are doing it for themselves

The party look up at the magnificent sight of Rovhannan Magnarravax, and it is humbling how much dignity and fortitude is displayed by the noble Dragon as he is pierced and ensnared by many barbed, spiked and bladed chains. He indicates that the great spire in the distance is where The Sisters of Agonizing Compliance are located, and that he would have aided them if he could, but he is somewhat disadvantaged for now. Calliszia Myinarra has removed her Hat of Disguise (in case it gets damaged) and flies up to be face to face with the Dragon, and placing her hands upon his great head seems to send a pulse of energy from her into him that seems to alleviate his suffering somewhat, to his touched and grateful thanks.

With that, the party cast spells and drink extracts as their abilities dictate, for time is frozen here and any spell with a duration beyond instant operates indefinitely. They start the long trudge towards the spire, passing through gloomy and psychologically depressing landscapes of marsh, fen and mist, leaving the dragon behind. It seems like many hours (though time is irrelevant here) but the spire draws closer, and it itself is horrible. Seemingly carved or erected out of bone, it is riddled with holes of varying sizes, and through each one writhes a perpetually rattling and slithering chain of barbs, blades and spikes. The spire is wide, maybe 100 feet in diameter, and there appears to be one entrance at ground level, yawing open like a sinister maw, inviting their entry.

The party enter, and the inside is worse, with horrific viscera, spongy tissue platforms and muscle, sinew and bone criss crossing and supporting the insides. All in all, foul. They can also hear, just on the threshold of hearing, the screams and cries of hundreds, maybe thousands of voices, mostly in languages that cannot be recognised. Over these voices, they can hear a slight running conversation by 3 husky and alluring voices that only Fullica Atra can understand (with her Comprehend Languages extract running). The voices are discussing the divvying up of the party between 3 female sounding voices, and the various ways the voices plan to start their fun with them. Fullica doesn’t relay the specifics as they are exceptionally graphic and horrible to recount, but she does indicate it is for the best that the party prevail.

They start walking up and climbing the platforms and walkways (for want of a better word), and the ascent is gruesome, with ramps like tongues extending to allow higher progress, and each step underfoot seems to cause harm and pain to the tissue beneath. The party finally come to a 50 foot diameter platform a few hundred feet up, and here is where their journey comes to an end, for the way up is halted by no platforms and strings of arteries, viscera and worse blocking the way up beyond this platform. The voices are now audible to all, speaking in a way all can understand, and at this point the party decide to say aloud the 3 names they were given; Kedda, Giira, Lictor.

With a disappointed coo of displeasure the 3 Kytonic Sisters appear, suspended 30 feet above the ground on chains, and immediately start to attack the party with painful barbed chains that pierce flesh and cause incredibly agonizing pain. Fullica wastes little time and, using the command word, releases the occupant of the Iron Flask she bears, and with a hiss of smoke and a boom, a horrific sight appears, towering over the party at 18 feet high. The malevolence of the creature is instantly apparent, and some recognise (from reading the Verses) that this is a Glabrezu, a dangerous Demon from the Abyss (it appears Comatko was free with his evil summonings). Before it can do anything, Fullica commands it to attack the Kytons and, after surveying its new surroundings with a malicious and knowing look in its eyes, it says “I serve…for now”.

With battle fully joined, the party use their wiles and strength to fight the Kytons (aided significantly by the bound Demon), and one by one the Kytons fall to their bows, axes, spells and bombs, though the Demon does take a chunk out of Zeru Otxoa as the Gunslinger rushes past for better position on a sister (it has not been told to avoid attacking the party, Fullica suddenly warns all). The sisters seem to enjoy the pain they receive as much as that they give, and as the last one falls with a joyous shriek, all seems to go quiet. The Demon starts to laugh in a cruel and amused manner, and the party note that maybe 150 feet or so above them there is a pulsating dark red glow, whilst below the tower seems to be changing, tissue knitting together into the innards and insides of a great beast that the spire is becoming. Instructing the Demon to stay where it is and do nothing, the party start to climb up the strands and viscera as quickly as they can, for it looks like death to allow the spires changes coming swiftly from below to catch up with them.

The climb is arduous and tricky, but the party manage to achieve a 30 foot wide platform where the pulsating glow is located, and suspended on great arteries, veins and viscera is a great beating heart, foul and horrid to look on. Far up in the distance, maybe 200 feet or so, is an opening into the external gloom, and with Fullica (who can fly with her extract) and winged Calliszia staying behind to attack the heart with spell and bomb, the rest start their escape, climbing up towards the exit, which seems to be a great fanged maw. The tower is moving about now, writhing and undulating as it comes to life, and the climb is hard for Zeru, Geesje Van Kuipers, Jorik and Skal Dreissel, especially when the spells and bombs of Calliszia and Fullica respectively start to damage the heart, almost causing Geesje to plummet to her doom. As the climbers manage to make it to the mouth itself and they cling to the great column like teeth of the being, the heart suddenly gives out to the assault, and explodes. The 2 flyers race up and the tower seems to go rigid before teetering.

It looks grim for the non flyers for they are now about 500 feet or more above the ground and any fall is likely to be fatal, but the sharp eyed see something golden and fast racing towards them on great beating wings, and the Dragon, still injured but free of his chains, alights beside them, his great claws finding purchase on the carapace of the spire. He bids the non flyers to get on and hold on, and as the last gets on his great back, he kicks away from the collapsing tower. The 3 flyers and the ones they bear fly away, watching the spire collapse like a chimney, with gore and filth exploding from it where it hits the ground. At this point, they all feel a wrenching and stretching sensation happening to them, and in the disorienting moments and seconds that follow, they hear the sounds of battle, coming to their senses in time to see a troop of Clockworks including Soldiers and the Goliath dispatching the Glabrezu. They are back in the Throne room of the Palace of Blossoming-Steel they see, all surrounded by silently watching clockworks and an impassive Tisiphoni Bissara .Bernie Ven Gillanders and Wren are also nearby, looking in awe at the sight of a Golden Dragon, surveying the surrounding area.

It seems mere moments have passed in the real world though hours have passed in the Orb (which has disintegrated into fine dust), though judging by the state of gory disarray the party are in, they have had quite a time. The party still have a morning to play with and divert themselves in different ways, getting washed, resting and so on. Rovhannan seems to spend quite some time speaking to Calliszia, whilst Zeru asks a Clockwork Guide if the Firges would be permitted to take the time to make him one (or even two) double barrelled pistols. Geesje asks after arrows, and Skal rests with Jorik. The party also start wondering about a plan to create a fake Orb of Dragons that they can have passed to the Society to throw them off the trail and distract them.

They also note that the charismatic Devil Kyssamon and The Imprint are free to wander now, though under license and escorted by a guard of Clockwork Soldiers and Clockwork Spies at all time. Tisi advises that he is “still in a circle, though it is a larger one”.

Just after midday, Tisi requests the party to come to her at her Solar, and inside they see a room full of mirrors, clear pools and little else. This is her Scrying area, and she can see what goes on in the world through her spells (from the pools) and her Clockwork Spies (the Mirrors). Currently, a mirror is showing an image of what seems to be Adjutant-Major Merten Sivennius walking towards the Palace. He is injured it seems, with one arm in a sling and the other holding a stick with a white flag. It would seem that things have been occurring at the Bright Raptor in their absence…



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