The Company of the Dragonfang had just finished killing the dread wraith in an unused bedroom under the tomb of Allahmon.
Having fought hard against the creature, they locked the bedroom door to seek rest for the evening. As they slept through the evening, those on watch heard sounds that seemed to be more of the strange clockwork soldiers walking through the nearby study and passed the talking door that had stumped the group the previous day.
A plan was hatched in the morning to learn more of how the door was being passed, and Shendra took up a hiding place in the study to wait for another automaton to come through. After a wait of about two hours, another construct entered the study from the tomb above and walked up to the sentient door of stone. The animated face on the door took a look at the creature and said “sandstorm”. Instantly the door slid into the ground and the creature passed through, the door closing after.
This gave the heroes an idea. They went above to the tomb and searched the destroyed clockwork soldiers there for some type of a “pass”. Finding little on them, they instead took what appeared to be the creatures power source; cut rubies, wrapped in a copper wire.
They took this to the door below, who seemed to react to Paul holding the gem, but still would not offer passage. Yet the Company of the Dragonfang is never deterred! Gnomar and Paul then hauled one of the destroyed clockwork down to the study. They propped it up in front of the door and watched to see what would happen.
The door seemed generally confused and felt this did not exactly meet its “perimeters” but still said “sandstorm” and opened. The heroes pushed through, hauling the metal remains with them.
Beyond the door they found a short hallway that opened into a large chamber. It appeared to have once been a workshop of some type, now mothballed, with its equipment covered in dusty sheets. A door to one side was simply labelled “experiment storage- do not enter”.
On the opposite wall, were three more of the clockwork soldiers. Two of them stood silently against the wall, covered in a thick layer of dust. The third seemed to be the construct that Shendra saw, it was currently emptying gems from a burlap sack into some type of hatch in the wall.
Moving silently, Paul moved toward one of the dusty machines, trying to disable it by removing its ruby power source. However, he accidentally slid his knife along the metal plates covering the creature. Alerted to the group’s presence, the three clockwork moved to attack.
The battle was short but brutal. The clockwork struck early, carving deep wounds with their over sized long swords of rusty iron. While Gnomar, Aragos, and Paul hacked at the creatures stopping their onslaught, Dethias blasted the machines with lightning, Arwyn rattled their forms with shattering spells, and Aero distracted the constructs with her mirrored duplicates. In only 12 seconds the entire battle was over, the heroes victorious.
Searching the area, the heroes recovered some lost wealth and a few new items. However, the eternal draw of “don’t touch this” was too much for the heroes to withstand. Aragos encouraged the party to wait long enough for Shendra to check the door for traps, averting a magically warded trap.
Shendra was able to find the trap, and Arwyn used her divine magic to dismiss the prismatic spray spell. With the door now safe, Gnomar led the way as the party entered the experiment storage room.
Within they found six large tables, each containing a huge mutilated corpse. They were various beasts; ogres, gray renders, and troll. All had been carved open and its seemed that wires, gears, and metal plates were fused into their bodies.
No sooner had Gnomar taken a step into the room, then the creatures opened their eyes and sat up. Dethias, Aragos, and Gnomar rushed forward smashing at the undead monstrosities. Dethias began to burn them with a summoned sphere of flame. Paul fired arrows into the beasts, and occasionally into his allies.
Yet the beasts seemed to take the assault without concern. Paul summoned magical vines at the rear of the chamber to entangle the zombies before they could join the fray. Arwyn consecrated the room, robbing the monsters of some of their strength and Aero turned the tide of the battle, commanding a pair of the zombies to attack the others.
The party used this distraction to exit the room and spike the door closed behind them.
Catching their breath and taking a few potions, the heroes opened the secret door in the lab and entered a long-abandoned stairway that led down even further.
They found a strange door at the bottom. It was a solid slab of metal without knob, handle or keyhole. Above the door was an inscription; “Putting your finger in the hole will put it in absolutely no danger and will also open the door.”
The heroes took the words to heart, and tried several attempts to put clockwork hands and empty gauntlets into the hole with no effect. Finally Gnomar felt it was time to test the waters. Putting his finger in the hole, he found it contained two buttons, one on the top and one on the bottom. Gnomar made a guess, and found his fingers severed by a sudden sharp blade.
