After climbing up into a new level of the tower, the party explores a complex of rooms. One room has a wall with an relief carving of the familiar diamond-like “heart”, with a missing gem at each vertex.
One room is an old office and research room. It contains many scrolls and books, some rotting with age. In one corner is a table with a tiny replica of the known world and several dials with numeric markings. Moving the dials seemed to alter the climate of the little world, and some settings raised and lowered a dome of energy over the entire map.
The final room contained seven small clockwork dragons. After a brief skirmish, each seemed to recognize and befriend one of the party (excepting the purple dragon). Each dragon was apparently powered by a glowing gem within their whirring gears. Rather than destroy these works of art to fill the missing gems on the Heart on the wall, Alura used the special knife she had to cut an opening through the wall.
Through the opening was a large room with six glowing doorways, each glowing the color of one of the elemental forces. On the floor was a huge glowing spiral shape in the familiar form of the symbol of Therisdun. The spiral terminated at the green gateway, and both the gate and spiral were pulsing with a sickly perversion of the normal green color.
In the room were nearly a dozen people of Alura’s race, Shifters. Standing behind the shifters was an alien creature that looked like a tall thin humanoid with a squid-like head. The shifters in the room fanatically defended the creature until they were all slain but one. This last one was grabbed by the mind flayer (as Skith identified it) and had its brain extracted and eaten just before the flayer escaped through the gate.
The party, incensed at the atrocity they witnessed, leapt through the gate in pursuit.