Shattered Star #58: Going Underground

At the end of last session, we left out heroes pondering how best to deal with the giant phase spider lurking in the Orrery.

The Shattered Star


After a brief discussion, the party decided to take the direct approach and they lured the beast into battle. Prepared for its ambush tactics, and aided by Karelia who—by dint of her magical powers could see the beast—it was quickly slain.

With the last guardian of the strange building despatched the heroes set about trying to understand the strange—but obviously undeniable powerful—magical contraption. While Karelia, aided by Grooble who also spoke Ancient Flan—the language many of the glyphs and suchlike were written in—the rest of the party rested and observed the flying towers passing by overhead. Narfu was keen to investigate one of the towers as he believed it might yet hold one or more lenses.

After two days, Karelia thought she had worked out the machine. However, she needed one more unbroken lens to be able to power it down successfully; she theorised that unless it was done properly terrible magics could be unleashed. The party then discussed, if they actually wanted to shut it down. Several were worried that shutting the machine down may lead to all the airborne towers tumbling to the ground (with predictably disastrous consequences).

Given this, they decided to once again try to access the passages beneath the island. In a stunning turn of luck, while poking about the outer ruins of the central ziggurat, Zainnis spotted a lever hidden in a niche among the rubble. The lever seemed suspicious free of dirt, grime and cobwebs. Theorising this might operate the iris blocking their progress, the party pulled the lever and rushed into the inverted ziggurat.

Their luck was in—the iris was open! Rushing to the bottom of the inverted ziggurat, they planned their descent into the depths. Below the iris loomed an almost 100 ft. drop into a flooded chamber. Using magic, and after some extensive spellcasting, the party floated down to the cavern below. Grooble’s water walking enabled them to move about the circular cavern. However, the area proved to be the lair of several rather large eels. Most of them were slain easily once they attacked, but one particularly huge specimen latched onto Grooble with great tenacity. Only death—at Zainnis’ hands—prised its jaws free of the badly injured gnome.

Of the three passages leading away from the chamber, two were blocked by rock falls. Thus, the party had only one way forward. Taking this passage, Narfu led the party in search of answers. He discovered a side cavern seemingly the site of a recent battle. Many injured villagers lay about, begging for aid. He shouted to his friends and Grooble rushed in—only noticing at the last moment the villagers were a cunningly constructed illusion. Luckily, though, Grooble avoided the trap concealed by the illusion by leaping back out of the way as half the back wall and ceiling collapsed.

More cautiously now, the party continued on their way. Clearly some great weaver of illusions lurked in the depths below the island and they sensed a great need to be careful. Another chamber held two cloakers, which used their horrible sonic powers to nauseate and paralyse several of the party before they were slain. Searching the chamber, the party discovered a spear clutched in the hands of a skeleton hidden at the back of the room. After examining it, Karellia declared it to be a powerful weapon against aberrations. At this news, the party fell to discussing who would be best to wield such a potent weapon…

Summar Hiatus

This will be the last Shattered Star session until September. It’s summer—obviously—and several of the group are unavailable for gaming (work and month-long foreign holidays imposing themselves on my gaming fun). Fear not—we’ll still be gaming (probably a series of hilarious high-level death matches or one-shots) and I’ll use this break to get up to date with the last half-dozen session summaries from the main Borderland of Adventure campaign.


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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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