Adventures in Shadow #004: Fire and Water

At the end of the last session, we left our heroes in Languard resting after their initial exploration of Greystone’s forlorn ruins. Goldogrin had been badly hurt during the expedition and so needed much rest.


Meanwhile, the rest of the party spent a few days selling their loot and re-equipping themselves for their next trip north across the bay.

They visited Raisa’s Curios—a famed adventurers’ haunt—to sell some of their loot and met Raisa herself. She purchased some of what they had for offer and was more than happy to sell them a case of wine and a stuffed blue lizard, which was missing one eye. The latter went to Dulannis who was immediately enchanted by the object—paying the unbelievable sum of 15 gp! Shortly thereafter, he started talking to the lizard and taking its advice—that only he could hear—which prompted several of his companions to fear the elf was sinking into madness.

Meanwhile the rest of the party realised one of the bottles of wine was particularly valuable—being of elven vintage—meaning they had turned a handy profit on the deal. Raisa would not take the gems they had for sale, and couldn’t afford the magical scroll they sought to turn into cold hard cash, but instead directed them to Arlo’s Stones—a nearby gemcutter and jeweller.

It transpired Arlo was a cantankerous old man, suspicious of the party who drove a hard bargain for the “cracked, pitted and inferior stones tainted by the undead”. No matter, after half an hour or so of hard bargaining the party had the coin they so craved.

Their final stop was to the Fane of the Waves Eternal where they met Anafa Wildthorn a beautiful half-elven woman high in the church’s hierarchy. They spoke respectfully to the obviously powerful priestess telling her of the strange seaweed monster infesting the shattered fane of the Mistress of Storms in Greystone. Pledging to clear the building of its infestation they swapped the scroll they couldn’t use for three potions of healing and a small quantity of coin (which they used to buy oil and torches to deal with the aberrant weed). They also promised to return any relics or worshippers’ remains they found in the ruin.

With their preparations complete, they returned to their lodgings at the Orc’s Head, laid their final plans and rested overnight.

The next morning, they again gathered at the docks and Taneli conveyed them across the bay in his fishing boat. Again, they disembarked on the breakwater—Taneli still refusing to sail into Greystone’s harbour—and made their way slowly to Serat’s ruined fane.

Outside, they made their final preparations. Several of the party hefted oil flasks while others bore flaming torches ready to set the foul creature lurking in the ceremonial pool aflame. With the trio of heroic dwarves in the lead, the party burst into the temple. The creature—alerted by the considerable clamour—emerged from the pool and met them at the head of the stairs. It sent forth grasping tendrils to snare the warriors and drag them to their watery dooms.

However, the dwarves were made of sturdy stuff and easily saw off the creature’s attacks. In return they hacked and slashed at their enemy while the others hurled oil. Within moments, the creature was on fire and fleeing back into the pool. But Thangrim was not going to let it go. With a mighty war cry he hurled himself into air and hurtled downwards in the midst of the creature. As he hacked and stabbed at it, they both sank from sight into the pool. A minute later, he emerged—the creature slain!

The party were jubilant. They had cleared the temple of its infestation and set about searching for holy relics and suchlike. They recovered three earthen jugs decorated with wave patterns and the skeletal remains of one of the place’s adepts (perhaps). The jugs were filled with coins—perhaps offerings to the Storm Mistress herself—but the party had no compunction in taking the coins for themselves.

Returning to the breakwater, they summoned Taneli who brought his boat in close to the slippery, seaweed-encrusted rocks. After loading their treasure aboard, the party returned to the ruined village. After a brief discussion, they elected to investigate the stairway and tunnel that had so nearly spelt Goldogrin’s doom during their last incursion.

The party crept into the darkness and cautiously explored the stair. Goldogrin discovered the trap that had so nearly slain him had been reset—which led to some renewed conversation between party members. Eventually, it was determined to continue onwards.

Beyond the trapped stair lay a network of natural tunnels.

Goldogrin, scouting ahead with Auric, discovered one passageway ended in what looked like a dead-end. However, a ledge piled with rubble high up on one wall seemed to suggest another tunnel might lie beyond. Intrigued, he tried to climb the wall only to discover it was a trap! Someone had hung an old tapestry down the wall and impregnated it with dust and grit to make it blend in with its surrounds. As he yanked it down, he dislodged the rubble above which came tumbling down on his head. Crushed by the falling rocks, Goldogrin collapsed. The falling rocks swept passed him and knocked down Auric, who—made of sterner stuff—managed to stay conscious and on his feet.

The sound of falling rocks—and Goldogrin’s scream—brought the rest of the party to their aid and Goldogrin was quickly dug free. Veronwë used a healing spell on the unfortunate elf but it was clear he would be no more good today.

The party cautiously searched some more of the caverns. Glourn found several footprints made by a bare-footed humanoid and Dulannis investigated a natural rock shelf using spider climb. He found three skulls atop the ledge, set back so they could not be seen by those passing below. To the (perhaps mad) elf, it seemed as if the skulls had been set to watch over the chamber below.

This revelation stopped the party in their tracks. With one of their fellows badly injured and the caverns clearly occupied, it seemed prudent to retreat…

Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

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