Session 36 happened before Easter, but I've never neglected to make a post about it till now. Consequently, my recollection of events will probably be less sharp than usual. Of course, a couple of significant events occurred that I couldn't easily forget.
Firstly, the hireling Cormac met his end at the hands of azoth-infused undead apes. How's that for a memorable death? As the party continued to press on beneath Dwimmermount, they came across a room whose sentries were obviously dead apes whose bodies were animated through some sort of necromantic technology -- tubes, gears, and silvery-black replacement parts. The apes could generate electrical charges and toss them at their opponents, which is how poor Cormac died. Others might have joined him if not for lucky saving throws and slightly higher hit point totals.
The characters then took stock of their map to try and ascertain just what other avenues of investigation were open to them. What they discovered was a large gap on their maps, suggesting that there was likely either a large chamber or several small ones in the center of the current level they were exploring. This led them to believe that they must have missed a secret or concealed door and so set out to re-examine most of the rooms they'd already checked. Along the way, they also followed stairs they'd previously found to see where they led, in the process establishing connections to other parts of the dungeon they'd seen before. This took a long time to do, both in-game and in terms of actual play. However, it gave the players a fuller map of the dungeon and better established how its many levels and sub-levels relate to one another, which could prove invaluable later.
Along the way, the characters did find a secret door, which concealed a device that they almost immediately took for a teleporter. As it turns out, they were correct, with Brother Candor being the first to make use of it. Iriadessa was very reluctant to follow suit and initially said she would not use it, but, after everyone else used it, leaving her alone with the wrapped up corpse of Cormac, she plucked up her courage and stepped on the teleporter. She then found herself in a metallic room along with her companions, all of whom are safe. Because the doors leading out are all iris valves, the players felt certain that they'd be transported aboard a starship or something similarly science fictional. That's understandable, given the regular introduction of SF-ish elements into the campaign. However, they were still beneath Dwimmermount, as they soon discovered.
Upon leaving the room, they ran into a group of soldiers decked out in azoth-infused armor and weapons, along with a magic-user who was clearly their commander. He possessed some impressive looking magic items, most notably a gauntlet that allowed him to cast lightning bolts. The characters fortunately surprised their foes and used their initiative to allow Brother Candor to cast hold person on the magic-user (which he had decided to prepare rather than speak with animals as he usually did). The MU failed his save and was taken out of the fight before he had a chance to do anything. The party then turned its attention to the soldiers, eventually defeating them.
Dordagdonar decided to cast charm person on the held wizard, who, again, failed his saving throw (a bad night for the opposition, it seemed), meaning that, at minimum, he would treat the party as friends for 24 hours before having the opportunity to break free from this spell. Dordagdonar interrogated him, learning that his name was Tzoth, an adept in the Argent Twilight team that was working in Dwimmermount to find a way into its deeper levels. He explained that the Argent Twilight had "several dozen" individuals on this level, scouring the place for information, though he did not specify exactly what kind of information they were seeking. He also noted that large portions of this level were under observation and that other Termaxian cultists would in short order be arriving to deal with the PCs.
Needless to say, they were none too happy about this and asked him to lead them out of this area and upwards toward levels with which they were already familiar. He agreed to do so but noted that to get up they'd have to pass through other areas held by larger forces of Argent Twilight soldiers and sorcerers, none of whom would take kindly to their presence. This concerned Dordagdonar, who feared that Tzoth might break free from his charm person spell if subjected to scenes of the party fighting against his comrades, but Brother Candor said they had few options if they wished to avoid capture by the Termaxians.
It was at this point that the session stopped for the evening -- a rare cliffhanger ending that will be resolved at our next session.