The Longstriders offered to escort the PCs as far as the Sunken Tower, where they were intent upon regrouping with another hunting party for eventual travel back to their home, rumored to be somewhere south of the White Tree. Spirits were high, as these ragtag outcasts had never dreamed of felling a creature this fierce. They quickly descended into the mutated basin, following a weathered path of switchbacks beneath the cascading waterfall of the Verka river. The Basin is a riot of verdant growth, with enormous overgrown farmlands to the North, and mutated swamplands to the South, bisected neatly by the weathered Eastern Trade road.
They reached the Broken Tower at dusk, with the setting sun at their backs. The Tower is a old, lonely place, a broken spire atop a windy plateau, surrounded by the remnants of a crumbling stone wall. The Clanless fear it to be haunted, though many use the safety of it’s courtyard for a overnight campsite. The Longstrider hunters were reunited with their tribe here, and One-Eye set about telling a somewhat exaggerated tale of their exploits. Cylis quickly caught this, and aided the storytellers with mist-shaping, and soon enough the group had the undivided attention of the entire camp, who were awestruck by the performance enacted before them. As they performed, Cylis noticed a ghostly figure watching from the shadows of the ruined tower, which he set off to investigate.
Sounds of revelry masked the approaching zombie horde, who slowly shambled there way along the cliffside path, wearily treading the same patrol route they once had in life. Thatcher heard sounds coming from the pathway, and raised the alarm moments before the first shambler crested the rise, while the gathered host of archers took positions above the road, raining arrows down upon the slow-witted zombies. These walkers proved little challenge for the group, though their presence proved worrisome for the assembled Orcs, who fear that the bone-shaman of the White Tree may well be in danger.
Having dispatched with the undead, the group turned to the ruins, looking to investigate the ghostly figure whom had watched their performance. The spectre was that of an elderly Aati, stooped with age, wielding a similarly ancient rifle, seemingly caught in an infinite loop, doomed to repeat his last moments for all eternity. Intrigued, the group entered the ancient ruins, discovering a well equipped mechanical workshop replete with a set of high quality engineering tools and the remains of a tattered journal, much of its contents long ago scattered to the wind.
The journal contains the jumbled ramblings of an Aati scientist named Gyre, and his families’ stories during and after the Sundering. Gyre, his wife Lela, and their young child Adeebi were researchers in an Aati telescope facility, far from the rest of their advanced civilization. The family survived the Sundering intact, and were capable enough to provide sanctuary for a handful of other survivors they were able to rescue from the chaos. Gyre had an eye for mechaniks, and spent every waking moment scouring nearby ruins for pre-Sundering tech. His manuscript leaves detailed notes on the construction of a reinforced vehicle capable of carrying he and his child to safety. Sadly, Gyre was never able to complete his work, as he and his kin were discovered, prompting an unexpected frantic departure from his makeshift laboratory.
The players found this manuscript, along with the remains of the vehicle, a spider shaped construct built from gleaming black metal. While investigating the machine, the players unwittingly activated the insectile construct, sending the beast on it’s long ago programmed route to the Amber City. Caught unawares, the group frantically tried to slow the mechanical beast, doing no small amount of damage in the process. The creature moved with surprising alacrity, scaling the sheer canyon walls with ease, as the players watched the campsite dwindle behind them. Phil was able to deduce the creatures command word, but not before the Spider robot had run into a Giant Slug, complete with kobold wranglers. Finally calling a halt to their unwilling joyride, the group set about aiding the hapless cohorts, and managed to charm the monstrous slug, at least in the meantime. Crisis averted, the group returned to the Sunken Tower, and made camp.