In the morning, Jasnah calls Cid, Flint, Kurshk, Yevelda, Pensiar, Althaea, Mialee and Zasheir together to discuss plans. No one knows where Lydia and Chinicum have gone and we are unable to reconstruct their last movements. Will we ever see them again? We must carry on.
Jasnah tells us a civil war has broken out amongst the elves, seeded by our attempt to expose Thia. Alarmingly, the neighboring nation of Surria is actively inflaming the elvish civil war, sending agents into the Elvish forests.
Jasnah tells us Sparklegem and Wellby are undercover in Surria and have sent reports that the Cult of the Dragon is active there. Sparklegem and Wellby have joined forces with a group called The Sons of Surria, whose aim is to root out the Cult. Jasnah thinks a small group of us should go to Surria to interfere with the Cult’s plans.
Flint, Cid and Kurshk decide to go. We choose to take Pensiar and Mialee with us, turning down Zasheir’s offer. We are given papers to cross the border on our side but are told we will have to figure out a way to get past the guards on the Surrian side. After that we are to head to the town of Kazan and check into the tavern “The President and the Pig,” where Wellby will find us.
Before we leave, there is Lamentation to deal with. Detestable as he is, Pensiar states he represents her best chance to get home, and reminds us that he knows EVERYTHING about our enemy, which would be quite a bit of information to throw away. So we decide to let him live, at least for now, and we have him brought to us for questioning.
Lamentation is more than happy to give us information. He explains to us what Sultana wants with the elves. Sultana seeks to bring the dragons back in full. Apparently the dragons and the immortal races have been banished to some twilight world, which Sultana visits in her dreams. (Is this the very twilight world that we visit in our dreams?) The elves, being an immortal race, are still in the midst of being “transitioned” to this other world, which is drawing them in. Althaea confirms that the elves are slowly disappearing. Lamentation tells us that Sultana believes that after the elves are gone from this world, she can break the barrier and let the dragons out, so she is trying to hurry the process… by killing them all.
Although Kurshk would still like very much to smash Lamentation to a pulp, Cid and Flint concur that Lamentation may continue to be useful in the future, and we decide to keep him alive. But we draw the line at Lamentation’s offer to go with us to Surria, and instead have him locked up until we return.
We are teleported to Clearview, the town nearest the Surrian border. At a tavern, over hard cider, Cid devises a brilliant plan. We will tell the Surrian guards we are Surrian spies that have been in this country for several years, which will explain our accents and lack of documentation. If this ruse fails, we will retreat and Cid will turn himself into a crocodile and ferry us across the border river on his back.
The scheme works like a charm. Flint masterfully convinces the guards that he is overjoyed to be back in Surria, making fun of the foolish officials in the other country. When the guards still reluctantly require proof, Flint “understands” completely, and pretends to ponder how to prove himself. Fortunately, he is given an opportunity by the guard, who says, “Perhaps you could describe your signet ring? The one you had to discard?” The only signet ring Flint has seen recently belongs to Lydia, so he describes it. “It was blue, lapis. A rune on it. Thick, gold…”
At this, the guard exclaims, “Oh my… I am TERRIBLY sorry for delaying you, my lords. Please pass through!” .. … (“Lords?” What just happened!? What is Lydia doing with such a ring?)
But there is little time for speculation. We hurry past the guards and head toward Kazan. We keep a low profile, sleeping at night by the side of the road, stopping occasionally at taverns to quench Flint’s thirst for information and Kurshk’s thirst for ale. It will take many days of travel, mostly by foot, to reach Kazan. Days on the road are passing swiftly and uneventfully until one day, ever on the alert, we perceive an ambush ahead!