The next morning, on the third day of Flocktime, the party set out to explore the rest of the second level of the Temple of Elemental Evil, mapping out most of what was left. They came across an Otyugh in a trash room (killed it) and discovered an empty bugbear den with signs that it was recently abandoned. Looking for the bugbears, they came across a torture chamber and jail cells, complete with bugbear guard and a small, frail, ugly human inquisitor (torturer) wearing black Greater Temple robes. There was also the body of a high elf stretched across the torture table, having been disemboweled not too long ago. Since the party was also wearing the Greater Temple robes, Athan was able to engage in conversation with the inquisitor, demanding a report on behalf of Hedrack. The inquisitor seemed shocked, saying that he had already given his report to the Ettin. Athan continued to press him for information and the inquisitor, being suspicious (it IS his job to "read" people to get information), responded that he hasn't seen the group before and demanded the party identify themselves. In the meantime, Jarrus was walking over to the torture table to confirm that the dead body was, indeed, his father, Correal Sunleaf (may he rest in peace). All of this, of course, led to a fight that was pretty quick as the inquisitor was a low level human with no arms or armor on him. Checking the cells, the party found four high elves. One female introduced herself as Countess Tillahi of Celene, along with her consort, Sir Juffer. The other elves (whose names are unimportant) were part of their party. They were on a diplomatic mission from Celene to Furyondy when they were captured about two months ago (Athan and Jarrus know, from their knowledge of current political events, that Queen Yolande of Celene closed the borders completely, so either something has changed, these elves are lying, or this diplomatic mission was not sanctioned by the queen).
The party decided to equip the elves as best they could, which was actually pretty sufficient, and escort them to the surface using the tunnel on level 3. When they reached the secret door that leads out past Falrinth's quarters, Athan started acting weird again. He said he would stay in the temple while everyone else went out. He kept saying they needed to kill Hedrack and Hedrack was in the temple, not outside. Some arguments took place between Pontus and Athan. Athan tried to tell Pontus a story that his master once told him about an elf who found a powerful artifact and used it to communicate with a god, but fell under the control of that god and was unable to make good decisions afterward. He felt there was a lesson in that story somewhere and reiterated that the party needs to listed to what he is not saying. Pontus was not interested in the story, but he did decide to stay behind with Athan to make sure he didn't get into more trouble. The rest of the party escorted the elves out, and Jarrus requested that they take the body of his father with them, so he could be properly laid to rest. Sir Juffer, who is a ranger/cleric of Correlon, agreed to take on the task, and so everyone said their goodbyes. The elves asked where the party would be staying after their adventures here, should they wish to find them in the future, and they answered that they were most likely going to Furyondy next (which is a huge kingdom, so who knows. . .).
Back in the temple, the party decided to finish mapping out the second level. They started by properly destroying the Fire Temple by putting out the coals using massive amounts of holy water (there was only one way to destroy the temple and they managed to do it in a clever way). Exploring around, they encountered an empty troll den (or maybe more than one dens - hard to tell), a chained up hydra and a chained up owlbear. Athan plinked arrows at the chained up owlbear until it was killed, but the party left the hydra alone (probably for the best). The party then headed up a sloped passage that led to another part of the first level, and began to explore. They came across multiple rooms in which there were freshly slain hobgoblins and/or bugbears wearing brown robes. They found a living ogre in one room, which appears to have been left alone from the rest of the slaughter that apparently went on, and easily dispatched him. They also found a room full of giant rats (killed them easily) and eventually found the grand entry hallway of the first level, which was piled high from one end to the other with the skeletal remains of humans, gnolls, hobgoblins and bugbears. This was clearly where the temple made its last stand after the Battle of Emridy Meadow, before the temple was sealed. Pontus began searching through the bones, disturbing the spirits resting among them and causing several skeletons to rise up. They were easily turned and then killed. In the middle of the north wall of the long east/west hallway was an entrance to a large circular room, with a narrow winding ramp going up. The party walked up the ramp to find themselves in the middle on the ground floor - the temple cathedral proper. After searching around a bit, the party eventually made their way to the north end of the temple where there was a large dias and a throne. Sarril (being played by the DM), stated that this was the throne he saw in his vision when he touched the golden skull. Presumably, if one were to sit on that throne while holding the skull, the throne will sink down to a secret area on level 3. Athan confirmed the vision, but reiterated that the party MUST first kill Hedrack before going down to the throne room. Everyone else agreed and the party headed back down.