Shattered Star #70: The Tide Turns (Nasty)

At the end of last session, we left our heroes resting in the Therassic Spire and plotting their next move…

The Shattered Star


After much resting, plotting and research by Karelia on the beasts they had fought—principally the hydradaemons—the party felt confident enough to return to the dungeon and crush the river guardians once and for all. Their only concern was the daemons’ seeming control of magical darkness and thus the party invested in both magical and mundane light sources so they might ensure their ability to see their enemies.

Finally, they were ready and the party descended once more into the long-hidden dungeon. They made their way to the orrery, and at that point a veritable orgy of protective spellcasting ensued. As they approached the scene of their prior battle, however they astutely noticed something different. Impenetrable darkness cloaked the small room before the chamber cut in twain by the enscrolled river. The party’s powerful daylight magic forced the darkness back and they further discovered the door leading into the chamber had been smashed (as had the stone wall Grooble created in desperation to end the last battle).

Beyond lay the cavern, the river and the bridge. Darkness—that only yielded to the party’s most powerful light magic—filled the chamber. At first glance, however, the cavern seemed otherwise empty. Cautiously, led by Narfu and Cortana, the party advanced.

The two scouts reached the other side of the bridge before things started to go wrong. At the same time as the scouts spied a small cavern beyond the river—and its strange inhabitants and features—the river suddenly burst into life. Four towering water elementals appeared in the party’s midst and began to lay about them.

The party rushed to the scouts’ aid while Cortana engaged in a strange silent conversation with three creatures standing about a black monolith in the small chamber. They were caulborn and they offered to transport the party to the Black Forest to retrieve the next part of the Shattered Star “as it aligned with their interests”.

Easier said than done. In the main chamber, the party were in difficulties. A cleverly timed slow from Karelia had reduced the water elementals’ attacks, but the fell water that kept bursting forth from the river caused the party considerable grief. First Zainnis suffered particularly as the fell energies weakened him horribly and then his leopard companion was almost beaten to death by the slowed water elementals (which were joined by more elementals that in no way were meandering through the battle).

When four humanoid frog-like daemons rose from the river and started spitting at the party—the party discovered the spittle was laced with potent sleep magic when Zainnis collapsed into slumber—it seemed retreat was in order.

By now our heroes were frustrated and sought to retreat into the next chamber beyond the river. This task was hampered by the sleeping ranger, and the general confused caused by the enscrolled river water. However, eventually everyone managed to reach the new chamber and Grooble blocked the short corridor linking the two areas with another wall of stone.

Now alone with the caulborn, the party switched from battle to diplomacy…

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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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