Owing to Rolen’s clever use of the Hypnotic Pattern spell, the three giants were mesmerized… for a brief time. The group knew that the giants were more than a match for them in open battle.
And their time of reprieve was being consumed by the ogres coming through the door to the west!
This is Session 5 of my recap / walkthrough / playthrough series of THE FORGOTTEN TEMPLE OF THARIZDUN (1982) by Gary Gygax. [PDF for $5 at DTRPG].
- THARIZDUN: Session 1 – Brawl at the Entrance of the Black Temple
- THARIZDUN: Session 2 – The Troll Onslaught
- THARIZDUN: Session 3 – Let’s Take This Outside
- THARIZDUN: Session 4 – Breakthrough into the Black Temple!
The ogres weren’t a serious challenge to the party. [In contrast to the stone giant, who’d earlier knocked the dwarf Yebarinscrud to half hit points with a single toss of a boulder!]
The first ogre died in the doorway, making it tough for its bestial comrade to engage the party. [I began making anybody who attempted to cross a corpse-filled area to make an Acrobatics or Athletics skill check.]
Soon the ogres were dispatched, and Tagren the half-orc climbed over the corpses, and saw a long hallway with doors.
The party knew the clock was ticking on the Hypnotic Pattern, but wanted to check this hallway first.
They found the doors on the west wall were cells. The first cell held two prisoners.
This room contains a pair of trussed up humans, Kettites from a patrol ambushed some few days ago and brought here. Both are normal men-at-arms, but one is of a noble family who will give rescuers a note stating that they have safe conduct through all Ket due to favors rendered to the Family Aldeen, if he is freed and given pen and parchment.
Thanks to the connection between Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun and Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, it’s possible to locate the Black Temple’s approximate location. Tsojcanth’s area map can be mapped onto the classic Greyhawk map, and the Black Temple is a scant few miles WSW of the Gnome Vale in the mountainous wilderness.
[The area map] shows the border areas of Ket and Perrenland, between the Velverdyva River and the town of Krestible, as shown on the map of the WORLD OF GREYHAWK Fantasy World Setting.Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth
The Kettite men-at-arms joined the party, and Yebarinscrud gave each a handaxe.
In the last cell was a dwarf named Teldroll Storis, but he slinked off as soon as he was freed.
The party found two rooms on the east wall of the long hallway. One was a chamber with a purple oval ceiling; it had recently been the quarters of the ogres, but was empty now. It’s original purpose was unknown.
The other room was a riot of red.
This 20’ square room of black stone is strange indeed! Its walls and floor are covered with yards of cheap, red cloth. As the wall sconces and torch brackets were used to hold the cloth along the walls, its badly-hung folds reach only about 7‘ up the walls. It looks as if someone went mad and tossed several rolls of scarlet and crimson material round the room, then having a change of heart, decided to straighten out the mess rather than do away with it.
[This was the norker witch doctor’s room. He and the few surviving norkers had fled the temple, out of sight from the PCs.]
They had no time to search the chambers however. It was time to face the giants!
Rolen explained to his fellows that the hypnosis on a creature would be broken the moment they were harmed. After dispatching the lone ogre there, they focused all their attention on the stone giant first.
Tagren the half-orc got in some mighty blows, and Delmar the thief his sneak attacks. The stone giant leader – [Groorg was his name, unbeknownst to the players] – had terrible luck, and died ignobly.
If defeat should occur, Groorg and his bodyguards will retreat to the dungeons. The best of the treasure will go with them, of course. They will make a stand in the great cavern (area 24 of the Dungeon). If that appears hopeless, the plan is to fall back into area 26, run down the passage there, and escape into the wilderness of rocky ravines.
I’d fully intended to follow Gygax’s defense plan, but the players had been too clever and fortunate in the use of spells and tactics. C’est la vie!
The party methodically eliminated the two hill giants and a couple more ogres that showed up. It was an anticlimactic end to what all had expected to be a brutal fight. (Yebarinscrud the dwarf had stumbled trying to cross these piles of flesh, and got stuck between giant corpses!)
The battle over, the party realized that no more humanoid reinforcements were appearing. Could this be the end of the humanoid band that had terrorized the Gnome Vale?