Resting in the guard barracks, the Venatore were pleased that nothing interrupted their rest or attacked. In the barracks hall, they had previously located a secret door. Now, fully rested, they opened it to a large room, some type of reception hall in the temple's heyday. A dry fountain at its center featured a decorative statue of a minotaur seated on a throne. Entering the room, they were only a bit surprised when the minotaur stood. The gray dust it had covered itself in fell off as it charged to attack. Adrea
took point, followed closely by Balan
, when the minotaur flailed wildly with its greataxe, hitting everyone near it. The companions attacked back, annoying the minotaur enough that it repeated its wild swing, this time Rudy
, Adrea and Balan had to dodge the attack. Although it inflicted heavy damage on the companions, it never got a third swing.
In the southwest corner of the ruined reception hall, another door opened to the south. Checking it quickly, the party discovered a long corridor heading south. At the end of the hall there was a door on the east wall. Rudy listened and heard the unmistakable sound of Beastcant, she recognized the pitch and tone of bugbears. A flash of darkness on the south wall, the end of the corridor, caught Elyot
's eye. Searching, she discovered that a section of the wall could pivot. Adrea praised Nyx for the revelation.
Opening the east door, six bugbears dressed in gray immediately engaged the Venatore. Adrea called upon her spirit guardians while Balan, Rudy, and Crasokk
grabbed their weapons to engage. Rostam
used his eldritch blasts to push the bugbears away while Elyot used mind sliver to scramble their brains. Crasokk switched back to his longbow when the bugbears in the back began hurling javelins at the companions.
Once the bugbears were defeated, they party opened the door at the north end of the east wall. This took them back to the hallways that led south from the kitchens. A door to the south opened into a twenty foot square room where another four bugbears engaged the party. As they began finishing off this latest group however, the door in the east wall opened and an older man in gray robes cast cloudkill in the area, While the poisonous cloud killed some bugbears, it was poised to cause major damage to the companions.
Fortunately, Elyot was ready, and with quick actin dispelled the cloudkill. The party split its attacks, Adrea, Balan and Crasokk finishing off the bugbears while Rudy attacked the gray-robed elementalist. Seeking to escape, the air priest began casting a spell which started turning him gaseous until quick-thinking Elyot counterspelled it. As the bugbears dropped, Elyot them cast Raulothim's Psychic Lance at the air priest, incapacitating him for s short time and sealing his doom.
Searching the room, they learned that this was the leader of the Air Temple, Kelno. Again, a dark gleaming on the east wall caught Elyot's eye, pulling aside the draperies on the wall revealed yet another secret door with some searching. Rudy scouted the passage and found a stairway down along with the back side of another secret door which seemed to lead out into one of the main passageways.
Backtracking, they opened the secret door at the end of the long southern corridor. The corridor continued for a while, with another door in the eastern wall about thirty feet south of their door. Powering on despite their injuries, the open the door to find four more bugbears led by an obvious bugbear champion. These bugbears were dressed in bluish-green tabards. At first the bugbears seemed to have trouble hitting the companions, but that soon changed.
As the battle began, Elyot called forth a fey spirit which enthralled one of the bugbears, making the defeat of the other simpler. Rostam unleashed his eldritch blasts, constantly pushing the well-trained bugbears out of position. Rudy, Adrea and Balan engaged the champion and the uncharmed bugbears while Crasokk peppered them with arrows.
Soon the only bugbear left was the one under the control of the fey spirit. Under questioing, he told them that another group was through the eastern room, led by a well-trained ogre. There they used a secret door on the south wall to answer any calls to the Water Temple beyond. He knew that the champion had received offers from Kelno to defect to the air temple, and planned to do so if the troll chieftain (who guarded the main frescoed corridor up to the first level located to the south east) joined with air.
With Rudy, Crasokk and Balan bloodied, and Adrea significantly hurt, they Venatore stop and consider what to do next.