When the group awakens they approach the High Priest and ask her questions pertaining to their journey. The party had originally embarked on in the hopes of finding the source of the sickness that plagued Raneth’s family but the High Priestest admits that she doesn’t know much outside of the four walls of the temple. She does, however, reveal that the temple atrium contains a Gateway. She offers to help summon the Gateway guardian for them to question in relation to these rifts.
As the ritual begins, both Raneth and Halen, who have been through the gateways find themselves struck by a vision of the past. In the vision, they see an old white haired human man barely able to walk in the very atrium they are in, when he reaches the altar, a golden divine silhouette emerges from the statue of Idon and begins to extract a purple shadowy figure from the old man.
When both Raneth and Halen come to, they see that the same shadowy entity is now contained at the center of the gateway circle they stand on.
Asking it questions, they come to discover that the entity has no name, although he was once known as “Friend” and that it is a being that doesn’t quite understand the concept time. He is unable to answer the questions that the party asks and the connection is soon severed. Frustrated with their lack of new information, the party’s quest stalls as they attempt to find out what to do from here. That being said, the entire affair did lead to a single clue – the old man, whom both Raneth and Halen ascertain is probably their friend Ahl, from another world, based on the familiarity of the shadow entity. As they talk over the possibility of the old man being Ahl – a possibility that they find hard to be believe since the entity had claimed that the old man had died perhaps a thousand years ago- the High Priest hands them a journal in old elvish from the previous High Priest in hopes that they could perhaps find reference to the man.
Raneth combs through the journal but has a difficult time fully deciphering the writings. It’s in old Elvish and furthermore, the book itself is not in the best of shape. With old ink and the damage of age, Raneth is only able to glean a few references to a human man but cannot be completely sure that that man was Ahl.
Elsewhere, Halen returns to his room in meditation, where he is suddenly pulled in by a familiar voice. The voice had become more and more prominent in the last few weeks, especially since he had arrived at the foot of the temple. For awhile now, he has been trying to decipher the meaning of his strange dreams as well as a soft whisper in his head but had mostly dismissed it in favor of other more pressing matters. Now it seems the voice has finally reached him and Halen finds himself blinded by a brilliant flash of light and unable to move to the fullest extent of his body.
As the day wears on, the party comes to discover that Halen has gone missing. They look for him, investigating every nook and cranny and eventually going outside. As they search the sanctuary grounds, Raneth slips, falling twenty or so feet into the cliffs beneath her. After rescuing her from her near death, they return to the temple and back into the party quarters in hopes that perhaps Halen has returned.
Instead, they find themselves also blinded by a brilliant white light, and also unable to move their bodies to their fullest extent.
Eventually, they all right themselves, and find themselves in a vast green meadow, a nearby treeline that points to a grove and a collection of strange shimmery lights in the distance.
Upon approach, the lights become hostile, and a fierce battle engages as the lights seem to drain the energy of the party. As the situation becomes more and more dire, a sudden booming voice can be heard.
“STAY YOUR HAND AGAINST MY HUSBAND” It shouts and almost immediately, the lights disperse.
Beneath them, the grass around them begins to point towards the grove.
Tentatively, they follow, where they are met face to face with what can only be described as a treewoman. She tells them that Halen is her husband and that she herself has lent him his power. Things become tricky when Halen attempts to leave and she refuses to allow them to. As tensions grow higher and a battle nears its head, Halen manages to diffuse the situation by promising to return once he is finished with his Kresly ties. She relents but warns that her powers have a limit and that it may be in Halen’s best interests to return as soon as possible.
The party is free to leave but when they return, both Racket and Raneth, are unable to remember the ordeal.
Tired, the party decides to rest before talking over their plans.
When they wake the next morning, Halen is hesitant to let his friends know the truth. Uresh, however, informs Halen that he does in fact remember the ordeal. After some fussing, Halen eventually relents and admits the truth.
With this matter mostly settled, the party sets their sights back onto the task at hand – the rifts, the gateways, and what they are doing to the world.
Once again, they ask questions about the old human man that they suspect is Ahl and once again they are given no answers, although someone does point them towards a figure they refer to as the loreseeker. Perhaps, they say, they will know as they have lived a very long time. The only problem? The loreseeker is a hermit and hasn’t been seen for at least a hundred years. The last place he was seen was on the Western mountain and unlike the mountain the sanctuary sits on, there is no floating stairs to take them up.
They are directed to the location of what used to be a bridge between the mountains, long since destroyed, in hopes of repairing it or at least finding another way over. Unfortunately, the bridges were located at the very top of the mountain and the group sets off on a lengthy and exhausting climb.
When they reach the top, they find nothing except a strange shimmer in the distance. As they go to investigate, they find that it is a barrier of some sort and on the otherside, a group of Treants urge the group to hush. Unsure, the group decides to backtrack out of the barrier where they find themselves face to face with a strange large apelike being that Uresh recognizes to be demonic in nature.
A fierce fight commences but the party eventually wins out and the Treants thank them before disappearing. Unsure now of what to do, they investigate the area, only to find nothing. After some time, they are suddenly approached by an old elven man. They ask him if he’s the loreseeker and he responds that it is a title he has not heard in quite awhile. They show him the journal and he reads it out to them, revealing that the old human visitor died shortly after his arrival at the sanctuary and is buried on its grounds. The elven man then disappears.
With this news, they resolve to return to the sanctuary and dig up the grave of this visitor but not until after a good night’s rest.