Much to nobody's surprise, the monster climbing out of the quicksilver pool congealed into a creature akin to a huge black pudding, ready to give us a giant hug and corrode us to death with its acids. Even more frustratingly Meda and my weapons only cut the large monster into several smaller monsters which also wanted to give us death hugs. Fortunately if we cut them down enough we could kill them without spawning yet more oozes. Plus Whitmore's grenades quickly roasted the bastards into oblivion. Meda got a little rouged up by an overly friendly ooze, but we emerged from this battle largely unscathed, a welcome change of pace considering our more recent struggles.
Left with two buildings to investigate we decided to check out the large pyramid located at the center of the island which turned out to not be the observatory, despite what the archives told us. The top of the pyramid contained a stagnant bath house as well as a large chamber that contained several descending levels connected by rubble-strewn stairways. We decided to investigate and see how far down this chamber went, discovering a black chasm at the bottom of the room. I tossed a handy nearby rock down and it took quite some time before we heard a distant splash, suggesting it probably would be better to not mess with this chasm until later. If at all.
Left with only the fish people working on the beach and the floating observatory tower we decided to check out the tower first and see if we could find some lenses for the orrery. Meda was able to nimbly jump onto the tower as it passed its closest point to the island, and with a little help from Soma Whitmore and I were able to just fly up. An investigation of the first floor showed absolutely nothing useful so we went up to the next floor and found three intact lenses, as well as numerous shards of glass and a valuable statue floating in the air. I attempted to snatch one of the lenses by throwing a bag over it and pulling, and while I was able to remove the lens from whatever magical field was supporting it I got a nasty shock. Lacking any better options we decided to remove the lenses and statue the brute force method and I got quite a few more shocks before removing all the objects we wanted from the tower. Whitmore and I flew out and landed safely fairly far to the south of the island, while Meda rode the tower back to its original place and jumped off. By the time we had met up again the sun had nearly set so Soma set up our extradimensional campsite and we climbed into its safety.
In the morning Soma examined the orrery and managed to decipher the instructions. As the rest of us stood safely outside the building, Soma placed the replacement lenses in their appropriate slots and successfully repaired the orrery. Other than a strange glyph glowing, the orrery proceeded to do absolutely nothing interesting and shed absolutely no light on the situation at hand. So time well spent.
We soon heard a riot coming from the direction of the beach and when we arrived on the cliff we saw the fish people had divided into two groups. On the one side stood guard fish people with weapons, while on the other stood the worker fish people with a few guard hostages. The workers seemed confused about the situation, realizing that the guard fish people had been relatives of theirs while the guard fish people wanted the workers to help them release the Master, who we assumed was Maelrawn the Tentacular. It seemed the two groups had reached a stand-off, which meant it was the natural point for us to begin interfering. Well, Meda didn't think it was the natural point for us to start interfering, especially when I suggested we claim I was the Manta Lord and make a super impressive entrance to get them on our side. Everyone else seemed to like the idea and Whitmore agreed to try and help negotiate with the fish people while Soma provided some of the special effects. What happened next was kind of epic, although it didn't get quite the results we wanted.
As I stepped off the cliff Soma cast levitate on me and slowly lowered my down towards the beach. When I was about twenty feet above the beach I utilized my crown to send a blast of sunlight over the heads of the crowds, causing everyone to hit the deck immediately. In a mighty voice I declared that I was the Manta Lord, returned to them at last to resolve their strife and usher in a new age of peace and prosperity. Something vague and impressive enough to work on the locals. That certainly got the fish people's attention and Whitmore shouted down some more helpful mumbo-jumbo to try and get the crowd on my side. The workers seemed rather impressed with my performance but the guards remained understandably skeptical of my veracity. (After all, the cloak comes right off) I explained I was searching for Gerlach the Alchemist, to which they responded by asking me if I was a friend of the Master. Dodging the question I asked if Gerlach was a friend of the Master and when they confirmed this I said any friend of Gerlach was a friend of me. They then challenged me to prove I was a friend of the Master so I dove into the canal beneath me and emerged in the full glory of the Manta Lord, using the cloak to good effect. This seemed to get the guards to at least accept us for now and agreed to take us to where Gerlach was, herding us and the worker fish people towards the pyramid.
When we arrived at the pyramid the guards herded us into the large descending chamber and placed four worker fish flanked by guards at the corners of the room in front of the stairways. All of us started getting a really bad feeling about the situation because it looked like they were going to summon Maelrawn and that seemed a thing we didn't really want to do. When the guards asked us again if we were friends of the Master we decided to say no. It seems our Manta Lord plan was all for naught, but hopefully we can keep these bastards from unleashing an eldritch horror on the world.
- Krinsblag the Manta Lord