The party continues fighting through their first encounter with the snakemen, being horribly outnumbered. Wekus in particular points this out, stating he believes the party should retreat before they are all killed.
Aras flashes back to the events of AC1261, in particular the aftermath of his and Fiva’s fight against the Dakans preventing them from escaping the Great Forest of North Ahrea. Fiva barely kept him alive at that point due to his wounds in that fight, but he made the promise that he’d take her away from all the violence they had been through – and his flashback ends as the two walk away towards Durodes.
Back in the present and watching Fiva fight for her life against these creatures along with the others, Aras starts mentally going over his own desires and his wish to keep that promise to Fiva – even if everything else in the world seems to not want him to do so. He throws himself violently back into the fight, managing to cause the snakemen to retreat upon the loss of so many of their kind against the party. With the victory in their hands, the party accepts the loss of Alenn and continue further into the ruins.
Party carries on, though Fiva becomes seperated during a cave in. She encounters even more of the snakemen on her own, who inform them that they were originally high elves who are now in this state due to the magic they had wielded, and they ask her to join them (either by becoming one herself or by being eaten).
Fiva quickly dreams of the life she wishes to live with Aras, and becomes crazed as she fights in order to keep herself alive to do so. She thanks her father Iaorven for always protecting her after the battle is done (staring at her bloody sword Vyraelys, which was given to her by him), and collapses in exhaustion. Aras and the others catch up, and after he taps her on the shoulder to make sure she’s okay, she grabs him in an affectionate manner upon their reunion.
Outside the ruins and within them, the Legion troopers are not having much luck finding the party – in such a overly large dungeon such as this one, it’s akin to finding a needle in the haystack with how mobile the party is. However, a scouting party reports they’ve found a second way inside, and Yarvdenn is informed that his “reinforcement” has arrived. He’s glad on both counts, and asks the group that has recently arrived if “he” will be able to exterminate the enemies inside. The handlers inform him that “he” will find them with no problem, and that “he” will destroy all of them. Yarvdenn is pleased, and heads to the secret entrance – hoping that his informant will live up to the expectations of his service.
After reuniting with Fiva, the party takes a quick break as they decide how to proceed throughout the rest of the ruins. Soli comments to Fiva how unfortunate it is that her ancestors fell to the rather dark magic that twisted them, to which Fiva isn’t really too overly excited to respond to.
It seems that her attention is more focused Aras, watching him from afar as he, Selea, Travner, and Adgar are planning their advance. Gragus sits next to Fiva and begins talking to her, asking her about her feelings for the fighter – figuring that they’re a couple. Fiva is horribly embarrassed and corrects him by stating that they’re only friends, though Gragus notes they seem to truly care about one another. He correctly notes that she wishes they were not here, however – stating that he doesn’t want to be here either, but that he is because he has a family to protect. He informs Fiva that everyone here is fighting for loved ones in one way or another, and even though she doesn’t feel right about how Aras goes about it, she shouldn’t hold against him – he’s trying to help her in the only way he really knows how to. Fiva’s made a little emotional after Gragus’s speech and she thanks him – he replies in saying that he hopes the two will move on and find some peace after this, and that he will see them again someday once this is over.
The party continues onward and deeper into the ruins upon Travner’s lead – though Selea notices that he begins leading them towards an underground section when he had explained the chamber containing the book was above ground. She immediately calls him out on his decision, but he informs them that this is the quickest way to reach there – which even Gragus questions as they hadn’t been in this part of the dungeon before. Regardless, with little time to spare and no one with the actual experience to challenge Travner’s suggestions, the party follows him. He smiles to himself as he travels ahead, having led the party into a narrow and debris-filled tunnel – something they would have a very hard time trying to get out of.
As the party continues through the tunnel, they suddenly become aware of a loud rumbling after Fiva hears the sound and informs them, and then hear an extremely loud roar. They turn around and look at the thing approaching them, with Fiva only able to mumble out “diasan" in reply to what they’re watching. Aras informs the party that the Legion intends to stop them here, stating that they must protect Adgar and continue ahead as this will be the only chance to capture the Book before the Legion does. Aras charges the creature behind them, being revealed to be Kor’Jagn the red dragon as it stares at the fighter pointing his sword at him.