Shattered Star #42: A Touched Hand

At the end of last session, we left our heroes afloat on two rowboats and being assailed by a strange whispering full of strange compulsions.

The Shattered Star


However, the party’s will proved stronger than the fell magics driving the maddening whispers and they reached the nearby beach without any further incident (and without being troubled by the huge, sinuous creatures swimming beneath them).

As they reached the beach, however, screaming—quickly choked off in a gurgle of pain—echoed from a side passage. Galvanised into the action, the party leapt to the rescue (except Narfu who wisely stayed behind to moor the boats).

The rest of the party rushed down the sandy passageway and burst into a large, water-filled chamber. Tied to a post on an island in the middle of the chamber slumped a woman stripped to her undergarments. Stabbed and slashed, she hung from her bonds unconscious.

Nearby, a truly hideous woman with lank, green seaweed for hair lurked in the water attended by four tiny gremlin-like creatures. The woman cackled and taunted the party before leaping to the attack. While she missed stabbing any of the heroes her excessive hideousness gave them pause; Zainiss seemed particularly affected by her horrible looks. However, the party’s might was too great and the woman as quickly slain; Thaladan striking the final (mighty) blow.

With the woman despatched, the party turned their attentions to the woman. It transpired she was Helena Mertien; once a Gray Maiden and brought here by Sorshen herself in punishment for trying to lead a revolt against her. She was very helpful to the party. In exchange for her freedom, some equipment and a place in the group she explained much of what had transpired, how the Grey Maidens had some to be here and more. She even gave the party useful information about her once-fellows.

Armed with this information, the party continued onwards. Passing through a secret door leading to the Grey Maiden’s base, instead of using a clever mix of violence and more violence the party decided to attempt diplomacy! With Sarif ably leading the ensuing negotiations, the party bartered some rations and a promise of non-aggression into some equipment (secretly for Helena) and access to a set of double doors forbidden to the Grey Maidens but which evidently led to Sorshen’s lair.

Emboldened by their success, the party pushed onwards. Opening the doors, they discovered a long hallway; four statues of Sorshen stood about the hall and three golden plates were recessed into the floor. A further normal wooden door without lock or handle stood at the the other end of the hall. Cautiously, the party entered (although they expected a trap to be sprung at any second).

However, it seemed the hallway was not trapped. After deciphering some carvings on the base of the statues the party discovered that when a statue’s hand was touched the gold plates on the floor began to glow. Theorising that when all the hands were touched, the plates would act as a teleportation device they tried out their theory. First to disappear was Narfu, but as he did so the glow from the plates faded. Realising the hands would have to be activated again, the party rushed around touching hands and jumping onto golden plates. In short other, this succeeded in teleporting the entire party elsewhere. However—unfortunately— they did not all end up in the same place…


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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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