The Battle for Ethana was over and the mana drain devices dismantled. But no one was willing to celebrate yet. Ethana was still decimated. Gathering anyone able enough, Idris Griderstalk began the hard task of planning how to rebuild the town. This time Ethana would be better able to defend against threats that might return.
Rick, Aonara and Kalas leave the circuit components with the cyphermonks Tomas and Alarin, the rest of the device components they salvage for themselves. To combat the threat of the jailer, the trio plans to free the cyphermonks from their temple.
Before they try, they head for the ARPA ruins north of the Old Highland Road. The same ruins where Aonara sealed the ancient gate to the Dark Horde prison. They hope to salvage some technology from the old military ruins. How much use they will get from five-hundred-year-old technology remains to be seen. Aonara knows the ARPA ruins had been set up to study the gate and devise means to combat the Dark Horde. That research may still be there.
But as they travel close to the ruins, they realize that the ARPA location might have new owners. Tendrils of smoke curl up from the thick canopy of the northern Trollway forest during the day. At night, a purple-green aura hovers above the trees. In the distance, there is the sound of forgefires working non-stop.