Zarjasz al-Ulaq, August 17*
An explosion of air from the portal, as if a protective field being broken, afforded us a window for attack. We rushed in, engaging the clockwork horrors in fierce combat.
During the fight, somebody came to our aid, hurling a magical dagger from the cover of invisibility. With this mysterious assistance, we soon cut down the constructs. Our assistant revealed herself, one of Lady Laracroix’s party, Syla Dhalnios.
Syla had been separated from the Lady in the chaos above. Using her powerful invisibility cloak and ability to move on the ceiling, she evaded the constructs and found a room containing a magical furnace, the source of mechanical menaces. She saw a significant door in that room, but it was so swarmed with constructs—and blazingly hot—that she did not want to press forward alone. Two ducts led into the room, supplying the furnace with air; following one of these led her to us. She had destroyed the barrier channeling most of the elemental air into the duct, hoping to disrupt the furnace’s operations.
We agreed with her assessment that the furnace must be destroyed or the constructs will keep coming. Surely the other parties are facing a similar struggle against their endless numbers. Stopping their ability to repair themselves will open the way for all. (Hypothetically, if there is more than one furnace on this floor, this may even help guide the others to our path; for we will create break in the pressure these things exert on us all.)
Syla set off to find the other portal and we ventured to the furnace room, racing through rooms filled with constructs. Now that we knew for certain that the things were repairing themselves, we did not bother to fight them, we simply pushed through.
We found the furnace room. The furnace itself was a massive cauldron, inscribed with runes and filled with molten metal. The room was filled with the metal insects. Most were the weaker electrum constructs, but there were also several of the stronger gold and platinum ones. One appeared to be made of adamantine, a king’s ransom of metal.
We planned our actions. The heat in the room was lethal, so we were to wait for Syla to succeed, but the things noticed us first. We tried to shut the door, but it was dissolved by a blast of magic.
After several tense seconds as the things swarmed towards us, Syla succeeded. The air in the room changed almost immediately, the furnace rapidly failing as its ventilation was cut off. An air elemental summoned by Indira carried the casks of gunpowder we took from the Ushtarak, depositing them by a base of the furnace. A fire elemental summoned by Feng followed, igniting the casks. The powerful explosion shook the room and broke the leg of the furnace, which fell, destroying most of the horrors with molten metal.
The adamantium horror, among the survivors, hit me with some sort of fearsome magic, a weakness filling my bones, my breath coming short, before it passed. I knew that I had avoided death by the narrowest margin. Having revealed the magnitude of its threat, we focused on the adamantine horror, destroyed it, then made good work of the remaining things.
When destroyed, the horrors collapse in on themselves in a tangled, rapidly cooling mess of metal that would be difficult to salvage. We had thus far left behind these large lumps of metal to evade pursuit, but adamantine is so rare, it was not to be passed on. While it still cooled, Dendera and I hacked off as large a piece as could fit in my bag of holding.
Syla joined us and, as there seemed to be little advantage in holding our ground, we ventured on.
Through the door were stairs descending to the next floor, so down we went. The halls below did not share the maze-like construction of the previous floor, and we were led to a single door, behind which we heard the stomping of massive feet.
Indira slipped inside to investigate, finding a catacomb patrolled by golems. As she wound through the large room, she found some peculiar sarcophagi and an open coffin, holding a body wearing a crown. Before could investigate further, she had to hide from the golems, but accidentally made some small noise. The golems alerted to her presence, she fled the room, her pursuers headed towards us…