Satyrday, 27th of Midsummer
After their combat with the gibbering mouther, the party proceeds to the quicksilver graveyard. They investigate the area, but are almost immediately set upon by an ooze from the silvery pool in the center. Similar to oozes they have fought in the past, slashing weapons do little damage, but this ooze is far nastier than the gray ooze of the Bronslaw Flats sewers, and it causes a fair amount of damage before they are able to dispatch it.
After fighting the ooze, the party continues to search the area. They find a control panel of sorts, inscribed with runes, and manage to work out that a great collection of lectures by various and professors have been preserved for posterity within the pool. They decide to listen to some of the lectures in the hopes of hearing about the location of new lenses for the Orrery.
The spell needed fuel in the form of fresh souls, so they used some nearby skum bodies and activated the device. Out of the mercury rose a silver figure, who began his lecture on celestial patterns and their correlations to the Orrery’s inner machinations. The adventurers are disappointed when there is no word as to the location of the lenses, but there are currently no more bodies to fuel the spell, so they decide to move on.
In an attempt to learn more about what is happening on the island, the group heads for the dig site. They sneak down to a narrow ridge overlooking the work area, and watch as the skum keep the villagers working. After much debate about possible plans, the group decides to attempt to talk to the skum before attacking. They walked down slowly, attempting to look peaceful, but the skum are having none of it. A battle ensues, with Cedric dealing out impressive amounts of damage with his whirlwind attack.
The party defeat the skum for the time being, but the villagers, still under the influence of the rune’s spell, refuse to leave. The party determines that they must shut down the rune, and so take a few skum bodies back to the quicksilver graveyard to activate the spell.
The second lecturer proves to be more useful, and towards the end of his speech he mentions the location of the lenses: at the top of a tower on the island. The only problem is that the top portion of this tower is one of the objects circling in enchanted flight above the island.
A good portion of the tower- 70 feet or so- remained affixed to the ground, and the group quickly made for the top. From there, the problem became getting into the orbiting tower chamber. Keela decided to try first, using her flight hex. She took off, heading for the floating chamber, and eventually made it, though her progress was hindered somewhat by the gravitational field that made flying difficult.
From there, Keela threw down a rope, allowing Cedric to climb in, as his strength was needed to move the lens. Alyndra and Senkara both attempted to follow, however, Senkara failed to make the jump and fell to the base of the tower.
The other three members of the party regrouped at the top of the tower, and were about to begin their trek down when they saw an old man, standing by a large bush a few hundred feet from the base of the tower. Curious, Senkara approached stealthily. The group was able to determine that the man was an illusion, though for who or what they were not sure.
Feeling threatened, the party decided to initiate a cautious attack. Though they attempted to warn Senkara to wait until they arrive to help, she failed to understand their message in its entirety, and made the very poor choice of attacking the disguised being. The action almost cost her her life.
The illusion, it turned out, was disguising a chuul, a large, nasty, tentacle-mouthed creature with paralyzing venom. Senkara’s attack missed, and before she could get away the chuul had her in its poisonous mouth, the paralytic seeping through her.
By this point Alyndra, Cedric, and Keela were close enough to begin attacking the beast, but they were swiftly running out of time. As a last-ditch effort, Alyndra cast suggestion on the beast, telling it that Senkara was crucial to the Master’s plan, and that the party should be left alone. By some miracle, it worked, and the beast dropped the half-dead Senkara and wandered off.
After Senkara had been healed and properly chastised, the party headed back towards the Orrery to install the lens and disable the rune. It didn’t take the party long at all, and after they’d finished Cedric destroyed the lenses so that it could not be turned back on.
The party then returned to the dig site and speaks with the villagers. Now that they are no longer under the effects of the controlling rune, the villagers were much more open to returning to their home on shore, and soon organized into groups for their return. Satisfied, the party left them to their own devices, and turned to their final task. It was time to confront Gerlach.