The Shade Isle Campaign
Shade Abbey 1B
The Temple of Spiritual Devotions
This strange dungeon sub-level is technically part of dungeon-level one, even though it is positioned immediately underneath the ground level of Shade Abbey. The dungeon features are similar to the Palatial Fortress: blue-gray stone walls and floors, mostly smooth; straight corridors with tightly-packed rooms off of them, all relatively spacious and well-ventilated; and regular wall-sconces that are all set with torches, evidence that people are living in this place and caring for it.
One difference: in most corridors, at least a few of the torches here are kept lit, which means they’re being replaced with some considerable frequency. There is a lot of traffic down here, more of it being cultists and monks. Wandering monster encounters are 67% likely to be with these worshipers (abbey guards are, apparently, not encountered down here) and only 33% likely to be with ordinary dungeon-level-one monsters; however, since all the priests and cultists down here think that everything is part of a spiritual test or trial, they’re all itching for a fight and roll reactions at −4 (…and, as the adventurers learned early on, disguising themselves as cultists or priests doesn’t seem to make a difference).
From what the adventuring company has been able to tell, the Cult of Acrefatum calls this sub-level their “Temple of Spiritual Devotions”, and they seem to use it to test the worth of new initiates. According to at least one abbey cleric that the party has spoken with, those who can pass the Devotions are permitted to descend down into the second lower temple, the “Temple of Holy Mortifications”. The Devotions themselves seem to be a series of puzzles and riddles writ large: strange rooms or objects, often magical, that nevertheless follow some sort of logic—madness, with method.
Note: Many more of the doors on this level are heavy stone doors than ordinary wooden doors; this is particularly true of doors leading to rooms with riddles, puzzles, or other mental challenges. When the name of a room appears within quotation marks, that means the name of that room is inscribed on the outside of the door in lapidary, the inscription in common Nhordi.
1. Guardian Chamber. The stairs down from area 1A.29 end in a dark room with six columns. Lurking in the shadows here is Edmund, a wampyr who acts as the guardian of the temple. His task is to test those that would seek to begin the devotions of the temple, with a trial by combat. He allowed the adventuring company to pass after taking one of Henrik’s combustion bombs in the face; after which he retreated to his coffin, in a secret room just off the entryway. The company has so far returned the kindness and allowed Edmund to un-live.
2. Nuns’ Bedroom. This room was occupied by four red-robed abbey battle-nuns, who attacked on sight—another trial by combat that ended quickly for the nuns. The small secret room to the north had some treasure.
3. Priestess’s Bedroom. This much larger bedroom contained a single large bed, a tripod holding a bowl of hallucinogenic incense-powder, and one priestess. The party peeked in here and tried to parley for a moment, but then they attacked; and so the priestess lit the incense and filled the room with a cloud of hallucinogenic that she herself was unaffected by. Several of the party members still saved and were unaffected by the vapor; Deliah charmed the priestess, interrogated her, and then the company left her here.
4. Hall of the Golden Calf. The door to this room bore a stylized image of a bull chiseled into the stone. Inside, rows of columns led south to a golden calf-statue, where four cultists were bowing and chanting the name “Minos”. The party dispatched them with a single well-placed grenade and searched the statue (the gold was paint, alas, but the calf-statue did have a genuine ruby in its mouth). The door beyond led to a small room with three narrow and low-ceilinged passages heading east, south, and west.
These passages, only 4’ wide and 4’ high, were barely large enough for Connor the gnome to traverse comfortably, and they all led into a twisty, turny labyrinth. Connor tied a rope around his waist and explored many of the passages nearest the entrance, but he only encountered lots of rats in this maze and then caught a shadowy glimpse of some small and terrifyingly fast humanoid running around in the claustrophobic little tunnels. After that, the company chose to leave this place unexplored for the time being.
Then, the second time the company returned to this dungeon-level, they resolved to finish exploring it. This time, they encountered wererats in the maze as well, and also the master of the maze, the dreaded Minitaur—a four-foot-tall minotaur that fought with a mythrill war-axe.
Sub-Areas: a. The entrance to the maze. b. A dead-end with the walls covered in green moss and scum. c. A nest of dire rats, including one Big Mama rat with 4 hit dice. d. The lair of the Minitaur, with a dwarf-sized throne in the southeast corner.
