Shattered Star #55: A Parting of the Ways

At the end of last session, we left our heroes seemingly victorious on the beach have defeated the possessed villager and their skum overlords.

The Shattered Star

 

With the last of the skum defeated, the party took stock and began to make sure none of the fallen villagers were in danger of dying while also gathering up their crude tools so they could no longer work on freeing whatever was trapped under the island. Karelia carried a handful of the tools up the stairs to the cliff top, and when she got to the top noticed several strange disturbances in the air above the beach which strongly suggested at least a half-dozen will-o-wisps lurked above the battle drinking in the death and terror!

He quickly returned to the beach below to gasp out this news to her fellows.

However, after a few moments another wave of skum emerged from the sea and attacked. The party had this new wave well in hand when another followed it a few seconds later. Again, fighting swirled up and down the beach, the combatants trampling across the bodies of those who had already fallen.

Suddenly a great roar from atop the cliffs drew the party’s eyes upwards. Atop the broken stair leading down to the beach stood a huge bipedal lobster monstrosity—a chuul! It stared to lumber down the stairs, but suddenly hurled itself from the cliffs—trying to land in the canal. Sadly, it failed and landed on the edge of the beach. Karelia immediately cast grease under its feet and Thaladan moved to engage it. The chuul proved a tough foe. Although injured by the fall, and several blows from Thaladan’s mighty sword it quickly grabbed the unfortunate paladin and started crushing the life from him while trying to retreat into the sea. Luckily, Karelia’s grease spell kept it from completing its manoeuvre and drowning the hapless paladin.

However, by now Thaladan was unconscious. Luckily, Cortana fought his way to his companion’s side and slew the beast. With the beast dead, the rest of the skum were quickly slain.

Quickly, the party began to gather more of the villagers’ tools together before retreating up the stairs to the cliffs above. They weren’t quite quick enough, however, as yet more skum emerged from the sea. This final wave—although they briefly cut off Narfu from his friends—were quickly dealt with and the party’s retreat thereafter was successful.

Predictably, at the top of the cliffs another argument broke out. Thaladan, Grooble and Cortana wanting to know why Sarif had murdered several of the villagers. The dwarf initially tried to bluff his way through the accusations, but the evidence—not least Zainnis’s eyewitness testimony—quickly mounted up. Sarif then changed his story—he only did what as necessary to power the silver pools so the party could get answers about what was going on. However, this didn’t wash and the party almost came to blows. Eventually, it was decided Sarif would leave the group to be banished on the island; the heroes being reluctant to slay one of their own who had—after all—helped retrieve on of the seven shards…

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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