The party makes it to the northern border of the Divide of the Lands. Ryhar insists that the party hires guides, and locates the two he would like to hire for the crossing.
The guides lead the party down into the bottom of the north side of the Divide. The party are witness to a large green dragon flying about in the sky, to which the guides are horrified as dragons have not been in the Divide since the 1st War of the Reign nearly 40 years ago. At the bottom of the Divide, the guides prepare a boat to make the crossing to the southern side.
Fiva is nearly swallowed whole by an Aberath (cavern catfish) while she dangles her legs of the side of the boat, and is scolded for doing so. A hydra eats the aberath in front of the party, however, and begins attacking their boat. As the party defends themselves, the senior guide is caught by one of the hydra’s heads and is eaten alive before them.
Unnerved by the circumstances, the junior guide named Morr crashes the boat into a cavern that they use to escape to Southern Ahrea without going up the rest of the divide, and the party retreats into the cavern.
As it becomes apparent that the party is wandering through some kind of old dwarven mine, Morr realizes that he has led the party into the wrong tunnel, and that he has no idea where they are going. They continue on, however, and come under attack by gels that were disturbed by their presence.
The party defeats the gels, though the fight attracts the attention of several Giant Rhagodessas and Nocsune (“Blood Worm”, large carnivorous caterpillar-esque creatures). The party fights their way through in order to protect Ryhar and Yunea’s horses and wagon, though Morr is caught by a Rhagodessa and dragged to his apparent death.
The party, now without a guide, ventures deeper into the mine to avoid any more hostile creatures. As they pass through a water-filled clearing, however, they come across an Ataga (giant leech/squid-like creature) that nearly catches one of the horses. Aras frees the horse, but is caught by the Ataga and nearly eaten before Fiva frees him.
The party continues into the mine, and are stopped by a magic wielding Dwarf that forces their halt with a spell. He introduces himself as Ansos, and upon realizing that the party does not intend to harm him lets them free. He is rather surprised to hear that Arvic’s son Aras is in their company, and seems to be rather agreeable once this has been established. Upon hearing the story of their travel through the divide, Ansos allows the party to stay the night in his home – an old fortress built underground.
Aras and Fiva find her favorite fairytale in the bedroom they share in Ansos’ home: “Tale of the Crystal Maiden”, which she recited many times before in SONG 2 and recites to him again as they cuddle and rest. (Which for them, a little bed like this would be the greatest thing in the world considering all of the places they have been resting over the last few months.)
Ansos wakes the two in the morning, commenting on their poor manners for sharing the same bed – especially so as they are not married, to which the two are horribly embarrassed by.
Ryhar strikes it off well with Ansos, and finds out the lay of the land to return to the surface in Southern Ahrea. Aras listens in as well, and Ansos provides the two a map of the tunnel systems within the Divide. The party leaves Ansos’ home, though he informs them to say hello to his daughter Aya, a dwarf named Gorg, and Adgar the wizard for him.