(Spoiler Warning about Icewind Dale! If that bothers you just skip this post. You can also find an archive of this Let's Play series on the top menu.)
When we last left our heroes, they were standing in front of another door which is turning out to be an horrible trope for this series as well as a convenient breaking point for each post. Anyway, it was time to find out what was behind this particular door. It looks like it is some sort of temple and the party is immediately greeted by someone who looks like a priest, concerned about their well-being. Hansel, however, having sensed the evil aura of the "priest" tells him to drop the act and reveal their true nature. The "priest" is glad to oblige, does some trash talking of his own and then almost the entire place comes swarming to attack the party. Good one Hansel!
Now to be fair for Hansel, if you don't have a paladin in the party, the "priest" will give some excuse about how they are able to have a temple deep down in some caves even though they are surrounded by trolls, giant spiders, lizardman and undead and the party would just go with it. Eventually they will poke around, either stumbling on an area they shouldn't be or finding things that don't match up with the priest's story. Then they will have to fight almost the entire place too.
I tried a couple times with the party just as I left them the last time but it was clear I wasn't going to win this fight without resupplying. So it was back to Kuldahar, a 3 days trip to sell some loot, get more arrows and buy new spells. I should have bought more potions too but I thought it wouldn't be all that necessary. Ah, hindsight. Anyway, 8 more hours for the party to rest while Alladin memorized new spells then 3 more days for the party to go all the way back to the mountains. I am pretty sure whatever evil that is plaguing the region doesn't mind the party taking their time. It will certainly just wait for them to catch up before it continues enacting its evil plans!
Even with that it took me a lot of tries to win this fight. A lot. There were a few reasons for that 1) The group of enemies is getting increasing large as the game progresses. Just this fight had about a dozen Eldathyn which I have no idea what they were but they looked like semi-transparent robbed humans. They also had poisoned daggers. There were also the "priest" (which was pretty easy), a wizard, some lizardmen, some snakemen, a couple trolls (and more being summoned from time to time from another part of this area). There was no easy defensible position for my party either and I was only able to get through it with some crowd control thanks to the new spell I bought for Alladin back in Kuldahar. 2) I am a terrible strategist. 3) I made a terrible mistake with the party setup back during character creation. I will get back to that in a later post together with some very basic explanation of AD&D 2E rules so people can have a better understanding of what is going on. I will probably write it after the party get the thingmajic they are trying to retrieve.
After the brutal fight, the party went back to the caves they came in to rest and recover since I couldn't find any place on this temple where they could do this. Once that was done they went back to the temple to hunt down whoever was summoning those annoying trolls to attack the party. Turned out it was some snakemen priests who were not amused by the party barging into their little corner of the temple.
With that taken care out it was time to explore the rest of the temple. They found a few stragglers, some treasure, some books including one in a secret area titled "How To Serve Man". Guess what that last one was about?
Eventually they found the main chamber where a bunch of lizardmen were about to dinner on the corpses of what looked like people from Kuldahar. Interesting enough the High Priest seemed pretty cool with the party slaughtering almost everyone else at the temple and breaking into their chambers. He was even cool to invite them to take a bite.
Unfortunately for the snakemen the party made a vow against cannibalism except in the case that they got lost in some mountains with no supplies. In that case all bets were off! Since that was not the case what followed was a fight which didn't end well for the snakemen.
Not too far from there they found some adventurers imprisoned. At first the imprisoned adventurers thought that our heroes were some disguised snakemen that went there to finish them off. It took some convincing but eventually the adventurers calmed down enough to explain what happened to them. Apparently they were sleeping on the back of some caravan when it was approached by some white robbed men. Next thing they knew they were swarmed by snakemen and were thrown, weapons and all, into that jail together with everyone else from the caravan.
Ok, time to be honest here. The order of events didn't exactly happen like that. The first time the party stumbled into the main chambers things didn't go all that well after I took some screenshots. So I had to reload and decided to explore the rest of the temple first just in case there was some useful treasure. That is when the party found the prisoners which did a quick explanation of what happened then immediately went "CHAAAARGE!" and attacking every snakemen on site. Unfortunately that meant the High Ritualist didn't gave his talk which I thought was pretty amusing to not share here. On the plus side that made it pretty easy to deal with that fight and some other snakemen who were still alive.
Once the whole area was cleared the adventurers were even cool to look over the party while they rested and prepared to explore the next area.
(And in case anyone is wondering, yes, there is a door before they get to the next level of this dungeon!)