Fiva has a horrible trance session during the night – reliving her capture at the claws of Sepna Austir. She sees Aras intending to kill the dragon on her behalf, and watches on as he’s incinerated by the dragon’s unusal fire breath.
She wakes up in an absolute panic, and wakes him up as she tries to make him promise not to defend her again – fearing that he will end up like her father Iaorven if he doesn’t. Taken aback by the odd request, Aras refuses – not being aware of the visions she had during her trance. Regardless, the two cling onto each in support before both fall asleep.
The group sets out in the morning, heading northeast on the highroads towards Mount Fresa. It’s a relatively peaceful journey through the grasslands over the course of two weeks.
During a break in the expedition, Fiva corners Adgar and asks him why specifically he hunted down Aras to get him to help – the wood elf still feeling angry that the wizard essentially forced her friend into becoming a security escort. Adgar silences her and informs her of the horrors he had seen during the 1st War of the Reign and the friends he had seen die – going to say that these things would be infinitely worse in the event the Legion was able to replicate them again, as they could very well stand to do if they were to capture the Book of the Realms. He goes on to say that having raised Aras, he could see the same look in the fighter’s eyes as an old friend had – the one of a person unwilling to let the world die without a fight. Adgar goes on to tell her that Aras didn’t choose the thug life, the thug life chose him. (…er, adventuring life! That’s it! The adventuring life chose him.). In any regards, Fiva tries to force herself to understand the mindset these two have – while the last thing she’d ever want to do willingly is to go and risk death, she understands that to Aras this is something beyond them.
A few more days go by, and the group begins reaching the end of the grasslands before the Revnal Wastes. During the downtime, Fiva decides to go fishing in her old fashioned way (grabbing them by hand) while Aras watches on. She asks him of his opinion of why he’s on the quest. He explains that he’s aware that hundreds (and if not thousands) would die in a new war if it was to occur, especially so in the event the Legion was to be able to stage their forces on this side of the continent – he views it as a matter of something that he cannot personally walk away from and be able to live with himself afterwards. He bluntly apologizes to Fiva upon realizing this was what she was trying to divulge from him, stating his concern that he knows he’s been misleading her nearly the whole time they had been together – he can’t find it in himself to hang up his sword and live a life ignorant of the world’s problems while he can still attempt to change some of them. He tries to rationalize himself more but Fiva cuts him off, as she accepts the apology and informs him that she’ll follow where ever he goes. At the end of the conversation she manages to grab onto a fish, and changes the topic by gleefully informing him that she’s caught their dinner for the night.
The group continues onwards into the Revnal Wastes after leaving the grasslands, being slowed down by the fact Fiva finds it difficult to travel in the arid environment.
In the meantime, Gragus and Aras continue to build a friendship as they discuss their backgrounds – Aras explaining his past in North Ahrea. Gragus informs Aras that he’s from North Ahrea as well, and his family is now residing in Durden due to the troubles up there. He’s primarily on this adventure in order to gain the money he needs to fully ensure their survival, as he has his wife and three kids to worry about. Aras informs Gragus that he’ll do whatever it takes in order to get him back home safely.
Travner causes Selea to become giddy as he informs her of all the treasures they had to leave behind in the ruins. She’s ecstatic to reach the ruins, believing that they will be able to quickly grab the book – along with all the precious little gems she’d been hearing about.
However, several days into the excursion through the Wastes, the party notices a much larger group moving towards Mount Fresa, and go into hiding as this group passes over them. It turns out to be a Legion company, who definitely are intending to reach the ruins and claim the Book of the Realms. This company is being guided by a sorcerer by the name of Yarvdenn, who indicates he’s quite able to use the book to create a portal at the base of the ruins itself – effectively being able to make a fortified forward base for the Legion on the top of Mount Fresa.
The Legion company does not notice the party (despite between relatively close to one another), and they depart on their way to continue to the mountain after their break. The party is completely caught off guard, and become rather horrified when they realize that Aras had been intending to shoot Yarvdenn before Fiva managed to make him stand down.
Aras, Selea, and Adgar are horrified by this news – having had their worst fears confirmed in the fact the Legion wishes to establish a presence on South Ahrea. Despite the fact Wekus and Travner fear they’re horribly outnumbered, Adgar and Aras decide to press on after the Legion – knowing that there is no time to gather any more reinforcements before the Legion makes it there first.
The party continues onwards through the wastes, eventually breaking into the forest at the base of Mount Fresa. They continue onward – though they are very cautious as the possibility of an ambush is rather high.
As Fiva scouts the way and Adgar and Aras lead the party, the group comes across an odd sight – they find the red haired woman from before in the middle of some sort of levitation above a pond within the forest. Their interruption causes her spell to fail, and she falls into the pond. She becomes immediately hostile and prepares another spell aimed at them, and they are able to see that frost is emanating from the wand she’s holding onto. Aras immediately recognizes her, and asks why she’s been following them – though Fiva is more direct, surprising the witch by jumping down immediately in front of her and holding her at swordpoint. Fiva is under the impression that this woman is a spy of some sort, though the witch drops her spell and informs Fiva that she is mistaken, and idiotic for being mistaken in the first place.
She introduces herself as Aya, and informs Aras she’s been following him since his time in North Ahrea due to having heard so much about him after her first sighting of him – though she immediately follows this up by stating that she’s rather disappointed in him after the welcome she’s received. Adgar asks if she is registered with the Kingdom as she’s shown rather potent magical abilities – though she dismisses him by stating that she is not and that she does not subject herself to any laws of the sort, doing what she wants.
Being surprised to actually speak with her, Aras asks if she wants to join his party as she seems to have such an interest in their activities – Aya declines, stating that she’s in the area on her own business and journey of discovery. After insulting Fiva once the elf asks a question of what the witch is looking for, Aya dismisses them and disappears into the woods, leaving the party rather confused with the encounter.
Regardless, they’ve arrived to Mount Fresa, and begin their ascent up the mountain – knowing there’s much more important matters at hand to deal with.