Shattered Star #60: Confusion & Illusion

At the end of last session, we left our heroes battling two chuuls, a rather irate will-o-wisp and one of their own—Karelia—who suddenly attacked her fellows for no good reason.

The Shattered Star


The battle raged on. Thaladan attempted to smite the lead chuul while Karelia cloaked her former friends with a slow spell. Zainnis—being repeatedly attacked by the will-o-wisp—backed off slightly and cast resist energy to protect himself; thereafter it’s attacks were ineffective and so eventually it turned its attentions to Cortana. Meanwhile, Grooble had been busy. He cast freedom of movement from a carefully hoarded scroll on Thaladan and then himself.

Meanwhile Karelia struck some of her friends with another fireball, moments before an aboleth appeared at the other end of the mining area. At its arrival, a stone wall appeared between the now-injured chuul and Thaladan. As several of the party moved to face this new threat, Zainnis finally managed to shoot Karelia and the wizardess fell (but a swift stabilise from Narfu saved the treacherous elf from death).

Meanwhile, Thaladan was suspicious of the suddenly appearing stone wall and eventually realised it was an illusion. Advancing through it—with Grooble at his back—he discovered the passageway beyond empty. As he searched about, the chuul appeared again, but the wily paladin suspected a trap. The chuul did not radiate evil and although it cast several spells these had no effect on the paladin.

Eventually, Thaladan realised another part of the corridor’s wall was an illusion and he passed through it into a smallish ruined and sunken chamber. However, as he did so, the water level in the corridor outside began to rise slowly and before much investigation of the chamber could be completed, he retreated (afterwards realising the rising water level was yet another illusion).

Meanwhile back in the chamber, the aboleth proved to be an illusion and the will-o-wisp had also been forced to flee.

With all threats now seemingly thwarted the party regrouped and plotted their next move. Thaladan used the last of his divine healing on the party after tying up Karelia.

Eventually, they decided to investigate the alchemical lab glimpsed by Narfu during the battle’s early stages. Dragging the protesting Karelia along, within they found much clutter. Chief amongst their discoveries were six elixirs of true form and several floating copper disks containing the formula for making more! All were identified by Karelia after she had been released from her bonds (although the party—particularly Thaladan and Cortana—did not trust her). No matter, a subsequent protection from evil—the party’s last—returned her to her proper state of mind. Strangely, she could not remember anything of her supposed actions earlier.

The party were now somewhat heartened. They had discovered a means of reversing the island’s horrible effects on their bodies and now they pondered what to do next. Several favoured fleeing the island immediately, but others—predictably Thaladan and Cortana among them—wanted to discover (and destroy) whatever was dominating the villagers who yet worked outside to break through into the dungeons.

With nowhere else to go, the party backtracked to the hidden, sunken cave. They quickly realised, much of the area’s appearance was an illusion; the skeletal ruin of some huge creature lay at the far end of the room surrounded by scattered offerings beyond a pool of brackish water…

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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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