Shattered Star #65: An Orrery? Here?

At the end of last session, we left our heroes battling a sinister purple blob that had lashed them with its powerful magic attacks.

The Shattered Star

 

As the party reeled from its first attack and tried to come up with a plan for dealing with the blob—which was pretty obviously some kind of magical trap—the thing struck again. This time, pervasive fear swept over the party and Grooble as well as Zainnis failed to stand before its might. Both fled—accompanied by their companions—back up the passage toward the surface (screaming like little girls…)

The rest of the party surged into the room, but the blob struck again and Karelia and Thaladan were both wracked with terrible pain. Only Cortana and Narfu had survived the barrage of magical attacks unscathed. The two helped their remaining companions through the only other door leading out of the chamber. Beyond, lay a dusty corridor, but here it seemed was safe…for the moment.

After a hurried discussion, Cortana stood guard over the crippled Karelia and Thaladan while Narfu went in search of Zainnis and Grooble. Narfu rushed back passed the blob into the corridor leading to the surface. Shutting the door into the room beyond he proceeded back up the corridor and found his companions who had by now thrown off the magical fear.

They returned to the dungeon, but then a problem presented itself. Narfu had shut the door into the blob room, but it was so well hidden he couldn’t find it again! Eventually, Grooble used stone shape to create another door and the party was reunited in the dusty corridor. They then decide to rest as karelia and Thaladan were still wracked by pain.

Eventually after about an hour the pain subsided and the party continued onwards, leaving the blob still “active” behind them. They followed the tracks of the Brothers of the Seal and ignored all other doors. The tracks led into a room containing an orrery—similar to the one they had inspected on a certain cursed island—and the party eventually worked out how to turn it on. When they did so, a strange magical effect was triggered which showed the group a view of Kaer Maga as if they were flying high above the city.

As they marvelled at the image, two black spots appeared in the sky and rushed downward. Quickly, the spots resolved themselves into two terrible hound-like creatures that attacked Karelia and Thaladan. A lively fight developed and while the beasts were eventually slain, several of the party were seriously wounded.

A frenzy of healing ensued, and before interested parties could begin experimented with the orrery, a door leading further into the complex was opened. Within the room beyond a human woman—quickly identified as one of the Brothers of the Seal knelt on the floor by a halfling corpse. At sight of the party, she jumped up and charged—seemingly mad or extremely angry. The party were reluctant to hurt the woman—even though she radiated evil—but as she battered ineffectually at Cortana who had blocked the doorway with his body, several other heroes noticed the halfling corpse’s belly and chest twisting and undulating. Fearing something was trying to escape, Zainnis shot it full of holes…

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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