S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.
QUICK RECAP: With a strange whiff of burning flesh and hair still hanging in the air, Prince Lanliss stowed the strange artifact in his pack while the barbarian priest Eldgrim Bolthorson, also known as "Paunch-Shaker", called upon the grace of his goddess, Lydia, to heal the wounded Maximandius.
Also this portion of the strange metallic cave was brightly lit, it seemed to be oddly empty. Huge open spaces and a high ceiling created eerie echoes, and the adventurers could hear the sounds of skittering and scratching in the distance, but were unable to determine from what direction the noises came. Beginning to grow visibly frustrated, the normally soft-spoken Dougal began to issue orders to the adventures, while the party leader, Sir Clennan Athol Innes-Kerr III remained uncharacteristically quiet. Dougal wanted to investigate some large 10' x 10' metal shapes covered with screens, dials, and buttons. These metallic "altars" were scattered all over this level of the cave, and most of them seemed to be generating a low-pitched "hum." Ignoring the party leader, Dougal suggested in very strong terms that Prince Lanliss should use his "superior Elven intelligence" to investigate the altar, and then he and the rest of the adventurers, except Maximandius, backed away.
Prince Lanliss pushed and prodded one of the altars for roughly four minutes, although due to a strange temporal phenomenon it seemed like only forty seconds. The altar started to smoke, crackle, and spark, and then it exploded in a flurry of metal and glass. Both Prince Lanliss and Maximandius were caught in the explosion, although the lithe Prince Lanliss succeeded in only being minimally damaged.
As the rest of the brave adventurers rejoined the Prince and the hapless Maximandius, they heard a strange whirring sound that reminded them of metallic gears grinding, and then suddenly were face-to-face with a large, shiny metallic "golem" with two sets of arms and huge clunky legs. The golem approached the party and then stopped and waited, as if expecting instructions. The adventurers attempted communication, but the golem did not move. Prince Lanliss surmised that the golem did not understand their form of speech, and attempted to use hand signals to command the golem, but to no avail. Eventually, the golem activated itself again and moved past the adventurers toward the damaged altar, where it appeared to start repairing it.
Immediately after, a loud sound of siren alarms filled the cave, and a colorful array of flashing lights announced the approach of three more metal golems. These three were of a different shape and construction from the first golem, and one of them immediately attacked Dougal, who was standing apart from the rest of the company in preparation for scouting ahead. The golem used its tentacle-like arms to strike Dougal and beat the scout severely. The other two golems moved to attacked the other party members, and in the course of the combat, Lord Celephorn IV, the half-elf ranger lord, was killed by a poison gas canister that exploded near him. Other adventurers were attacked with a beam of hot light that bore a striking resemblance to the artifact Prince Lanliss acquired, but which came from the head of the golem. As the adventurers attacked the golems to defend themselves, they found that the guardians were protected by some form of magical invisible shield. Maximandius attempted to use his wand of cold to stop the golems, but to no avail. Eldgrim Paunch-shaker used some fire magic, and Prince Lanliss retrieved the magic light-beam artifact from his pack to shoot the golems. The rest of the adventurers merely tried to bash the metallic guardians with their weapons, even Sir Clennan, who did nothing to inspire his assembled companions. The adventurers were eventually successful, bashing all three golems, which all fell face-down as their flashing lights dimmed and sirens faded and then went out completely. However, attempts to revive Lord Celephorn IV were unsuccessful. The expedition to the metallic cave had claimed its first adventurer.
Dougal then quickly scouted through the rest of the level and declared it devoid of life. The only things of importance he seemed to find were three wheeled platforms used for an unknown purpose, and another metal golem similar in appearance to the first "repair golem" (as the adventurers referred to it), but which was immobile and had a cord of some sort coming out of its torso and attached to a small opening in the wall. This golem seemed to look at Dougal and issue a form of strange light-purple light from its head, which did not cause Dougal any noticeable harm, but seemed to focus on the area in Dougal's pack where he had stowed the odd pane of purple glass he recovered near the entrance of the cave. The adventurers were powerless to figure out what this meant, and began to discuss plans of leaving this level of the cave and potentially finding a way out to a deeper level.
Right before they left to look for a doorway out, they swore they spied the strangest thing - a huge human-like brain walking on four legs, but they decided it must be a hallucination.
The recap for the fourth (and final) session is here.