We went back to the first secret door that led to a passage, an elbow with a very cool cold door, almost numbing to the touch. The passage had an open trap taking out most of the hallway. Khalil opted to scale across failed his Dex check right in the middle, fell and then poofed into nothingness. Or, he ended up in a cell in a cold area.
All this time he has been carrying, using the Rod of Hiirward which can trap elementals. This is how the initial fire elemental was sucked away at the start of level 2. Khalil picked the lock of his cell (with ease) and made his way for the door. Out came one then the other Ice Golem. The first was sucked away. For the second Khalil opted to use the Rod and call forth that initial fire elemental. A steam bath ensued. A search for papers identified this as all part of Soronna’s rooms, that she was here trying to revive this temple when it became apparent this was not just an empty temple but one dedicated to Immolous, hence the cold in the room was to beat off the heat, that she sensed some strange but powerful magic (the HotS) but could not figure where it was.
Out from the doorway came Khalil with his subservient (tho pissed) fire elemental for Dorminder and Strombolinni to find. Down the trap floor hallway into another cavern type room. Large room, with several people (for lack of a better term) crucified in offering to Immolous. Out comes Immolous looking for an explanation from the control fire elemental. None coming. “Are you looking to join us”? Still nothing, but a chance for the party to prepare. A nice battle ensued, including Khalil’s Dust of Disappearance enhanced backstab for 152 hp of damage. Boom, Immolous is dead. Just as we started to pick over the body to see what’s what, Immolous appeared. It seems my party has not learned from this the third time I have hit them with an Illusional opponent, the first starting way back at Castle Hydell. I am convinced that if you buy into the illusion you are sold, completely. As it is, the second Immolous did not fare any better than the first. While Khalil was still dusted he decided now was this time to off Strombolinni, who had magic mirrored four other versions of him. But Khalil guessed and struck and took down the Magic User, leaving just he and Dorminder. “We’re still good, right” asked the Cleric? “Yup”. The fire elemental disappeared. We poked thru and found some interesting stuff but no HotS.
After another int + wis + level check we figured out there was a correlation between the sword Strombolinni took and the alter for Immolous. Inserted the sword into the appropriate slot and heard the distinct sound of a star trek door opening. It took bit to find but this lead to another passage way that ended in a cross section room, as if we were walking into the 4th & 5th floors of a building: empty space with a ceiling-ish up there, a floor-ish down there, and, in between, thick heavy spider webs. We tried a molotov cocktail that was quickly extinguished by a web. Indeed, this monstrous spider ducked out and spat a web that nearly hit Dorminder. There we stopped with Khalil aching to go in and Dorminder cowering. We could go back to find men in Darkhelm but this may rankle Clyrrik the Halt, leader of the local thieve’s guild that has little to no patience for anyone from a rival guild. We could go back to Khalil’s guild but that would be empty handed and without Strombolinni and Calori (I have indicated to Khalil that this would be highly problematic and will likely go down badly. I can foresee the guild using a truth serum to extract some finer details). We could go back to our party, thus reuniting timelines, and explain the situation to them. This would not be bad as we could take the sword with us so that the passage remains secret. Knowing there whereabouts of Immolous’ temple, its proximity to Imix’ temple would likely advance our yardsticks against the elementals.