After locking everyone else in the vicinity up in a booby-trapped vault full of valuable gems, the party gathered near the main vault and started to manipulate the designs on its surface in order to try to get it to look like the mural, which they assumed was the combination to open it.
A little bit after they started, two wolves teleported in and told them to stop. "You don't know what you're doing!" One of them tried to daze Carnelian, who was working on the vault, but spellcasting triggered combat and Gamble and Serene immediately started attacking them. The battle went on for a while, with the wolves using up their not-entirely-huge mana pool and then turning into giant snakes and trying to grapple with Gamble, meanwhile resisting all the spells Serene sent at them. It would have been enough time for Carnelian to open the vault, except that the daze spell did actually go off despite the interference, and no one bothered to wake Carnelian up until the fight was basically over.
The two shapeshifters, who were not winning, turned into stirges and zipped away at high speed, presumably to get reinforcements. That *did* leave enough time for Carnelian to open the vault, and let out the dragon.
The dragon turned to look at Gamble, and he heard a hissy static noise in his head... that he couldn't make any sense out of. "Fine, since I can't establish a secure link, are these people with you to be trusted?" the dragon asked.
Gamble assured him that they were, and the dragon revealed that it was a shapeshifting golem of the second wave, sent to assassinate the Lord of the City... except that it had been tricked, placed under mind control by a magic harness, and locked in the vault as a trophy. It wanted to continue its mission -- which the party didn't particularly object to -- except that it was too big to fit through the hallways except for the one leading to the big balcony, and the party had no ideas about where to hide it for fifteen minutes while it transformed. It did point them to the valuable things in the machine vault -- two boxes and a gun-like thing.
"What are they?" the party asked.
"Well, that's a gun," it said, pointing to a small box, "that's a perception field, and the third thing's a scanner." The scanner being the gun-like thing.
Anyway, they decided to leave and 're-establish communication with HQ'. Despite it being 20 years since the dragon was locked up, it *did* manage to establish a link ("This must be the third wave?"), and called for extraction. They all climbed on its back, it jumped out the window, and... they landed in a small metal room, apparently invisible from outside and suspended in midair.
During the long, slow flight, Carnelian went up to the cockpit, annoyed the pilots, and verified that they were in a tiny (and very slow) flying craft. She also pried open some of the boxes left in the cargo bay with them, and found a strange crystal device, that looked somehow familiar even though she'd never seen the device per-se before. Maybe the crystal was familiar?
Eventually they arrived at 'HQ', an underground area that was obviously in part of the miner-cat tunnels, where almst nobody spoke their language, although the dragon (and to a lesser extent Carnelian) could translate it. The people there -- humans, mostly, and all off-worlders, aside from a few miner cats who didn't look like they were really part of the group -- had their own translator, who wasn't very good at translating. They were led to a room and hooked up to a machine that was supposed to read their minds as they were asked questions. Carnelian used the process to teach herself meditation, since she could see the screen from where she insisted on perching, and it was a biofeedback device. She didn't actually try to hide any information, though. Serene couldn't be read at all, being undead. Gamble was a golem of a type they thought they were familiar with, but they couldn't find the standard port he should have had for them to connect him up.
One of the questions was 'what would induce you to work for us', for which Carnelian's answer was 'lots of money'. There was also some talk that the dragon (now in humanoid form) refused to translate and warned the interrogator to not talk about, that Gamble sort-of-translated as 'mass murder' or 'genocide' or something. After the interrogation, the dragon expressed some doubts about this wave's motives, but didn't recommend any specific course of action.
Then they were led to quarters and told to rest before... something something blah. Carnelian started messing with the perception field, planning to use it to spy on their hosts.
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When I got home after the game: "Oh right, the perception field was there so that the dragon could transform without being seen, but I totally forgot about it and had them leave the tower instead. Oops."