5. Riddle of the Twins. The door to this room has a carving of a star-constellation on the outside of it. The room contained two large stone statues, facing each other, one bearing the inscription, “My brother Pollux is Divine,” and the other reading, “My brother Castor is Mortal.” The company could do nothing to damage the statue that the presumed to be Pollux, but when Viktor threw a hatchet at the Castor statue, the blade sunk into the stone and drew blood. This action opened the locked door to the east, which led to another treasure vault, this one containing a mythrill maul.
The company spent some time trying open the locked door to the north, including obliterating the Castor statue with the maul they’d just found. Finally, taking that self-same weapon to the north door bashed down the stone to reveal only more solid stone beyond: a false door and nothing more.
6. The “Hall of Isles”. This room contained a 60’ square, 15’ deep pool of water with giant piranha swimming around in it. There were also three “islands” sticking up out of the water, a forest island (a), a small rocky island with a tiny volcano (b), and a sandbar ©. The southwest corner of the room had a round shaft in the ceiling which led up to area 1A.39, the gnoll barracks. Crossing the pool by island-hopping revealed a small room beyond the doors on the far side, which contained only some draperies, some scraps of parchment, and a small treasure-cache. They found more treasure by digging into the sandbar (there was a proper pirate-chest of coin buried there!). When Connor tried to pour some water down the small volcano, it erupted in his face with a mini-fire-ball that mostly wounded his pride.
7. Secret Globe Chamber. The presence of this room was revealed only after the company solved the riddle of the cards in room 8 for the second time. When the company did finally solve the puzzle, they found that this room contained only a great marble globe, a little over 5’ in diameter, perfectly round and smooth, easy to roll but very difficult to lift. The globe was only partially complete, showing only the world’s eastern hemisphere in any detail.
8. The Hall of Cards. The door to this room bore four images: a shield, an acorn, a bell, and a coin. Very similar to Swiss or German card suits, to anyone who knows their European playing cards. Within was a row of twelve statues—a peasant holding a spear, a peasant holding two clubs, a goodwife holding three coins, a merchant-woman holding two cups and two bowls, a soldier with two swords and three spears, a solder with two maces and four cudgels, a gentlewoman with seven coins in cupped hands, a nurse holding a basin with seven more cups in it, a knight with a sword and a bundle of eight spears, another knight with four hammers and six clubs, a royal handmaiden with a chest full of jewels, and finally a queen with her empty hands held out to grasp at something. At the end of the hall was a thirteenth statue, a relief of a king with a sword and a scepter, piles of cups and coins at his feet.
An obvious representation of playing cards, with the king having all four suits and the other statues in a repeating pattern of Latin suits—swords, batons, coins, and cups. The “queen of cups” was obviously missing hers, and so they put a jug in her hands, and this opened a secret door behind the king-statue, where a secret room at area 8a contained a card-table topped with green felt and the King of Cards dealing from the deck of many things. Several party-members acceded to a number of pulls from the deck, and in general they were very lucky to avoid permanent disaster, although Gibli did pull a card that sent his soul somewhere else and left his body comatose. (The party found it later, in room 19 of this level).
The party spent considerably longer trying to figure out how to open the secret door to the south. Placing a shield (the suit equivalent to cups in the Swiss pack) in the hands of the queen-statue only caused the ghostly voice of the King of Cards to laugh, “Close, but nope; too easy.” Finally, Viktor hit upon the idea of using Anglo-French suits, where cups and shields are equivalent to hearts; he carved the heart out of the chest of a slain cultist and put that in the queen’s hands. Sure enough, the door to 7 opened up.
9. The “Hall of Statuary”. This room contained many statues, mostly priests and peasants in various states of torture or agony—but also a statue of Atlas in the middle, missing his globe. This one was an easy solve; replacing the globe opened the treasure-room at 9a.
10. Blade Trap. This room was a tougher chestnut. All of the stone doors leading into this plus-sign-shaped room have an image of lips carved on them; the only way to open them is vocal command. They open to any verbal request that they be opened. However, the center of the intersection (right at 10) also has a magical blade trap which is sprung by the mere presence of a living thing passing by. Every time anyone passed through the intersection, blades would swipe out of nowhere and deal at least some damage. Obviously, this couldn’t stand forever. So the party took that stone globe again and rolled it into the intersection, wedged it there with darts, and let it catch the blades while they crawled past.
A short while later, after the company solved the Riddle of the Nun in room 11, they learned that the command “Praise Domstag” both opens the doors and deactivates the blade-trap.
