Having left Dwimmermount, Brother Candor decided that now was the time to return to Adamas to discuss the matter of Xaranes with Morna, the high priestess of Tyche. He wasn't looking forward to this, but he also knew it was necessary. Surprisingly, Morna was not angered by the information he passed along so much as concerned. The political situation in Adamas was fragile in the aftermath of the zombie invasion of the previous weeks. The church of Tyche was in a better position than the church of Typhon, as it had acted decisively in order to protect the city-state, while the Typhonists dithered.
At the same time, the church of Typhon remains powerful and influential. Though harsh and unforgiving, the religion remains popular because it has a history of defending Adamas and other bastions of civilization in times of need, whereas the church of Tyche is seen as more "flighty" and less reliable. If Morna were to sanction an expansion of her church through the adoption of Xaranes as a saint or hero of Tyche, as Brother Candor suggested, it might look like a bid to gain more power and influence and turn opinion against her, just as her temple's star is rising. Consequently, she did not agree to Brother Candor's plan -- not yet anyway. Instead, she suggested that they wait until after the imminent arrival of a Typhonian inquisitor in Adamas, who would be attempting to clear his church's name by finding scapegoats to blame for its slowness in responding to the zombies.
Brother Candor and Dordagdonar also did some further research into the Iron God's history and beliefs. There was comparatively little information, but there was some. They discovered that the cult was older than they'd realized, stretching back at least a thousand years, which meant that it predated the Termaxian ascendancy by at least 500 years. The cult never seemed to enjoy a huge following, being primarily one adopted by Thulian soldiers who'd been stationed at Dwimmermount at some time in their careers. Its beliefs remained obscure but it seems to have shared a fair bit with the religion of Typhon but with a wider focus and a less harsh approach to problem-solving. And of course the cult of the Iron God was strongly devoted to the protection of the dead, both their physical remains and their spirits/souls. Precisely why this cult was singled out for special hatred by the Termaxians is unclear.
The party then returned to Dwimmermount to continue exploring. Along the way, Brother Candor decided to pay a visit to the temple of the Iron God to see if, thanks to the clerical regalia of the cult he now possessed, he might demonstrate any extra authority there. As it turns out, he was able to command a mechanical three-headed guard dog that the party had encountered earlier. He also discovered that his ceremonial lantern, when lit, dispelled even magical darkness, the lantern being an important holy symbol of the Iron God.
After that, the party descended deeper into the dungeon and more fully mapped out the area they'd explored the previous week. What they noticed was that the ceiling pipes, which had carried azoth in the past, were limited to a particular area of the dungeon. They did not extend beyond a handful of rooms and corridors, suggesting that they were the site of an experiment to determine the effect of azoth exposure on living creatures both sentient and not. Interestingly, the characters encountered very little in the way living things in this part of the dungeon, with the exception of the mushroom men they'd battled previously. Most of the azoth-changed creatures, including many plants, were already dead, presumably from the adverse effects of the magical liquid but they could not be sure. Brother Candor also suspected that the vampire Cyrus might have had a hand in all of this too.
Moving on, more "beast men" were encountered, but they seemed to be from a different part of the dungeon. They were out on patrol, gathering supplies to take back to their lair, wherever that was. The characters defeated them and decided to seek out where these creatures might have come from. It was at that point that we ended for the evening.
All in all, it was a fairly "workmanlike" evening of play -- no great revelations or events but more fodder for making ex post facto making sense of it all. As I've said many times before, the secret to the longevity of any campaign, particular one without an explicit story or plot, is that you play regularly. Every minute you spend playing, even if it's just mapping out the dungeon, searching for secret doors, or battling wandering monsters adds elements that, in retrospect, might take on greater significance. They all add to the texture and depth of the campaign, even when the specific details of "slow" sessions fade into indistinctness.
Dwimmermount has proven far more successful than I ever expected it would. I've kept things as minimalist as is feasible, allowing details to grow through play rather than through any plan of my own. It's been a valuable learning experience, one that's all the more gratifying because it's managed to hold the interests of my players for so long. Like a lot of things in life, not every session is unadulterated joy or even particularly memorable; some of them have been downright dull. But we pressed on nonetheless and, while I won't go so far as to say that those dull sessions were necessary for the longevity of the campaign, but I do think they were inevitable. That's why I've found it so essential to get together regularly: the dull sessions are less likely to set the tone for the whole campaign if you have lots of other more enjoyable ones to overwhelm the dull ones in your memory.
In any case, the campaign continues on.