It was on the afternoon of Sunday, the 9th day of Readying, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon began their second assault on the Temple of Nerull. Half a minute into the battle, the first of the five remaining ogre magi was already dead and it appeared early on as if this battle would turn out quite favorably for the band.Still there were a few surprises, such as when tentacles suddenly sprung out from the roof of a black, tar-like hut near the body of the ogre mage that had just been killed. Appearing much like those of a black tentacles spell, these tentacles tried to grab a hold of Corvyn, but he was able to fight them off. Seeing the first of their comrades falling before the combined attacks of the band, and realizing that their offensive spells were having little if any effect on the band, the ogre magi apparently decided to change their battle strategy and take a more defensive approach. Having taken very little time to make preparations before entering the battle, the ogre magi tried to fall back and cast more defensive and combat spells on themselves and their forces. They started off by ordering their troops to gather in groups so the ogre magi could cast spells on them to protect them from fire, knowing that the band relied heavily on fire spells, which were a weakness of the trolls. Once they had protected their forces from fire, the ogre magi then intended to surround themselves with their forces while they continued to cast combat spells on themselves. It appeared as if the ogre magi were convinced that their best chance for victory was to possibly sacrifice their own forces in order to better prepare themselves. Perhaps then, by the time the band had cut through the surrounding forces and reached the ogre magi, the band would be running low on spells and would be easier for the ogre magi to defeat. The band, however, had ideas of their own, which was to gang up on the ogre magi and take one down at a time. When the ogre magi turned invisible and tried to fly towards their forces, Brom and Corvyn, both of whom could fly and see invisible objects, flew after the nearest ogre mage and attacked him from flanking positions. The ogre mage was forced to stop and defend himself. In desperation, the ogre mage tried unsuccessfully to cast a spell. Then, when he tried to retreat, Brom and Corvyn landed the killing blows, which included a burst of fire. The ogre mage was sent hurtling down into a patch of web that had been created earlier which then caught on fire. Zeke, Tadwin and Diamond, meanwhile, focused on attacking the other forces. When the ogre mage hit the web, Tadwin used his staff and summoned a fire elemental to land on top of the ogre mage and make sure he was dead. Diamond then cast a confusion spell on one group of enemies, causing two giant trolls and a two-headed troll to become confused. When one of the other ogre magi then arrived at the group to cast the fire protection spell, one of the giant trolls attacked him. The confusion spell continued to cause disruption and havoc among that group of trolls, sometimes forcing even those who were not confused to fight against those that were. As a result, these trolls were ineffective defenders of the ogre mage who sought their protection. Brom and Corvyn had killed the last ogre mage so quickly that this one had little time to cast defensive spells. So he too was killed fairly quickly. Only the last two ogre magi had sufficient time to cast enough spells on themselves to make worthy opponents of the band. But by the time Brom and Corvyn were headed towards the first of these, the ogre magi’s defenders had been considerably weakened by the band’s spell casters. Tadwin had cast a chain lightning spell that devastated the first group, killing all of the ogre archers, which had been focusing their attacks on him, and badly wounding the rest. Diamond had also been doing his part with flamestrike spells, only half of which were fire-based and therefore only partially protected from by the trolls. Zeke, meanwhile, focused on the last ogre mage and his group of defenders. Realizing that they were all protected from fire, Zeke launched a seemingly endless barrage of fireballs at the group until he was able to exhaust the spell that protected them. When Corvyn and Brom arrived at the third ogre mage, the ogre mage quickly flew to the ground, keeping a nearby building at his back to prevent his two assailants from taking up flanking positions. Going to the ground, also encouraged Brom to land as well, since his natural means of flight was very taxing and therefore limited. This fact, however, played into the hands of the ogre mage, since it was only while he had an opponent on the ground that the ogre mage could hope to pull off his next intended move. As soon as he found an opening, the ogre mage used his sickle to trip Brom, a maneuver that the ogre mage was quite practiced at. So skilled was he in this, in fact, that it left Brom in a very awkward position, allowing both the ogre mage and his nearest allies the opportunity for a series of much easier attacks on Brom while he was lying prone on the ground. Because of this, Brom found himself in a rare and precarious situation. Fortunately, he was able to recover from this and regain his feet, though it proved to be costly in terms of stamina. Nevertheless, it was one of the few instances in the battle where the ogre magi were able to deal the band an unexpected setback. Soon after Brom resumed his fighting stance, he and Corvyn were able to drop the 8th ogre mage. And knowing he was protected from fire, they made sure he would not be regaining consciousness any time soon. Then they moved on to the ninth and final ogre mage. By this time, Zeke had thrown enough fireballs at the ogre mage and his group of trolls and giants that their protection from fire spell had been used up and they were now taking damage from the fire. Because of this, the trolls and giants began dispersing away from the ogre mage, leaving him unprotected. Some of the trolls and ogres were then killed by further mass damage spells, while others ran for cover. One fomorian giant and a two-headed troll, even tried to hide among the myconids, knowing that if they were attacked by mass damage spells the myconids would be forced to enter the battle and use their powerful spore attacks on the band, which could be overwhelming. But the band was wise enough to not to use such spells and instead limited their attacks to those that would affect only the giant and the troll. The last of the ogre magi, meanwhile, seeing that his allies had fled away from him, no doubt realized the hopelessness of the situation and very likely began looking for a means of escape. But the band saw this as well and some of them began moving to cut off any escape route. So, left with little choice, the ogre mage cast a slay living spell and, in an act of desperation, flew up towards Zeke to try and hit him with the spell. But he missed. Moments