Shattered Star #97: Like a Stealthy Shadow Panther

At the end of last session, we left our heroes observing a hill giant steading protected by a stout stockade wall…

 

The party plotted several courses of action. Eventually, they wisely decided they needed more information. Makani—cloaked in invisibility—was despatched into the steading to learn more about the layout and the day-to-day life of the giants. After several hours, he returned—undetected by the giants—to the party and shared all he had learnt.

Following this initial fact-finding foray, Karelia decided to despatch an arcane eye into the steading to get a better feel for the layout, as Makani had not managed to penetrate the building. The eye easily penetrated the structure, flying down through the chimney in the roof.

Undetected, the eye roved through the building discovering a dozen or so giants—mainly hill giants, but a few fire giants led by a formidable-looking giantess warrior. They giants were carousing and oblivious to the party’s presence. With some time left on the arcane eye, Karelia sent it down the ramp cut into the rock around the Guiltspur. She discovered hill giant miners digging out the passageway.

Beyond, a small section of tunnels led to a large circular audience chamber. Therein, four giants fought for the entertainment of their chieftain and his hideous concubines. Of great interest, however, was the chieftain’s spiked club—a great tree-trunk sized weapon. Amazingly, one of the spikes seemed to be a shard!

This discovery was met with excitement by the party! Could it be this easy? A shard in the hands of a dullard giant? After exploring another passageway ending in a chamber set with an iron door barred by a huge boulder, the arcane eye winked out—its mission spectacularly successful.

With this discovery, the party retreated a safe distance from the steading to plot their next move. Some of the party favoured a frontal assault, while others favoured the stealthy approach—sending Makani in to simply steal the shard.

Eventually, the stealthy approach won out, and the party rested over night and through the next day to prepare for their incursion.

Late the next night—or more accurately very early the next morning—the party crept forth from their hiding place and returned to the steading. When nearby, they cloaked themselves—and particularly Makani—in many powerful protections before dimension dooring onto the steading’s flat roof.

From there, Makani—invisibly—used air walk to move down to the ramp leading into the earth. Now filled with an eerie green glow being emitted by the Guiltspur the ramp was abandoned—the miners long since retired to their beds.

Sneaking onwards, Makani—followed by another arcane eye—reached the giant’s throne room. All within slumbered. Now—using almost preternatural stealth and caution—Makani floated into the room. The giant’s pet—a gigantic hell hound—briefly stirred, but the rest of the chamber’s inhabitants slumbered on.

Eventually—heroically avoiding some interesting treasure scattered about—Makani reached his goal. The chief slept among his concubines and nearby lay the club. Carefully, he grabbed the club, put it in a bag of holding and fled—silently back to his companions.

Once Makani had returned, the jubilant party retreated via dimension door to their hidden campsite and celebrated their incredible, bloodless victory. Their jubilation was short-lived, however. For Makani, clutching the shard he had recovered to ascertain the location of the last shard—the Shard of Sloth—had a vision of the Guiltspur and a strong felling that it lay below…

 

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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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