Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Sunken Temple

Part 2 of Dark Waters
(A Khamen and Candorra Adventure using Four Against Darkness)

This post accounts my play-through of the Four Against Darkness module, Dark Waters. If you plan to play this module you may not want to read further.

Although they captured the corsair captain, our party of heroes failed to recover the idol of Telzany, the Shark God. Khamen and Candorra reported to the local Temple. The Preceptor shook his head in frustration.

"We must recover the idol. With it, the deep demons can summon Telzany itself."

Khamen looked perplexed. "What are these deep demons? And can they really summon a "god?"

"The deep demons are green-skinned, fish-faced humanoids. They live under water. And Telzany is real, but it is no god. It is a true demon, a powerful entity from the infernal regions. We cannot let them summon it!"


The Temple arranged for a boat to take the party to the location of a sunken temple known to be used by the deep demons.The Temple priests cast blessings upon the party, allowing them to breathe and act underwater. Our heroes were joined by Gerard, a young warrior on loan from the local coast guard.. Together, they leapt into the water and dove to the ocean floor and headed to the temple.

The Sunken Temple
As they entered the first room (1), they ran into 4 deep demon guards. After a short fight, where Candorra and Gerard took wounds, the deep demons were defeated.

After passing through an empty corridor (2), they entered a room (3) littered with the corpses of drowned sailors

"Likely sacrifices to Telzany." Gerard explained.

Suddenly, 4 of the corpses jumped up and shambled toward the party.

Our heroes about the engage the zombies
Khamen, Flint, Candorra, and Gerard (L to R)
Khamen and Flint managed to kill two of the zombies. Another went after Gerard. He tried to strike it down as it lunged, but he missed. He froze in fright. Armed with a bow, Candorra shot the undead horror. Then another attacked him but once again Candorra saved him.

"I guess I'm not cut out for this." Gerard apologized after the fight. "Perhaps I should return to the surface and let real heroes finish the quest."

"Nonsense Gerard.' Candorra replied. "The mark of a real hero is to continue forth into danger, despite our fears, because it is the right thing to do."

Somewhat encouraged, Gerard agreed to continue.

Returning through the corridor (2), they were attacked by 2 giant octopi. The creatures entangled the party with their tentacles. Khamen and Flint managed to free their weapon hands and strike down the cephalopods.

In the next room (4), the party was attacked by 7 fish-men. Three rushed Gerard. This time he did not flinch, but instead managed to deftly block the attacks and strike down 2 of his assailants. The rest easily defeated the rest of the enemy.

"Well done, Gerard." Candorra said. "We'll make a hero of you yet." Gerard smiled at the praise.

After passing through an empty room (5) they entered a darkened sanctum. Eight deep demons clustered around an altar, muttering incantations. The idol of Telzany sat upon the altar. Khamen quietly signaled to his comrades to sneak up on the enemy, When in position, they struck. Three of the deep demons fell. Others spun around, pulled out wicked daggers, and attacked. The head cultist continued to invoke Telzany. With a sudden eruption of steam from the idol, a huge, fanged creature with claws and tentacles appeared!

"Telzany!" Gerard cried in terror. He felt a sudden urge to flee, but then he remembered Candorra's words - real heroes continue into danger despite their fears. He gulped back his horror and turned his attention to the enemy. He hacked down a pair of deep demons then turned on Telzany. Flint and Candorra, who struck down the demons attacking them, joined him.

Meanwhile, Khamen was locked in a fight with one of the cultists. He was able to avoid getting wounded but could not land the final blow. Now Telzany began lashing out with its claws and tentacles, slicing and battering the heroes. They also landed blows, but Telzany appeared unfazed.

It struck again with its talons, raking deep wounds in Flint's and Candorra's flesh. Bleeding profusely, both backed out of the fight. Candorra downed a healing potion but Flint had no such option. Khamen finally finished off his foe and took a position on the front line. Despite his fears, Gerard joined him and used his shield to protect him and his comrades.

Telzany began to focus on Khamen and Gerard. They took numerous wounds - now Khamen had to back out of the fight to heal. Flint and Candorra looked at each other. A fatalistic determination overcame them. With a cry, they charged back into battle. Freshly healed, Khamen joined them, doing his best to defend his wounded comrades. Together, they hacked and slashed at their enemy until viscous, black blood oozed from Telzany.

Yet Telzany refused to surrender. Instead, it decided to punish Khamen's temerity. It grasped him in its claws, drew him to its face, and bit hard with its shark-like jaws. Khamen screamed in pain. Flint tried to free his friend, but the demon grabbed him with the other claw. It began banging the two against each other until they were nearly unconscious, then flung them to the floor as it laughed in apparent triumph.

Righteous rage filled Gerard's breast. He yelled at the top of his lungs and charged at the demon. Distracted by its torture of Khamen and Flint, it reacted too late. Gerard smashed it with his shield, causing Telzany to stumble backward. Gerard ducked under the claws and tentacles, then drove his sword deep into the monster's torso. Telzany screamed in rage and pain. Then, as if dissolving in the ocean's water, Telzany disappeared.

Gerard slumped to the floor, exhausted. Candorra came over, checking his wounds.

"A hero indeed!" she whispered to him.


A week after their epic battle, Flint and Khamen sat at a table in the local tavern in port town of Telzany's Cove. The Temple had destroyed the idol so that Telzany could never be summoned again. Gerard was the toast of the town; some of the townspeople even wanted to make him commander of the coast guard. Khamen and Flint were having one last celebration before they departed.

"And what now, my friend?" asked Khamen.

Flint guffawed. "The Temple has made me an honest man!"

Khamen eyed him quizzically. "Really?"

"With the reward, and the, um . . . souvenirs from the sunken temple, I can buy my own ship. The life of an honest merchant for me!"

"Honest merchant, now there's an oxymoron." laughed Khamen.

Flint snickered in return. "Perhaps, perhaps, but it's a start to respectability. But what about you?"

"I think I may keep working for the Temple."

"An honest Khamen. Now there's an oxymoron!" retorted Flint.

"I'm serious."

"And this has nothing to do with the elf lady?" Flint asked.

"No." Khamen stated. Then he grew philosophical. "Not that at all. It's that . . . All my life I've been struggling, to make ends meet, to get ahead. Over that time, I developed certain . . . skills. But what did it all mean. What was the point? For the first time, I see the point. I feel like I have a role to play in the greater scheme of things. And ironically, those skills I developed for my own gain, I can now use for . . . something greater."

Flint nodded and took a pull from his flagon. "Well, you're a better man than I, Khamen. I wish you well."

"And the same to you, Flint."

With that, they shook hands and parted, Khamen heading back to the Temple, and his next adventure.

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