Leaving the temple alone for now, the Heroes begin to explore and search the ruined storehouse, finding valuables that they could take. The gather what loose, small items they can find and leave the rest for later, heading off into the cloisters and through a door where rows of cells lie. As they begin opening each one, Ungrid and Xellos spy a couple of bull-headed humanoids (large, easily 7-8’ tall) trying to sneak up on them using the trees as cover. Sidni, meanwhile, goes off alone into the Great Hall, stumbling over some rocks, but finding it empty.
Halmary comes away from the cells that Calibos has been kicking open, and he attempts to communicate with them: thankfully, the monsters speak Common, but all the cleric learns is that the temple is evil, the hermit inside the Hall is dangerous, and the monsters also want to be left in peace. Both parties agree to leave the other alone, and the minotaurs head up through a broken part of the wall, to where their cave is. Sidni scouts this out and finds another two in the cave.
The Heroes now decide to seek out the hermit and see if he either knows anything about or has anything to use at the temple. But the hall is empty, but traps are all other the place, skilfully bypassed by Halmary’s_ Find Traps_ magic. Sidni and Xellos fly over the uneven floor, avoiding the traps. They continue to search, heading out in the grounds, Calibos imbued with True Seeing cast by Halmary; the paladin and cleric get too close to the minotaurs cave, who get agitated and stand guard at their cave, demanding that they leave them alone. The Heroes only do so after Sidni reports that the hermit is not there.
As the others loiter in the grounds, Calibos and Halmary enter the walled gardens to see if the hermit is there. The rats inside are hostile, hissing as the two divine members of the party intrude.
Suddenly, a harpoon flies through the air, fired from the large crossbow on the watchtower: it hits Scully, knocking the scholar to the ground. At the same time, the rats in the gardens swarm to attack Calibos and Halmary, and the minotaurs gather at the cave to see what happens.
Ungrid drags Scully into cover, the scholar thankfully only wounded. Calibos defends himself agains the rats, cutting one down as it leaps at his throat. Sidni, invisible and flying heads over the where the hermit stands on the tower and introduces herself with a lightning bolt that singes the hermit. She notes that he is dressed in old chain mail and has a sword out now. Despite the man’s age, it is obvious that he is a dangerous man.
Halmary rushes out to heal Scully, initially heading the wrong way, while Calibos just starts slaughtering the rats. Ungrid joins in the fun as some of the giant rats swarm out of the gardens, catching the smell of blood from Scully. Over at the watchtower, the hermit climbs to the bottom of the tower and ends up facing off against Sidni, exchanging wounding blows. As chaos seems to spread across the grounds, the minotaurs foolishly decide to take advantage of the situation and start heading to the battle.
The hermit, despite being the better swordsman, finds himself held as Xellos flies over and paralyses the old man so that Sidni can disarm him and hogtie him. She starts to drag him back to the main battle, and spies the minotaurs as they charge from their cave into the fight. Foolish. The first minotaur falls to Calibos’ giant-strength-enhanced blow, the second is finished off by Xellos with a flurry of magic missiles, and the final two (younger ones) are slain by Ungrid and his mighty hammer. The last of the rats is killed, and the Heroes pause for breath amidst the churned and blood-soaked snow.
End of Session
Kills: 4 minotaurs, 15 giant rats, 1 huge monster rat, and captured the hermit.