Grand Duchy 120

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 120
April 21 - May 20, 2017

Return to the Temple of Pflarr

Moldain 14th, Klarmont

Perched on High

Several members of the Grey Company, with their Hutaakan companion Kasiex, crouch behind crumbling stonework above the main entrance to the Temple of Pflarr while a handful of zombies and skeletons shamble about below, trampling the recently defeated remains of a wight that had tried to climb up the face of the Temple. The other undead seem to know that the Company is hiding up above but do not seem to possess the skill or intelligence to figure out how to get up there, so they merely wait below. The sun shines brightly in the mostly clear sky and the three lizard pack animals have taken up spots nearby on the temple sunning themselves contentedly. The village of Ronkan can be seen just a mile or so distant. Sentries still walk the walls, smoke still drifts from its chimneys, though no other activity can be seen. The farmers and workers are not out in the fields and the city walls block the view into the city proper.

Remar whispers to the group at large, “Well, do we leave those other corpses that have us treed there to greet Golthar and his ilk should they come this way?  Or are we still considering being the filling of an enemy sandwich, in which case you’d like me to bolt these others as well?”

Mmmm.  Sandwich.

The Wizard’s stomach growls and he blushes a little as he continues.  “The later will leave a more obvious mess than the one ‘Wight there’ lying amongst the rocks out of the way here on the side.”

Draven ponders the situation. “They are unlikely to leave with us up here now, mindless as they are. As your bolts are in infinite supply, they seem the most likely tool to dispatch them and clear the way for us to move at need.”

After receiving affirming nods from the others, the Alphatian takes a look around to make sure they aren't being physically monitored.  As he does so he says, “Do you all see anyone watching? I'm also going to check to see if we are being magically monitored here first and maintain that, before I start bolting.” With a small gesture, Remar whispers “Obvistatae revelator.”  Here's to hoping no one’s watching.

But will yer spell account for meh s’well?

After casting his spell, Remar believes that there is no one watching him at this moment.

The Battlemage  takes aim and begins blasting away at the blasphemous, shambling husks.

After a few handfuls of bolts resulting in several Zombies on the ground, the remaining undead wander off away from the area and out of sight or range of Remar’s pulsating magical blasts.

“Okay, good job, Remar. Any undead that harry Golthar’s troop will be drawn here by them. Less chance of them being tipped off.” He ponders for a while. “So, is there anything else we can do to prep for their arrival? Troops on the ground, Golthar in the air?” He pats his Gnomish crossbow. “I really want to get a clear shot at that bastard.”

He gazes out over the approaches to the temple. “If they’re smart, once we engage, they’ll probably want to pull back. We’re not very mobile here. Hmmm, where do you think they’d retreat to? Around the shoulder of the hills? Kasiex? Have you a quick way to get up above them there?”

Remar scratches his head.  “Oh, I thought we were just going to hide up here and let however many do go in to suffer the brunt of whatever the undead carnival has in store in there.  We do still think Golthar is going to come here and go in, right? If they split up so some go in and some stay out, we could wait a designated amount of time, ambush those outside, proceed inside, impinge their retreat, and hope they’ve encountered the other undead in a to negative effect.”

“Hmmm” Kasiex muses. “I like this plan. Let the dark things in the temple winnow their numbers. Then we fall on them from behind. Griffin and I can catch the Yellow one in cross fire. Would his spells protect from our arrows, do you think?”


The Grey Company sits and waits on the top of the Temple of Pflarr for about an hour and nothing seems to be going on. The sun continues to beat down on everyone but Remar’s spell keeps everyone cool and comfortable in the slight breeze. The occasional undead wanders by, but none of them pay any attention to the hiding Company. Ronkan seems to be especially quiet with little to no activity visible beyond the wall sentries keeping their patrols up.

Draven speaks, “It’s beginning to look like we might have a bit of a wait ahead of us. I’m wondering if we mightn’t need to give them a little nudge, something to put a little fire under them to move quickly?”

“The dead? Or do you wish to mount an expedition into the village to lever the Yellow One out?” replies Kasiex.

“Oh, the dead would be easy to tempt out of their hiding places. I want our friend in yellow to storm this temple so that we might close the jaws of the trap on him. We talked once of leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for him to follow. I’m not sure how best to engage his interest now,” Draven explains.

Another hour passes and everything remains virtually the same. There is little to no activity in Ronkan besides the regular patrolling of the wall sentries and only a few more undead are spotted nearby, but not close enough to bolt. The riding lizards seem quite content with this course of action and sleep quietly on the sun-warmed stone of the temple roof.

