeared…barely missing his own familiar with a stab of his dagger [again, thank goodness]! Aramek saved the group for the umpteenth time by crushing the life out of it with his massive hammer, which pulled the rest of the group out of their stupor. They sheepishly thanked the mighty dwarf and apologized to each other – though Stacy couldn’t find his cat anywhere (it wouldn’t return to him for hours). The Band decided to rest in that room and heal up until the next day. In the rear of the cavern, they found another large and heavy stash of valuables, including a 3’ copper statue of a dwarven warrior. They left these piles for later, but Gholoth kept a magical ring he found.

The night passed uneventfully. Gholoth and Bandar talked about psionics, including where they had found their powers and what they could do with them. Bandar was feeling more comfortable with Gholoth already, but certainly not ready to reveal his mark yet. Though when he mentioned the Brotherhood, Gholoth glowered – he’s pretty clearly not a member, which is good.

(11/1/02 6:55 pm)
Quote of the Day
"Humans who practice the art are just deluding themselves with their hacked down, feeble version of psionics"
-Gholoth Wolfcastle

Here quite a while
(2/18/03 8:32 pm)
Re: Quote of the Day
Hey, SolidSnake! I find this on page 20, very near the bottom! :x

Here for a while
(2/19/03 5:22 am)
Re: Quote of the Day
Hehe. Yeah, sorry I haven't updated my story hour in such a long time but my players have hijacked my notes and are refusing to do anything at all with them. The little I did get back I immediately posted to "Ravenloft-Beyond the Mists" thread (a compiled version of my story on Greyhawk thus far). I am trying to bargain for the notes, but we shall see if the deal goes down:smokin

Page 1 2 3 << Prev Topic | Next Topic >>

Add Reply

Email This To a Friend Email This To a Friend
Topic Control Image Topic Commands
Subscribe Click to receive email notification of replies
Unsubscribe Click to stop receiving email notification of replies
jump to:

- Okay -- Your Turn - Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil - Home -

Powered By ezboard® Ver. 7.241b
Copyright ©1999-2003 ezboard, Inc.