The Temple of Redcliff

Session 1, 25th May 2010 / 16th July 1625


For some days, the group of companions has been riding through northern Stryre in search of adventure in various forms. This morning, you rode into a village called Redcliff, which lies under a looming flat-topped mountain of red rock – hence the name. You were rather surprised that, beyond the usual pointing an whispering you’re used to when arriving somewhere new, these people actually seemed pleased to see you – as if you were what they were waiting for.

A well-padded young woman named Vera, who owns the town’s bakery, met you and explained the agitation of Redcliff.

For several days, the town Mayor Andalor has been acting very strangely – treating the villagers like slaves, demanding this and that, and trying to trigger arguments rather than defusing them as was his normal wont.

Last night, Vera (the town baker) and son Marnor (keeper of the Slaughtered Tankard), had been discussing sending for a priest or some adventurers from a nearby city when they realized Andalor was overhearing them. He left the tavern in a hurry, and two homebound drinkers saw him making his way up the mountainside in the moonlight. He’s not been seen since.

The mountain - an extinct volcano - is the major landmark, and towers above the village.

The temple as far as explored in play - click it for larger image!

Some more conversation with the villagers discovered that the town's only temple, to Pelor, was once at the top of the mountain, but had been destroyed 20 years ago by an attack by what appeared to be elves and dwarves but had probably in reality been something out of the Desolation. Andalor was the only survivor, and since then the place had been regarded as haunted and cursed, and avoided by the village population.

Vera and Marnor had been planning to send to a nearby town for assistance, and now here were adventurers in the town square. They offered the party what little they could afford to go up the moutain, investigate, and ideally bring their mayor back. "If he is dead, will you settle for the recovery of his body?" asked Galacaeien distinctly. Vera nodded, looking anxious, and the group set off up the mountain without further ado.

After about an hour's hike, the party reached the abandoned temple. It was clear that the place hadn’t been used for its original purpose in a very long time - weeds and shrubs grew up the sides of the building, and lichen mottled the stone walls. The windows had been secured with solid metal barriers that showed signs of a siege.

The group circled the place, looking for possible entrances, but apart from the shuttered windows only the main doors gave easy access to the inside. These had evidently been bashed in long ago, and the elements had completed the job; warped and cracked they were no barrier.

Before venturing inside, the experienced adventurers prepared themselves, casting spells and producing light sources for the humans among the group. Then they passed through the door into the inner lobby 2. This was unoccupied and decorated with aging and cracked ceramic symbols of Pelor on the walls.

Turning north, the group opened the door into a room used as a weapon-store during the siege of the temple 2a. Inside they found heaps of rusted and dusty weapons, shield, swords and three armoured bodies. These corpses had fresh wounds and wet blood on them and pooled beneath them; they looked as if they had been killed that morning. The group turned from the room and moved on.


The heavy doors before them were secured, and again marked with the sun-face symbol of Pelor. [Someone] squared up to the doors and smashed them open with a single mighty kick. Instantly, a faint siren whine started, scaling rapidly up to a shattering scream of sonic force that battered [Someone] with its' intensity, throwing him to the floor.

Once it was over, the others picked him up and they cautiously moved on through the door into the next room 3. This huge room must have been the main area of worship for the commoners who came to visit the temple. A few pews still stood upright, but most had been overturned or destroyed. Several armor-clad corpses, bearing Pelor's symbol and peppered with arrows, were sprawled out around the room, bearing witness to a vicious attack. At the back of the room stood a towering statue of Pelor behind an altar. The statue’s surface is cracked and pitted, as though it had been the target of weapon attacks, and its' right arm and upraised sword lay on the ground next to it.


The priest Lotheemas was angered by the damage done to the statue of Mighty Pelor, and declared he'd like to try and mend the arm. As the group moved across the floor towards the statue, ten transparent man-shaped shadows detached themselves from the walls and drifted to the attack. The shadows were remnants of the long-slain defenders of the temple, now desperate to absorb life force from any living being.

Galacaeien the bard struck up a stirring melody, lifting everyone's spirits and firming their resolve. Drardoulith lifted his symbol of Moradin the Soul Forger and bade the undead monsters begone; three of them were unable to bear his invocation and retreated into the walls. The others moved forward, though, and one reached a spectral finger and touched the sorceress Lothalla, who screamed as her life energy was drained. The party were horrified by the drawn look and palsy of weakness that washed across her. She staggered backwards out of the fight.

