Still investigateng which political opponent to the king, The band of adventurers follows a runner from Prince Dukkah's mansion in the middle of the night. After following him for a day, they decide to capture him. This action works out well as the messenger is a Tengu and can be impersonated. They also see the message he is carrying that states that things are progressing sooner than expected and requests advice. Soar dons the atire of Dukkah's messenger and goes to the meeting location. He meets with another messenger from a sorcer named Vivizax. After delivering the message, Soar attempts to get more information. After not being able to garner much information, the party decides to capture this messenger as well, but the second messengers casts dimention door and steps through it.
Returning to Cacinethal, the party makes their report and delivers the intercepted message to him. Cacinethal suspects that the Prince is being controlled by this mage and instructs the party to deal with it. He instructs the party not to even let the mage speak when they find him, simply to kill him without giving him the chance to cast a spell.
Setting off in the direction of the marked map provided by Cacinethal, the band of adventurers is set upon by a small pack of blink dogs and then an emerald ooz. Both distractions are quickly and easily dealth with. Arriving at the location of the mysterious mage, they discover the ruins of an ancient city. There is a large building in the center of the city that is the only one still wholly intact. Suspecting that their quarry is inside they sneak into the building.
Finding a sorcerer studying inside they set upon him quickly. He is barely able to say "Welcome, I am Vivizax Lasvida…" before arrows start flying. Immediately he conjures a fog that obscures him from view. Soar charges in while the archers and casters find flanking positions in cover. Several elementals appear in the large chamber and the fight shifts to a chaotic brawl instead of a quick take-down. After the fog clears the sorcerer is no longer visible. A laugh echos from the chamber and Vanoliel sees him, standing in the rafters. Fidgit begins to suggest that he may not be as he seems as her plant companion refuses to attack him. Vanoliel heeds this advice and retreats to a defensive position to see if combat can be ended. Sudina joins the two other adventures in maintain a non-combative stance. Runningo, however. releases a spell into the rafters, but it finds no targets as the sorcerer disappears. He barely feels a touch on his shoulder as the sorcerer appears behind him casting a spell. Runningo collapses onto the floor in instant death. Just as Soar is about to charge forward, Fidgit feels the empathic scream of he plant to end combat. Looking over she sees a fern, that has jumped out of it's pot, sitting on top of her puffball. As it turns to stone and upsets the balance of the flying fungi, she calls out to Soar that they must cease fighting. As soon as Soar comes to a halt in his charge. The mysterious sorcerer also stops his annihilation of the party.
Vivizax the greets them with his whole name and welcomes them to the ruined city of Halmeth. He says that he represents the Great Library of the South and is watching the events unfold in the kingdom. He claims to be advising Prince Dukkah and trying to stop a coup d'etat. After listening to him for a while. The party, or those who are left, advise Vivizax of what they have seen. Upon informing him of the switched message from the general, he replies that Pon Osa must be the controlling party in the coupe. He says that he cannot directly interfere as that would in an invasion of an internal affair of a foreign sovereign kingdom. He advises that the party put an end to the coupe. He says that the party can try to expose him as a traitor, but this will take a lot of work. His other suggestions are to either kill him, which the paladin won't do without a trial; empower his political enemies, which would take too long; or warn the King, who would not believe them over his trusted advisor Pon Osa.
As the band of adventurers decides that they must expose the power hungry Count, Runningo begins to stirr. Vivizax is intrigued, as he knows that the spell Finger of Death had not failed to kill. Upon investigation he discovered that Runningo was a witch in the service of his patron Death. With his miserable performance in Death's service, Death himself has rejected Runningo and sent him back to the land of the living.