With the information relayed to the others and Nightwing's plan in place, they turned to me and began explaining what the plan was. Color me impressed!
Instead of relating what they planned to do, let me describe what they did and how it worked out:
Nightwing has Jediwife's elf move to underneath the eastern tower they had fought and killed the skeletons atop it earlier. He has Ragnar1965's lady spellcaster accompany the elven bowcaster. When those two were in place, Nightwing had his ranger climb back atop the temple's roof and make his way to the front doors. Once there, his ranger motioned to move ahead with part two of the plan. The female elf prepared her bow and targeted the large dinosaur skeleton that guarded the front doors to the temple. The ranger prepared to repel from the roof to the ground directly in front of the doors. Finally, the cleric/magic-user left the cover of the tower and moved out in the open and attempted to turn the skeleton. Ragnar1965 was hoping for a big number when he released the 20-sided, for if he could turn the beast, they could move to part four of the plan, thus skipping part three-the fight!
Sadly, the number rolled did not cut the mustard, the dinosaur skeleton had a momentary sensation of being uncomfortable and turned its focus to the exposed woman from which the feeling came from. It was time for initiative!
The party got the roll and JediWife scampers over to have her elf shoot an arrow into the skeleton, in the attempt to draw the skeleton's attention away from the exposed spellcaster. [Everyone note that the party is not using blunt weapons against the foe
] She rolls and hits the thing with one of her elf's arrows. Meanwhile, Greyson the ranger is repelling to get into position to attack from the back. The beast ignores the elf in favor of attacking the spellcaster. I hit and Rangar1965 looks to Nightwing with the expression of, "are you sure this was a good idea." He has his PC draw forth her wand of magic missiles, knowing full well spellcasting is not going to be of help.
Round three begins with JediWife rolling a natural-20 and does some great damage, even though it is cut in half. The skeleton's attention is turned towards this source of damage allowing Ragnar1965 to withdraw his spellcaster on his turn, instead of using the wand. As the skeleton moved towards the elf, Nightwing had his ranger charge and attack with both Whisker and Fenis. Both hit and he also did some good damage. And this is how the rest of the encounter went! The skeleton spun about and began attacking Greyson who, with both magic blades has a 20 AC, while the two lady PCs set up flank attacks with the wand of magic missiles and arrows. This three way assault upon the skeletal dinosaur spelled its doom, but not before I got several solid hits upon the ranger.
With the guardian beast out of the way, the players began phase 4 of Nightwing's master plan. Nightwing's ranger was given a flask of acid from Rangar1965's PC and the ranger climbed back atop the temple complex. The elven bowcaster and the human cleric/magic-user both remained by the front door, waiting for the ranger's signal to burst into the complex. Meanwhile, Nightwing rolled to move quietly for his ranger to move towards the hole in the ceiling. He got to the hole and looked below to see if anything had changed. Nope, the three robed figures were still pacing about the mysterious altar. The ranger readied the flask of acid and his animated broom, or as Nightwing calls it "the Broom of Doom." (For those keeping track, he got the broom from the lair of Suto in DCC #0, way back at the beginning of their adventuring careers.)
Nightwing has his PC drop the broom down the hole as one of the figures pass by. It hits the stone floor, bounces slightly and comes to rest. All three figures are puzzled and one looks up at the hole, not seeing the ranger since Nightwing had made it clear the ranger ducked back as soon as he released the broom. I roll the die to see which of the three bends over to pick up the broom, it was the high priest DOH!, while the others approach to see what on earth, or sky, is up with an old straw broom doing falling from above. When Nightwing was sure enough time had elapsed, only a few seconds, to have gathered the three close, he yelled out the command word for the broom to begin attacking, which was the key for the other players to send their PCs rushing through the front door and into the center room, with arrow drawn and wand at ready. As soon as the broom began smacking the high priest, causing all sorts of chaos, the ranger hurled the flask of acid directly to the floor amidst the three figures knowing this would also damage the broom. He was insuring that the other PCs would have an easy go of it for at least a couple of rounds while the enemy was trying to figure out what was going on, i.e.--what was up with the broom and why were they burning from acid!
Seeing that one of the figures was occupied with a broom beating him or her about the face, Ragnar1965 and Jediwife had their PCs focus upon the others in the room. Jediwife had her elf fire an arrow at one, dropping him, and Ragnar1965's PC fired two magic missiles into the other, also dropping him. The high priest did not have a chance. The broom never hit her for damage, but it kept stunning her with the whisk side.
I was amazed at the tactics and what should have been a tough encounter turned out to be a cake walk, all because of planning.
They searched the bodies and Nightwing volunteered to have his ranger remove the gems from the arch. He made all but one of his saves, reducing him to a fourth level ranger for the remainder of the adventure. Ragnar1965 had hoped the level drain was temporary, but as they found out later (and lots of gold) they had to get a high level cleric to restore the ranger his lost level.
That is where they left off on Friday, October 8th. It would be three weeks before they got to conclude this swell little side quest.