Grjan the bard attempted to Fascinate the spectres but their minds were gone along with their lives. Twenty Ocloth cast a Disrupt Undead, much more suitable, but his aim wasn't good enough and it missed. Distracted by this he was the next victim to lose his life energy as a shadow drank his strength with unnatural relish. Galacaeien, her song completed, struck with her spear and cursed as it slid straight through the unsolid shade. From a safe distance, Lothalla cast a Magic Missile and smiled grimly as it blasted holes in the insubstantial shades. Then the two priests lifted their symbols in unison and declared their faith. The combined assault was too much for the shadows and they abandoned the attack.

Galacaeien lifted the arm and held it while Grjan cast a Mending spell, sealing it back onto the statue's shoulder. Then the group opened the doors leading north. This turned out to be the temple's library 4. Row after row of bookshelves once stood in this room, but most of them toppled over long ago, showering the floor with books, scrolls, and papers. Time, weather, and humidity had not been kind to these documents - most had either mouldered or dried out. Lotheemas' Peloric soul was stricken by the sight of all these holy scriptures abandoned and uncared-for, and he picked some up and futilely attempted to restore them to shelves. Suddenly he turned to the shutters on the windows and started tearing them down; "This place has been in darkness long enough! Let the Light of Pelor in once more!" he cried. The others helped, and they soon had warm daylight flooding into all the rooms they'd explored so far 1 2 2a 3 and 4. Though none realized it, this prevented the shadows making another attack, for daylight was something they could not endure.


As Lotheemas and Grjan cleared the shutters from the weapon store 2a the bard stumbled on a solid object. Under the illusions of the bodies and weapons of the defenders - which must have been the curse the villagers referred to - was something real. Investigating, he found a bow and quiver of arrows, protected from decay by the enchantments on them.

Returning, the pair found the rest of the party preparing to move west from the common temple. These doors turned out to be untrapped, and opened easily into a side chapel 5. This room was dominated by another massive statue of Pelor in armour. Ten humanoid skeletons, dressed in the rags of leather armour and equipped with rusty and notched short spears, stood in niches along the side walls.

The party regarded these with great (and justified) suspicion. As soon as the first person stepped into the room, the skeletons stepped away from the walls, raised their spears, and started clicking across the stone floor towards them.

Galacaeien belatedly cast her Cat's Grace, while Twenty Ocloth snapped free a bead from his Necklace of Fireballs and hurled it at the skeleton furthest away on the left. The Fireball burst with a whoomph and engulfed the skeleton, and the one next to it. Heat cracked their old bones, and just for a moment, they shone with some inner radiance beyond that of the fireball. Then the skeletons exploded with a sharp concussion, sending razor-sharp fragments of bone flying in all directions.

Encouraged by this apparent vulnerability, Grjan loosed an arrow from his new bow at one of the skeletons on the right, but the shaft passed straight through the ribcage without striking any bones. Lotheemas, his confidence high after the shadows, lifted the sun-face of Pelor and abjured them to begone. One skeleton dropped its spear and backed into a corner, and the priest's face fell a bit; these were tougher.Maybe Pelor was just having an off day, because when Drardoulith assaulted them with Moradin's holy power, four more joined it cowering in the most distant corner they could reach.

Boneshard Skeleton

Galacaeien, having seen Grjan's arrow fail, knew that piercing weapons weren't going to work here, and reversed her spear to use as a club. She swiped at a skeleton and missed as it dodged back, but scored on another as it hurried past her away from the increasing effect of the two clerics. Twenty Ocloth followed the example with his shortspear but the blow was parried by his opponent. Lothalla, at a safe range now, used another Magic Missile to blast the skeleton nearest to Twenty Ocloth. Its' skull came off and rolled away, but the rest of the animated bones exploded, blasting the ratman with fragments of shrapnel.

Grjan dropped his bow and drew his sword, but by the time he had done so the battle was over. The last remaining boneshard skeletons were huddled in the far corner away from the clerics, and a single Magic Missile from Lothalla was enough to explode one; the flying shards striking the others and triggering a chain reaction that shook the temple as they exploded as well.

Having patched up their worst wounds, the party moved back through the common temple and opened its south door. Lotheemas reckoned that the room beyond 6 was the Refectory, the eating and gathering hall of the temple, and the remains of several chairs and tables dotted the floor. The place looked empty, and Twenty Ocloth and Galacaeien walked in to investigate. Without any warning, two arrows hummed across the room, apparently from nowhere, and struck the ratman sorcerer, dropping him to the ground.

Urgently, Galacaeien siezed the slitheren by the shoulders and dragged him out of the room and around the corner. Two more arrows whistled through the doorway to thud into pews in the common temple as Lotheemas healed Twenty Ocloth.

