The team moved swiftly through the shattered city toward the temple, now defiled and acting as the demonic head-shed. Gnarl and Sturn cased the massive front doors, spying two bloated demon-spawn standing guard there. Sadly, both were the distorted shells of two former men of the city, one of whom had been the mayor. Sturn muttered something to himself about freeing what was left of them, and then the rushed the front door.
A short melee ensued, resulting in both demi-scum being destroyed and the doors breached. Into the lobby the team poured, confronted by a desecrated temple in full fecal bloom, followed quickly by a confrontation with another group, this time eight cultists, eager to prove their worth to their demonic lords by killing more crusaders.
Wrong idea, guys – the varsity team had arrived.
Although they took damage, the righteous invaders struck down all of the vile adepts, providing them with the chance to meet their true masters probably a lot earlier than they’d expected. ‘…probably not as grand as they’d hoped…’ Sturn thought grimly to himself, marveling at the stupidity and craven evil that so many chose.
The team moved into another room, encountering this time actual demons, and filled the chamber with their wrath, bum-rushing the book-gobbling wanna-be puppeteers. These fights were swift and deadly, and although the crusaders never doubted the outcome, they still took considerable damage as each new fight ensued. Both Jaroo and Utenar required healing, and even Sturn made use of his ability to mend injuries, on himself and others. And yet, they had to press on – there was no other option at this point.
Into a long worship chamber they moved, despite being the victims of several hurled fire bombs. This is where they felt the pain the most on the ground level, although all enemies were destroyed eventually. More healing and regrouping followed, along with the discovery of a powerful magic sword that had once belonged to one of their allies. And then…up the stairs!
For once, in a seemingly unbroken line of adventures, quests, and journeys, a team of stalwarts discovered a set of stairs that went….up. Strange…disconcerting…clearly the work of sinister hands….and yet definitely up. And so up they went.
Up they went, and into a hall packed with waiting cultists and other foes – 12 of them in all! The team’s speed and ferocity surprised these enemies, enabling the heroes to move quickly among them in order to begin the work of cutting them to pieces. And cut them to pieces they did, even with the addition of a 13th foe, a mutant dog-elk-mosquito-wildebeast craft project that burst forth from a side chamber, barking, bleating, buzzing and roaring its way down the wide hall.
The heroes cut and thrust and parried, much like at their fencing master’s call in days of old, and the training held true, leaving heaps of body parts and gore layered above the ever-present smears of excrement.
Breathe…center…focus…heal….and then onward! The team was all eyes outward, scanning the doors within the hall, checking for magical and evil auras behind all of them, and listening for any signs, as well.