Safely atop the flying fortress, the entire thing is locked down and approaching the city. With the aid of Blorp’s summoned berserkers we work to hack our way through into the engineering room. The large clockwork that we battled in the main control room has been reassembled and has taken control of engineering and is controlling the fortress. It has adapted itself after our previous battle and is far more troublesome. We are pushed near to death, but manage to bring it down. Thayne stays in the control room with a pair of the berserkers to continue to tear apart the Clockwork King, eventually finding a king chess-piece.
Krin, Blorp, and Jared rush the control room – but not before a brief flash of green light indicates that someone has teleported away. With the control room in our control we open the view ports to access our situation. We see three approaching airships, the Silverwing is flanked by two other airships flying the city colors. When they get into range the three ships begin to bombard the fortress. We have no way to contact them that we have taken control of the fortress. Instead we turn the fortress around and begin to land the ship. The airships continue to attack as we land the fortress. One of the attacks hits something critical as alarms begin to wail.
The fortress will not hold together much longer and if it explodes now it will destroy most of the city. We manage to turn the fortress away from the city and fly as far as well can before landing on the ground. Blorp orders the berserkers hold both the control and engineering rooms against any of the attempts to take control of the ship. Krin helps Thayne to escape the ship – Jared and Blorp fly up to the Silverwing and warn them the ship is likely to explode.
There is no way Krin and Thayne will get far enough away from the ship so we gather together and Blorp summons forth his powerful tower. We take shelter in the tower as the fortress explodes. Everything, expect the tower, is destroyed within a mile radius. Unfortunately there are several villages that were destroyed, but the city of Caburh is spared. We ride back to the Jolly Jack in the Silverwing and agree to meet with the council in the morning.
The rest of us carouse for the night. Blorp meets up with with a elven witch for a enjoyable evening. The next morning the regulars at the Thirsty Witch are calling Blorp “Witch Slapper” and won’t explain why and he only has vague recollections of last night. Jared was drinking with Blorp that night, but when Blorp left with the witch Jared stayed drinking with her dwarven companion. The dwarf claimed he was the greatest thief in the world. Like Blorp, Jared has little recollection of the night, in the morning his purse is lighter and in its place is a small statue carved from a single emerald. Krin has a romance with Victoria that puts a definite bounce in his step after nearly getting killed.
The next morning we give the council our report on what happened. High Priestess Amelia Gutrinch is displeased that our recklessness nearly caused the destruction of the city. We did find the king piece among the parts of the large clockwork which means only three pieces remain. The other strike teams met with mixed success. A group of gnomes with a large metal scorpion, of their own design, met defeat when they encountered a large army led by a powerful hobgoblin. The scorpion was destroyed and the surviving gnomes forced to flee. The High Priestess asks us to stay in the city until the council meeting following the Eclipse Festival. Until then she wishes us well.
While communing with Jack of Shadows , Jared gets a vision of the world frozen in time and darkness. Living things are still moving, but everything else is stopped. Even simple things like windows, doors, or falling rain. Jared speaks to the priest of the temple about this prophetic vision. He says that although the meaning could be up for interpretation it is clear that this business involving the council is not yet finished. He spends the next few days getting cargo and passengers for his ship. A trading vessel that is not trading is a liability. He wants the ship back in the city before the festival so the crew can get the night off on his coin.
Blorp hires several researchers to investigate some personal issues involving liches, dragons, and transmutation. In addition he uses them to research various questions that have arisen from our battles. While they are researching he travels to where the fortress explodes. he finds evidence that someone had cast a wall of force at ground zero. They survived, but he cannot find evidence they walked away – they must have teleported or flown.
Krin has been pulled into helping organize the Eclipse Festival by his new girl. In-between helping Krin begins to investigate the Healer’s Handy Helper and where they being manufactured. The investigator tracers them to a warehouse, but there is no trace of who used it or where they went. The merchants that have been selling them were contacted by the supplier and told to sell them low and they would be reimbursed for their time. He then purchases several of them and hires an enchanter mage to unravel the cube. During the discovery the mage discovers a spell trapped within that explodes when he tries to identify it. The explosion kills the mage immediately. Krin brings back a priest to help the mage, but the priest tells him the whatever killed the mage drained his soul.
The High Priestess contacts us that the council meeting will take place early. The Undying Mage makes a brief report on what he discovered. Following the meeting we speak with Solomon about the soul-draining spell inside the Healer’s Handy Helper. He seems unconcerned by the nefarious nature of these cubes, but promises to investigate. He is more concerned about what happened to us in the control room of the fortress. Years ago he created a spell called “Time in a Bottle” that allows the mage to reverse time and undo what has happened. It is possible the mage cast the spell when we opened the door, but the spell actually made him leave a minute before the event even happened. It is mind-boggling difficult spell to cast – only the most powerful mages could even attempt the spell.
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