Glidion: High Elf Wizard (Enchanter) who exaggerates stories of his past triumphs. Unwitting pawn of the Zhentarim.
Gracealyn “Darkeyes” Droverson: Tethyarian Human Noble Fighter (Champion) who seeks to restore her lost family fortunes. Member of the Lords Alliance.
Milo Miller: Lightfoot Halfling Cleric of Pelor (Life Domain). Seeks to spread worship of his god to Faerun. Watcher of the Harpers.
Salazar Tomoki: Shou Human Monk (Way of the Open Hand). Hermit who walks Faerun seeking enlightenment like Caine from Kung Fu.
Wrenna: Forest Gnome Rogue (Thief). Little is known of Wrenna’s past other then that she has been on the wrong side of the law from a young age.
Having defeated the gargoyles and deciding that their suspicions about the monastery being a haven for evil were correct, the party decided to throw caution to the wind. Well, not entirely to the wind as Wrenna snuck a peak into the central temple area prior to the group kicking open the doors. Wrenna reported that there were a priest and two guards inside gathered around an altar at the far end, with four large columns of natural stone dominating the room and a large set of stairs heading down in the center.
The party seized the initiative and attacked. Glidion lead the attack with a fireball to “soften them up”, followed quickly by the a fleet-footed and stealthy Salazar armed with shurikens. Wrenna used her bow to great effect while Darkeyes was less effective with her javelin as she tried to close the gap. Milo used a guiding bolt of magic to both attack and assist his comrades. Glidion was able to take down the weakened priest and guards using magic to put them to sleep.
Tying the three up, they proceeded to wake the priest and interrogate him. The priest, a man named Qarbo, was quite talkative if openly contemptuous of his captors. He told the group that no matter what they did, they could not stop the rise of the Cult of the Black Earth. When asked if the Cult of Black Earth was behind the attack on the party by monks wearing wingwear, he spat and said those “vulture riding fools from the Cult of Howling Hatred” were weak and would be “the first to fall when the Black Earth ascended”. When asked what was below, Qarbo told the party to “go down and find out, but do not be surprised if the Black Earth devours you.” Having enough of his attitude, Darkeyes literally picked him up by the ankles and shook him, and was gratified when a pair of keys on a chain around his neck fell to the ground.
Meanwhile the group discovered a bronze lever close to the altar. Wrenna could not determine its purpose, but Glidion had a hypotheses it might have to do with the stairs. Deciding to test this, the party placed the three tied up cultists on the edge of the stairs. Qarbo was asked if he had anything to say before the lever was pulled. While he looked nervous, he did not give the party any more information. The lever was pulled, the stairs collapsed, and the three cultists slid into the darkness below. More mechanical noises were heard in the distance, followed by screams, followed by a clacking, scrabbling noise as the umber hulk below tried to make it up the ramp. The party decided it was best to explore elsewhere.
Leaving out the small doors to the west, the party entered a hallway with Wrenna in the lead. Her sensitive gnomish nose detected the smell of baking bread. Making their way through the empty dining area, the group entered the kitchen where four monks in dun colored robes were preparing food. Seeing the party they hastily donned gargoyle masks and attacked. The monks proved no match for the party however, and once they were vanquished the party use the opportunity to restock their provisions. The deceased monks were also liberated of their robes and masks.
Heading back out the way they came and travelling south, Wrenna listened at a door and heard some people speaking in what she thought was a dialect of dwarvish. Darkeyes decided to have a little fun, donned a gargoyle mask, put a (poorly fitting) robe over her armor, and charged into the room to attack. The dwarves, actually duergar, were taken off guard by this unorthodox attack. Only three of the six duergar in the room were awake and the group worked to push their advantage while they could. Two of the duergar used the strange powers innate to their race to grow to gigantic proportions. Regardless, the party took the day and defeated the evil dwarves.
Continuing their explorations, the party found another dormitory with four sleeping monks who were slaughtered before they were even fully awake. The group then discovered the sleeping quarters of the priest and his guards they encountered earlier. One of the keys they had liberated from the priest opened an iron coffer containing priestly vestments, gold bracelets, and several magical scrolls which were claimed by Glidion.
To be continued…