And so the adventure was rejoined with the party in their air-holed box that they had created in which they rested for about 15 hours or so, from what I gathered, with a slight break in the rest when "Kitty" and Roark triggered a trap and caused a section of ceiling to fall down upon them. "Kitty" was able to leap out of the way, but Roark took the hit full on, though it wasn't enough damage to take him out.
After removing themselves from their safe-tomb via another Stone Shape, the group then travelled back to the downstairs area, finding that quite a large quantity of blood had been spilled at the base of the stair-wall and that Viday, their desmodu companion was nowhere to be found!
Further investigation had Kelamor tracking blood trails into an adjacent hallway and then into a large room that had hanging canvases that looked like inverted tents, all of which were stained freshly with blood.
The group was apprehensive, but Murmur prodded one of the tents and felt a solid object, then decided to cut one open right at the moment that Lucky had spider-climbed up the wall to peek over the edge and see the battle-ready desmodu waiting inside. At the sound of the tearing canvas, the other 4 bat warriors sliced through their own hammocks and fell down to meet the party with arms.
The battle was pretty intense and Kelamor took the brunt of damage, but his damage reduction saved his life, as did my inability to confirm critical hits and the uncanny knack my dice have for coming up 1's in groups at the worst times.
The combat was finished before too much longer and the group decided to explore further into the back rooms of the temple, using doors that led out of the chamber where they encountered the desmodu mercs. This led them down a hallway into a coal room, where doors leading off into another area had red-hot handles, and a forward door led to a library.
Kelamor put his exalted wild shape to good use and did scouting bounces with his blink dog form, discovering another room past the library that held mound upon mound of steel, iron, and bronze ingots. At this finding, Lucky back-tracked to the red-hot doors and opened one to find a group of fiery snake-men at work at forges. Lucky for um...Lucky, he had some resistance to fire thanks to his armor, though when he stepped into the room to converse with the creatures, the heat was too unbearable and he quickly made haste out of the room before he started taking too much damage. In exchange for some diamond dust, the salamanders (since Paul rolled amazingly to identify them) gave him a masterwork scimitar and told him where to find their liege and his retinue...in the bowels of a volcano further to the East.
After this, and after deciding the ingots from the other room were best left undisturbed, the party ventured across the chapel to another set of doors that, for the most part, held nothing but meditation chambers...one of which looked out upon what used to be a torture gallery (no doubt a place for those faithful to the Mockery to contemplate.)
Satisfied that there were no more threats above, and wanting to rid the compound of the taint of Xoriat, the party then approached the stairs in the middle of the chapel that led down...but to where?
Find out next week!