After a relatively uneventful trip home, the party takes some time to rest and train again. Lord Blackwall is still not doing well, and Marda is not sure how much longer she can hold off the poison. They have not identified it, but have determined that the poison is magical in nature and is actively fighting against their efforts to cure it. Research indicated that a magical plant found in caves near a lake to the south may help. It is unsure how, so they need as much as possible of a full plant.
Travelling south, the party starts looking for caves. Once they find a promising location, they venture inside. The first foray into the cave the encounter a band of grimlocks and a black pudding. After the first hit on the black pudding, they quickly learned that edged weapons are a bad idea, as it splits into two different puddings. After defeating the grimlocks and pudding, moving further into the cave they find a pair of carrion crawlers and what appears to be a beautiful woman. Because of her behavior, the group retreats for a time before returning. They end up fighting two of the creatures, which are actually intelligent magical plants. Upon defeating one, they take the body/plant and withdraw.
With the return of the party and the poison from which an antidote can be diluted, the group trains again. Time, however, is running short, as the prophecy has been related to an upcoming astrological event. Kel’Mazod has determined the location of D’Hadra. It is an isolated village in a remote valley north near several very large lakes, and the party needs to head there as quickly as possible.
The party gears up and sets out to the northeast as directed. After running out of road going in the direction they needed, the group ventured overland. Along the way, in the forested wilds, they were attacked by 3 ettin. After a small skirmish, two ettin were down and the other ran away.
Eventually they came to a rough, steep mountain range. After a bit of searching they eventually found a rough pass to get through. Beyond was what appeared to be a peaceful valley with a good sized town in the middle of it. They proceeded to the town, where the were looked at very strangely but no one accosted them. They noticed that the town appeared to be almost entirely human and nobody other than themselves was armed. Later the did see some city guard that were armed. They made their way to the Meister’s house and explained what they were doing there. They were informed that no one there knew anything of a temple other than the few in town which they doubted had anything to do with their quest and certainly didn’t have any ancient relics in them. After dinner at the Meister’s house, they were given the use of a large house on the city square to get some rest with palns to meet with the town Elder’s the next day.
However, overnight there was quite a commotion when some Babau demons were attacking towns people in the square. The group readied and rushed out to help, which probably saved several townsfolk as the demons reacted to a new and greater threat. The group was having some limited success, but seemed to be losing ground as more of the demons made their way toward the party. But before things could get out of hand completely, a horn sounded in the distance and the demons started to flee and teleport away.
The next morning it was be learned that a girl and her mother were missing. Investigation revealed a trail that led up into the mountains, eventually ending on a narrow mountain path/ledge. This path led right to the front of a temple built into the cliff face. There the mother was be found poisoned, beaten and crying softly. She lived just long enough to indicate that her daughter had been taken inside.
As they enter the temple, they learned it was much larger than in appeared from outside. The went down some stairs and out the back. The first part of the temple was built into the walls of some kind of pit or volcanic vent with access bridges crossing from side to side. There they were attacked by 2 Rast and a dozen Githzerai, several with bows. After surviving the battle, they found a location on the middle bridge where some kind of sacrificial rite had been performed and the girl had been killed.
With renowned vigor from righteous wrath they moved forward to find some sort of planar gate. A quite foray revealed that it was exceedingly and uncomfortably hot beyond the gate. Using the Tembral Shard they pierced an illusion to be aware of 20 Githzerai and 2 Scorpionfolk waiting to ambush them. They stepped back through the portal where they healed and rested, then they prepared some and moved into the portal ready for combat.
This time there were 20 Githzerai and 4 Scorpionfolk. Fortunately, 2 of the Scorpionfolk turned out to be illusions. After a short battle, the group was once again victorious, and proceeded forward to the large Temple that looked a lot like a Shinto shrine. Moving to the upper level, they investigated a statue there and found an old crusty goblet in its hand. Breaking away the crust, revealed a orange-ish crystal goblet. It also revealed a secret passage down inside the shrine. Moving carefully into the shrine, they inched forward until they found an ornate locked door. Thunk got a little excited and tried to force the door triggering a trap. With few people aware or ready, they took some pretty good damage from a Cone of Cold spell.
Attempting for the better part of valor, they decided to cut their losses and leave. However, when they exited the shrine and started for the gate, they noticed several Salamanders, including a very large one, guarding the access to the portal. A large battle commenced, and things were NOT looking good for our heroes. Thunk and Lorien both went down, and everyone else was hurting pretty good. They did manage to take out the Salamanders only to find that the crystal goblet they had found disappeared when they passed through the portal.
So, after a trip back inside the Temple, they managed to get past the door and find the treasure room. They scooped up all the goodies, including a less fancy orange-ish crystal goblet, and left verifying that this goblet would remain when passing through the portal.