11. The Riddle of the Nun. This chamber contained a pale, ghostly-white nun in a deep, coma-like repose upon a stone altar. An inscription on the altar read, “basium vitae” (“kiss of life”), but Connor was perceptive enough to notice that dust caked into the stone concealed more lapidary. Brushing this out of the way revealed the complete inscription, “basium vitae sanguinis.” Viktor put blood on his lips and kissed the nun, who woke up in a trance and chanted a spell of opening which revealed the treasure-cache in the secret room to the west. Then the nun snapped out of the trance, laughed to herself over the fact that she’d pulled kiss-riddle duty that week, and left through area 10 by speaking the proper pass-phrase to disable the blade-trap. The party was nonplussed enough to let her go.
12. Storeroom. This room contained eight dwarves in abbey guard uniforms, guarding a pile of mining tools. Klaus slew them with extreme prejudice, and in so doing he earned a free level-up by virtue of one of the cards he’d pulled from the deck of many things.
13. Storeroom. This room only contained some rickety shelves piled high with rocks, ores, and mineral powders. Henrik stepped in to search for some radium he could use, but he only managed to make the shelves collapse and fall on him.
14. Canon’s Bedchamber. Here, a mid-ranking monk, Canon Voth, was relaxing and reading. When the adventuring company burst in, he zapped several of them at the door with a charge from his ring of conjure lightning. The ensuing fight was quick and brutal. The canon used the second and last charge from his ring to lay Connor low (the gnome did survive), while everyone else brought him down. Searching his room, they found a bit of treasure in his vestment-closet to the west, and some correspondence with other high-ranking clerics, but nothing too out of the ordinary.
15. Canon’s Study. This room was piled high with parchments and scrolls, among which were several more letters, indicating that high-ranking clerics Abbot Mokor and Inquisitor Tyroelius were off visiting “Acrefatum’s northern stronghold”. (Boy, did this ever make the players groan! Hahahaha…..)
There was also a map on the table in this room which depicted both the Lornwood and Thunder Table. The Starshrine to Jordha was marked with an “x” in the Lornwood; and another “x” marked a spot in an unexplored part of Thunder Table. Hmm…
16. Canon’s Pantry. Nice food, good ale, excellent whisky… and a pot still!
17. Chamber of Font and Relics. This odd room had a stone font in the center, filled with concentrated hydrochloric acid. Within the eight alcoves around the room were eight pedestals, each bearing a solid polyhedron about six inches in size, carved from some kind of soft stone or metalloid. They were in the shapes of a regular tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, decahedron, dodecahedron, hexadecahedron, icosahedron, and an icositetrahedron.
An inscription on the base of the font read, “Destroyest thou not mine divine perfection.” The players quickly figured out that dissolving the 10-, 16-, and 24-sided solids was the means of opening the treasure-cache at 17a off of this room.
18. The Fairy Forest The party explored this vast room (and got into some dire trouble here) during their second foray into the Temple of Devotions. The room appears to be a great green forest, with an illusory bright blue sky overhead (although the ceiling is only about ten feet high). A cobblestone path winds from the east entrance down to the south, where a one-way secret door opens only to the south.
During their explorations here, the adventuring company discovered two odd features. In the eastern part of the forest stands a candy-cane-and-gingerbread hut raised up on chickens’ feet. Peering inside, they espied a beautiful maiden tied up on a table with silver rope, before a great roaring oven. Nobody was taken in by this: they all figured “witch” right away (and Deliah confirmed it with an ESP spell); so Connor just ran into the room, turned the table over, and dumped the illusion-disguised hag into the oven, and that was the end of her.
They had much more difficulty dealing with this room’s northern feature, a small pond with a little dirt island in the middle of it. Sitting in the middle of this island is a potted sapling, an apple-tree, which appears to grow apples of metal. Every minute, the apples change type, from iron to brass to copper to silver to gold to platinum and then back to iron. Connor and Gibli set to knocking the apples down when they were platinum and gathering them up; but when Connor set foot on the island, he took root—as in, roots literally grew from his feet, through the soles of his boots, into the enchanted dirt, and fixed him in place there. (He also started to shrink, albeit so slowly that it wasn’t immediately noticeable.) After much consternation, it was determined that Connor had to be cut free; he hacked through the roots growing out his feet, wounding himself and spraying blood everywhere. Gibli dragged him free of the island, and Connor was left bleeding and in shock, with painful root-stumps growing out the bottom of his feet, his boots ruined, and as if that weren’t enough, the deadly charm placed upon the island had caused him to lose two inches of height. (If he’d remained rooted to the island, he would’ve shrunk away to nothing in a matter of hours.)
