Having made our way to the Fire cult's temple we infiltrate the building by entering through the 3rd floor windows. We find ourselves in a long corridor and using a burning branch we light some torches. Moving down the first available corridor with Kazir in the lead we find ourselves on a huge balcony overlooking a vast chamber lit by hellish flames. From the vast reach of the chamber it is immediatly clear that the cult has dug their temple far back into the mountain.
Looking down on an alter and central area surrounded by a river of lava we realise that the alterpieces lie down there, surrounded by fire elementals, priests, priestesses and giant salamanders weilding flaming spears.
We plan fruitlessly for about half an hour, all concious of a growing weariness and of the extent of our injuries. Finally we decide to explore the rest of the floor.
On one side we come across bedrooms where Kazir the Despoiler cruelly murders the beautiful innocent evil priestesses in their sleep, as usual. Moving to the other side we encounter a locked door, sealed also by magic. We get Griffon to use his wood warping powers to thin the door, planning to burst through, and also to make a small hole for us to spy on the inside of the chamber. Here we see two mages talking and Father Alex decides that he would much rather just shoot them through the door itself! Making two more holes Pavel and Father Alex aim their shots and slay both instantly with their crossbows!
Searching we find 2 spellbooks, leading us to wonder if perhaps all males may be mages and all females priests. Certainly both have been seen to use spells but only the mages seem to have spellbooks. Looking in their lab we find demonic circles and powerstones (2 x 3pt) which we take. All this we store outside the temple in case we need to make a quick getaway. We also manage to work out that there is a concealed level on the right hand side of the main chamber, where the ceiling is 20ft lower, but we see no way to enter it.
Moving down one of the stairs from the observation corridor we find a scriptorium and a record space off it. The small corridor also leads into a massive chamber with two guards in it. Putting Pavel, Father Alex and Griffon at the two doors with bows we try and ambush them, Father Alex sending a mental timing message. One dies but the other takes a crossbow bolt and keeps fighting.
While the fighters try to stop him raising the alarm Kazir and Tai Pan En chase down some more priests on the stairs and finish them. Realising that the rest of this level must be the huge temple area we saw before we decide that we need to know what is below us before we go any further.
Exploring the ground floor we find a great number of doors, many of which we deccide just to spike shut. We also find a store room full of oil and water and, thinking of the lava above, many explosive ideas enter our minds.
Exploring further through little rooms we come at last to a dark chamber filled with precious objects and the huge pheonix star! Taking this from the wall we hide it in the woods at once to get it away from any pursuit. Also in the chamber is a huge metal door that we reckon may lead to the sunkealter and the alterpieces! We try for ages to get through but neither lockpicks nor magic does much more than get Kazir futher injured and the rest of us even more fatigued. Finally while we arge Kazir goes upstairs again and sees a Priest take the alterpieces through a secret door and to the concealed 3rd floor section, rather nullifying the point of going through the door.
The attack starts well. I creep up on the priestess from the air and knock her flat, while Kazir starts off the explosions. I dodge a flame spirit and start kicking the priests about. Unfortunatly Pavel and father Alex run into serious trouble with the salamander which spits Pavel like a roast wih a barbed spear. Father Alex is left fighting for his life while the rest of us melee with the priests. Griffon comes down from his perch, firing arrows as he does so, and Kazir manages to leap the lava. An impressive series of blows with lighting, katanas and arrows allows us to finish off the opposition and, with a little healing we get Pavel well enough to feel that the rest of us can go up to the secret chamber.
This room contains only two chests. Opening one we find the alter set, last part of the treasure. I quickly remove it from its resting place, still afraid of the oncoming cultists and the rage of whatever god the cultists worship. No sooner have I done so, however, than violent tremmors shake the island, the volcano is errupting!
We run downstairs again and manage to get across the precarious bridges despite the rising lava, Kazir being forced to abbandon his perfectly beheaded salamander corpse. We flee from the temple and rescue, just, our packs and treasure from the lava tides. Leaving via the southern end of the island is now clearly out of the question. We stumble off into the forest exhausted but not daring to sleep, even I, who feel that a little bit of a blessing from Slumbor might not go at all amiss at the moment! Luckily Father Alex has managed to fool Rogan into giving him the power of telepathy, so he was able to contact the captain of our ship and give him a new location to pick us up. Meanwhile Griffon executed our plan and flew off to succesfully disable to cult's war barge. As Griffon returns and our ship slips up to the redly lit coast to rescue us we think that all is over and we can finally rest. Would that it were so!
Desperatly we arrange the men in ranks of archers and crossbows, selecting the best enchanted bodkins and setting ourselves up for two sets of flights as it approaches. All goes to plan and we fill the thing with arrows, but half of them bounce and the others, even those that pierce vital spots, seem hardly to slow it! In a moment it is on us and the crew fall dead, horribly burned by the jets of flame it strikes us with. Even the best archer dies in a pillar of flame.
We try our best to fight back, Kazir climbs the riging to strike at its wing, but his precious katana is instead flung far out to sea. Pavel manages to strike it with a bucket of water, obviously hurting it, but his next one goes to try and put out a suddenly blazing Father Alex. For a moment all looks lost, but then I gain a sudden inspiration from Pavel's thought and, summoning all my strength, cast a huge blast of wind that knocks the demon into the sea, destroying it utterly!