Part 2 of Temple of the Sunken Moon.
You might have noticed how it took me several months to complete this session report (My lone follower, you know who you are). I realized since writing the last part that writing a sessions worth of roleplaying as a complete narrative is taxing. So taxing, in fact, that I never ever want to do it again. You have to remember a lot of stuff, especially when the game in question was played over half a year ago. You also have to try to emulate the mood of the game, since you cant actually recall each and every action taken and line said.
Instead of trying to remember exaclty what everyone did and said and what order it happened in, I'll provide a brief account of events and jump into excruciating detail whenever something funny or interesting happens.
Quick recap 'cause i know you're too lazy to read the whole first part: The gnolls demean themselves by asking for help defeating Asung Takat, a monster that likes killing their kids and destroying their homes. PCs accept and run around in the mud until they meet the monster, a golem like creature in the shape of a tall, skinny stone man with no face. (one player joked that i was describing myself) They destroy it, but do not know that it is actually a spirit bound to eight stone statues, and only by destroying a statue while the spirit is inhabiting it can they kill the thing for good. Nevertheless, they decide to find out where it came from.
So, party roster (the same really, but I like repetition):
Terjon - human, lvl 3 cleric, lvl 3 church inquisitor, lvl 1 divine oracle (yay 3.5)
Volatile Log - half elf, lvl 3 rogue lvl 4 wizard
Aran Beyron - human, lvl 7 druid
Cromweld hardtwerk - human reincarnated as halfling turned wight, lvl 6 sorcerer
The monk was still absent.
Log sent his familiar, a great tit named D-cup, into the skies to look for a giant sinkhole (if anyone reads this that didn't write the adventure, the link is right there at the top).
She came back several hours later and led the group north, and before they knew it the ground opened up before them. As soon as the first party member descends into the hole, a massive bulette attacks. They slaughter it like a pig, a rather entertaining battle including mountian lions pouncing from above and scorching ray critical hits.
On into the buried temple. This part was really awesome for me, since it was the first time the players were really scared. Which is right and proper. Any small to medium sized creature should be scared shitless of a large construct that manages to out-stealth them. Between secret passageways, doors under the surface of 5' high water and a creature that can switch bodies at will, the players were soon frantic.
The group fought off Asung Takat a few times while making their way throught the temple. They were utterly unable to find the trap doors it was using to ambush them, but found the tunnel in the water and started to put together the pieces. They also spent about an hour examining the murals ans symbols found throughout the temple for clues, going as far as comparing the cults holy symbol with the layout of the temple in case it would reveal the location of hidden passageways in the lines. It didn't. Someone said to move on and they did.
They barricaded themselves inside the room outside of the altar chamber and waited to be besieged. They weren't, making them even more scared. Soon they realized noone would attack them while prepared, and they decided to be less passive. They examined the immediate area for magic, and found a necromancy aura in the next room(the crypt of the priests). This prompted them to go the other way(the altar chamber). They first sent Log in to scout, and he was very nearly mauled to death by one of the eidolons. They had noticed how Asung Takat responded to halflings, so Cromweld was next up.
The undead halfling entered the room, and saw eight pedestals. I think six of them were housing eidolons at this point. I then did a thing where all the eidolons were speaking to him, but only one at a time. They sometimes finished each others sentences. Cromweld managed to maneuver the conversation onto their relationship with halflings, and found out that they served a cult of halfling priests. So he tried to get them to obey him as their leader. Asung Takat was too dumb to understand the difference between a live halfling of the cloth and an undead halfling pyromaniac, but he was still smart enough to ask to see a holy symbol. Cromweld had not been looting anything from the temple yet (thats Log's job) but he remembered a symbol he had seen chiseled around the place, and so he tried drawing it on a piece of paper and presenting it. He was lucky to escape the ensuing beating with his unlife.
Oh, I just remembered something. On their way into the altar chamber there was two doors that could only be opened one at a time. Like an airlock. Someone suggested just smashing the mechanisms so they would both open. The room erupted in spiteful laughter. Back to the story.
Hokay, the PCs barricaded the door into the altar chamber. Then they checked out the room with the necromancy aura. Thats right, the crypt of the priests. The aura was from the gentle repose spells on the clergys corpses, and the anticlimax hung in the air like cigarette smoke. Lots of swag could be found on the corpses of the cult, so everyone was happy. However, instead of leaving the place in the dust like any normal, mostly non-good adventuring party would do the group decided that they have to defeat the eidolons to stop them from terrorizing more of the wilderness' innocent inhabitants (gnolls, goblins, werewolves etc.). Noone picked up on the subtle clues I layed out hinting that only one of them could act at a time, so they thought they were going into battle against six rogue eidolons.
The group decided they needed help, and so Terjon cast lesser planar ally. The call was answered by a hound archon, who agreed to be buffed up and smacked around like a piñata. All he asked is that the PCs leave everything they found in the temple behind. I remember wording that so they only had to leave gold, silver and magic items, not for instance those clay tablets. (right up at the top, folks)
The battle went well, the archon survived some heavy hits and Asung Takat got crushed like last paragraphs allegorical piñata. The group lamented not getting to loot the place. They also found that secret chamber with the clay tablets, easing their pain a little bit. And Aran the druid was turned permanently insane by the ordeal.
My players were very happy with the adventure. It was the kind of gaming session where at the end it is so late people have made peace with not getting to work the next day, but they still want to keep playing since they want to know what comes next. They were pumped enough to keep playing even after the dungeon was finished.
I haven't yet told them that the module wasn't my own creation. I will one day, but the plot hasn't come back to bite them in the ass yet, and some of them read Zaks blog on and off. They know where to look, and I honestly fear they will. It stings a little every time someone pull out "that underground temple with the moon amulets and stuff" as one of my best adventures ever. I try to bring up the Evangeliste, a shipborne intrigue I ran them through in Dark Heresy once and that I'm still very proud of, but someone still likes this one best. I'll tell them, I promise. Just not yet.