19. The “Hall of Heads”. This room contained several museum-like displays of… well, of heads, in various unusual states. There was also a pedestal in the center of the room with an obviously magical sword sitting on it; but guarding this sword was a beholder-kin of some kind that warned the company not to take his shiny sword.
When the party came back to the dungeon the second time, they just ran in and ganked the creature, which turned out to be a lesser beholder-kin called a “spectator”. It was still formidable enough to wound and nearly kill Deliah. At any rate, they killed the beast and took the weapon it was guarding, a dragon’s bane falchion (+1 normally, +3 vs. dragons).
The rest of the room contained three museum-like display cases filled with heads: to the west, a case full of Right-Side Up Heads, Upside-Down Heads, and Inside-Out Heads. To the north, Shrunken Heads, Bloated Heads, and Honey-Eyed Heads (human heads which had become behives). To the east, Dead Heads, Live Heads (in jars of fluid and attached to batteries, occasionally moving their mouths but apparently unintelligent), and Grateful Dead Heads (pretty much like the Dead Heads display, except with colored lights and sitar music playing near that case).
20. The Riddle of the Sphinx. This room contains a 10’ deep pit filled with flaming oil, surrounded by a ring of lit candles. There were several priests in here, praying to the sphinx-statue on the west side of the room. When the adventuring company came in here, the priests ran to the statue, which animated as a giant gargoyle and attacked.
21. The Riddle of the Blocks. This rather complicated room had three squares—one red, one blue, and one green—painted on the outside of the door. Within, the walls were everywhere covered with detailed murals of forests—but in each 10’ section of wall, the leaves were of different colors, ranging from brown and yellow to orange and red to one spot with green leaves. The spot marked “C” had a 10’ stone cube fixed to the floor there, with 3’ diameter yellow suns painted on each of the four vertical sides. The spots marked “B” each had a 2’ high, 8’ diameter circular stone pedestal or dais. Finally, in the center of the room sat a haphazard pile of six stone cubes, each 5’ to the side: one each painted in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
When the party searched the room for secret doors, they discovered the presence of a seam in the stone in the middle of the east wall, within a section of yellow-painted mural, but they found no means to open this secret door right away. Henrik scanned the room for magic and discovered faint traces of magic on the secret door, the green-painted section of wall, and each of the six small stone colored cubes piled in the middle of the room. There was much stronger magic coming from the large, fixed stone cube with the suns painted on the faces; shortly thereafter, Connor discovered that the four yellow-painted suns were actually movable: they rotated, as if on a horizontal axis, opening up into the hollow inside of the sun-cube and allowing beams of bright, white, sunlight to shine forth. Opening up all four “doors” in the side of the large cube caused four beams of relatively intense sunlight to shine forth from location “C” in the room, directly north, south, east, and west.
At this point, the party discovered that the small stone cubes could catch the beams of white sunlight and reflect different colors back. (In point of fact, each cube rather counter-intuitively subtracted its own color from the white sunlight. Thus, for example, if one placed the green-colored block in the beam of light, it would subtract green from the beam and reflect purple—a mix of blue and red light.) After much trial and error, the party discovered what they had to do: they placed the red block and the green block on the two round pedestals at 45-degree angles and left only the eastward-pointing beam of light from the sun-block open. This caused the beam to shoot east, strike the green block (leaving purple light), reflect north, strike the red block (leaving blue light), and this blue beam finally reflected west and struck the patch of green leaves. (Fun science fact, kids: green leaves absorb the most light from the blue end of the solar spectrum!) This caused the secret door to area 21A to open, where the party discovered some interesting items: blueprints for a technological device, a prismatic refractor (plus a few finished copies of the device for Henrik to work with); and a ring of photosynthesis, a magical item which acts as a ring of regeneration, but only while the wearer stands in direct, natural sunlight.
22. The “Hall of Portraits”. This long gallery was lined with 16 portraits of stern-looking priests whose eyes followed the company as they passe through here. Connor set all of the paintings on fire.
23. The “Hall of Four & Twenty”. This room is a great big kitchen, with furnishings and cookware all comically over-sized, appropriate for a cave-troll or hill-giant. In the center of the room was a large, low, broad table upon which sat a giant pie, the pie-tin the size of a kiddie-pool. When this was disturbed, two dozen stirges burst forth. One latched onto Connor and started sucking blood, but Henrik disposed of the rest of them with a combustion bomb.
