After waking up rather sore from a rest on the rough cavern floor, as well as the rough alcohol from the celebration thrown for them by their new Dragonborn friends, they party began to examine their map and consider their options. Despite the deference given to the newly anointed Lord Umlot, they realized that these people were not heading for the surface anytime soon and after speaking with a few of them realized they had been underground long enough that the surface world was little more than myth to most of them. After some brief discussion with the Emperor Torsal, who seemed increasingly manic at the prospect of finding some lost city of the Arkhosian Empire that he was convinced was nearby. Torsal said that he ordered the bricked up path baracaded to prevent the raiding parties of “evil short ones” that sounded like some sort of Dwarves. With very little urging, Torsal ordered the path opened so that Lord Umlot and his party could explore the area and “Find my city!”
After checking on the Drow, Innith who was being well tended to, but still in no shape to move on with them and resupplying themselves with fresh water and various eatable fungus and mosses they moved out. As soon as they arrived to the wall, things began to look even stranger than before. The bricked wall was not very thick at all, and if a group of well equipped Dwarven raiders wanted to get past it, it would not last a moment. Many tracks showed a large group had been on the other side of the wall and left, leaving the party to conclude that they were not really raiding the Dragonborn for supplies, but trying to drive them away from this part of the cave system.
The exploration continued for some time and they realized quickly that their map was accurate only in a broad sense. Passages that looked very short were incredibly long and vice verse. Things were accurate in relation to each other’s position, but little else. After a little further exploration, they came to a massive chamber with a huge chasm and a very small ledge running along one side. Pressing onward, they came to a twenty foot gap in the narrow path. While debating the best way to cross, three enormous spiders attacked them, two skittering down the chasm wall and one was sliding down on a thick strand of webbing.
Corrin began with a well placed shot from his hand crossbow that severed the web strand and sent the first spider falling into the depths of the abyss below. The second spider pounced down on Umlot and dealt him a serious blow, injecting its venom into him. Enraged, Umlot unleashed a powerful rune of destruction that seared into its flesh and left it vulnerable to further attack. The final spider attacked Corrin and Sereya, webbing Corrin into place. The battle was fierce, but brief and the creatures were dispatched.
Then began a comedy of errors as each member of the party attempted to cross the gap along the path. Fortunately, they were wise enough to tie a rope among themselves so that as each tried and failed to cross the gap they did not fall to their doom, but simply ended up swinging from the ledge lif a fish on a hook. It took some time, but they eventually got across and Umlot declared that they would not be returning that way again. The rest of the party agreed not only due to the difficulty of the crossing, but also because of the apparent instability of the Dragonborn behind them.
Further along the path they discovered a strange chamber full of an otherworldly glow and massive mushrooms and strange flora of all kinds. The air was warm and sweet and moist and most decidedly not like the rest of the cavern. Corrin recognized what they saw from stories of the Feywild. Everyone quickly backed away from the chamber, after Sereya cut a small glowing mushroom from the ground and put it in her pack. A Fey crossing was too dangerous to contemplate using they all decided, at least until every other option was exhausted.
The other paths were explored and a strange metallic chamber was discovered. A circle was embedded on the floor with strange symbols that Odoeta identified as being much like a teleportation circle, but somehow a bit different. Two small pillars were discovered in the corners of the room, one intact, but one was broken with strange piping and wires exposed. Each had an indentation at the top that matched the fist-sized purple crystals they had acquired and seemed an obvious place for them. Some further investigation by Umlot revealed what appeared to be instructions that indicated this was a linked portal of some kind and that the crystal was the power source.
While Sereya was anxious to use the portal and leave the caves immediately, but Corrin was much more reluctant and convinced the rest of the group to finish exploring the last few bits of the cavern indicated on their map. A dead-end was found that had evidence of more metallic corridor and the broken remains of a half-dozen more crystals.
With their options reduced to returning empty-handed to the obviously deranged Dragonborn, attempting to use the Fey chamber to fully cross over into the Feywild or using the teleportation circle. In the end, they chose to use the teleportation circle. They gathered together back-to-back on the circle and Odoeta magically dropped the pulsing purple gem into place. Nothing seemed to have happened, but they noticed the second pillar was intact and a shoddy looking suit of armor was piled in one corner of the room. When they moved from the circle to examine the armor, they discovered it was a larger version of the toy they had discovered some time ago. Fiddling with the switches and knobs, they managed to activate it. Almost immediately it broke apart from rust and wear in several places. Asking its name and finding it had no answer, Odoeta nick-named it “Rusty” and the name stuck.
Rusty, carried by Umlot, let the party down an incredibly long corridor that he claimed led to the city of “The Makers.” The party grew annoyed with the very literal machine man who also seemed to have been turned off for millennia and his memory damaged over time. The city itself was an incredible wonder to behold. Completely enclosed and lit with countless purple power gems all over, it spanned miles and miles and was filled with all kinds of strange animated machines. These creatures constantly moved from place to place, taking apart buildings and putting them back together and also taking apart other mechanical creatures and reassembling them into strange mechanical horrors. Each time one of the mismatched creatures approached the party they were pounced upon by spider-like machines that tore them apart before they could say a word to the group.
Rusty led them to another teleportation device that would bring them close to the center of the city where the Makers had their citadel. Inside this next building, Rusty led them to a chamber full of machines creating and repairing other mechanical creatures. Rusty went into one of the workbenches to be repaired. The group was somewhat upset as they thought they were going directly to the Makers and felt Rusty was misleading them a bit. Corrin became very suspicious of Rusty, but they still needed him and he was not overtly deceitful. After several hours and some obvious upgrades and repairs, Rusty led the party up to the highest level of the building and to a group of strange mast-less ships. The smallest ship was mostly intact, but had some issues. It took awhile, but Rusty was able to make some repairs and get the ship floating in the air and slowly heading out towards the center of the city and the looming citadel.
Looking around at the wondrous cityscape, they noticed a group of other airships moving towards them at a much higher speed than they were at. Sensing an ill intent, Odoeta ordered Rusty to take evasive maneuvers. The ship dove, dropping altitude and gaining speed as it whipped around the massive geometrically shaped buildings. Zigging and zagging around, Rusty managed to keep most of the ships out of a direct line of sight, but they were still gaining and eventually a few simply rose above the buildings and seemed to guide the others to intercept the parties ship.
Swinging around the side of a pyramid-shaped building, another ship was waiting for them and fired some sort of strange purple energy beam that arced away from the ship and just missed the party while blasting a chunk of the building behind them away. The ship dove, desperately trying to avoid destruction.