The party, exhausted, wounded, yet triumphant stood in the Old Iron Mines of Tyr. They were on the verge of heading back to town when a massive noise from deep inside the mines caused a cave-in, blocking the most logical exit. The party seemingly had no choice but to go deeper into the mines via the lift.
Going much deeper, the lift stopped abruptly at what appear to be some strange puzzle surrounded by flaming skeleton archers. After a failed attempt to solve the puzzle, the skeleton archers began to assault them. A little damage and suffering later, the archers were de-activated via the “Reset” button the puzzle. Eventually, the party solves the puzzle, enabling the lift to delve deeper into the mine.
When they arrive at the deepest portion of the mine, they discover a massive thriving iron mining operation. Further, this portion of the mine is huge and hosts a substantial forge. The whole place makes little sense and begs many questions: What are those hideous Ash creatures working dextrously over the mines? What carved out this massive chamber in the hard stone? Who is responsible for this place?
The party discovers crates of food, eats some of the food, and then discovers a strange, morbidly obese man who appears unable/unwilling to speak. Tianna, a bard herself, recognize the man as Mega-issimo, the legendarily obese star of the Tyrian Opera. It becomes clear that Mega-issimo is a prisoner here for some sordid purpose.
The party investigates further, discover tons of spell components for golem-making and, indeed, a number of MASSIVE STEEL GOLEMS. Such machinations are all but unheard of on Athas and a terror to imagine in battle. Luckily, the golems were not active and the party quickly extricated themselves from any perceived situation that might lead to them becoming activate.
The party discovers a small “work room” with spells and diagrams. Notably, there are specifications for a powerful voice enhancement, a defiling glove designed for lifting heavy objects, and golem making instructions. The party takes the glove and Sety attempts to understand it, keenly aware of its dark origins.
While exploring yet another lift, the lift suddenly starts to be lowered on its own (presumably by somebody below summoning it). Most of the party dives out of the lift in time, but unfortunately Tianna doesn’t make it in time. Mid-way to the bottom level, Tianna jams the control mechanism for the lift, stopping it long enough for Sety to use the defiling glove of lifting to lift the entire lift. With that, the “miners” below are alerted and begin flooding up the lift. The party begins making their escape via a combination of climbing and making use of lifts. A terrible battle between the Ashgaunts (the miners) and various splits of the party ensues. The brutality of these beasts cannot be overstated – this was a touch and go fight.
While riding a lift up, Tianna gave her life to save the life of Vakken. Tianna was raised by the Ashgaunts as a zombie servant, but ultimately that servant died as well. Sety again invokes the dark power of the defiling glove of lifting to move the stones from the cave-in that had occurred earlier. The party escapes, down one bard.