To Kerys’s surprise, Graminea broke from the teleportation circle at the last moment, saying that she did not want to leave Kerys alone while the shadow colossus was loose. The two women were left alone with a nightmare creature from the Plane of Shadow.
Kerys was glad Graminea stayed behind. She had intended to take any magical items and components the orc shaman had before she flew south to re-join the group, and the extra set of hands would make for quicker work. Waiting for a safe moment to return to the ritual site, the two women watched the shadow creature rampage through the orcish village from the safety of the skies.
Graminea was shocked by the carnage, and implored Kerys to fly to any nearby cities to warn them such that they could defend themselves or flee. Kerys, however, appeared to care little, though she wanted to know more of this creature summoned from a strange plane and the magic that bound it. Graminea questioned Kerys’s lack of empathy for those who would inevitably be killed by the giant, and asked if Kerys was simply afraid because she was powerless to stop it.
Kerys gave no answer in response to her morality being questioned, but she did take offense at the implication that she could do nothing to stop the beast. She assured Graminea that with the dual powers of nature and the arcane at their command, they could banish—or slay—the shadow. Graminea and Kerys schemed while the colossus finished what was left of the village and continued its ponderous, destructive march southwards.
Once the shadow colossus was out of sight, Kerys and Graminea descended on the orcish village and began to strip the village of what little was left. As well as taking the shaman’s spell component pouch, Kerys and Graminea ransacked his hut, taking all manner of items—bottles, alchemical supplies, and herbs and mixtures a village shaman might need for their craft. None of it especially valuable, but that was not the purpose of the looting. They had a plan.
Kerys and Graminea found safe shelter in one of the many caves close to the village. The next morning, Kerys busied herself putting the looted materials to use, with Graminea acting as her familiar. Pouring a select few ingredients into a pot—some from her own spell component pouch—and infusing the mixture with magic, Kerys mixed a wickedly destructive brew which would hopefully have enough explosive power to enact the plan. After carving some warding sigils into stolen bottles with her fingernails, she filled them with a foul-smelling vapour, creating a pile of objects enchanted with fire trap.
Graminea carefully loaded the explosive bottles in her bag of holding. Before leaving, Graminea gave Kerys her most treasured possession: her ring of friend shield. This gesture would later save Kerys’s life. The two women left to hunt their quarry.
The shadow creature was slow and easily distracted, so despite the night’s rest it was easily sighted again.
It was still in the snow-topped mountains of this unfamiliar land. Surrounded by mountains, valleys and many feet of snow, Kerys and. As Graminea quickly laid the trap – burying explosive bottles in the snow at the base of a valley, Kerys flew to the shadow colossus, to lure it towards the trap. The first part of the plan relied on locking it in combat and taking advantage of its lust for death. Kerys unleashed a volley of fire on the creature’s backside, getting its attention and driving it into a rage.
As well as being physically formidable, it controlled arcane magics the likes of which Kerys had never seen. The beast moved with startling alacrity, quickly closing the gap and attacking with an unrelenting barrage of potentially lethal necromantic spells. Though she would never admit it—not least to herself—the shadow colossus was far too strong for Kerys to fell. Luckily, Surosar activated his companion ring of friend shielding earlier in the day on instinct, and many miles away he started taking severe injuries in Kerys’s stead.
Beaten and heavily wounded, Kerys led the shadow colossus little by little into the valley where Graminea had set the explosives. Seeing the monstrosity take form and move forward for its kill, Graminea unleashed a bolt of acid at the first in the chain of fire traps at the mountain base.
The traps detonated, and the earth shook as the concussive force quickly caused an avalanche.
The shadow colossus was taken by surprise, and was quickly caught beneath a torrent of falling rocks, sheets of ice and a cascade of freezing snow. Kerys swooped down to carry Graminea to safety, and the two watched as the horrific creature—and, they noticed, its smaller summoned shadows—was buried in earth and snow.
After an uncertain pause, the shadow broke one fist free from the ice. Though Graminea begged Kerys to fly to safety, she was confident that with one final spell she could put the beast to rest. She could not, and the shadow colossus cast finger of death as a last attempt to slay Kerys. Barely clinging to life, the witch resisted, and at last the onslaught of spells ceased.
The massive hand stopped moving. The snow settled, and the thunderous collapse of an ecosystem turned to silence. The shadow colossus was slain.
After a night of tending to their wounds, Kerys and Graminea travelled south to Moonbrook. There, they thought, they would re-join Calairiel, Sahalquiel and Surosar.