24. The “Hall of Rigmarole”. This room was filled with rows of seats, although only three abbey monks sat in them, in the front row. At the head of the room, to the west, were two debater’s podiums. A priest stood at one, waiting to challenge penitents to a debate. The problem was, everything the priest said was complete and utter rigmarole—nonsense, non-sequitur, or just plain meaningless. Finally, Klaus was able to step up to the plate, so to speak, and out-babble the babbler. Thus, the trial was won, and priest went into the secret room and retrieved the prize, a magical orb of some kind (as-yet unidentified by the company). Seconds later, Gibli led the more violent half of the company in a brutal attack on the spectating priests.
25. Signpost. A strange four-way signpost stands here, with signs pointing north, south, east, and west, a simple “X” on each of the four signs. The company chose not to fool with this.
26. Dry Font. An empty basin, triangular and fixed to the wall, stands here. Again, the party ignored this.
27. The Hall of Senses. This door has only blank, bare stone: no words, no symbols, no pictures. Anyone who entered here would be randomly struck either deaf or blind; and lose sense of either taste or smell. (The condition persisted for a full turn after leaving the room.) Along the south wall of this hall were three seemingly gold statues, although two were glamered: one was salt, the other sulfur. Each of the false statues also carried an enchantment: the sulfur statue would explode as a fire ball if borne out of the room, and the salt statue would petrify is bearer. Connor simply scooped up all three statues and carried them out of the room together, dropping the fire ball on most of the party (thankfully, no one died); and nearly turning himself into a pillar of salt (but he made his save vs. petrification).
28. The Hall of Love. The doors leading into this room bear a pink heart-shape. Within, everything was all pink frills, lace and satin, and porcelain. The room’s sole occupant: a beautiful maiden with golden curls, a poofy pink dress, and an unfailingly sunny disposition, reclining on a divan. No matter what horrible things the adventurers said or did, she took it all in stride and maintained that outward cheer (even if a few of their shenanigans caused a visible twitch in her eye). Eventually, Connor found the secret door to the east and asked about it. Scandalized, the Princess of Hearts whispered that she shouldn’t speak of such things, but it was in fact a privy. Connor begged to be allowed to “go”, and so the Princess opened the door, wherein Connor discovered a ruby-eyed golden statuette as a bathroom-decoration. This prize was swiftly filched, and the party skedaddled out of there.
29. Riddle of Shadows. This door is painted solid black. The room within contained a rotating brass drum with punched-out silhouettes, and a stone bearing a continual light charm in the center, together casting dancing shadows on the walls. Of course, some of the shadows were coming from the drum, and some were shadow-type-shadows. As soon as these were revealed (when Connor took the stone), they attacked.
31. The Riddle of Footsteps. The door to this room had an image of two boot-prints. Upon opening the door, the room beyond appeared to be empty, except for the dais and altar on the far side, where a pile of silver and gold coins sat. However, the sound of many dozens of heavy footfalls could be heard within, as if an invisible crowd were tramping through the room, all in heavy shoes. When Gibli crept silently into the room, nothing happened; but when Klaus and Connor walked into the room and made no move to be stealthy, invisible hands pummeled and punched at them. Nevertheless, they rushed to the altar, scooped up the coins, and hurried out, all the while making a huge ruckus and drawing more and more punches from invisible floating fists.
32. The “Hall of Inhumanity”. This long gallery is empty, except for three symbols—a new moon, a crescent moon, and a full moon—painted on the west wall. The company chose not to enter here.
33. Storeroom / Slave Quarters. This was the first room that the company entered during their third major foray onto this dungeon-level, and the one that finally finished mapping the rest of it. It was filled with scribe’s supplies and occupied by a ragged gnomish slave sleeping on a cloth mat, Gogo, who seemed to be both a simpleton and entirely too loyal to Abbot Mokor for his own good. After a brief conversation with Gogo, the heroes brained him on the head and left him dead in his chamber/supply-closet.
34. The Riddle of Lordship. The door of this room had an image of a scepter engraved on it. Within, nine men in black cloaks raised weapons threateningly and marched slowly towards the adventuring company. The players quickly discovered, though, that these men would obey any order that they were given. (They wouldn’t respond to questions at all, but commands to tell them things worked fine.) When they were ordered to “move out”, though, they all went into a trance and marched out of the room, and off down the hall, towards the dungeon-exit; and they wouldn’t follow anymore orders after that either.
35. The Hall of Healing. The doors to this room have a red cross painted on them. Inside was a positively horrible-looking operating room, filled with rusty surgeon’s tools, blood-stained rags and bandages, etc. The room’s sole occupant: Marvin the Chirurgeon, an absolutely batty nutbar of a doctor whose last operation consisted of Gibli’s dagger going into his spine.
