The Fiendish Device

With the Skull Lord and his skeletal minions overcome, The Silk Glove quickly found a secret passage in the rear wall of the ossuary and set about gaining entry. This took Vinni some time as the doorway appeared to have no external opening and so he had to destroy hinges to gain entrance.

Within, a long passageway had been carefully prepared, and in Corin's judgement, no more than three years ago. The floor, paved with fire hardened bricks, expertly laid with a slight camber and hidden drainage below, the walls were shored with fresh cut timber between brick pillars supporting an arched room. The work was expert and the dwarf was at a loss to see how such earthworks could have been prepared without the pirate's knowledge.

At the end of the passage, a second locked door provided another rest whilst Vinni went about his business. Beyond was a suite of four rooms, an extensive mess that showed signs of having been occupied up until maybe two weeks ago, a kitchen with magical ranges, a larder stocked with dried foodstuffs that bore Hanorian trade markings, and a store room filled with the quiescent animated servants that had built this place. Animated lathes, brick making machines, brick laying machines, and many others quivered in silent tension in the dark room.

On seeing the evidence of the hand of Hanoria, the mercenary wizard, who named himself The Professor, made his excuses. "I signed up to fight Lizardfolk, the undead and pirates but I'm afraid I'll not be drawn into conflict with the Hanorians, not at this stage of the game". Taking one of the ear rings and note for Tigermane he bid the party good luck and left.

A short rest and The Silk Glove press on, through a door and along a passage to a T-junction. Here they decide to turn their back on the darkened route and head towards an everburning torch that lights a steel door at the corridors end. They may yet live to regret that choice, for out of the darkness advanced a great animated machine.

The defenders managed to hold the machine off whilst the rogue tried to get through the steel plated door but whilst he could probably succeed given the time, this was not a job to be rushed. Ruby tried to fashion an ad hoc charge to blast out the lock but again, this was not something that could be rushed. The dwarvern warrior was barely holding the device at bay, his blows had not yet managed to land on anything vital and his plate armour was dented and bloodied. Time was running out.

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