The battle had been dangerous and unexpected, and our heroes took a moment to rest, gathering their energy and binding their wounds while deciding what route they would take onwards towards the Temple of Pelor. On one hand, the path ahead through the canyon seemed to be visibly unguarded, but to their right the goblin caves sat, largely undisturbed, any futher goblins within heedless of those that had so casually slaughtered their counterparts.
After some discussion, it was decided that the goblins posed enough of a threat to travellers that they should indeed delve deeper into the caves and eradicate the threat. However, I noted a certain amount of bloodlust in the eyes of the Minotaur that sat with me not at all well.
Into the Goblin Caves
The first of the Goblin Caves that they came across on the west side was already free of goblins, having been called by their comrades earlier with the horn into battle, where they had been felled. The cave and passage beyond stood empty and the group crept along it, fully intending to take any further goblins by surprise.
Initially the battle went astoundingly well, for the goblins were taken almost entirely by surprise. Gwenn charged in and roared, and this posed such a shock to the goblins, some of which had been asleep, that one actually keeled over in what must have been a heart attack, and died instantly. One cannot fully appreciate the ferocity of a Minotaur’s bellow until it is heard.
However, as the battle progressed, the group seemed to lose some cohesion, Gwenn going off along a passage, initially with the Goliath Orag, then continued on even when the call from the others alerted to a deeper cave and yet more goblins past some traps. Unaware of their fight, fully intent on the one they were currently engaged in, Gwenn continued on with their own fight, ignoring all that was happening behind them in the caves.
Orag, having heard and responded to the cry for battle, showed an amazing amount of dexterity in leaping over traps, as nimbly as any mountain goat that one would certainly not think came from such a vast muscled form. But still, the fight was dangerous, for Gwenn was usually the one to charge into battle, drawing the enemies’ ire while the rest of the group responded in other ways. It was now Orag who took the lead, leaping in with his axe held high, crashing into the ferocious goblins as they had sat huddled around their fires, aided by Ulrik’s healing and Aurora’s stealthy shots. No hexes could stop Orag, who shook them off as if his stone-like skin bore no wounds, smashing their skulls while Aurora’s daggers and Ulrik’s spirit companion aided in battle.
Exhausted, but triumphant, the heroes regroup and rest there amongst the slaughtered remains of the goblin community, before they would force themselves onwards towards their goal: the Temple of Pelor.
The Temple of Pelor
The temple came into view through the trees at last. The ground around it has been cleared of lumber and the Temple building rose majestically high, the spire rising like a white beacon in the air. The main building was glazed with stained glass, and in the dying light of the day the lamplight shines out with multifaceted colours as if in welcome. The grounds that surround the main temple were made up of smaller buildings joined together to make a courtyard, all in clean crisp white.
Gwenn knew from her own training as a Paladin that this is one of the more remote Temple locations of Pelor where the Clerics, Druids and sometimes even Paladins are initially trained.
The group was met by a white robed cleric who leads them into the temple to where the High Priestess can be found. Upon finding the High Priestess, the heroes would tell her of the woes of the Hamlet, handing over the amulet given to them by the ghost of Lord Rhmal.
“Welcome supplicants. It seems indeed that you bring grave news about the Hamlet, for Lord Rhmal was a student of mine, dare I say a friend, and it weighs on my heart to hear of such ill tidings. That the light of Pelor shines upon them in such a dark time gladdens me. It is of course imperative that we travel back there to undo the dark rituals set upon the artifact to free those people to His bright embrace.
“First however, I must insist that you take time to cleanse and rest yourselves and spend time in prayer to ease the burden of your work, for while Pelor asks that we smite evil and the undead, He urges us to remember that excessive attention to things of evil can blind you to the truly important things in life: compassion and goodness. Only when your hearts are once more calm of such dark callings may we start on our journey lest more than merely the Hamlet is tainted by the darkness.
“Be aware that your thoughts in this holy place carry more weight than when without.”
Mindful of the Priestess’ words, the group settle themselves down to contemplate within the temples walls, their thoughts seeming more focused than before, their contemplations drawn towards the religious significance around them as well as their own paths in life.
Aurora contemplated the fate of her brother, who had been lost some years. I cannot say what she found, but it was clear that she gained some insight in the temple, for her mood visibly improved and her gaze took on a determination that had not been quite as sharp before.
Meanwhile the rest of the group tried to help the ever-conflicted Gwenn with her contemplations, for her own thoughts had seemed to jumbled of late. Ulrik in particular saw this as his goal within the temple, and was fast by her side during the contemplations.
Sadly despite their help, Gwenn seemed to gain little insight into her life and goals and religion, only a vague sense that her actions had not been in line with that of the temple of Pelor that she had grown up believing in and following so firmly. Indeed, even after seeking more insight from the High Priestess so jumbled were her thoughts that only some understanding of just how cut off from Pelor she had become was seen. Her mood seemed to drop visibly after this, having seemed to gain no insight really how to rectify it.
Despite this, each of our heroes seemed to gain some insight into what would make them happiest in the short term.
Gwenn: Being prepared has its own happiness. Spending time making sure all your gear is in good working order before the next trip out would be a good use of time.
Ulrik: It has been a while since you had time to yourself. You realize that spending the evening alone in quiet contemplation would be pleasing.
Aurora: You realize that you would love to own a small pet to take with you on your adventures.
Orag: These temples tend to keep a stock of good ale and mead. If you ask nicely they might be willing to share it with you.
Thus with as much insight as they were going to get, they settled down to rest before the journey back to the Hamlet the next day.