As the Snow Elves plan on how to deal with both the failed font and going after the Enchantress, Velve and McClain take some time to explore the city. First, they head to the market in attempt to understand how the local economy works. Their interest was piqued by the strange reaction to coin upon their arrival, so this venture was more for education than preparation. They find that while SOME places take foreign coin, most take labor or favors in exchange for their wares.
In Mac’s feeble attempt to find objects of unique Snow Elven make, he is pointed to a souvenir shop said to hold various holy symbols of ancient civilizations. Without clerics to wield these objects, they were nothing more than trinkets. A particular metallic fox skull catches Mac’s eye, which he purchases for a day’s work in the shopkeeper’s forge.
This oddly edgy tourism was of no interest to Velve, who head to the library to study the local dialect. During his studies, he notices the loud flapping of wings and the strange looking upper level. He asks scholar in the library of both. The scholar explains that the flapping comes from the Harpies around the city, while the upper level of the library held ancient Snow Elf tablets. The tablets themselves weren’t available for public viewing, but some of the writings on them were. Even with knowledge of the local dialect, it was clear that the text was too ancient for Snow Elves to even understand.
As this day ends, Mac finishes his work at the forge. He learns some of the intricacies of Snow Elvish forging and enchanting. He does not fully comprehend it, but he does take some of the lessons to heart. The shopkeep takes particular interest in Mac’s hammer, asking to study it overnight. Mac didn’t plan to “evangelize” anytime soon, so he parted ways with it for the time being.
The next day, Velve and Mac return to check on the Elvish forge master/shopkeep to find he stayed up all night. He found that it seemed to be some kind of magic vacuum, as not even foresight affected it. After some questioning, the shopkeep finds that Mac doesn’t remember how he actually came to own the hammer or his holy symbol ring, just that they have been with him for as long as he can remember. The shopkeep recognizes the divine attunement for death and fetches some other experts from town. They attempt to planeshift the ring on Mac’s hand to see if it held the same vacuum-like properties and confirmed this theory. This baffled the shopkeep who requested more time with the hammer. Mac was given a military weapon as a temporary replacement.
The duo leave the forge master and head for a tea shop they heard about earlier. They enter to find the merchant meditating, yet still aware. She offers them a sample of tea which warms them like a summer breeze. The request a batch of this for themselves, asking her to name the price. The merchant says to return to the entrance of the city. What journey the duo may find there will allow for them to receive some of her tea. Mac asks if she had tea that has an opposite effect of cooling down. He tries a very effective sample and is promised some of this tea for the same journey.
The duo go to the city entrance and find two Snow Elves surrounded by Harpies and arguing. The conversation came down to the fact that there was a Yeti leader that the Elves felt needed to be dealt with, but to be cautious of how their organization functioned. The last comment caught Mac’s attention, as he asked if these Yeti’s had notable intelligence to worry about or if they could be reasoned with. The Elves scoffed and sent the group on their way with a troop of Harpies.
Velve and Mac teleport to a place near a cave surrounded by Yetis (all huddled oddly in groups as if for warmth), but luckily out of their sight. The harpies offer to distract the group while the duo sneaks into the cave, where the leader could presumably be found. This plan is enacted, Mac turns invisible with the help of a scroll given to them by the Elf who gave this task, and Velve still manages to be more stealthy than Mac.
Upon entering the cave, Velve spots four Yetis: three strong Yetis around what appears to be a boulder fashioned into a wartable and one older-looking yeti in the far corner. Mac planned to go for the older one, since he must be important to be with these younger ones planning for war, but he fell flat on his face. The elder Yeti immediately sensed him (even with the invisibility) and tells the younger ones to surround the entrance. The elder Yeti tells Mac that he is not in trouble so long as he makes himself visible and listens. Velve attempts to stay back, but even her masterful stealth stood no chance for the elder Yeti.
The elder was very aware that the duo were most likely agents for the Snow Elves, even offering tea that happened to be the same as the kind they had earlier. Taken aback by the elder’s obvious affinity for magic and intelligence, Mac felt as if the Elves were either dishonest or cocky regarding this quest. Mac asks how the Yetis were so perceptive about their mission, to which the elder replies that they know the Elves very well. Like the Harpies, the Yetis were once Elves whose magic font was corrupted by the snow elves. Harpies were once Winged Elves and the Yetis were Deep (or Rock [this Deep differing from the main Deep]) Elves. The Snow Elves did this not out of hate, but in the pursuit of knowledge. Mac and Velve tell the elder that they could bring this up with the Snow Elves, but the elder just wished for the conflict to be over, offering himself in hopes that his people would be spared. As a brief thanks for their mercy, the elder gives a gift to each of the emissaries. A vial of Snow Elf font water for Mac and an ancient spellbook for Velve.
The Duo calls off the Harpies outside and teleport back with the elder. He is taken in and the Duo is thanked. Troubled by her new knowledge, Velve requests an audience with the Queen. This request is heard and a response would be given in due time. Mac and Velve find the shopkeep having his mind still blown by the hammer, when an alarm sounds. Jack happens by the duo, still staggeringly drunk, and they become a trio. Guards direct them to the danger at the library, where they encounter a bevvy of locusts. They valiantly smite their enemies and advance to the center of the incident. As the group ascends the stairs leading to what seems to be the hostile epicenter, a voice simultaneously growing younger and older cries out for them to stay back. Velve attempts to march onward, but is repelled by a cone of fire. Daphne and Raph cry out from the top of the stairs to say they can handle the situation. Raph tells Daphne to “take him.” The magical force relents. The trio ascends to find Raph, who informs them that Bug went rogue after reading a tome from the Queen’s vault. Velve suspects a connection to the tome and her new spellbook. As the group exits the library, the trio is summoned to the Queen’s court.
Though she was annoyed that one among their ranks took from her vault, the Queen could not deny how useful the foreigners have been. In return she offers them each a magical weapon or item from her collection. Velve takes a Sword of +1, Jack takes a Ring of X-Ray Vision, and Mac receives handwraps enchanted with necrotic damage. The trio is dismissed and find that a party is being thrown to celebrate their actions. Velve gets it on with one of the Royal daughters, also a member of the Septrumbrate(?). Jack gets it on with another one of the Royal daughters. Lastly, Mac spends part of his night sulking about his discovering regarding the Snow Elves treatment of their cousin races until Gardenia comes by to cheer him up and talk for a while.
The Shopkeep/forge master decides to come with the group to further investigate Mac’s hammer. With this, the group prepared for their return home and the search for the Enchantress.