Many of our group members were in slightly different real-world locales for this session: Carl was out of town for work-related training, so he Skyped in from San Francisco, CA; Uncle Junkal's and Viv's players met at the former's on-campus office in Eugene, OR (instead of Carl's house as usual); and Spawn and I broadcast from our homes in PA and NY.
The PCs started right where they left off last session, near the center of a vast rectangular chamber with a 600' diameter demonic circle inscribed into the floor. Uncle Junkal and Vivuli pooled their efforts in order to transcribe the symbols from the demonic circle onto parchments, while Dak and Innominus mapped the perimeter of the vast room, both tasks taking over two hours.
Next, in a kind of bizarre "science" experiment, Viv chucked one of his many rats into the demonic circle. There was a flash of bright orange light and the rat vanished, seeming to fall right through the floor into nowhere. Still curious, the rat-master* tied a 15' string to a second rat, and hucked it after its fellow into the circle. Another flash of orange light and this rat too vanished, the twine spooling out through an invisible portal in the floor. The twine spooled out to its full length; Vivuli reeled it back in to find no rat, only a charred end of twine.
Dak, requiring a bowel movement anyway, took a dump and threw the result into the demonic portal after the rats.
Magmatron? they wondered among themselves.
They also wondered if there might not be more as-yet-undiscovered elevator floors, either above or below those already visited.** So they embarked the elevator once again and started mucking about with the levers, attempting to go up to higher levels (if they existed). The elevator rumbled as usual, then a hideous metal-grinding sound went on for awhile, then all went quiet; the elevator hadn't moved. Viv tried another similar lever combination, again the usual rumble followed by bad-sounding grinding noises but no movement from the elevator
Frustrated with the fricking elevator, the party decided to go back upstairs into the country manor to rest overnight. Before retiring, they learned that Prince Arkus was planning to leave with warriors and clerics for the plague-ridden city of Farn Junction early the next day. Grand Vizier Krock would be staying behind at the country manor outside Fortinbras with a minimal house and administrative staff.
Also, before retiring, Vivuli turned himself, Dak, and Gorgo invisible.
The morning of Day 166 of the party's Arandish adventures, Prince Arkus of Minoch left for Farn Junction, while the party returned to the dungeon levels far beneath the manor, selecting the weird metal triangular chamber as their next port of call.
Dak approached the wooden door to the strange chamber and opened it; as his hand turned the doorknob he heard a voice inside his mind hiss at him:
"Stay away, puny filth!"
Despite the mental voice's warning, they all went in anyway and, ignoring the disturbing statue of the tentacled thing with no eyes, headed straight for the northern metal door. Innominus cast detect magic upon it; it glowed extremely brightly. The cleric cast dispel magic upon it; sparks flew all over, arcing off the whole surface of the shiny metal door, and then, subtly, the door began to seem less shiny. The door-metal literally became duller-looking before the party's very eyes.
In this moment Vivuli thought to use his x-ray ring to look through the door; no dice.
Dak being Dak, the dwarf swung his New Steel axe fully at the door -- and rolled a natural "20"! His mighty blow left only a minor scratch on the surface of the metal door, and the dwarf could tell that whatever strange metal this was, it was far stronger than anything yet known on Ara.
So Innominus cast dispel magic upon it again, and it dimmed further, and Dak knocked upon it and yelled "open up!" -- to no avail. Innominus threw Holy Water at the door, chanting prayers -- to no avail.
Then Viv walked away from the door and over to the statue of the tentacled thing, placed his hand upon its slimy surface, and asked it to open the door for them.
Projecting thoughts into Vivuli's mind, the statue responded that it would open the door if he (Viv) would agree to grant it one favor.
Distrusting the look of the statue and noticing that Viv was in some kind of fugue state, Innominus threw Holy Water at the statue. The Water instantly boiled off the statue's surface, seemingly ineffectual.
Meanwhile, inside Vivuli's mind, the Chaotic Assassin decided to accept the statue-entity's terms, agreeing to grant it one favor in the future in exchange for its opening the metal door now. Viv removed his hand from the statue and asked his fellow party members to tie him up, in order to prevent his being forced by the statue to attack them or the like.
Then the metal door slid upward into the wall, and a horrific rotten smell bellowed out into the triangular chamber. It smelled like dead things.
The area beyond that metal door looked like this:
Pausing briefly to spike the metal door open, Innominus and Dak advanced into the 40' x 30' room, as Uncle Junkal covered them with his crossbow. The ceiling was arched and all the walls, floor and ceiling were metal. A weird fleshy goop covered most of the floor, and out around the perimeter some small mounds of rotten-smelling fleshy substance grew out of the general pond of goop. Suspecting something green-slime-like, Innominus and Dak prepared oil flasks.
To the east, another shiny metal door in the center of the 30' wall; to the west, an open passageway, also centered in the metal wall. The group decided to advance westward down the passage, and saw ahead of them a much larger chamber filled with wrecked machinery. Scraps of metal and various other materials were piled everywhere, and much of this wreckage was also coated with the ubiquitous stinking, fleshy slime.
50' back, the party spotted something moving in the dark depths of the wreckage chamber. All they could see was an indistinct fleshy mound, but it was definitely advancing toward them.
The party slung oil flasks and shot projectiles, and Innominus cast Prayer. The blob-thing shot electricity bolts at the PCs in retaliation, but after a short yet intense battle, the PCs managed to neutralize the flesh-blob. It disintegrated back into the primordial muck of the flesh-slime.
And that is more or less where the session ended.
* Devotees will recall that in Session 44, Vivuli used Conjure Vermin to summon a horde of rats; this session he further announced that he keeps said rats in pockets all throughout his robe -- a "rat-robe."
** So far the PCs have visited four levels via the elevator: (1) the Thoopshib Temple level, from whence they originally came; below that, (2) The Briny level, where they butchered a couple of Ponaturi; below that, (3) the Underwater level with the weird Egg Temple they ransacked; and, atop all the others, (4) the Huge Sulfurous Chamber level, where they began this session.