After Caramon left, the party took a much needed rest to collect their thoughts. The whole situation was weighing pretty heavily on them. Here they were, in a place that was supposed to be empty, surrounded by evil enemies who were thought to be wiped out. It had made for a pretty dizzying adventure so far, and somehow, they knew it was going to get worse.
Once they had rested, they headed out to find the cleric who possessed the key. As luck would have it, they didn't need to wait long. While searching the ruins near where they located Caramon, they happened upon a cleric who was commanding some undead.
|I bet that "something" is the key the party is looking for.|
The party didn't feel that negotiating with an evil cleric was going to get them anywhere. It's not as though they expected he would give up the key freely. So, they readied their weapons and went in for the attack.
The party cleric, Tamera, made short work of the undead, proving that her faith was stronger than whatever evil fused the undead together. After that, dealing with the cleric was swift and brutal, and Kavina gave the final death blow as the vile cleric spewed at her in hatred.
On his body, the party located a strange looking key. It was carved with intricate symbols and felt warm to the touch. They were convinced that this must be the key that Caramon told them about.
As it so happened, the kender in the party, Wil, happened to have a map of old Throtl before it became a ruin. At this point, the party members knew better than to ask how he acquired such things and just went with it. According to his map, there was one section of Throtl that the party had not yet explored. In fact, they hadn't even seen a way to enter that section.
It seemed as good a guess as any, so the party headed off in that direction. What would they find there? The general feeling was that whatever they found there, it wouldn't be anything good.
Their musings were cut short as a group of clerics and hobgoblins suddenly came out of nowhere and ambushed them. It seemed too obvious now that the party was getting to close to what they sought, and it was making the opposition nervous.
|An evil force tries to stop the party.|
It became obvious why the attack occurred. Just a few steps from where the party was ambushed, the strange key began to glow. In return, a section of ruined wall also began to glow and a wall appeared. Caramon had been right...the temple was hidden by magic!
The place wasn't without guards, though. As the party moved into the temple, a squad of undead appeared from the shadows. Lead by a ghoul and a cleric, the undead surprised the party and caught them completely off guard.
Tamera shouted a warning about the ghoul, but her warning came too late. The creature was fast and hit two party members with a paralyzing touch. The other undead wounded them and took them down. There were shouts of alarm as the party realized that they had lost two members of their party!
|Man down! Man down!|
Even though the situation was somewhat dicey, the party managed to pull through. Luckily, neither member of the party that went down had died from their wounds. Some quick bandaging and a couple of cure spells got them back to their feet...somewhat dazed, but no worse for wear.
Somewhat reluctantly, the party pressed on.
As they got deeper into the temple, they began to hear a lot of chanting. Following the sounds of chanting, they came across a large ritual in progress. Baaz Draconians and evils Priests stood around an altar to the dark goddess, Takhisis. On the altar were bronze dragon eggs...something that Caramon had mentioned earlier. The Draconians were using the priests to corrupt the eggs to make more of their kind!
"We have to stop them!" someone in the party said...just a little too loudly.
One of the priests heard this and snapped his head in the direction of the party. Unfortunately for him, his concentration on the ritual was broken. The eggs exploded! Shrapnel from thick dragon eggs flew everywhere, killing some of the priests!
|Oops! They've spotted the party!|
Within seconds, a bloody battled began. The party threw Sleep spells at the priests in the hopes of putting them to sleep before they could cast spells. It was over quickly. Obviously, the Priests and the Draconians had been shaken by the event and hadn't been fully prepared for an attack.
But, despite the party's victory, the Draconians hadn't entirely lost the day. While the battle was going on, a few of them had taken the remaining dragon eggs and slipped away. The party knew they had to catch them before they got away!
Without wasting a moment, the party lept over the balcony railing and rushed after the fleeing Draconians. In the hopes of slowing the party down, some of the Baaz Draconians fell back and engaged the party in battle while the others escaped.
|Follow those eggs!|
Catching their second wind, the party dealt with the Draconians in quick fashion. Still, the Draconians had succeeded in slowing them down a little bit. Time was running out.
Moving as fast as their legs could carry them, the party pressed on. Eventually, they spotted a stairway ahead, leading into some old catacombs. Baaz Draconians were there, heading down the stairs. Before the party could reach them, however, they were intercepted by a priest controlling undead minions.
|More undead? Oh boy!|
But, as another priest in the Ruins of Throtl discovered earlier, Tamera's ability to turn the undead was formidable. Calling upon the power of the goddess Mishakal, she blasted the skeletons and zombies and reduced them to decaying flesh and rotting bone while the priests stood dumbfounded.
|The last of the zombies falls to Tamera's awesome turning ability.|
The priest was easily dispatched. This time, the party had not wasted much time. They could still hear the Baaz Draconians escaping down the stairs.
They headed down the stairs after them, into the forgotten catacombs of Throtl...
|Screams and cries...|
The Baaz Draconians were here somewhere...and the party would locate them...
NEXT TIME: The party explores the catacombs of Throtl. Will they catch the Baaz Draconians? Will they retrieve the dragon eggs? Or will evil win the day? Be sure to check back and see...