Our heroes received their original copy of the Tuathan journal back, reassembled and pristine. All the pages were present. While waiting for other party members to return from Isle of Westley by boat, Zeki began reading the book. The book was written by a Tuathan scientists of sorts. Considered on the fringe for neglecting magic and focusing on non-magical technology, the Tuathan set up shop on the island at an old Azlanti site. He was fascinated by the Ones Who Came Before’s non-magical inventions, like the Stone Rings and the holographic map projector. The journal contains more entries, but will take time to read.
Once reunited, the party sets out for the Eastern most Tuathan ruin on the holographic map. Supposedly, it is the site of another Stone Ring. The several day journey was marred by the appearance of Drow one night. Arthur managed to spot about half of them, but many still laid hidden from sight. The hidden ones let loose a volley of poison arrows at the group but was thwarted by Leomund’s Tiny Hut. Arthur and Enzio took some arrows and retreated into the Hut, but not before Arthur took down one of the enemy. A Drow caster attempted twice to Dispel the Hut, but Zeki managed to Counterspell both times. The fight became a standoff until dawn came and the Drow faded back into the forest. The next night, our heroes could tell the Drow were out there yet again and attempted to cover their tracks the next day.
The party eventually came upon a remote hunting camp where trappers, hunters, and furriers work from. Talking to a huntsmen, the party learns the ruins are a couple hours to the east, but that the hunters give the area a wide berth. The ruin is a known stronghold for various goblinoid races. And recently, even stranger things have been seen. One trapper claims to have seen a giant flying snail, though he is known to be oft deep in his cups. Additionally, two hunters have gone missing.
Our heroes go to the ruins and recon the area around it. They find the ruins sit against an escarpment. Below, a small, treeless valley stretches out and in the center, what appears to be a large sailing vessel in the shape of a snail sits upon Y-shaped columns. The ship and a door into the escarpment are guarded by unusual-looking lizardmen.
The ruin itself is in pretty good shape. It consists of a stout outer wall, a tower, and a two-story donjon. The outer wall creates an interior courtyard. The party scouts the courtyard and, seeing no people, decides to enter. The choose to check the tower first.
Hearing sounds from within, Arthur climbs the tower and the party enters from the very top. As they work their way through the tower, they skirmish with hobgoblins and bugbears. They spare no one except a female hobgoblin cook. Interrogating her, they find that their hobgoblin leader has struck a deal with “purple creatures.” this does not sit well with some in the tribe, but no one has yet stood up to Ruknar.
When the party enters the cellar, they find the missing hunters and release them. They also find a well in the cellar that drops down another 20 feet. They cast light on a rock and chuck it down the well, finding out that the water appears to be flowing rather than still. Arthur climbs down and finds a passable route further east that ends at another well. They climb up the second well and find themselves in a new area, estimating it is under the donjon. They know they have a group of gnolls to their northeast and a dozen goblins directly to their south. Zeki casts Arcane Eye to have a look around the complex they are in before the party decides their next move.