After leaving Aonaran at the DARPA ruins, Rick followed the faint trail north. It was many hours later before he tracked down the remains of the Titan. Age and the end of the war had buried the giant war machine beneath rock. Nature took care of the rest. But the Titan, while real, was bait for a trap. While Rick was busy, Gemini Zhan ambushed him with Metal Jack golems.
At the ruin, the Ironshod mercenaries put Aonaran’s teachings into practice. The first attempt results in an explosion! An explosion as a result of sabotage. The dwarf responsible is soon caught by the others. The saboteur was a member of the Society of the Purple Hand. Angry, he rants at the other dwarves for dabbling in forbidden knowledge. Then he turns his ire on Aonaran, calling her a “First One” and “Firstborn” like it was a curse. That was followed by an ambush by Janala, looking to capture Aonaran. But Janala was fought off and escaped.
Back at the Titan, Rick barely survived the attack by Gemini Zhan. But the Titan did not. Used as a source of Gemini’s sorcery, the ancient machine rotted and collapsed in minutes. Rick built a fire and tended to his broken bones and wounds while Kalas arrived with the Ironshod dwarves and a cart for the wounded tinker.
Taking him to Boughedge, they left him in the care of the local healers. Returning to the ruins, Kalas met back with Aonaran and continued on to the Temple of the Inner Oracle to free the cyphermonks from their imprisonment.