Despite being fairly injured, the party decided that it needed to do its best to press forward. It was clear that the multiple extended rests taken in assaulting the earth cult and the fire cult resulted in both cult leaders eluding the party. The same mistake would not be made again. Badding and Quintus doled out as much healing as they could muster and the party soldiered forward. But pressing forward did not mean charging ahead blindly. It seemed clear that the eastern half of the complex was clear but much remained west of the underground river.
So as the rest of the party took a short rest, Templeton used 1 hour to invisibly scout. While interacting with the cultists under the illusory guise of One-Eyed Shiver, Templeton had learned that Gar Shatterkeel was in the water temple. So Templeton began methodically searching the rest of the complex. He found one large room filled with 4 Reavers and a Fathomer. Many of the adjoining rooms to that one had the sounds and smells of monsters. Most likely bugbears and other sorts of minions at the cult’s disposal. Templeton snuck around them all searching for the temple where Gar Shatterkeel should be hiding. At last he found a big double door to the north that had the symbol of the water cult painted on it. Bingo.
Templeton found a route that would bypass all of the guardians and take the party right into the temple. The only problem was that it required traveling down a passageway with fast flowing water. A plan was quickly hatched by which Badding flew Templeton to get in position at the base of a bridge going over the river to the double doors. Templeton covered the hallway to the south with his crossbow just in case any of the reavers or fathomers spotted what was going on. Next Badding flew back with Puck. Puck used his Bigby’s Gasping Hand to grab Quintus and Brenn and carry them across because each was too heavy for Badding to carry whilst in flight.
Still out of sight from all the guardians, Brenn opened the double door and strode boldly into the room. There he found 5 Lizard Folk with armor, shields, and big clubs at attention against the southern wall of a large temple. Brenn moved to the group on his left and closed for melee. Badding then flew into the room while still carrying Puck. Badding grappled with the nearest lizard folk on his right. He man handled two of them by pushing them back and making more room for everyone in the party to get into the room. Templeton slipped into the room and took his immovable rod out of his pack.
Quintus then charged into the room, closing the large stone double door behind him. The doors opened into the room, so Templeton positioned the immovable rod against both stone doors and turned it on to essentially bar them from being opened by anyone from outside the room. Quintus then drew forth his great sword and began to lay the many blessings of Tempus upon the heathen lizard folk.
The Lizard Folk then smartly surrounded Brenn, Badding, and Quintus trying to gain advantage from flanking positions. A viscous melee broke out with Brenn, Badding, and Quintus trading blows with the Lizard Folk. Standing closest to the edge of the water that bisected the middle of the temple, something did not smell right to Puck. His olfactory senses picked up a terribly foul odor. Puck turned his gaze to look at the water as it began to roil. Two enormous demons rose up from the depths. The Hezrou stepped up on to the solid ground and moved in to attack Puck. The foul stench that hung around them was like nothing Puck had ever smelled before. It was almost too much to bear. But somehow Puck steeled himself against the stench and managed to put up a shield spell as claws and bites rained down upon his little body from the 2 powerful demons.
Puck grimaced, keeping his wits about him despite the tremendous odor of the Hezrou that would have rendered most men stunned. Puck got through the stench and unleashed a spell of banishment. One of the Hezrou was hurled violently back into the abyss from whenst he came whilst the other steeled himself against the spell, his magic resistance saving him. Puck then used his misty step to teleport away across the water to the other side of the room. Badding then stepped forward and attempted to turn the fiend with his holy symbol. But the Hezrou was unimpressed, his magic resistance again saving him from the effect. Furious that the little gnome had banished his brother, the remaining Hezrou moved across the room to close with Puck. His claws flailed at Puck but the gnome stood his ground and miraculously was unhurt do to some lucky dodging.
The melee battle raged on between the lizard folk and the rest of the party with Templeton shooting bolts from hiding into the unsuspecting throats of the lizard folk. One was killed but 4 more remained. But Puck was still all alone against the Hezrou. Puck stood firm in the face of his aggressor and smiled while unleashing a fireball that exploded around the lizard folk perfectly sculpted around Puck’s allies. One of the lizard men was burnt to a crisp and the others badly wounded. There were still still 3 remaining but it didn’t take long for the rest of the lizard men to be cut down by Brenn and Quintus but in the meantime one of the Hezrou’s deadly claws had raked across Puck’s little body poisoning him. But as has been shown time and time again, Puck is made of stern stuff. The gnome focused hard on his banishment spell. Most wizards would have lost their concentration and the other Hezrou would have returned to the battle. But not Puck. His keen mind kept the spell going despite the burning pain of the gaping wound across his left mid section.
With the lizard men gone, the rest of the party came to Puck’s aid, surrounding the Hezrou. Templeton hid behind a pillar in the room unleashing bolt after deadly bolt into the creature. Puck loosed magic missiles from his wand. Brenn bravely used a goading attack on the Hezrou forcing the creature to attack him instead of the gravely wounded Puck. Surrounded and taking lots of damage from all sides, the Hezrou began to look for some means of escape but it was too late. Badding had the killing blow as he brought his flaming flail down hard upon the head of the Hezrou, caving in its skull.