Shattered Star #43: Never Split the Party

At the end of last session, we left our heroes in a dangerous position. Having discovered a chamber holding powerful teleportation devices they had used the magic randomly and without forethought or planning…

The Shattered Star


Thus, the party was split.

Narfu was the first to use the magic—scouting ahead as always. At his disappearance, his companions panicked and randomly activated the teleportation magic. Of his companions only Sarif and Helandra followed him. The rest arrived elsewhere.

However, all was not lost. Narfu appeared in a large chamber. A golden rug covered much of the floor and stairs led up to a pair of double doors. Another corridor led away to the left. Four creatures—hideous beings with the torsos of voluptuous women but the arms, legs and head of nightmarish parodies of humankind—guarded the chamber and attacked the adventurer. Luckily, the creatures were not particularly battle-skilled and with the arrival of Sarif and Helandra they were quickly slain. Sadly, Sarif and Helandra were both injured in the ensuing melee and Narfu had to use much of his healing magic to return both to full health.


Meanwhile, the rest of the party were appearing elsewhere one by one in a room redolent with the heady scent of perfume. A glowing globe hung from the ceiling and the smell was so intense it caused several of the adventurers—notable Peta and Karelia—to become confused. Thxaladan, seeing this, theorised the globe was responsible for his friends’ actions and struck the globe a mighty blow in an attempt to disrupt its magic.

This was a mistake.

The globe exploded with a deafening roar and a cloud of poisonous dust filled the room, covering everyone and getting into Zainnis’, Grooble’s and Karelia’s lungs. As the party pushed through the only door leading out of the room, Karelia in particular began to suffer terribly—confused, deafened and poisoned as she was…

A corridor led away and Zainnis’ keen eyes spotted a secret door in one wall. Beyond lay a room of forbidding aspect—a bloodstained altar stood at one end of the chamber and a thick black smoke roiled against the ceiling. Deciding the corridor seemed a safer bet, the party shut the door and continued onwards. They quickly discovered the corridor ended in a seemingly dead-end.

As half the party immediately backtracked to the secret door—Karelia (now finally out of danger thanks to Grooble’s extensive use of a wand of lesser restoration and having thrown off all the other effects affecting her)—cast detect secret doors and found a door in the dead-end. By now most of the party had reached the first secret door and rushed back at her insistent call. Grooble who hadn’t moved from his spot in the corridor looked on bemused as the party’s warriors passed him for the third time…


As Narfu began to check the room with detect magic, Sarif crept up the unlit passageway. His keen ears had detected the sound of a party up ahead and he was intrigued by this development. Cautiously, he crept down the corridor and used a mirror to look into a gigantic room. A huge party seemed to be in progress. Dozens of revellers danced and drank while a musical quartet played on! While he was doing this, Narfu and Helandra secured the human warrior a light source in case their explorations forced them into unlit areas of the dungeon.


After a brief discussion, the party opened the door to reveal the bath chamber of the Grey Maidens through which they had passed earlier on the way to the teleportation chamber. Confused, they quickly shut the door again as the three surprised Grey Maidens in the bath gorped at the reappeared adventurers. A debate broke out. Some of the party wanted to backtrack to the room with the sinister altar while others favoured returning to the bath chamber.


Against Narfu’s frantic urging Sarif couldn’t help himself. Climbing the stairs to the aforementioned double doors the dwarf paused for a moment to make sure there were no traps before swinging the doors open.


His unexpected appearance had a cataclysmic effect on the party. As the music abruptly stopped, the revellers drew back in surprise and alarm. It was then the two brave adventurers saw a figure they had encountered many times before as a painting or sculpture but never in the flesh. Sorshen—wearing a scandalous robe—sat in a high backed throne. At the sight of interlopers she stood and ranted at the adventurers for spoiling her party. At her command—and the urging of a bearded man who stepped forward from the throng, the revellers—all forty or so—charged the seemingly now doomed adventurers…


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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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