As the party begins entering the grounds of the ruins, Fiva notices that there’s dozens of “elf stones” in the area. Out of curiosity she takes a look at them and sees if anyone’s home, but these have been abandoned for years. Soli states that these ruins were indeed High Elven in origin, though that Yarvdenn had mentioned they had been abandoned since the earlier War of Man and Dwarf (some 300-400 years ago in the past at this point in time). Fiva becomes a little depressed upon hearing this, as she was hopeful that she’d run into more of her kind.
The party breaches the inner ruins, finding a very spacious and ornate High Elvish chamber, complete with a giant fountain and pool. Several spouts still work on the structure, though it’s mainly stagnant.
Selea ventures forth to investigate and see if there’s any coinage that was tossed in – though she gets much more then what she bargained for when suddenly a giant Ataga erupts from the well. Completely taken by surprise by the creature’s appearance, the rest of the party goes on the offensive – though Selea is forced to escape to a small hiding spot due to the creature focusing solely on her.
She’s caught by the creature as it figures out where she is, and she becomes very fearful of dying – but is suddenly pushed out the way by Gragus (who puts himself at great risk with some six tentacles slamming towards him during his run over to her), giving her the time to escape. Aras, Fiva, and the others cover Gragus during his attempt to rescue Selea, though Aras finds himself getting wrapped up by a tentacle during his attempt to kill it – though once again Gragus jumps in the way and completes the failed attempt to stab the creature’s head, killing it in one go with all of the other injuries it took fighting the party. Fiva immediately thanks Gragus for saving her friend, though Gragus informs him he was paying the favor back – they have saved him twice before at this point.
The party continues on into the ruins, finding all sorts of odd elvish architecture. Fiva is amazed by all of the artifacts of the earlier times left behind, and wonders aloud why they had built an entire city here. Soli informs her of the fact that there is a magical leyline centered on Mount Fresa, in the same way that the Ia’Nellsa Republic in North Ahrea and the Nar’Sana Republic in the Rosan Wastes in South Ahrea are built upon.
Fiva is amused, though wonders why her ancestors died out here.
Travner and Gragus continue leading the party through the ruins, but as they carry on they come across something very unexpected – the party is accosted by a number of humanoid snakes that begin surrounding them. These snakemen inform the party that they have trespassed into a sacred area, and that they must leave immediately. Once Adgar and Aras’s attempts to negotiate passage fail, the snakemen attack – leaving the party desperately overwhelmed in numbers.
Despite the others telling him to stand his ground, Alenn believes that they will win the fight quickly if they begin attacking their leader now – and charges. The others watch on as Alenn runs up to this snakeman, but are all shocked as the snakeman simply coils up and then strikes with it’s own sword – catching Alenn at the base of the neck with it. Alenn falls over dead in front of them – leaving Fiva to watch this in absolute horror as she realizes this was not the simple quest Adgar had made this out to be.
In the meantime, Yarvdenn’s Legion Expedition reaches the ruins, the much larger company using breaching and clearing tactics to clear the first room soundly. Yarvdenn encounters the corpse of the Ataga the party fought – realizing that the group that stole his Fire Sprite are rather skilled if they had manage to kill one of these beasts. He informs his troops to clear out the rest of the dungeon – knowing that the party up ahead will completely devastate the Legion’s plans for a quick end to a new war in the event they capture the Book of the Realms first. He intends to cut them off before they can – knowing hundreds (and of course, if not thousands) of Legion troops will die in the newly planned war in the event this vital staging point is not captured for them to utilize. If these ruins are captured and the portal between the Plane of Shadows and the Material Plane is linked here, the Legion can actively attack the Kingdom Ahrea in a giant pincer movement – from the top of Mount Fresa and from their already established location in Great Lake of South Ahrea in the southeast. Such an attack would effectively ensnare the majority of the Kingdom’s forces and vital strongholds/supply communities in one blitzkrieg offensive. There would be no time for the Kingdom Ahrea to effectively mount any sort of coordinated offense in the event all of their vital defenses were wiped out all at the same time, which would ensure a quick Legion victory. As such Yarvdenn informs his troops to eliminate the enemy party – as they cannot be allowed to interfere with the Legion’s overall warfare plan or they will severely inhibit the Legion’s capability to quickly win the upcoming war with the Kingdom Ahrea.
Far off in the the forest, Aya spends her night praying to the moon – in particular Krios, the God of Night/Darkness. She informs her favored deity that she is suffering from the bonds placed upon her, and she seeks his guidance on where to go next. Her question is answered by a falling star flying over the top of Mount Fresa. She comments that she finds it weird that Krios is always asking her to follow the path of someone so simple minded, but sighs and prepares to journey forth the next morning.