Thoughtfully, Kasiex looks at the mobile dead nearby. “Revolting things...but, would this yellow one recognize your party? Perhaps we could slay a few of these...things…, and tie them to the lizards.  I could lay a trail leading here, then use the lizards with their disguised cargo to reveal myself to the guards on Ronkan’s walls; then lead any pursuit to the false trail. Discarding the disguises, we can make it appear that the bodies of the mannequins were dead we stumbled upon in our flight, and I can scatter the lizards after.  They won’t find me once we make the woods, but they should be able to follow the trail here. I’ll circle around and rejoin you here; if I’m quick, I’ll beat them as they follow a wandering path here, and we can spring the trap when the Temple has weakened them. Classic lure and bait hunting.” Kasiex’ jaws part in a canine grin.

“Kasiex,” Remar asks.  “How close can you get to see inside without getting spotted if that was the goal and how long would it take to get back?  Do you think it would be less risky to climb up higher to look into the village and see the surrounding area?” To everyone he adds, “Is flying straight up to forward observe from here an acceptable risk we'd be willing to take?”

Kasiex answers with an honest assessment of his chances based upon available concealment and his skills.

Kasiex does not think he could get close enough to the village to make any good reconnaissance. The area surrounding the village is relatively well cleared making any approach more than difficult. An aerial reconnaissance might do better, though distance would be an issue to any such scouting.

Griffin listens to the back-and-forth. “I dunno, guys, if the best we can do is an aerial recon, and we’ve seen Golthar take to the skies before, I think it might be asking for trouble if we pursue that approach.” He hunkers down behind the facade where he had been keeping watch. “If we want to stick to the plan of letting him take the worst hit against the fell folk inside here, I think we’ll just have to exercise a little more patience.” He grins. “And you know that that isn’t necessarily sitting well with me. I want to know what’s inside, too.” He shrugs “But we don’t want to soak all the pain from those monsters and then have to deal with Golthar after that. So, I’m willing to yield to wiser heads.”

He ponders. “But since we’re stuck here waiting, anyone mind if I just do a reconnoiter of this roof - see if there’s anything we missed along the way? A quick whistle if we see anything changing at the village and I can be back in position, toot sweet.” Assuming there are no objections, Griffin will take his time exploring the rooftop of the temple, looking for any other access points both to the inside and the ground outside. Wouldn’t do to be surprised by some zombies sneaking up the back stairs, would it?

Oh, ey object.  Aside from da fact dat ye should ‘ave better spells fer spyin’, Rema’, an’ not just 50 different ways to set fires, ye canna just fly straight up.  Keep goin’ up until ye spy da whole valley ‘round ‘ere an’ know fer sure where dat mage’s camp be!

“Um…” Remar hesitates.  “No objections here Griffin, if you tink...er...think climbing up to check the roof is best while we wait patiently.”

Iris nods at Griffin and says, “Knowing who's down there makes waiting difficult, but I agree that patience seems to be our safest course at the moment.”

Ree mumbles to herself and kicks some rocks, clearly becoming more and more irritated with the waiting. She looks around for something to occupy her time, sees nothing and grunts. She looks at Iris, “patience,” she mutters and sneers.

Griffin clambers around on the roof of the temple, though there is not really that much roof to explore. The back of the temple butts up to the sheer rock face of the mountain, so there is no real chance to be surprised from behind, though there are plenty of ways someone, or something, could climb up out of sight along the front and sides of the temple.

After searching for a while, he finally finds what he thinks may be a more accessible way to enter the temple besides climbing up to the hole in the dome or going through the front door. It will take a little work but it seems that there may be a way to shift some rubble and bricks near the left side of the 2nd level. Griffin believes that it will enter into the balcony area that ringed the main temple chamber.

Oooo, what have we here? “Hey, Ree, check this out!” He inspects the area carefully - last thing he wants is to tip off the monsters inside. Once he’s sure things are solid, he spreads out his cloak over the area and, slipping under it, starts chipping away at the bricks and rubble, hoping first to find a way to peek into the temple without being detected.

Ree snaps out of her boredom and hurries quickly to Griffin’s side. He hears a quiet, whispered, “yesss” slide from her lips as she sees what he is doing. The space behind the bricks is dark, completely so now with the cloak hung up. Griffin was expecting to see the light from the magical ring of fire that had sat in the center of the main chamber but now realizes that maybe this new entrance does not lead directly into the main temple room after all. He moves a few more bricks and scrapes away obstructing hunks of ancient mortar until he has a space large enough to carefully slide through. He leans forward and holds his magically glowing necklace into the opening. He sees a vertical shaft, possibly for light or air. Above him the shaft extends up a bit and some faint rays of light pierce the blackness where the sun is peeking in through some cracks near the top of the shaft some 5 feet above him. The shaft, about 3 feet square, extends down into the blackness. He notes that there are plenty of good handholds and that he could no doubt make the climb down quite easily.

“You first, or me?” Ree asks with a sly look on her face.

