After resting, the party returned to the crystal temple. Rather than trying the front door again, they searched underneath the structure. Peering up into the earth clumped around it, they located a hole with a bridge spanning it.
Climbing up, they discovered a group of githzerai barricaded in the lower level of the tower. It turned out the temple was home to a group of monks devoted to protecting the central tower. They did not know what was in the tower, but they had been protecting it for thousands of years.
However, recently a rift had formed in the monks, between those who followed the original mission of protecting the tower and those who wanted to unseal it and discover its secrets. The two factions were at war within the structure, with the protectors controlling the left two towers and the exploiters protecting the right two.
Recently, the exploiters mounted a successful assault into the second floor of the tower the party is currently in, which is why they received such a violent reception the first time they attempted to enter the temple. The group of protectors they are currently with were cut off on the lowest floor and have been trusting to fate to rescue them from their predicament.
The party agreed to help them retake the second floor, and with the help of the protectors’ few remaining warriors, began to ascend the stairs.