The Shadowstorm Chronicles: Shadow's Hand (sometimes abbreviated as Shadow's Hand or TSC:SH) is the first, and likely only, expansion pack for The Shadowstorm Chronicles: Exodium. It was released for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 on March 15th 2009.
Gameplay has been slightly improved on from The Shadowstorm Chronicles: Exodium. The glitch of lingering status affects has been fixed, and shading has been modified to avoid glitching also. The player has the choice to import their character from the original game over, or begin anew. Upon entering Asranathi after the events of the previous story, the player receives a task (Good alignment: to journey to the newly reachable Shadowlands and recover the sword of Sir Pendraken, a knight who was lost there centuries ago the last time the gateway opened, Evil alignment: investigate the Shadowlands and attempt to contact the Dark Father). The new setting is the Shadowlands, a vast barren landscape that is rumored to be the home of the Dark Father and his servants. A new race is introduced for both alignments (the Dwarves of Kazud Ahrim and the Tainted, a race of humans who have become corrupted by the Shadowland's magics). Two new classes accompany this, the Kazud Guardian (exclusive to Dwarves) and the Tainted Warrior (exclusive to Tainted). New enemies include higher level Shadowspawn, and a variety of other dark creatures. The player can also level to level 80, and acquire advanced equipment.
Following the events of The Shadowstorm Chronicles: Exodium, the Dwarves joined the Asranathi Alliance. Their King Gromblar the Mighty has agreed to join the fight against the impending Sundering, and has opened up the Dwarven kingdom to the rest of the Asranathi allies. Zhrombar Zhrongor, a Dwarf who joins the party during Path of Shadow, is exiled from the Dwarven kingdom for an unspecified reason, but when he encounters Dwarven soldiers in the Shadowlands they attack the party, hinting that Zhrombar is highly wanted by the other Dwarves. During the climactic battle in the Shadowlands against Shada Tharg, a servant of the Dark Father, the Dwarves join the fight and King Gromblar allows Zhrombar to join them, specifying that the Idukar house of Dwarves betrayed Zhrongor and killed Zhrombar's family, before he escaped Kazud Ahrim.
The Tainted are a race of humanoids who live the closest to the Shadowlands, and have become embedded with the essence of darkness. They are grey skinned and possess a potency for black magic, as evident in Kah'ren, who joins the party if they are Evil. They are lead by Or'shar, the High Shaman, who appears when the party try to enter the Halls of the Shadow Father, and Or'shar demands the player prove that they are the prophet and remove the sword of Saint Ashan from the hide of the mighty dark beast the Tir'anac. If the player is the truly the prophet, the Tir'anac will not attack them and they can remove the sword. When they return with the sword Or'shar is surprised, and allows the player to enter the Halls, but gives them the news that the Inner Sanctum is unable to be opened, and will be when the Dark Father is closer to arriving, meaning that the Halls will be open during the events of The Shadowstorm Chronicles II: Shadow's Hand.
NPCs - Party MembersEdit
Kah'ren - A Tainted Black Mage, who joins the party if they are Evil aligned upon their entrance to the Shadowlands. He seeks to investigate the Shadowlands and their many ruins. Kah'ren is one of the strongest spellcasters to the join the party, and can cast such powerful spells as Dark Wind and Talon of Shadow upon joining. His side quest involves uncovering the fabled Tomes of Darkness in the Shadowlands. Kah'ren shows great discomfort towards Rath, and the two often argue.
Rath D'Sahan - A Black Elf Assassin, Rath joins the party if they are Evil aligned after he is discovered stranded in the Shadowlands. Rath can execute many powerful class attacks. His side quest involves fulfilling his ultimate kill, which involves the party having to journey to the Westernian fortress of Gathelbran. Rath strongly dislikes Kah'ren, and most Tainted, viewing them as inferior to other races. The two constantly argue on topics.
Zhrombar Zhrongor - A Kazud Guardian Dwarf, Zhrombar joins the party if they are Good aligned. The party encounter Zhrombar in the Westernian city of Gethalia, where he has been exiled by the Dwarven Council for no reason. He is wise-cracking, and enjoys fighting enemies, and will never steer away from a fight.
Katerina - A Forest Elf Druid, Katerina joins the party shortly after they embark on the Good alignment quest, much to her belligerence. She is blunt, and often expresses dark humour throughout the game. When Zhrombar joins the party she constantly makes fun of his size, and the dwarf responds by calling her a "tree-hugger". Katerina possesses high level class powers, and can use level 5 Druid spells.
The Evil Quest begins differently depending on the player's choices in The Shadowstorm Chronicles: Exodium. If the player sided with Sepharin in the Fighting A God and defeated the Shadow Father and became the overlord of all the dark races, then Sepharin will approach the player saying that the Shadow Father is approaching Asranathi, and that they must journey to the Shadowlands and seek answers. If the player chose the Betraying the Dark Lord and killed Sepharin, and did the Shadow Father's wishes, then they will receive a premonition from the Shadow Father telling them to journey to the Shadowlands and seek his servants. Either way the main quest, called The Impending Darkness involves the player journeying to the Shadowlands. Here they are joined by the Tainted Black Mage Kah'ren and the Black Elf Assassin Rath D'Sahan in their quest. After completing a few minor quests, they encounter the Shadow Father's servant Shada Tharg, who joins forces with the player to defend from an impending attack from the forces of light. After a minor battle with the enemy, Shada Tharg proclaims that the Shadow Father's arrival is coming, and that Asranathi will be engulfed in darkness.
The Shadowstorm Chronicles: Shadow's Hand was generally well received, averaging at 8.5/10 on most reviews. Critics praised the expansion for being able to execute a worthy story in such a small time, and the inclusion of more memorable characters. However the expansion was also criticized, mainly for the lacking new classes and holes in the continuation from Exodium.