Kas’ ears flick as his two fellows huddle together behind the screen of Griffin’s cloak.  He looks back and forth between Griffin and Ree’s hidden forms and Iris and Draven, then, quietly and with an amused wag of his tail “They are ‘getting a room’?”

“Certainly not.  Sounds more like gently probing a crack or two for entrance” the Alphatian suggests.

Ey'll say!

“Draven, Iris, are you two alright?” Remar asks.  “You sound like you both are choking.”

Going Down

Griffin smiles. “Oh, me first. I found it, after all.” He pokes his head out from under the cloak. “Hey guys, found something I want to check out. Give a yell if Golthar starts heading this way!” He swings into the shaft and starts making his way down.

Griffin easily climbs down the shaft, being able to support himself on all four sides easily. The bricks of the shaft are well-fitted but easy enough to find good hand and foot-holds. After a few moments, Griffin finds himself at the bottom of the shaft. It opens up in the middle of the ceiling over a room below. Due to his angle and position, he can’t quite get a good look at the floor of the dark room below, but guesses it's about 15 or so feet down. He cannot quite tell if the floor below is clear of rubble or level at all.

Griffin climbs back up, muttering to himself. Ree’s face is at the top of the shaft. It’s obvious she was on her way down. She says, “What?”

He braces himself in the opening to the shaft and swears. “It opens in the roof of a room. Drop down and getting out could be tricky. I want to run a rope down. Should be one in my pack. Tie it off and pass it over. I’d like a way out before I commit.”

Ree rolls her eyes. Just like a man… But she scrambles across the roof and returns with the rope, tying it off against the base of one of the statues that festoon the temple. She tosses it to him, and, quick as he can, Griffin is back down the shaft. He pauses at the hole in the roof. He still can’t see anything from his angle, so he wraps the rope around his waist and slowly starts lowering himself into the room.

Meanwhile, amidst the grunting and labored breathing beneath the cloak, Remar looks to Iris, Draven, and Kasiex and asks, “Sounds like Griffin is working hard.  Do you think he or Ree needs any help? Should we ask if they require any assistance?”

Kas blinks, surprise evident. “They would...accept help? That seems like it could get crowded under the cloak.”

“You do have a point there, Kasiex,” Remar says.  “Maybe when we ask, we should suggest that some of us could trade in and out as needed due to the tight confides?”

Still red in the face with embarrassment, Iris locks her gaze out over the valley and whispers, “I’m all for lightening the mood, but you two are incorrigible today.”  She clears her throat softly and continues, “I’m sure they’ll let us know if they need help with whatever they’re doing. Have you all seen any movement beyond this rooftop?  I haven’t seen a thing.”

With a bemused look to Iris, the Wizard says, “I, uh, haven't seen anything unusual.  My scry detection spell hasn't notified me of anything unusual, either. What about you and your keen eyes, Kasiex?”

Come on.  Ask 'er. Ye know ye gonna.

He continues, searching everyone’s faces for answers, “So, what’s incorrigible about poking our heads in to ensure they are satisfied with their discoveries?  I assure you that I am nothing but serious in this endeavor.”

Ye ser be growin’ on meh, hahaha.

“I feel as if I've missed something...”

Iris sniffs and says, “You’re just trying to goad me into saying something salacious.”

Remar’s face colors like a thermometer, “Wh...what?”

When Ree comes out from behind the cloak and takes the rope from Griffin’s pack, some eyebrows raise. She then ties it off to base of one of the sturdier looking pieces of masonry sculpture nearby. She plays the rope out and takes it with her behind the cloak. A moment later her head pokes back out, “Grif found another way into the temple. Leads to some abandoned room down on the main level. Not one of the rooms we explored earlier. We’re going to check it out. You coming or staying up here?” With that she disappears back behind the hanging cloak.

After the rope finishes snaking past Griffin, he grabs it and easily makes his way down. As he hops to the floor, he is thankful that he did not try to make the drop. While he could have easily landed the 15’ drop, the floor is covered with bricks, rocks and other pieces of rubble which would have thrown off his landing and no doubt caused injury.
In the dim light of his glowing Pixie necklace, he can see that the room is large, about 10 paces north to south and twice that east to west. Dark, gaping archways leave the room to the north and the south. The northern exit is reached by a set of stairs leading up to a small platform about 4 feet above the floor of the chamber. The walls and ceiling look to have been once covered with intricate carvings and decorations, though much of this appears to now be littering the floor as rubble.

Cast of Characters: 

Garrett "Griffin" Constantine, a Thyatian rogue of a gambler from Penhaligon rolled by Arne J 

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by Jason P

Remar Umerusan Alphatian battle mage that escaped forced service in the Thyatian army currently marshalled by Patrick K

Iris Vardaa Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure, now guided by Stephanie K

Kasiex, a Hutaakan Wildsteward used to ranging the mountains and valleys now led down a new path by Patrick B

and Jason W as The DM

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