Shattered Star #36: Madness & Death

At the end of last session, we left our heroes fighting for their lives against an otherworldly monstrosity.

The Shattered Star


The fight raged on. Almost immediately, the creature struck down brave Aq with a devastating blow of its short sword, which it ripped through the paladin’s breast. Those nearest the paladin feared the worst, and moments later as Grooble was rushing forward to help his fallen friend Narfu confirmed the paladin was dead.

Worse was to follow.

By now, many of the party—Nok, Kara, Zainnis and Morden—were deep in the grips of madness. They variously babbled, attacked each other or tried to kill themselves. Grooble found it increasingly difficult to keep up with his friends’ injuries and as the fight dragged on, he ran out of healing.

By then, the redoubtable cleric had protected himself with a protection from evil spell and seemed immune to the madness affecting his comrades. However, a similar spell cast on Zainnis seemed to have no effect. By now, several of the party were badly hurt and only Narfu actually fought on against the creature—which had healed practically all of the damage dealt to it by the party in their more lucid moments.

IMG_4877 (NXPowerLite Copy)

When both Morden and Nok fell in rapid succession, Narfu was left with no choice but to retreat. This he did, but the creature followed him! The monk threw off a moment of madness and continued to hold off the monster while Grooble used one of his most powerful scrolls.

The scroll transformed Grooble, Zainnis and Narfu into gaseous forms as light as the wind. All three fled, but Grooble could not help Kara. Still caught in the depths of madness the sorcerer tried to flee the site of her brother’s demise, but the creature caught her with a powerful suggestion. It bade her sleep, and as fate would have it she was standing next to a large, comfortable double bed (the bed the party had looted a supply of silk sheets from recently). With Kara settled comfortably in bed, her doom soon came upon her.

Back at the ship—for Grooble’s wind walk enabled swift, virtually peril-free travel—Grooble and Narfu awaited the return of Zainnis. The young ranger’s retreat was not as trouble free as that of his colleagues. It transferred that the creature’s terrible aura of madness had driven the unfortunate youth permanently insane.

With the ranger tied up securely below decks, the two survivors bade Markessa to set sail for the nearest large city—Ountsy a metropolis of almost 30,000 people. There they hoped to find a cure for their young friend and to plot their next move…




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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.

4 thoughts on “Shattered Star #36: Madness & Death”

  1. Well, that was brutal.

    This and you notes on the annual Yule Dragon PC Feeding Frenzy (TM Pending), make me wonder: does anybody in your groups utilize counterspelling?

      1. I wonder how it would go versus the dragon. I’ve never used it myself.

        I usually play 2ED, where counterspelling is usually not an option. I haven’t been able to play 3ED in 6 or 7 years, but I’ve recently spent some time poking around at sections of the rules I rarely/never saw in use. Counterspell is one of them.

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