36. Abbot’s Office. A comfortable office, initially lit only by some strange objects on Abbot Mokor‘s desk which proved to be some weird little rocks painted with some kind of bio-luminescent moss or mold, amidst a number of small clockwork windup-toys. A mummified parrot stood on a stand near the desk and managed to squawk out ominously, “Blessed are the maimed, for the missing hand does no evil, rawwwwk!” before Connor blasted it into dusk by turning undead. The room was unoccupied, and some letters found in the writing-desk not only outlined in some detail how the Abbot made his deal with Prince Svartsen to trade mana stones for slaves and converts. The notes also indicated that the Abbot is away on an extended trip to Shade Abbey’s northern stronghold, at a place called Ruckberg.
37. The “Hall of Diminution”. The door to this room appeared to be a long, dark 50’ corridor with a light at the end of the tunnel: in fact, those who walk down the tunnel shrink down to the size of a mouse. The room beyond is 50’ square and perfectly ordinary in size, but after passing through the tunnel, it seems a giant’s room. There were 140 gold pieces up on the table in this room: it took some two hours to hike to the table climb to the top, fling the giant man-sized coins down to the floor, and then laboriously roll them back to the long tunnel/hallway. The thing is, once the gold pieces were removed from the room, of course they were just normal-sized coins.
38. Secret Chute. The secret chamber east of the Abbot’s office proved to be the bottom of the secret escape-chute up on the Palace-level, at 1A.23. The party left a couple of crudely-constructed poison- and explosive-based traps here.
39. The Hall of the Great Game. Both sets of double-doors leading into to this room have the symbol for a chess king carved on them. Within, a 100’ square room dominated by an 80’ square giant checkerboard. Giant stone chess-men were arranged along the two westernmost ranks on the board. When the PCs entered here, a spectral referee (wearing a black-and-white striped shirt over his reaper-like robe and carrying a whistle) announced that chess-puzzles are cliche, and that this is a battle-royale. He blew the whistle, and the chess-men scattered and charged. After the ensuing fight (many spells and explosives were thrown around by both sides: the giant rooks had tiny grenade-lobbing cannons within them), the chess-men were all shattered, and the spectral referee dissolved into an elven cloak.
40. The “Hall of Balance”. This room’s floor is actually perfectly balanced on a north-south-running axial pivot; underneath, a deep pit. On the eastern wall, a 2’ stone shelf with an orichalcon shield sitting on it. Gibli used some acrobatics to jump into the exact center of the room, snatch the shield by means of elven rope, and jump back out again.
41. The “Hall of Purity”. This room was locked; Gibli picked the lock. The party entered and found a large chamber filled with brass washtubs, and four nuns who informed them that any penitents who wished to pass beyond this chamber and into the “Hall of the Most Faithful” would have to be washed first. The party decided to go back out and explore more riddle-rooms first.
42. The “Hall of Presentation”. On their third foray into this dungeon-level, the adventuring company finally passed through the Hall of Purity, allowed the priestesses there to bathe them, and then came into this chamber immediately beyond, which they found to be filled with shelves full of robes for priests of sundry ranks, from lowly cultist up to high priest. Most party members chose a robe and threw it on before proceeding into the hallway to the east.
43. Secret Room. The party found this room without difficulty. Inside was an elfsteel short bow hanging from a peg, and a huge pile of balled-up twine. Connor set the pile of string on fire, which started to fill the room with smoke very quickly. At that point, the party discovered that the secret door they’d just come through was one-way. (Oops.) So Viktor took the priest-robe he’d just donned in the previous room and smothered the flames, while Gibli searched and located another secret door, this one to the east… right into the Maze of Minos. (Double oops.) And Connor had just burned up all that potentially-useful twine. (Triple oops.) Nevertheless, they had already pretty much mapped out the maze; so it was really just an inconvenient delay as they had to schlep their way back through the corridors, and back through the Halls of Purity and Presentation, before they could finally progress into the final couple of rooms.
44. The “Hall of the Most Faithful”. This room was occupied by a lama and a dozen priests, all chanting and praying until the company strolled in and interrupted them. The priests proved belligerent and attacked the party without giving them much of a chance to try and talk their way out of it. The door to the west turned out to be a false door; to the east, room 45. To the north, the stairs led down to the next level down, the Temple of Holy Mortifications.
45. Priest Quarters. Nothing here except bunk-beds and more robes.