After a rest in the crypt we decided to ascend to the upper level of the monastery to fulfil our promise to Renwick to rid it of the stone cultists.  We returned to the well room in order to use the stairs there, but on opening the door, were confronted by three of the evil grey dwarfs.  Thorg, for whom they are a mortal enemy, gave an oath and charged in – the fight was short, helped by some mighty blows from the enraged Thorg, although one of the grey dwarves was able to demonstrate their unnatural ability to grow in height, but was still cut down.

Fresh from this encounter we ascended the stairs and re-entered the distilling room quietly, hoping to surprise the two alchemists within.  We ourselves were surprised to find it completely empty of people, although we did find a large number of bottles of brandy, one of which I took for later use.   The room to the south proved to be equally empty, and some sort of fighting practice room, rather than the shrine we had assumed from the chanting we had heard from there previously.  It was while investigating the previously locked door on the other side of the corridor however that disaster struck. I had just completed picking the lock when the door opened, and I was struck hard, three times in a row, and sank to my knees under the flurry of blows.  Fortunately Thorg was behind me and leapt forward to protect me, while I discharged a volley from my wand of magic missiles and pulled back to nurse my wounds.  My assailant was a woman wearing an ornate eyeless bronze mask.  She twisted and struck with feline grace, but was no match for Thorg’s raw power, and indeed Arielle was able to strike with almost as much agility.  We soon overcame her, and dispatched her to her evil and depraved god.  Within her chambers beyond we found a scroll describing the rise of the prophet of evil earth, as well as some money.  Sorrell cast some healing magic on me, and we were able to continue.

The other two doors on this side of the corridor both opened onto the same long courtyard open to the sky.  There were two other side by side doors at the far end, and 4 large gargoyle statues on the northern side, flanking a gap which I assumed held the door to the temple that Blinky had seen earlier.  We didn’t fancy the look of the statues, so continued along the corridor and around the corner.  The doors on the south side of the corridor opened onto a deserted scriptorium, where we found some books that we thought might be of interest to Bruelthenor.  The door at the far end opened into the entrance hall of the monastery, which was equally deserted.  A door on the far side led into another corridor, with more doors on the south side.  This time though, when we opened the first door, we found a barracks room.  Two cultists were sitting at a table by the door, while another half dozen were asleep at the far end.  A sleep spell from me cast one of them into a deep slumber, and we rapidly dispatched the second, but his cry awoke the others, and so we were forced to fight them as the struggled up from their beds.  Again, they fought with the lithe grace that we had come to associate with Arielle.  Just as my companions had finished dispatching the last of them, the door to the room, which I had been watching, opened, and some stone-armoured figures entered the room…