Temple of Elemental Evil, Session #2: Hey, guys, let’s head straight to the center of the moathouse dungeon!

The last time that I wrote anything about my ongoing campaign was on July 8th so yes, it’s been awhile since we’ve played. Thankfully though, I was able to get three players together this weekend and we decided to have a go at things. Three out of 5 players isn’t bad, considering all 5 have only been together once, with four being more the norm. Normally I would just NPC the extra characters, but in our last session the group decided to pick up Zert and Spugnoir for their adventure into the moathouse, and Tollman has a henchman besides, so I had a full plate already. Instead, I took Zert and Spugnoir, the player who plays Viiridi the ranger took Tim the Wizard, Garwin the Fighter’s player took Brother Jaeric of St. Cuthbert, and Tollman the thief played his henchman, Kerwood the fighter. I don’t think it’s ideal for each player to run two characters, in fact I really don’t like it, but at this point playing was better than not playing. That’s how things go sometimes.

When last we left our band of heroes, they had just hacked their way along the path to the old moathouse, that former outpost of evil on the outskirts of the village of Hommlet. They approached the ruins of the moathouse cautiously, yet for all their wariness they were still ambushed by a hungry pack of seven giant toads. The toads did well in their first round, latching their tongues on nearly everyone they targeted. Viiridi, Kelmore, Tollman, and Spugnoir were all facing the prospect of being frog food after the surprise attack. Luckily, either through their own skill at arms or with the aid of their companions, everyone but Kelmore managed to get free of the frog tongues. Fortunately for Kelmore, the giant frog was unable to swallow him whole, so he just got nibbled on a bit instead. The fight was over relatively quickly, with a few minor injuries here and there. Some healing proficiency checks and a cure light wounds spell later and they were ready to proceed.

Tollman scouted ahead of the party as they entered the courtyard of the moathouse, and his keen eyes noted that booted feet had passed this way recently. After calling the rest of the party up, the decision was made to investigate the tower to the left before crossing the courtyard to the main entrance of the moathouse. Garwin put his shoulder to the door, which opened in on a darkened chamber. Some sunlight streamed in, and a glint of coin could be seen near the far wall. The party stood guard near the door as Tollman carefully began to make his way along the wall of the tower and towards the treasure they had seen. This gave them all an excellent view of the lunging giant wolf spider that came crashing down on Tollman only a few moments after he entered the tower. The spider sunk it’s fangs into Tollman’s shoulder, and he immediately didn’t feel so good. Garwin, Kelmore, and Viiridi lept into action, surrounding the beast and wounding it severely, though not enough to kill it before Kelmore, the unluckiest henchman ever, also felt the spider’s poisonous bite. Some healing was done, but Jaeric was not skilled enough to counter the spider venom, which pretty much knocked Kelmore and Tollman on their asses. So great was their hurry to get the hell out of the moathouse and back to the safety of Hommlet, nobody even gave the coins they had came in to investigate a second thought until they were well on their way.

After a couple of quick days in town and they made it back to the moathouse, where they found that someone had been more than happy to relieve the spider of whatever treasures it may have been guarding. They then made their way into the moathouse proper, gave it a quick scan, and went straight for the door in the back of the main hall, where they found signs of an abandoned camp and a secret door. They took this secret door down through the moathouse walls to the depths below, where they found a second secret door and descended further. They came to a chamber with three doors and decided to open them from right to left. The first opened into a hallway with another corridor splitting off of it, which they decided to investigate later. The second door opened to a blank wall, but it’s opening was accompanied by a great crashing sound, like heavy iron hitting stone, from somewhere behind them. Tollman keenly pointed out that the sound was not unlike how he would imagine a portcullis slamming down somewhere behind them would sound. The third door was an empty 10×10 cell, but they wouldn’t learn that until after they dispatched the nine gnolls who came running to investigate what was happening in the chamber beyond their layer.

The gnoll fight wasn’t terribly noteworthy for this band of third level characters, but there was some attrition. A few people were wounded badly enough to need a few healing spells, and Spugnoir had exhausted the two magic missle spells he knew. Tim was also down a magic missile and an acid arrow after the fight. Everyone was quite concerned about that ominous sound, and though they hadn’t been back the way they had come to check, they were certain that they were trapped in the dungeon and already very low on healing spells, if not hit points. They decided their best bet would be to try and rest up a bit in what had been the gnoll lair, hoping that perhaps other denizens of the dungeon would steer clear of what they thought was still a gnoll lair.

And that’s where we wrapped things up! I can’t wait to see what happens next time. I’ve ran this module a few times and played it a few more, and I’ve never been part of a group that’s dove headlong into the moathouse dungeon like these folks. Things could get interesting lethal interesting if they take this approach in the Temple – if they make it to the Temple.

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