Shattered Star #86: The Corridor of Spiky Death

At the end of last session, we left the PCs in a grim situation: Zainnis and Shardane were dead and the quest seemed balanced on a knife’s edge.

 

Realising that further exploration was madness under the circumstances, the party decided to rest in the sea cave. Immediately, Vesleng took Shardane’s body and flew back to Marner in order to seek a resurrection. Meanwhile, the rest of the party rested. The next morning—fully rested—Karelia took Zainnis’ body and teleported back to Marner. (The young ranger had previously indicated he did not want to be returned to life again and thus his funeral would serve as a further distraction to the forces of evil that seemed now to be dogging the party’s every move).

While Vesleng arranged for a Shardane’s expensive resurrection , Karelia sought out Shel Heidmarch. Shel agreed to bury Zainnis very publicly. Additionally, she provided the party with several magic items and a store of platinum pieces to use as they saw fit—on the agreement they would shortly bring their quest to a successful conclusion. Shel also arranged for two new members of the party—Ausk Axe Ripper a half-orc warrior priest of Heironeous and Kaiwi Makani an undead-hating rogue.

Thus two days later, the party were again together in the sea cave and ready to proceed. (However, the Grey Maidens had by now departed on the swan boat back to the Mermaid’s Mistress and Kaiwi was slightly ill—a result of the powerful teleportation magic Karelia used to return to the cave—and would join the party momentarily).

Using further stone shapes to gain access to the chamber Vesleng had previous discovered, the party continued their exploration.

The chamber—some kind of burial crypt—seemed unoccupied and the party pushed on. Without caution, Ausk opened the chamber’s only door and got caught in a loud explosion of magical energy. Although no-one was seriously injured, the loud sound no doubt alerted anything lurking beyond to the party’s presence.

Bravely, they continued onwards. They discovered another burial chamber. Tracks in the dust showed where something or someone extremely heavy had trod. The tracks led away down a long corridor. Again, the party proceeded without checking for traps.
Disaster and death lay in that corridor.

For almost immediately, someone tripped a magical trap. The walls seemed to ripple about the party and thousands of tiny spikes shot forth. Many of the party were injured; however, such was the force of the attack that Karelia was killed outright!

She would be dead for only a moment, however, as Ausk used a breathe of life to return the unfortunate wizard to life. However, as he did so, the corridor’s walls struck again. By now, many of the party had dashed forward into another chamber and Karelia used a dimension door to join most of her companions.

The room’s dominant feature seemed to be a central pillar graven with many runes. As the party rushed out of the trapped corridor they noticed the chamber’s walls were similarly covered in runes—and many of them had started to emit a soft blue glow…

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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