Shattered Star #40: Giant, Lizards and Ghouls (Oh My)

At the end of last session, we left our heroes plotting their next tremendously cunning move.

The Shattered Star


After a brief discussion, they decided to deal with the clone in the sarcophagus. They baulked at actually destroying the clone—sensing this might be a bad thing—and instead opted to loot the body and then dump it in the magic dispelling pool they’d previously discovered.

Narfu removed the body and divested it of its jewellery, and while he seemed fine afterwards, he did seem a little unsettled—apparently he had been given a terrifying vision when he removed the first piece of glittering treasure. In any event, the party loaded the body into a boat in preparation for transporting it deeper into the dungeon. It was then they discovered, the rope and piton arrangement they had laboriously constructed during their last visit had been ripped out.

Luckily, Thaladan had replacement pitons and so after an hour of hard work a rope was once again in place. Without any further problems they deposited the Sorshen’s clone in the magic dispelling pool, and once this was done prepared to enter the dungeon’s deeper level. Most of the party wanted to use the teleportation magic built into the hidden picture discovered nearby, but Zainnis had the mad idea of surfing over the waterfall on a summoned dolphin! Cooler, calmer heads prevailed and the entire party used the picture’s magic to teleport to a landing stage on the second level.

The landing stage stuck out into a subterranean lake lit by the glow of eerie light coming from phosphorescent lichens growing on the walls. Sarif dove into the water to determine how deep it was and discovered the lake was about 30 ft. deep. The water was cold, murky and slightly salty.

The westernmost reaches of the lake lay out of sight, but the party could make out another nearby landing stage in front of a large red door. This they made for, forming a convoy of sorts in three boats found moored on the landing stage.

When they got halfway out into the lake, things started to go wrong. The middle boat—crewed by Karelia and Sarif—began to rock violently and suddenly capsized. The heroes in the other boats could make out emaciated, hairless humanoids amid the splashing and spray. The creatures tried to rip apart the two adventurers, but luck was with the adventurers. Sarif managed to swim away while Karelia used a fly spell to escape their attackers’ clutches.

The creatures then turned their attentions to the rearmost boat and eventually tipped that over, dumping both Grooble and Peta into the water. Luckily, however, Grooble had anticipated this and cast water walking on himself and Peta. Unfortunately, Peta was immediately paralysed by one of the creatures—which had now been identified as ghouls—but not before he had blasted them with holy energy.

Peta’s adventuring career seemed over, but Karelia swooped down and cast invisibility on the paladin. The ghouls lost track of him and ducked under the water.

By now, the lead boat had made it to the other landing stage and Zainnis, Narfu and Martin disembarked. The creatures seemed happy to stay in the water and didn’t attack the adventurers standing at bay. Wth the landing stage rapidly filling up with adventurers, Sarif decided to open the door.

A long hallway lay beyond. At the end, a giant sat musing upon a throne, two gigantic lizards crouching at its feet. At sight of the adventurers it jumped up and hurled a chest at them. It missed its target and covered Zainnis is excrement and rotting flesh. However, the young ranger was already having his revenge. As the giant charged toward the group he shot it full of arrows, and the giant collapsed—it hadn’t got within 40 ft. of the party! Its pets didn’t last much longer and shortly thereafter the hallway was secure.

However, things in the lake were not going as well. Although Grooble had lashed the creatures with more divine energy—destroying two of them—the ghouls had got cunning and started smashing the capsized boats from underwater. One sunk almost immediately, but the adventurers managed to retrieve the other two with Karelia and the now active (and invisible) Peta roping them together while their companions dragged them toward the landing stage.

However, the party now had a problem. Examining the hallway, it seemed there was no other way out. Coupled with that, they only had two boats left; not enough for everyone to continue their exploration of the lake…

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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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