They agreed to a perfect plan. The halfling and the elf would sneak up, using a sleep spell to put down many of the wolves. Then the cleric would run up to hold the girl. Wind was no consideration, and their scent drifted through the air to alert the wolves. As the pair crept forward, wolves leaped from the mist to attack. Fortunately, the attacks did not land. The next moment, the elf put all but one wolf to sleep. The rest of the party sprinted to execute the sleeping wolves.
With no girl in site, they quickly guessed that one wolf not asleep was the werewolf. The beast dashed to escape. The cleric landed a silver bullet via his sling. The elf pierced her with magic missiles. Novak rushed to the corpse, now returning a humanoid form. He dropped his trident and shield to produce a silver dagger from his boot. Next, he savagely beheaded the monster.
From the steps of a largest building, a woman screeched in despair. Novak looked up in time to see her transform into a wolf. She bounded down on him, pinning him to the snowy ground. But his hand gripping the silver dagger was free, and he plunged it deep in her side. Jaws snapped but failed to find flesh as Novak pulled the blade out and struck again, bringing forth fresh blood.
Cora, the halfling, approached unnoticed and placed a killing blow that drained the remaining life from the lycanthrope whose body quickly reverted to the form most human-like. Novak spared no time in removing her head as well. With no threats left, they briefly considered whether head removal was the correct procedure for werewolves. Novak could not be sure.
Inside the temple with two missing walls, they examined various items. Cora found a skull wearing a silver mask. Novak briefly considered the danger, then donned the mask out of curiosity. He felt his battle-sense sharpen. They also collected a vial of oil, an ivory brush, many gems and a coffer of coins.
Outside, they marveled at a statue in folded-leg repose atop a sarcophagus. Attaching ropes, they pulled the statue off to gain entrance. Inside it, they found the skeleton of a warrior holding a polearm with a three-pronged blade.
Presently, two figures appeared, a man and a boy. Both bore the unmistakable taint of the werewolf. The man sent the boy off and then turned to confront Novak’s brave crew. Though enraged, he climbed atop the roof of a temple and cowered from arrow fire. Novak pulled his people back into a defensive line while the halfling began to creep around the back. Immediately she faced the boy now turned to wolf form. She and elf both hit the young werewolf with silver-tipped arrows, and then the cleric stepped up to crush his skull.
Screaming vengeance, the largest werewolf bounded away into the snowy forest.
Temple of Harial
With the threat averted, they explored the largest temple. Inside was a statue of St. Irevia surrounded by candles. Ancient elven writing called her Harial. The cleric explained that ancient cultures often misinterpreted signs by the Anointed One.
Other writing in the temple told a story about three heroes who fought off an attack. The story began to explain the story of the nearby crypts, two of which they’d looted outside. Three warriors described were Grimwald, who wore a mask; Alfred, who held a polearm; and Harmut, who fought with bare fists.
Adjoining chambers revealed themselves as converted sleeping chambers, formerly shrines. Among the effects were a chest of many coins and two scrolls. The first scroll displayed a map, obviously of the Sumar Forest, with several settlements marked. The other scroll held holy writings in a prehistoric style that did not conform to the modern faith. The cleric noted that three of the spells were unknown to him, making the scroll a relic worthy of delivering the Lah.
Downstairs in the temple were dormitories left open to the elements. Among the ruined effects they found two books. The first was a history of Sax Nehringhen, a country to the west. The other book described the cult of Harial.
Outside, they found the grave of Harmut and took care to open it from the end, making sure not to topple the statue. With the corpse they found Hartmut’s Sandals of Speed. The halfling put them on and they instantly formed to her feet.
To Untala and Slateholm
Ample loot swelled their packs, some of it magical and wanting for identification. They hustled down the mountain in a day, finding now trouble along the way. In Untala they spent a raucous evening in the tavern, relating their battle. The next day, they traveled to Slatholm to visit the famed merchant Benabil.
The halfling sage puzzled over the ring with the lightning bolt. He could not fathom its exact nature. The mask of Grimwald was indeed a boon to the fighting types, or those who wished to play that role. Novak kept it and sought a more suitable arrangement of the maks with a helmet. He also kept the polearm. His aim was to find two more henchmen he could outfit with his growing collection of arms and armor.
The sandals did indeed add to the walking speed of the wearer, a good enhancement for the short legs of the halfling.
Two candles collected in the temple, and held by the cleric, were genuine candles of St. Irevia. This furthered the conclusion that she called Harial was indeed the saint of light. A candle snatched up by Novak was of a different nature, one of unfailing light. Once lit, it could not be extinguished, even by submersion in water.