Session 2, 1st June 2010 / 16th July 1625


Galacaeien cast a Hypnotic Pattern into the room, hoping to disable whatever was in there, while the dwarf warrior Neidric charged boldly in with his greataxe ready. He was promptly shot twice although there was still no visible opponent. He managed, however, to notice that the arrows were coming downwards from the far end of the room. Enraged, he leaped up on a rickety wooden table and glared around himself.

Twenty Ocloth had cast Invisibility and moved back into the room, trying to flank their opponent, while Lothalla cast Light on a small piece of rubble and lobbed it accurately into the room to illuminate the room properly. All the party could see properly now, but still they couldn't see their foe. Lotheemas tried Turning again, but without a visible target the effect was weak and as he suspected the invisible foe wasn't undead.

Then Grjan cast a Glitterdust, and in the swirling motes of sparkling magic the shape of a humanoid form with a longbow came into view, hovering in the air in the act of drawing with a sheepish expression on its' face. The sorcerers recognized it as a janni, an outsider of the genie type often summoned by spellcasters for service or binding.

It was right in front of Neidric where he stood on his table, and he didn't hesitate. A lightning blow of the greataxe buried the blade in the janni's skull, splitting it down to the teeth, and it dropped heavily to the ground.

Neidric, standing right next to it, leaned down and pulled a softly clinking pouch off its' belt. He glanced inside, grunted in approval, and dropped it into his pocket.

After searching it for any more loot, they moved to the south door and listened carefully. There wasn't much sound, but the sound of a pair of feet, shifting as someone moved postion, could be heard; and also a similar sound but with a click as if the feet were harder; it sounded almost like hooves...


The party crashed through into the main inner temple 8. This room was furnished with several tables and chairs, all of which were intact and upright. A statue of Pelor stood in one corner, but its face had been smashed with some sort of blunt weapon. Several symbols of Pelor, all scarred and desecrated, lay scattered about the floor. An aged but hale human, matching the description of Andalor, stood alone in the middle of the room; his sword was drawn and he appeared prepared to fight whoever came through the door.

Neidric, still incensed, was first through, and Andalor turned on him instantly, muttering under his breath about assassins of Gonvan, just like I was warned and so on. He lunged skilfully at the dwarf with his longsword and wounded him. Neidric returned the attack but Andalor turned it aside easily. For a moment, Neidric felt some strange impulse to turn away from Andalor and attack his comrades, but it faded almost immediately.

Both Lothalla and Grjan tried to defuse the situation without lethal force. Lothalla cast a Sleep spell, which was ineffective, and Grjan cast an Enthrall, which unfortunately failed to affect Andalor and immobilized Galacaeien instead. The bard had just started a courage-boosting song, but the effect was lost as Grjan's spell halted her in her tracks. Twenty Ocloth cast a True Strike, and - still invisible from the fight with the Janni - slipped up close to Andalor unobserved.

Neidric struck again, this time drawing Andalor's blood, as did Twenty Ocloth as he stabbed with his spear. Lothalla hurried past the combat, twisting as she did so to lay a finger on Andalor's shoulder to release a Ghoul Touch spell. Like a snake, the old warrior twisted towards her and struck a blow as she retreated, wounding her badly. Distracted by this, though, his attack on Neidric was less successful and the dwarf parried it with his huge axe. As Lothalla reached what she thought was safety on the far side of the fight, three Magic Missiles tore into her battered body from (apparently) nowhere.

Not wanting any part of fighting a fellow Peloric priest, however fallen, Lotheemas moved past the fight on the other side, hunting for the source of the spells and attacks. Both Twenty Ocloth and Neidric wounded the warrior-priest once more, and Lothalla cast a Detect Magic which pinpointed the source of the attacks - half way up the wall on the east side. She shouted her findings out and Lotheemas, given the source of the evil, struck with his mace. It whistled harmlessly through the air, and the next second, a cone of fire roared out from thin air and enveloped her in flames.

Grjan abandoned his Enthrall, freeing Galacaeien, who spun and hurled her dagger at the source of the fire. It struck something, then dropped to the floor, and she wasn't sure if it had done any damage or not. With his bow still in hand, Grjan loosed an arrow, which narrowly missed the smouldering Lotheemas. A moment later Twenty Ocloth pulled free another Fireball bead and threw it at the invisible spellcaster. The blast enveloped it, and poor Lotheemas as well. A second after that, Lothalla's Web spell enveloped their foe - now visible as a clot in the strands - and Lotheemas as well. The priest struggled to free himself but to no avail, as Andalor, near death, wounded Nedric yet again. Once more, the dwarf felt some spell try to turn him against his friends, but shrugged it off.

