(Note: Due to poor GM note-taking and a scathing lack of motivation, this log has been written 6 months late. As a result, the account of events occurring at the table that are now incomplete and inaccurate, and your GM only has himself to blame).
Kida and Templeton worked with Dr. Recklinghausen to develop a cure for the strange parasites afflicting the goblin tribe, known as “dragon worms.” Apparently, the tribe had endured the pests for decades, and now that the lake of their home had been drenched (and the water sent down the aquifers into Cavallo’s city), the waterborne infestation was spreading.
The other half of the party worked to complete the railroad, though Leone Quital clearly had the upper hand, given his power over magnetism—his team laid track almost twice as fast! Fortunately, Damata Griento finally got up the courage to respond to Talon’s sending, apologizing, saying that he would certainly be willing to dump the project if he had the financial means to do so. He mentioned that he already had a contract to build the rail line to Citado Cavallo, so it seemed that the constables could solve their rail problem by solving their warlord problem, first.
In retaliation, Rush and Merton riled up a local tribe of undead lizardmen, once loyal to a dragon tyrant named Cheshimox. The ghoulish inhabitants of Abismo Condendado descended on the rail line in the dead of night, wielding icy magic and fielding a sled made of their dead master’s bones. Though short two members, the constables made quick work of the aggressors, even taking their prized vehicle and using it to drift stylishly across the plains.
While the cure was in progress, the constables worked to stymie the progress of the other railhead. In particular, they requisitioned dynamite from the RHC’s supplies, and tasked a local group of bandits with destroying and burning incoming timber for Leone, knowing he couldn’t easily move or replace it. The bandits agreed hastily once they recognized Qiyet, and let slip her local nickname of “Threeblade.”
Once the dragon worms were cured (using a complex ritual, followed by a campaign of education to avoid re-infection in the populace), and the treatment applied to Cavallo’s own grandson, the warlord was more open to negotiations, though he saved face by publicly gaining Beshela’s blessing as well. Griento dropped the Cantabrilla project, stranding Leone to work with only the men he could hire on his own, and no easy supply chain to rely on.
Having won both contests, and the favor of Shantus’ court, the party was entitled to finally meet with Tinker Oddcog. Leone and his entourage were forced to wait outside the throne room, under heavy guard to ensure there would be no funny business from them. When the gnome was brought in, however, he rebuffed the constables’ questions, adding, “In fact, I want everyone else to leave. I’ll give you to the count of—” here he pulled out a pocketwatch, “sixteen.”
He started counting upward from 0 as the party exchanged worried glances. Talon heard a faint noise outside, and his time in the war let him instantly recognize it as the Doppler whistle of an incoming artillery shell! The party sprung into action as Tinker opened a cavity in his chest—both revealing himself to be a construct (one merely resembling the inventor himself) and pulling out a comical yet very real black powder bomb.
Qiyet struck first, slaying the false Tinker in one stroke. The bomb rolled out of his hand, still lit, and Kida pounced on it with a bag of holding. The weapon exploded seconds later, destroying only a small fraction of the elf’s massive personal inventory. Templeton shouted to the room to hit the deck, just before the artillery shell hit—which would have been a good move, if the shell was explosive. Instead, it slammed into the middle of the throne room, burying itself halfway into the floor, and then began to vent poisonous gas.
The doors to the room burst open, and scores of palace guards marched in with an eerie calm. At the same time, Kenna Vigilante turned on her leader, lifting him off the ground with one arm as she attempted to strangle the life out of him. Battle ensued, but the constables found their attacks doing far less damage than expected. They soon discovered (after finally wounding a few of them), that both Kenna and much of the guards had been compromised, replaced by metal-bodied construct warriors (later identified as duplicants).
Talon rescued the Bruse from Kenna’s clutches, then activated a guardian form to allow him to fly away with him, out the balcony and over the hedge maze they’d cleared days earlier. Kida, master of mobility, fled easily, and Qiyet simply turned invisible using an arcane trick she’d picked up during a study abroad program. Templeton and crew fast-roped down from the balcony, bringing Hugo and Melissa Amarie along with. Leone and crew were left to face the remainder in a fighting retreat, though last the party saw of him, he had just figured out that his foes were made of metal and could be easily torn apart.