Skal Dreissel starts to turn the key, but it is very hard going and he has to call upon his berserker strength when his initial attempts fail. However he manages to fully wind up the mechanism and stepping back, he and the others watch as this bizarre clockwork oddity starts to come to life. It goes through some checks, as its 3 legs and 4 arms start to flex, before it sizes them up and a mechanical clicking voice greets them, albeit in a language they don’t recognise. When they speak it switches to Heitzen, and it greets them, and it is indeed the one known as Fix that stands before them. After some brief explanations about their purpose, he tells them that he was last on a mission to retrieve a vital item for his Queen, Tisiphoni Bissara. It was stolen by a Quasit demon, no doubt on the orders of the Incubus Mallad’Fal and last tracked heading south on the island in the direction of the waterlogged ruins of the islands Menagery where the formidable 14 headed Hydra known as “Old Snappy” lairs.
At this point the heroes hear the voice of Wren through the Message Stones and she is warning them that they are about to be attacked. This warning is timely for the have enough time to prepare themselves before a gang of Schir Demons (and a Quasit cheating by being invisible) attack them. A Babau demon also ambushes Zeru Otxoa, but with fortitude and determination the heroes manage to destroy all the demons, except for the cunning and wily Quasit which flees, undoubtedly back to its master.
During the fight Fix had called for aid, and a Clockwork soldier, apparently on standby, came out of a nearby ruined house and though it arrives too late to aid in the fight, it stands ready to serve Fix in his task. The party also offer their aid, for only the retrieval of the missing item will allow them access to the Palace of Blossoming Steel and where the Mistress of the Island can be found.
As nobody (sensibly) likes the idea of fighting a 14 headed Hydra, a ruse featuring 3 goats as a lure, the careful use of Fullica Atra and Bernie Ven Gillanders’s extracts and the Message stones allows the rod to be retrieved from the waterlogged lair, and just as well too, for Old Snappy is huge, ferocious and fast in its terrain. As well as locating the object (a rod made of adamantium and mithral and bearing a jewel at either end), she finds a pouch which turns out to have a small onyx figurine of a dog and an iron flask stoppered in brass with arcane runes about it. With the rod recovered, the airship heads off to hopefully lure the attention of any watching demons or foes whilst a group consisting of Skal, Zeru, Fullica, Calliszia Myinarra, Geesje Van Kuipers, Wren, Bernie, Fix and the Clockwork soldier make their way through the forest to the Palace. The formidable Golems and assorted construct defenders defer to Fix as he brandishes the control rod and allows the party entrance into the huge palace. Within the corridors are wide and very high, and as they walk through the echoing halls, they marvel at the quality of the architecture as well as the large amount of inactive machines, items and constructs that they encounter.
Arriving at the centre they enter into a colossal hall with a large raised platform in the centre and many exits. Within there are many more constructs of all different sizes, like soldiers, and all are gathered around the central platform where a tall statue of a woman wrought in adamantium, mithral, steel and bronze stands. Fix moves quickly towards the statue and as the party watch, restores the rod into the body of the statue. The eyes of the statue start to glow an eery blue as Tisiphone awakens, and in a strong mechanical voice bids Fix to start restoring the rest of the gathered constructs to working order and then the Palace.
As Fix starts his work, Tisiphone greets the party, and quickly Fullica utters the Bessengiran words instructed to her by Seren; this has the effect of making Tisi immediately trust them more, for Seren has vouched for them and their own efforts have brought about her revival and also that of her “people”. The party waste no time in explaining about the Orb of Dragons, the Society and pretty much everything before them. Tisi sees past illusions and also sees Calliszia as being at least a Half Celestial (and likely more). Tisi does offer to help, but also tells them about what the Orb of the Dragons truly is; a means of controlling Dragonkind by binding a Dragon within it and compelling its obedience by torture and foul manipulation. The Dragon bound within this Orb is a Golden Dragon by the name of Rovhannan Magnarravax , and Tisi requests that instead of using the Orb, she wishes them to destroy it and so free its occupant from painful servitude. She and before here Kellestine wished to but as neither are powerful wielders of divine magic, they cannot.
Whilst the party decide what they wish to do, quarters are found for them in the Palace as the place starts to awake. They are advised to follow the advice of the small flying Clockwork guide as wandering through the halls without supervision could be dangerous. The party spend a little time together and quickly decide that freeing the Dragon is the only option before them (and as it turns out, the only one Calliszia was even considering). With this in mind, they gain audience to Tisi again and tell her their decision. She then tells them that she can assist, but it is dangerous, and if any can speak Draconic, they may need to speak to someone first; to this end, she leads them deep into the Palace for a very important conversation…