Voorix the Yak Folk

Twenty Ocloth sent a Magic Missile slamming into Andalor's side, weakening him further. Lothalla cast a Summoning and an eagle of celestial origin appeared and clawed at the head of their foe as it stood entagled in the web. Lotheemas, unable to move much, stretched desperately to try and reverse a Cure Serious Wounds on the monster he shared the Web with, but it saw his movement and crushed his skull with a blow of its' staff. Lotheemas sagged backwards into the web, dying. Grjan scored with his bow, striking the monster in the head, though it wasn't apparent whether it had done any damage. And then Galacaeien strode up to Andalor and drove her spear into his eye, killing him instantly. Spinning, she hurled the weapon at the webbed monster, but it glanced off.

Neidric was in the process of readying his crossbow when he saw Lotheemas fall. Encouraged by a snatch of song from the bard Galacaeien, he fired, dropped the weapon, siezed the priest and dragged him free of the web. Dwarvish first aid was rough-and-ready, but the warrior and Lothalla managed to stabilize Lotheemas' condition and keep him alive while the others fought on.

Now it was Galacaeien who felt a strange urge to attack her companions, but she too shook it off. Grjan, abandoning bowfire for the second time, sent a Magic Missile to strike the webbed monster, and then Twenty Ocloth cast his spell. Three Magic Missiles converged on the creature in the webs, one into its' face and the other two arcing to the sides to crash into opposite temples. With a strange groan, the creature shuddered and died, its' skull smashed. As it died, it became visible, and Twenty Ocloth recognized it; it was a Yak Folk, a fellow curst out of the Desolation. One of their reputed powers was that of possession, the ability to take over the flesh of other beings and use them to further their aims.

It took an hour to bring Lotheemas back to consciousness, but once he recovered he was able to cast healing spells to ease the worst of the party's wounds, starting with his own. Then they rifled the two bodies, and sat back to consider what to do next. They'd found Andalor, but there was no way to call this a rescue....

Early the next morning, the villagers of Redcliff spotted the adventurers returning down the mountainside. A crowd swiftly gathered to hear the news, with Vera and Marnor at the front. Both visibly sagged as they realized that the same number of figures were approaching as had set out.

By the time the party reached the town square, most of the village's population was waiting for them. Galacaeien the bard and Lotheemas the cleric of Pelor stepped forward and addressed them. To their shock, what they heard was a tirade of condemnation from the furious priest and the bard. Led by Andalor, they said, the villagers had abandoned their faith and their temple, dishonouring the memory of the braver and better men who had died to defend it from the curst - the very curst that the party had found defiling it with their presence and evil! At this point Lotheemas hurled the severed head of Voorix the Yak Man on the ground for them to look at. Andalor had died in the fight to free the temple, Galacaeien said, not going into any details. From now on, the shocked villagers were told, the village of Redcliff existed only to support and defend the temple atop the mountain.

With a mixture of intimidation, invoked shame and guilt, and religious blackmail, they dragooned the villagers to an immediate reclamation of the temple, and marched them straight off up the mountain. Some - Neidric and Grjan among them - felt a more extreme solution was called for, and favoured a root-and-branch extermination of the apostate community. Lotheemas was pretty sure that Pelor would take a dim view of that, but had no qualms about being fairly tough on them in order to restore the temple to it's proper state.

Will the party massacre the entire village? Will Ben's character's god of Law and Good smite him with boils on the arse if they do? Or will a fanatical monastary of religious nutters come into being here to oppress future player characters?

Maybe, at a future time, we will find out!


Item Notes Taken By
Masterwork Longbow +1 to hit only  
Masterwork Scimitar +1 to hit only  
Breastplate +1 (armour bonus +6 max dex +3)  
Large steel shield +1 (armour bonus +3)  
Longsword +1  
Shortbow, Masterwork Mighty +2 +1 to hit, and up to +2 Strength bonus applies to damage  
Ring Protection +1 Chris
Necklace of Prayer Beads Blessing (8 beads). Cast Bless 8 times, uses the beads Ben
Brooch of Shield Cast Shield 3/day ??
Potion of Lesser Restoration Restores ability damage Drunk by Steve!
Potion of Owl's Wisdom 1d4+1 Wisdom increase, 10 minutes ??
Potion of Haste 10 rounds, +4 AC, 1 extra action, jump 1.5x normal Steve
Scroll of Magic Weapon Makes non-magical weapon +1 for 10 minutes Steve
Scroll of Flame Blade Scimitar of flame, 1d8+5 (no strength bonus), as touch attack, 10 minutes duration Richard
Falchion +1  
Staff of Charming Casts Charm Person at 10th level, also a weapon! Steve
Bracers Armour +2 Luigi
Wand of Magic Missile 1 missile / round Steve

If I've missed any ownership off, please let me know!

Session Date: 25th May/ 1st June 2010