After chasing off Dar Iya, Gwendolyn walks presents the Auxiliaries with a letter from Legate Elendis of Elendria inviting them to The Imperial Elendrian Grand Elven Ball (Most non-Elves jokingly refer to it as the IEGEB), the biannual hotspot for high society and world politics. During a time of war and social upheaval such as this, all world leaders are sure to attend and there will most likely be many plans hatched and illicit deals agreed upon during this meeting of nobility of all sorts, and therefore the Auxiliaries decide to make the journey to Elendria to attend. They were lent an airship and use it to fly to Eldarwynion, the capital of Elendria, returning it to the Embercronian Embassy in the city. When they arrive, they still have three months until the IEGEB begins. They are given three tasks by the Embercronian Embassy, direct from David:
- Procure appropriate dress wear for the ball.
- Investigate the source of the Church influence in the Topaz Fist
- Assist the inept Elven army against the Dark Elf and Duegar invaders
The Auxiliaries dump a large heap of gold into the purchase of three sets of Elven Ball Robes, and being their search through the city of Eldarwynion for hints of the source of Church influences. After confronting a member of the Topaz Fist on the street and forcing him to take them back to the Topaz Fist headquarters in Eldarwynion, where the Auxiliaries learn of three members of the Council of Elders, a group of ancient Elves that holds no official political power but exists to preserve Elven culture and therefore still holds a serious amount of political influence, have been treating with the Church and openly speaking against Elendis and David. This leads to Carvin entering the Bar-Ned-Einor, the meeting place of the Elder Council, a confrontation that nearly comes to blows and results in no real information. After this, they prepare to meet the Dark Elf forces in one of the many trenches that crisscross the deep forests of Elendria. They lead a fateful assault against Dark Elves wielding powerful Infernal Magic, so powerful in fact that Carvin falls during the skirmish. He survives, but the bones in his right arm are crushed entirely and he is in such pain that Trandorick and Kjevkas decide to descend down the stairs into what they assume to be a bunker without him while he heals.
What they find below is not a bunker of any kind of bunker, but instead ruins so ancient that Trandorick, an accomplished amateur archaeologist and dead language expert, has only heard of the architectural style in tomes. This ruin is Juctillian, a civilization that dominated the entire world in the days when the Gods still walked the surface of Myr. The walls are black stone and grooves filled with pure mana light the hallway with an eerie blue light. As they walk forward, Kjevkas and Trandorick see the hallway open up into a larger room. In the center of the room is a glowing blue circle on the ground, with mana flowing to it from the bone staff of a Dark Elf standing nearby. Standing around the room in various watching this ritual occur are large, one-eyed creatures. Kjevkas and Trandorick decide that it would be better not to engage these creatures and hatch a plan. At the same time, Trandorick releases an arrow which slams into the Dark Elf, throwing him off his feet, and Kjevkas throws a bomb of alchemical fire into the mana circle in the center of the room.
DUUM XXILNNICHA VRAI BELAOR CRAAXS CGREL
Kjevkas and Trandorick hear these ancient runes spoken over and over again in their minds, accompanied by all manner of sounds, from the shrieks and cries of animals to the sounds of raging battle to the screaming of dying women and children, shaking their consciences to the core. A great runed door bursts open, and the two look on in horror as great creature made of stone explodes into the room, his fist slamming into one of the single-eyed creatures, dropping it immediately. Their minds are overcome with fear and they flee from the ruins. As they charge out up the stairs from the ruins below, Kjevkas sweeps Carvin off his feet and picks him up, carrying the elf as he and Trandorick flee from the ruin until the sounds battering their minds cease. When they finally stop, they are shaken to their very cores. Neither of them speak for days on end as they walk back to Eldarwynion. Carvin, however, heard none of these sounds and his only injury is to his physical form.
By the time they return, it is almost time for the IEGEB. Within a few days, the first day of the three-day-long event is at hand. After a series of grand receptions, the Auxiliaries are met by David and Krathin in the Elven Palace’s Ball Room. David informs them that they know belong to an elect group of agents known as the Order of the Silver Flame, a group that serves David directly and does not answer to the Embercronian Government. Technically, it does not exist as anything more than a branch of the Mages Guild that serves as David’s personal bodyguard. Krathin heals Carvin’s arm, and although it will never fully heal, one could not ask for a better healer. David also presents the Auxiliaries with a magic stone that allows him to send them orders remotely. After quickly and uneventfully dealing with a small group of Topaz Fist trying to infiltrate the ball, they schmooze up to political figures. Kjevkas, however, confronts a girl by the name of Juliana, the bastard daughter of the current Archbishop of the Church of the Five. He intimidates her into telling her that she has been chosen as the sacrifice for the Aspect Ritual, but is unable to get any other information out of her. What will happen on the next two nights of the IEGEB? What does David have planned for the Auxiliaries? What is the significance of the Juctillian Ruins? The answers to these questions and many more will be revealed during the travels of the Auxiliaries.