The party retrieved his finger, and Arwyn healed the finger back onto his hand. Undeterred, Gnomar again put his finger in the hole and pushed the other button. This time the door slid open immediately.
Beyond the door was a huge workshop, this one not abandoned at all. In one corner was a huge pile of gems, directly underneath a metal chute, presumably the one that started upstairs in the other lab. Tables were scattered around the room, containing vials, beakers, tools, and reagents. In one corner, a trio of treasure chests beckoned the adventurers.
In the furthest corner was an L-shaped table containing two metallic figures. One appeared to be another of the clockwork soldiers, but near it was an odd metallic-robed figure, seemingly built to appear like a mage or wizard.
Working on these figures was a hulking monstrosity. It was made of metal and gears, similar to the other clockwork in this tomb, yet it differed strongly. Throughout its metal form were a series of strange glass containers filled with a greenish liquid and odd meaty hunks. Atop its form where a head would was another larger glass container, this one containing a floating brain.
As it turned to face the entering heroes, it spoke in a strange distant and metallic voice. Despite a mild attempt to speak with the creature, it seemed angry with the intrusion and picked up a small metal box. It pushed a button on the box, and a series of crossbows on either side of the room fired on the heroes.
Seeing the danger, the party sprang into action. Aero relied on Chaos, her rod of wonder which launched a powerful lightning bolt, smashing into the strange creature. Gnomar charged forward on his magical carpet, and Paul, Aragos and Arwyn fired arrows at the creature.
As the fight began, one of the figures on the table, the strange mage-like being, rose and entered the fray. It began by launching a powerful magical fireball, striking many of the heroes. As the heroes maneuvered to respond, A wall of flame shot forward from one of the walls, it seemed the clockwork golem had wired the room with multiple booby traps.
The golem, presumably the remains of Allahmon, pressed the heroes, throwing strange glass vials of unknown substance. Gnomar shrugged off a hit that seemed to almost harden his skin to stone, and Arwyn resisted one that tried to shrink her form. Others were less lucky as some were simply vials of acid, or freezing liquid.
As the golem tried to heal itself, the heroes pushed back. But Gnomar was knocked off of his magical carpet, and could see the mechanical mage trying to grab it. He bravely ignored his own defenses to make sure the creature did not gain air superiority.
Aragos found herself face to face with the mage then, taking multiple searing rays, a final pair burning through her chest and lungs and leaving her dying on the floor. Quick thinking and divine magic from Dethias returned her to the fight.
As the party moved about the room, they found even more booby traps; clay jugs of acid, freezing liquid and burning oil dropped form the ceiling, occasionally scoring a hit. Pitfall traps opened in the floor, one almost dropping Gnomar out of the fight.
Aero used both her rod of wonder, and her newly learned fireball spell to smash back at the creatures. Paul used his bow to deadly effect on the clockwork mage after watching the deadly force it used on Aragos. It finally fell silent.
The heroes closed in on the golem, smashing some of the glass containers and spilling the organs within onto the cold stone floor. The creatures used its immense size to smash at them, wounding Gnomar heavily. Dethias worked against the creature’s size by summoning a swarm of rats, that worked into the cracks and crevices of the machine.
Arwyn used both her blade and bow to fight, and found herself healing the party as they suffered heavy damage in the fight.
As the fighting grew to a crescendo, the creature smashed out at the party, landing a heavy blow. It drove its giant metal fist into Dethias’ face, shattering the skull and killing him instantly. Seeing their friend fall, the heroes redoubled their effects. As the creature reeled from the onslaught, Aero fired a series of magical missiles that pierced the large container on top of the beats, shattering it. As the liquid and brain slid to the floor, the machine slumped and toppled over.
Victory was at hand for the party, but at the cost of their friend. Arwyn knew there was still hope to heal his body and return his soul to it, but they would have to work fast. The party gathered what they could from the room and found the strange dark soul ruby they had been sent to find.
Now they just needed to return to Djeck, and find a way to save their fallen druid.