The PCs head toward the North West coast to look for the Ruins of Eldrahil. Zelia is nowhere to be found in the morning. Having just met her, the PCs decide to head to the ruins, figuring she’ll either follow them or maybe even meet them there. They travel almost three days before managing to find the ruins. The first clue that they must be nearby is the changing landscape. The grass and sparse trees they had been seeing while traveling suddenly vanish, an almost invisible line they cross along the road. They continue on and there are no signs of any obvious life. The plant life is dead and if there are any animals, they are hiding. The first sign that there may still be life nearby is the dead raven Quiron spots off to the side of the road. Upon closer inspection, the party sees that it has a wound and Magesight reveals a minor magical aura near the site of the wound. They continue walking, but more warily now. They spot two more dead birds, both with similar wounds. They can’t remember whether the Roanoke descendents had seen Maksim change into a bird or whether ravens are just omens. Either way, scouting ahead in bird form seems like a bad idea to Maksim.
As they get closer, they see what appears to be a woman and child running from the ruins, the woman turning her head to see if she’s being followed. The woman and child are, at least to those with Magesight, obviously magical and most likely an illusion. As the two figures run down the road, a cloaked and hooded figure (also magical), steps into view, casts a fireball spell and kills the woman and her child. The figure then pulls his hood back and Maksim’s face is revealed!
Familiar-looking figures appear within the ruins and fire upon Maksim’s image, which vanishes. Quiron rushes toward the broken gate of the ruins, where men armed with flintlock rifles are moving into defensive positions as Quiron charges into the courtyard. The men are never able to fire a shot because he moves around the southwest tower out of their line of sight.
Once Quiron separates from the party, Maksim spots a spell being cast off to his left although it doesn’t manage to dispel his defensive spell. Once the spell fails, a group of three men wearing the sigil of the Order of Ariakis make themselves visible. They tell Maksim they are here to take him back to the Order and that they brought the Roanoke descendents here to keep his friends occupied. Maksim and Chasina don’t think much of him or his plan, and a brief battle of magic begins, only to end a short time later with the three mages bound, relieved of their items and being questioned. The men inside are quickly taken care of and sent packing back to their home.
The PCs investigate the ruins, but don’t find much of interest. They find the Order’s sigil burned into rugs but no books or other items of interest. They do manage to find a scrap of cloth in a chamber belonging to the former Lords of Eldrahil, which glows with a fading aura of magic. The members of the Order finally cough up that the entire place had been ransacked prior to their arrival and that they put their marks here to torment Maksim, knowing how much he would have wanted what was here. They managed to find a single book, with a single spell that worked on a large scale (created a deluge of rain over a large area, which made movement difficult on anything but rocky ground). Chasina remembers Quiron talking about Castle Defiant and Zelia had also mentioned seeing large groups of orcs gathering in the south.
The PCs decide to take their captives to Artos for holding and to tell him what they’ve found so far. They’ll head east toward the first trade town, make contact, and eventually take another portal to the southernmost dwarven trade town and then head west toward the castle.