later, Brom and Corvyn were flanking him and quickly wearing him down. In a final act of defiance, the ogre mage reached out and managed to hit Brom with the slay living spell, hoping he could at least take one of the band members with him. Brom, however, managed to resist the spell and took only minimal damage from it, though it still brought him dangerously close to his demise due to previous injuries he was still suffering from. Nevertheless, it would prove to be the last thing that the ogre mage would do before he too would join his brethren in death. Only moments later, the last of the trolls and ogres were killed as well. When the battle was over, Tadwin informed the band that they would still have to kill the fire elemental he had summoned, knowing it would turn on him when he released control of it. Killing the fire elemental was easy enough, and when it was done, the band took the time to heal up their injuries and search the bodies of the ogre magi for any magic items. They also searched the huts of the ogre magi, making sure to avoid the black tentacles that sprang from the roofs of each of the huts. Zeke then took the time to speak with the elder myconid via their communication spores and assured him that the band intended no harm to the myconids. An agreement was soon reached, allowing the myconids to live in peace there in the cave. With this done, the band searched the other buildings in the cave, which were unused barracks, kitchens and store rooms, intended to be used by the army that was supposed to have come from the underdark in the planned invasion on Greyhawk. Finally, the band turned their attention to the great pyramid at the center of the cave – the temple of Nerull. As before, the band entered through the one opening where the black-red flames issued from. Some members of the band suffered minor burns from the flames as they passed through them, despite the spells that protected them from fire. And once inside the temple, they were again attacked by the two powerful spectres that resided there. Death ward spells protected the band from the worst of the spectres’ attacks however, and it was not long before the band had defeated them. Still, the band believed that the spectres were not permanently defeated and that eventually they would return. For it had been hinted at in a divination spell that destroying the spirits of the temple would also destroy the temple. But clearly the temple had not been destroyed. Diamond suggested that resurrection spells cast on the spectres would probably destroy the spectres, and thus the temple. But the divination spell had also mentioned that there was another way to destroy the temple. According to the spell, a mighty blow from a good man of faith at the heart of the temple could destroy it as well, and as an added benefit, he would be greatly rewarded. Seeing this as a better option, the band decided to try this second method first. Searching about in the temple, the band found a small chamber with a rust-red bone altar that seemed to pour forth an evil aura of death and foreboding. It seemed logical that this was the so-called heart of the temple. And since Zeke appeared to be the only “good man of faith” in the group, the band believed it was up to him to do the task. But Zeke was not particularly strong and there was some question as to whether or not he could deal a mighty blow to the altar. Perhaps, the band thought, the use of a magical weapon would be sufficient. So, with this hope in mind, Zeke took a swing at the alter with one and then another magic weapon. But none of them seemed to have any effect. Taking inventory of the band’s various weapons then, the band found that their most powerfully enchanted weapon was one of Brom’s daggers. Again there was some doubt about whether or not a dagger would work and Brom was afraid that his dagger would be damaged. But the rest of the band talked him into it. So Brom handed his dagger over to Zeke. Zeke took the dagger and with both hands brought it down onto the altar with all his strength. To everyone’s surprise, the dagger was buried in the altar up to the hilt! When Zeke tugged on the dagger to extract it, the dagger snapped and fell apart. Almost instantly, Zeke then felt a surge of power go through him. At the same time the temple began to shake, while dust and pebbles fell from the ceiling. Then the ground rumbled with a tremendous sound that seemed to come from deep within the earth. It felt as if the stairs leading into the underdark beneath the pyramid had just collapsed! Suddenly the band realized that the temple was crumbling and that they had to get out before it caved in on them. Quickly the band turned and fled out of the temple through the entrance way where the black-red flames had just been extinguished. As soon as the band emerged from the temple, the pyramid split in two and the giant statue of Nerull above came crashing down in a thunderous roar. All around was covered in a giant cloud of dust and debris as a sound wave of destruction echoed throughout the huge cavern. When at last, the sound faded away and the dust began to settle, all that remained was a ruined mound of stone with a massive crack down the center and the bizarre remnants of a gigantic skeletal figure lying in a heap. Unfortunately, Brom’s dagger was also destroyed. But the rest of the band offered to help replace it. On the other hand, the temple was likewise destroyed and the ogre magi were defeated, leaving no one within the ruins of the Tower of War who could realistically challenge the band. In addition to this, a major threat to the city of Greyhawk had, once and for all, been eliminated. On a more personal note for certain members of the band, Zeke was rewarded, perhaps by Boccob himself, with an unexpected pool of knowledge and insight, while Tadwin came to the realization that his days of being a cleric of Nerull were over. Surely, Nerull would never forgive Tadwin for what he took part in on this day and other followers of Nerull would only see him as a traitor and an enemy. It appeared the time had come for Tadwin to seek the guidance of another, perhaps more appropriate, deity. With thoughts like these on their minds, the band made one last search through the ruins of the temple for anything of value not yet recovered. Then they gathered up what they had collected and prepared to return to the city. Despite what they had accomplished, there were still issues to be dealt with. There were the derro, for example, who were almost certainly quite upset with the band, feeling as though they had been betrayed. Then there were the duergar, who although they would be glad to hear of the defeat of the ogre magi, would also be upset to learn that the temple was destroyed along with the means of passage back to the underdark. And finally, there was Rohnam, Grimtorr and Grog who had betrayed the band. They could still pose a problem for the band, and the band felt they needed to exact some revenge upon them.