The second floor contained the living quarters for the assorted mercenaries employed by the Spiral Eclipse to make their raids on the Banished Crescent. The party descended upon the thuggish hired guns and an eccentric Orcish Chef while they were in the midst of a meal.
While the initial goonswarm seemed overwhelming, Frye let fly with a flaming arrow that cut through the cannon fodder. Meanwhile, the eccentric cook lobbed horrible concoctions in an effort to keep The Party at bay, but the kitchen staff was ultimately conquered with little trouble.
Heading down the hallway, Menkal and Vouivre were assaulted by a blast of flame from one of the nearby pipes, revealing a makeshift security measure installed in the hallway. With this trap revealed, Frye elected to take the long way around.
Throwing open the main doors on this floor revealed a large armory and blacksmith’s workplace. Throwing caution to the wind, Menkal and Vouivre approached the shiniest container of equipment and discovered yet another hastily-assembled booby trap. After the arcane trip-mine placed on this container flared up, several containers of weapons nearby revealed their true forms as clockwork automatons that spun like tops covered in swords. One of the pieces of siege equipment in the room also revealed itself as some sort of electrical animated ballista that fired arcane bolts at the group.
After learning a cautionary tale about barrels full of swords, the party elected to retreat back to town to recover their strength using the nearby front door. As they exited, they caught sight of the form of a Shadow Manta, a Planar Ship that had been used to drop troops of the Spiral Eclipse on the Lost Triad and Timescarred Dial. The ship moved into an opening on the Meteorite Fortress opposite where the Shadow Dragon had emerged the day before.
Not wishing to attract any attention from this vessel, the hiked to a safe distance before taking flight back to the Silme Cirith.
The next day, after taking care of selling some old equipment and treasures, they took flight on a direct course towards the Meteorite Fortress.
As they drew near, they saw the Shadow Manta departing again, cloaking itself as it departed. Seeing an opportunity to slip into their docks, they dove towards the Meteorite Fortress. However, the Shadow Manta‘s real intention was to pursue [[The Party]’s own vessel, and as they drew nearer to the top of the Fortress, the sinister ship decloaked behind them and opened fire.
Initially, The Party sought to out-maneuver the Shadow Manta, but they were unable to shake their pursuer. The ship deployed a stinger-like device that began using what appeared to be magic of the divination school, attempting to perfectly scry the location of The Party’s ship, despite the fact that the location seemed obvious to the pilots of that vessel.
A few rounds of maneuvering later, the true nature of this sinister spell was revealed, as the enemy ship’s true goal was gaining some sort of magic missile lock-on.
Sensing danger, The Party headed downward towards the top of of the Meteorite Fortress. As a swarm of mystical projectiles erupted from the Shadow Manta, the party leapt clear of their vessel at the last second, landing atop the enemy base as their ship was torn apart by an arcane Itano Circus.
The ominous ship still descending, The Party scrambled down the side of the meteor to one of the battlements, and Vouivre blasted down the shutter, allowing them once again into the 3rd floor of the structure.
Racing to the top floor, they found a pair of researchers manning a set of control panels and some familiar-looking arcane constructs working the docks. Charging towards their intellectual adversaries, Menkal found himself treading on a number of deadly electrified floor tiles, that seemed to be placed haphazardly throughout the room.
While his sudden advance prevented them from re-opening the docking bay doors, the paranoia resulting from the unknown locations of the electrified tiles made the combat unusually perilous.
The constructs, which looked like modified versions of the ones seen at The Foundry took up their construction tools and bombarded The Party with painful nail-shooting mechanisms. Meanwhile, the researchers who had manned the temporal distortion network grabbed any space-time manipulation contraptions they could get their hands on and turned them on the intruders.
While these attacks created a number of painful hindrances to the battle plans of The Party, neither were truly intended for battle, and they were quickly dispatched once their tricky tactics were overcome.
Once the last arcane researcher was dispatched and his constrictive TIME DIMENSION was dispelled, The Party at last had time to stop and catch their breath. However, with their ship shot down and unknown enemies lurking deeper within the Fortress, they were certain to encounter more dangers all too soon . . .