Our heroes watched the dimensional trio creep across the floor and begin to climb a platform to escape the notice of the mechanics. They quickly prepped and rushed across the chamber to intercept them. Ayelin was first on the scene and noticed that one of the shamblers had ropes sewn into his forearm that led to the sewn-shut mouths of the other two.
She took that as a sign and attacked that one. The others followed up and tried to attack as well. Quill fire a scorching ray that severely scorched the beast, and Alaric summoned an air elemental to join in.
Seeing itself quickly being outnumbered, the shambler rushed to the edge of the platform and tried to jump across to a further stage. It stumbled and fell into the gap between the two platforms. Norrick and Quill gathered below while Keller and Ferris joined up began to air walk up and join Ayelin.
The group focused their attention on the dangling shambled and Ferris ended its life with a well-placed bolt. Ayelin tried to engage the other two, but they fled across the gap to the next platform, dragging the body of their comrade behind them. Norrick climbed the platform, Ayelin leaped across and Alaric elemental joined, cornering the creatures again.
Then the two vanished, but quickly reappeared at the base of the platform, at the and of the line attached to their fallen fellow. Once again, the found themselves surrounded and unable to escape.
Quill determined that they spoke a dialect of the Underdark and tried to communicate with them. They nodded understanding, but could not communicated with their mouths sewn shut. Keller tried to removed the line from one, who pulled away and tried to escape. For this it received a painful yanking. As a show of good faith, Glum hacked off the forearm of the fallen shambled and Keller held them fast.
When questioned, they told the party that they were indeed working with the Fire Lord, in exchange for witnessing him perform something “very interesting”. They also said that they were on their way back through the chain of demiplanes to escort the ‘woman’, who the Fire Lord wished to see his triumph. This they chalked up to mortal manly pride and they found it quite pathetic.
They offered to deliver the woman to our heroes to appease their pride, and even assist them to humiliate her. They would not shirk their duties, however, but would allow the party to follow them and kill the woman in front of the Fire Lord, as that too would be “interesting”.
Our heroes would not be swayed by their offers, and Ayelin turned to slay the shackled outsiders. She was quickly Held by Gharial, who would not let the party kill the creatures while they were bound. Unwilling to kill them in open combat, the party settled for gaining more information from them before letting them go.
After Gharial placed the shamblers in a Zone if Truth, the party learned that there were two planes separating out heroes from the Fire Lord— a giant sport and a maze. And that the exit to this plane was barred by a large door. Then they let the two beasts slink off to retrieve the Waste.
Moving on the end of this mechanical demi-plane, they found a large door covered with symbol tiles. Norrick found and disabled a cage trap on the door and tried to unlock the mechanism. He failed and the area was filled with a disorienting gas that limited his dexterity. This was quickly offset by a Cat’s Grace from Alaric, and he managed to open the doorway to the next plane.
Warned by the Shamblers that the defenses in the spore demiplane feared sunlight, Kelley cast daylight and led the group through a series of wood tunnels carved out of some massive plant form. Quill used dragon breath to burn a crater through the walls outside passage, and the daylight expanded the opening to an outer passage. Alaric summoned four lantern Archons to assisth and soon they found themselves dug through to the outer hisk of the massive spore.
They all jumped through to next demi-plane and ended up in a stoney hallway lit by four ever-burning torches, each shod in a different way. Warned by the Shamblers that they needed to use the torch light the key on the lock, they grabbed the gold-shod torch and moved forward down the hallway.