A honed, lean imposing elf came forward and introduced himself as Ryjas. He asked the accompanying guards if they were getting a share of treasure as mercenaries. When the accompanying guards from Altaruk looked confused, Ryjas said they have no quarrel with them and would offer them safe passage. The lead guard told the adventurers they had accompanied them to hunt down the thrax, not fight in their battle against raiders. They said they’d continue on to find the lair and would wait until dusk, then ride back to Altaruk. Then they solemnly rode off leaving the group behind.
Ryjas began to account for the current events buzzing around in Tyr. House Lanto was rumored to be involved in trading slaves, and House Tsalaxa was also involved. Further rumors that a mul, dwarf, and human warrior women were involved, along with an extremely pale half elf man. His chieftain, Lismuuk had then heard of the Toecutter gang talking to the same dwarf in the Warrens, warning her to not get involved with their slaver affairs. Only they had ignored the warning and freed some abducted slaves anyways.
Lismuuk was sure he knew who they were and saw an opportunity to get some leverage with House Tsalaxa. He had approached the house and stated he could take care of the group responsible for not only marring their name by exposing their involvement with slave trade, but also the ones responsible for stealing their trade logbook.
Lismuuk had his men scour the Warrens to find out more and came across Jeila. With some threatening, she stated the details of her rescue and the exploration of old elvish ruins finding information on the sand funnel. This further convinced Lismuuk where the group was going and likely that the stone cypher the group had was real.
Lismuuk had ordered Ryjas to not only take back their heads but also recover the stone seal. Ryjas thought it folly to hunt them down, and better to just to follow and ambush them once they had made the excavation. He has no interest in wanting to kill the party. All he wanted was the stone cypher.
While Ryjas admitted he’d only speak this out of earshot from Lismuuk, He also felt Lismuuk had gotten himself in trouble with House Tsalaxa by using the stolen trade log book. It was better for Ryjas if Lismuuk sweat a while. So he again demanded they simply hand over the stone disk.
The party answered with steel, alchemical magic, and psionic fury. After a pitched fight, the group was bloodied, without mounts, but victorious. With half of his men cut down, Ryjas called for a retreat and the runners fled with the neverending endurance that only elves possessed. Wounded, the group limped back to Altaruk.
As the sun set and dusk settled in, they reached the small outpost. No one there had heard any word of the guards that accompanied them. None of them had returned from scouting the thrax lair. The group wearily rested and decided to strike out the following day to continue their hunt for the thrax.
The next day they came across the bodies of the guards killed by some type of beast. They continued tracking the thrax and were attacked by wild creatures. Carrying further on, they finally found a ruin and a likely lair of the thrax. Inside they discovered and fought the horrible creature, along with a handful of salt zombies serving as its thralls. Taking the head of the monster and burning the body, the decided to explore the ruins further to discover what else was within the ancient stone rooms.