The mercenaries were payed for their work and discussed intelligence gathered by Mentor Reed. The Blood Mage they had fought exposed the method of transportation used to smuggle the Snake Beast across the desert. A magic portal that could be opened to connect the Gold Mountains to Brackland. Mentor Reed wanted to find out more, particularly if the portal could be held open by another Mage or Mentor. She asked three of the four mercenaries to inspect it along with Mentor Olyn who was replacing Mentor Worth. The portal could only be opened on the Brackland side so to have a chance of inspecting it Dale hypnotized the remaining mage and had him send a message asking for workers. There was some worry that the magic needed to keep open the portal wouldn’t be accesible to the Mentor, so the mercenaries took a blood mage prisoner along with them. Her name was Emlyn. She was given the choice of execution for practicing blood magic or helping the mercenaries and getting her sentence commuted to life in prison. Mentor Olyn was tasked to keep her from practicing her evil magic on the way.
A response came from Brackland that workers, warriors and weapons were on the way. Mentor Reed wrote an order to allowing the conscription of soldiers from a fort that was along the way and sealed it in a message case. The way to the fort was plagued with Gith. During a night time fight Mentor Olyn was knocked unconscious, releasing Emlyn. Emlyn used her magic to dispatch the rest of the Gith. After the fight Emlyn voluntarily let herself be tied up again as the group decided to ride the rest of the night to the fort. After giving their message from Mentor Reed over to the guard they were allowed to enter the fort and recuperate. The mercenaries were given beds while Emlyn was locked up down in the silver mine that the fort protected. In the morning Captain Rayner and his guards joined the group to inspect the portal. In the mountains they found a 20 foot high arch amid a blackened clearing.
The guards lined up on high ground out of sight, Emlyn and Mentor Olyn crouched on the back side of the arch and the rest of the group hid themselves nearby. The portal opened and as promised workers, warriors and weapons came through. A brave guard from Rayner’s group was the bait for the trap. He was chased by the majority of the Brackland warriors. As the portal was open both Emlyn and Olyn confirmed they could keep the portal open if they tried. When the portal closed one of the Bracklanders noticed Mentor Olyn but he was stopped from reporting this by Dale’s psychic interruptions.
Once Mentor Olyn confirmed that she could hold the portal open herself she said Emlyn’s stay of execution was over. The other mercenaries hesitated at this course of action and started to ask Emlyn why she used the forbidden magic. During this discourse Captain Rayner appeared with three of his men. He said the ambush had been a success and the rest of his guards were now dispatching the wounded. After conferring with the Mentor he commanded his guards to execute the blood mage. Dale, Edrian, and Jacal stood in their way. Swords were drawn and combat began. Emlyn broke free from Mentor Olyn’s hold and used her magic to protect herself and the mercenaries. Captain Rayner and two of his men were cut down in combat and the rest were killed while trying to escape. The mercenaries were left wondering what to do about this mess.