The elves that have taken the agents hostage are the Border Guard led by Galen Leafblade. They are loath to answer questions, but they will say that they are to perform a ritual prophesied by the Codex. Galen says he is to show the Trio the Guide, but he is clearly not too happy about it.
Galen asks for one of the agents to volunteer for the ritual, warning that a price will be extracted. Astrid immediately steps forward seeing this as merely an extension of her calling. After an uneasy truce is established with the Border Guard, the agents weapons are returned and they proceed to the place prepared for the ritual.
In a large clearing, the half dozen kithband of the Border Guard cohort took up defensive positions and Galen began to draw an arcane circle around Astrid. As the circle was sealed, giving off an eerie blue glow, the first of an attack force sprinted from the woods. The raving man ran straight for Oliver, tackling him and bearing the pair into the circle. In a flash of blue light, the two disappeared.
Angelique, intrigued by the development, herself stepped into the circle and disappeared.
Then the next wave consisted of several fanatics and beastmen. The Border Guards opened fire with their bows, showing no sign of surprise or stress. The only agent left in play for the skirmish, Remi, drew upon his newfound abilities and began unleashing bolts of arcane force upon the enemy. A pitched battle ensued, but as several of the beastmen and fanatics began to go down a final contingent entered the clearing. This beast man paused and recited an unclean incantation calling forth a large red daemon. The daemon wielding a huge sword began to cut a swath through the Border Guard defending the ritual. Remi offered up his best assaults, but could not faze the creature.
Suddenly, Angelique reappeared and immediately began dealing death with her blade. While she dispatched mutating fanatics and beastmen, the daemon was not even slowing. Astrid, desperate to help her friends, but unable to leave the circle, reached out as the daemon bore down on Remi. To her surprise as much as anyone else’s, a bolt of pure magic leapt from her hand and struck the daemon. She focused he will and was able to channel several more bolts to fell the daemon as Angelique mopped up the last beastmen.
Buying enough time to complete the ritual at the cost of nearly all the Guards’ lives, Galen completed the final runes of the circle and light enveloped the clearing. When the light receded, Astrid’s eyes glowed with an otherwordly blue light. Astrid, however, saw all the pages of the Codex…and many, too many, were assembled all in one place. A place that Astrid recognized as the site of Solvak’s resurrection.