With so much time spent underground within the Doomvault, the concept of day and night has lost all meaning. I long for a canopy of trees above my head, not the cursed machinations of the Red Wizards. Our company prepared for further battle after stowing our supplies in packs and breaking our fast. Magus and I broke our fast with bread and cheese, debating our findings and where we might proceed. We agreed we would return to the Temple of Plagues and explore temples to the south. Aldrik quietly sang a mournful tune, his whistling axe head accompanying his voice. Zawadi stoically finalized daily prayers to Bahumat.
Upon appearing in the Temple again, we immediately noted two small figures throwing cards before the door leading south. I crept stealthily scouted. They were both female: one a dwarf and the other of an unrecognized race, though comparable in size to a halfling. I listened to their conversation for awhile and divined they could become allies.
I boldly spoke, “Well met, fair ladies”. The second chattered, “Well met. My name is Addy. Are you in league with Sir Isteval too? He noted we might encounter reinforcements somewhere in the Doomvault. By your look, I can see you have never encountered a kender before.” Before I respond, the dwarf stated, “Addy, here, noted your approach and presence for the last 5 minutes. Glad to see you decided to introduce yourselves. My name is Ferrik.”
Favoring them both with an embarrassed, bemused expression I stated “Galad [i.e. I’m impressed] at your keen ears. Indeed we are. Great tidings!” Behind me, everyone relaxed from defensive stances and formal introductions were made. Aldrik, producing a flask from a belt sack, handed it to Ferrik, before taking a long pull himself. Aldrik pointed to the door with Whelm, “Enough pleasantries. We’re wasting valuable time during which we could be breaking skulls. We must carry out great deeds before I can sing of them.” “We concede your point”, Magus’ deep gravelly voice issued from under his cowl and hat.
Opening the door, we saw an irregular-shaped cavern – featuring a rough soil floor and ceiling. The air around us was humid, likely the result of spell craft. Gnarled vines stuck out of the floor, while roots hung from the ceiling, swaying against a nonexistent breeze. Sloth, proceeding the group into room, was confronted by three hazy will o’ wisps. My father spoke of these tiny fey undead spirits and their hunger. They circled the golem for five seconds, then separated to target our front ranks. Sloth slapped one before it sped towards Zawadi. The second made contact with Aldrik, sipping his life-force, and left a bluish-black mark on his skin.
As Zawadi chanted, a fourth silvery holy beacon of Bahumat’s power blanketed our group. Sloth caught the third in a huge bear hug, extinguishing its glow. Ferrik launched a ray of frost at a wisp, with seemingly little effect. The kender cleric thrust her holy symbol toward both wisps. One winked out, destroyed, and the other fled back toward Sloth. The golem clapped its hands together destroying it.
Taking a breath, we all began to advance toward a dais near the back of the room. The roots and vines quickly grew outward, wrapping around the limbs of Zawadi, Magus, Aldrik, Addy, and Ferrik. I managed to contort out of the way and pin one vine to the ground with Cat’s Fang. Meanwhile, Sloth tore entwining vegetation from his body. With luck, Ferrick managed to flick a ball of guano and sulfur. A fireball scorched the vegetation within area, freeing the entangled.
We began to advance again, but encountered a shadowy wraith. Zawadi hit the shadow with a singing lightning bolt. Aldrik swung Whelm back and forth, connecting twice with its fore- and back-swing. In quick succession, a ray of frost and sacred flame tore across the undead. Lunging forward, I jabbed into the center of its shadowy form and it faded out of existence.
Chained to the dais was Eira. She is a wood elf druid Chosen of Rillifane Rallathil – the Elven God of the Woodlands and harmony with Nature. Eira revealed she was wounded by a rite wherein a Chosen of Talona, the Maiden of Poison, was sacrificed. The powers of the killed Chosen infused her. I freed her from her bonds. Zawadi healed her wounds. She requested to assist us in our quest; we happily agreed, glad to have another ally. We proceeded through the door at the room’s south end.
A blast of cold wind and ice crystals lashed our faces as we entered the Temple of Winter. The walls of this irregular-shaped room were encrusted in thick ice. The room contained two blazing braziers and a now familiar four-pillar adorned dais. Our presence interrupted the experiments of a Red Wizard and her apprentice with a human female Chosen of Auril, The Frostmaiden Goddess. She cackles and yells, “You fools. You have the pleasure of being destroyed by wizard Aduna. My pets, kill them!” Suddenly we faced off against four loping yeti bodyguards. A set of magic missiles cracked into Aldrik; in response he grunted, “Durn you” and spit on the floor.
Magus flung a fireball directly on top of the Red Wizard. As the flames cleared, the wizard stood unaffected. On closer inspection, I identified this form was simply an illusion.
Approaching us for melee, the yeti remained in a square formation. One swiped at Sloth, but missed him. Aldrik calling upon Whelm’s powers, slammed its hammer head onto the ground. A powerful shockwave radiated outward stunning two yeti and the Thayan apprentice. The second yeti missed in a swipe attack on Magus. Brilliant sunlight scorched two yeti, as Addy cast Radiance of the Dawn. Next, Ferrik sculpted a fireball blast to burn the targeted yeti, but miss Sloth, Magus and myself. Stepping forward, Eira wove her hands in passes, a thunderclap sounded, and a bolt of lightning hit the fourth, already burning yeti – causing it to uncontrollably spasm. Provided an opportunity, I pierced the jerking yeti with my rapier.
We continued to battle the strangely hearty yeti bodyguards. Sloth crushed and killed one in a massive bear-hug. Magus blasted and pushed two with a thunder wave cube of force. My rapier and scimitar connected with a stunned yeti as it was pushed backward. One yeti managed to slash a few scales off Zawadi’s torso. Ferrik hit the remaining yeti with another Thunderwave spell. Sloth punched the final yeti to death. Meanwhile, Aldrik rushed forward to grapple the Thayan apprentice. While his action was unsuccessful, it distracted the Thayan, allowing Eira to channel a lighting bolt into him. He staggered for a moment. Drawing my bow and nocking an arrow, I yelled, “Hold still, Aldrik!” and fired the shaft over his head to slay the apprentice.
At this moment the Red Wizard reappeared. I would surmise that Magus had counted upon this. Pointing toward the illusionist, his eyes blazed and he crushed a small cocoon. The wizard’s form shrank to a minuscule ant. He strode forward and ground the ant with his boot heel.
That left the only the Chosen of Auril. While scattered in mind, the woman seemed ready to attack – as flurries etched our cheeks. I successfully intimidated her, “You are freed from the Thayans. Yield now or we will be forced to attack!” Seeing our might, she yielded and we placed her under guard in manacles. We then proceeded to search for treasure.