Around the usual haunts of Acryn's adventurers several signs appear reading:
Skilled swords for hire
Report to Albert Bigbus, Watchmaker, Cog's Turn
FREE MAGIC POWERS!!!
No time wasters'
After their employer, Albert Bigbus, is assassinated by the Guild of Watchmakers the party set about hunting each of the five magical crystal eyes that are needed to empower the mysterious 'Enigmatic Engine', the insane creation of the mad Archmage Egreg. A machine that legend says may be able to grant any desire of the one who controls it.
During their hunt Alastair, Colin and Carl surrender 15 years of their life for a period of a year and a day, and the ravages of age now hang heavy upon them. The party also free the village from the curse of the Beast of Basuel and witness the destruction of an entire cult by the accursed crystal eyes. The party do further good by discouraging some students of the peoples' college from stealing corpses from the graveyard of the temple of the tender. However, they somewhat mitigate this by unleashing an angry ghost within the Temple and then proceeding to quickly vacate the premises. This completely ruins the sacred festival the priests were in the middle of celebrating.
After some considerable effort the party gather the five magical eyes. Alastair and Seth are wise enough to resist gazing into any of the arcane eyes. Colin takes a chance and gazes into the eye of scribing and begins to weep tears of acid (at the end of any encounter his armour will be destroyed), while Carl cannot resist the lure of power and looks into four of the eyes, his body being changed into a bloated, but muscled form with mirrored eyes, cracked with bloody streaks (three times per adventure he can call a resist to any level 1-4 spell; 3 times per adventure he can strengthen himself; any time he takes a DISARM the arm holding the weapon will also fall off, this will require a surgeon to fix; the first time in any adventure he takes a REND he will explode and fall to 0 hits, calling a MASS TRIPLE STRIKEDOWN).
Wary about activating the Enigmatic Engine due to the potential for doom the party collect the Professors Rune form the College of Stars and the Peoples' college, hoping to sell the machine to the highest bidder. However, before they can return to the device they are confronted by Kythera Kassel, Mistress of the Guild of Watchmakers. She tells them to hand over the eyes and forget the machine. The Party don't take kindly to her tone or her bribery and beat her into insensibility.
Deep beneath Acryn the party insert the five eyes into the Enigmatic Engine, finally completing Egreg's last great work and empowering it with the five rites of magic. Ancient clockwork springs to life as the machine comes to life, rising on six mechanical legs. Its steel voice ringing through the cellar its asks the party what their desire is. Eschewing vast wealth or terrible power Colin speaks first and asks for knowledge of how to stop the flux. The machine seems to enclose him, its eyes blazing with magic and then steps away leaving him with a head filled with arcane clockwork and knowledge that seems to come him unbidden on the most eldritch of topics (in a situation where knowledge of how to stop the flux could be applicable he can be assumed to suddenly remember this knowledge).
The party do nothing to stop the Enigmatic Engine as it states the word 'Freedom' and then conveys itself away through a portal it tears in the air.
Outside the party sell Bigbus' notes to the college. Alastair bargins with the Mistress of the Guild of Watchmakers in return for a payoff. She warns the party to avoid meddling in guild affairs in future and limps off, but not before Seth insists they use his bribe to bury Bigbus.
Out in the City the party briefly catch a glimpse of the mechanical form of the Enigmatic Engine high atop the temple of the builder. Whatever the purpose of the lunatic device it is now free to pursue it.
After some surgery to remove various monster eggs from his stomach Alastair will notice the wound on his shoulder has begun to crystallize again. He'll need to find an alchemist who specializes in this kind of thing to remove the odd poison.
NB: The curses or blessings of the eyes can be removed with a rank 5 ritual of the appropriate sort. Colin's was scribing. Carl's were Scribing for the magic immunity, Fracturing for exploding, Binding for disarming and wounding for strength.