Shattered Star #23: Keepers Revealed

At the end of last session, we left our heroes in the Sunless Grove. After healing their wounds, they looked around.

The Shattered Star

 

Quickly looting the bodies of the two slain men, they discovered a small amount of magic items. However, the great prize was the book resting on the altar for it transpired it was a copy of the Panokotic Manuscript. An ancient tome—likely a copy of a copy of a copy—the book was nevertheless steeped in elder, esoteric lore and gave the party great insights into that which they faced. They learned that five “Keepers” had indeed summoned a terrible denizen from the place between stars, but that while doing so they had bound their essence to the creature. The creature could be gravely weakened if the men were slain—or otherwise put beyond their reach.

However, the creature has already slain two the five and consumed their essences—theirs were the bodies lying nearby. Luckily, the party had recently slain another—the necromancer lurking in the Rupman’s Vats. This left two villains unaccounted for, and the party resolved to slay them before the creature could get to them.

With this knowledge, they pressed on and searched the passages leading away from the chamber. One lead to a small cavern obviously used as a camp. The other led deeper into the darkness. Stout iron bars blocked the corridor, but the party eventually broke through this barrier and explored beyond. It quickly became apparent, though, the maze of passageways, chambers and other forgotten spaces was near-impossible to explore. Thus, eventually the party gave up and returned to the surface.

There they met with Mayor Heggry and his advisor Margrick Shortstone who provided valuable information about the identity and whereabouts of the remaining two Keepers—Waldur Crobe the warden of Crove’s Asylum and Arlend Hyve a local sage who dwelled in an abandoned church. None of the heroes were wildly keen to visit Crove Asylum and so they chose to deal with Arlend Hyve first.

They found Arlend’s home without trouble and after a brief reconnaissance broke in. The upper floor was empty, but a trapdoor provided access to the cellars of the place where Arlend lurked. Below the trapdoor lay the sage’s laboratory. Unfortunately, Hyve had heard them coming and grievously injured Narfu with a particularly well-placed crossbow bolt. However, the sage was wildly outnumbered. A sound burst from Grooble disorientated him and he was quickly thereafter slain.

A search of the area revealed little of interest, except a steep passageway leading deeper underground. Narfu explored the passage and discovered it led to a subterranean lake. Small islands and columns rose from the lake and black, stringy fungus floated upon its cold waters. Several “beaches” bordered the lake and on two lurked large violet mushrooms—later identified as violet fungus. Zaniness killed one from range with his bow.

Later, Narfu swam out into the lake a short distance and discovered a large beach covered in bones. Two more of the violet funguses lurked amid the bones. Narfu returned to the party and, after a hurried conversation, it was decided to return to the surface. After all, Hyve was dead and continuing the search seemed pointless…

 

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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