After retreating into the wilderness, pursuit by gnolls from the Forgotten Temple, and defeating those hyena-men, the party returned rested to the temple entrance. It had been a hard nut to crack.

The defenders hadn’t rested.

The stone slabs of the ramp floor of area 1 on the upper level map can be lifted up and placed upon the wall of rocks across the way. This will add 3 feet of height to the wall and provide a trench which can be deepened to at least 2 feet in depth.

Gary Gygax, Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun

This is Session 4 of my recap / walkthrough series of THE FORGOTTEN TEMPLE OF THARIZDUN (1982) by Gary Gygax. [PDF for $5 at DTRPG].


Upper Temple

The party noted the new barrier. A couple of norkers were atop the barrier, peeking over the top.

Yebarinscrud the dwarf examined the barrier, using his ancestral knowledge to look for weaknesses.

Not with that roll! The dwarf was confounded by the alien nature of the stones piled up for the barrier.

The party killed one of the norkers, and the other sentinel fled deeper into the temple.

Wilhelm Pembroke managed to scrabble to the top of the debris pile, but Delmar the Thief failed. [I was having the PCs roll a DC12 Athletics or Acrobatics check.]

However, the gnomes did get a boost from Delmar.

Rolen, from the top, cast Ray of Frost at a norker sergeant.

The norkers, posted here by the boss, knew the powerful trolls had previously been burned alive in the last fight with the invaders. Their morale was low, and most fled deeper into the complex.

Soon, the party could hear roars from ogres, who were too stupid and aggressive to have morale problems.

A fleeing norker was hurled back at the entrance. The norker hit a wall, and dropped to the floor, broken. The ogres charged in!

Yebarinscrud cast Guiding Bolt at one of the ogres, allowing Delmar a quick kill.

Rolen cast Fireball!

The ogres weren’t faring well. It was target practice for the party.

Soon the ogres were defeated, and the party pushed cautiously forward into the quiet chamber. They could hear muffled growls, grunts, and roars coming from the direction of the stairs. But they never grew any louder.

Exploring the room further, the party found a norker cowering in the corner, which they ignored.

They had taken the upper level, and nobody else was coming up the stairs!

The party debated rolling the giants’ boulders down the stairs, but instead settled on making large Molotov cocktails out of the oil barrels left behind.

They heard the barrels roll down the stairs, crash out of sight, and light from the flames. But there was little response. It wasn’t quiet down there, occasional growls and grunts could be heard, but the response was underwhelming.

So the party went down the left stairwell.

Lower Temple

Down the stairs, the temple changed.

As one comes down the stairs, the floor of this area is immediately noticeable. Instead of the dull black of the level above, it is of polished obsidian.

Rolen the drow noticed something strange on the north wall:

If gazed at intently, it seems as if a faint pattern of figures outlined in deep purple can be discerned, but to look so causes the eyes to ache. A mere glance reveals no such tracery, and no amount of staring can last long enough to actually discover what, if anything, is weirdly limned on the wall.

A scene was burned into Rolen’s mind.

Art is credited to Karen Nelson. It’s moody, detailed, and sinister.

In a side chamber, the party saw the Two-headed Troll they fought before. It was fully healed, but did not attack. It seemed afraid of the party, growling at spitting from behind cover.

[From the troll’s point of view, the party of humans were able to throw the hated and feared FIRE at will, and had slain all of its subordinate trolls. No way it wanted to fight them again!]

[Remember: Players cannot see anything under the gray fog of war, just me (and you).]

The party went south down the grand hallway. A hill giant was waiting for them, and hurled a large boulder, striking Yebarinscrud!

A stone giant also appeared, throwing a huge spear, striking Tagren the half-orc!

The fight was on!

Rolen the sorcerer picked the perfect spell: Hypnotic Pattern. All 3 giants were mesmerized… for the moment anyway…

[My middle son drew the Hypnotic Pattern.]

Yebarinscrud, injured, opened a door, finding an unoccupied room.

Just then, a door to the west opened. They were being flanked by ogres!