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Eight skeletons, with the door opening inwards would allow only one at a time to step through…

We managed to meet again after a long pause to continue the D&D5e play of the classic module N1, The Cult of the Reptile God.

We picked up the action exactly where it left off, with the elfish boys out on the paths in the middle of the night on the way to investigate the suspicious temple. Suspicion was the order of the day as Casius (thief) detected that they were being followed. No one else did and he slid away from the party to investigate. This aroused absolutely no surprise from anyone as he commonly sneaked off for no adequately explained reasons at the best of times.

This time his suspicions turned out to be true and they learned that they were being followed by two very skilled operators. The boys went to ground and waited, but so did their opponents. Two hours went past and Arius (monk) was furious that their watchers were behaving irrationally by not moving… unless they had superior vision and could see better. Casius circled back around and surprised of the watchers. After issuing a short warning he shot the startled figure who had leapt in fright and drawn his sword. At the same time a web spell enclosed the rest of the party from the other direction.

I described that in two short paragraphs, but it took an awful lot longer than that in realtime as the party played cat and mouse on the moonlit hillside below the temple. And so, in the interests of brevity…

The shadowy figures were also elves – and that was pretty ominous as elves are rare in this world. They had been in the village for a month taking notes. An uneasy truce was established and the party  continued to the temple. There they found a secret door, entered, explored the ground floor, found a sleeping priest and then ran away again. Back at Llewellan and Dorian’s place they learnt some more about the strange goings on about the village. L & D gave them a sleep potion that could be used as a knock out gas.

Back to the temple they went, arguing for a long time about the tactics they would use once they got there. Once inside they again found the sleeping priest, knocked her out and then revived her for interrogation. She seemed reluctant or unable to coherently reply, something that only added to Arius’ (whose anger tempts him to the dark side… mmmm) frustration after a long long series of infuriating frustrations. They bundled her back to Llewellyn and Dorian’s where those two reckoned they knew someone who could remove such a powerful charm.

And for the third time the elfish boys returned to the temple, full of clever tactical ideas, made it to the first floor, found some skeleton guards and then, after a developing a complex plan to defeat them, smashed them easily in an anticlimactic combat. Image attached.

What conclusion could be reached from these lengthy deliberations?

  • The temple is clearly something close to the heart of the mystery surrounding the village
  • According to Llewellyn and Dorian people are being charmed, not converted, mutated or replaced
  • Llewellyn and Dorian are part of some organisation, the nature of which they would not reveal, but that has something to do with the destiny of the pure-blood elves
  • This party really likes to chew the moral and tactical issues before taking action
  • The ancient coin that Ghath (bard) possessed was of particular interest to the two foreign investigators, as was the elfish boys’ encounter and defeat of a genuine demon
  • Storm was of particular interest to the mysterious pure-blood elf agents. He was a sea elf and a sorcerer – a very rare combination – but he maintained his usual reticence and they got nothing from him
  • Cassius managed to steal nothing at all
  • Octavius (paladin) agonised about the process for manufacturing evidence to justify the start of slaughter
  • 1st edition skeletons (I converted the originals rather than use the new stats) are a walk over. But that’s OK