The party left from Hommlet and proceeded toward the town of Nulb and the Temple of Elemental Evil. Along the way they came across the ruins of the old moat house, which had been the forward post for Nulb and the Temple. Their approach and entry into the moat house saw them defeat a set of giant frogs (luckily the halfling didn’t get swallowed), and a poisonous giant spider (luckily the tank saved versus poison AND remembered to lead the spider into the open so the whole party could engage).
Between these two encounters the party ended up low on hit points and low on magic. They ended up resting to heal in the main entry room (#5). They were summarily ambushed by the brigands which had been holed up in the northeast corner of the boat house. Though the fight was arduous, they triumphed due to good tactics and quick thinking. The party ended up loosing the healing they had gained, and were still without any offensive or healing magic.
At the end of the day (literally), they were left with one party member down, two near unconsciousness and their sole healer out of healing magic. With a large pool of hit points to recover, and only one healer, the party ended up spending three complete eight hour cycles of “cast – rest – pray” in healing the party. Full resting only allows for 2hp to be recovered each day per character (3hp if someone has Healing and Herbalism), thus the healing load is carried by the loan (gypsy) priest.