When Moriel recovers from the shock of seeing the protector golems, she reveals that Leitus ar’Shimrael Vin was one of the greatest thinkers of the Elven people and obsessed with what came before the Elves – of which there is no history or, indeed, evidence beyond the Waygate and its immediate vicinity. He is staggeringly old, well over seven-thousand years, and once you get that old you don’t really think in terms mortals can particularly understand. Two thousand years previously, Leitus was involved in the Waygate excavation and found something that drove his obsession to new heights. It was never discussed what he found, and there is debate as to whether it was an artifact or simply a revelation, but he very rapidly began to distance himself from his peers and, eventually, left the forest altogether. There are rumors that he lives in a hovel somewhere in the wooded hills north of Karak’Fel. Moriel travels into Tir’Valar alone, as only elves are allowed to pass the guardians, and finds the city in the same condition as J’sta and Dorothea.
The party travels on to Sidarthe’minwe and finds the underground archive of the Elves protected by a fog-like barrier which both Gronk and Moriel recognize as an old anti-siege spell commonly employed by the Elves, indicating that the archive, at least, has been defended against the curse that has befallen the other Elven cities. They find indications that others had recently spent time at the edge of the barrier, but can otherwise not get the attention of anyone who may be inside the fortress.
After some discussion, it’s decided that the party will head East and attempt to find Leitus’ abode. After several weeks of searching through the goblin-infested woods East of Hillcrest, the party finally comes across the entrance to an underground complex, guarded by an Elf and a Dwarf. The party is invited in, the Dwarf mentions that his master has been waiting for “Mengst to send someone to apologize”. They are led down into the complex which appears to be inhabited by several hundred peoples of all races, all of whom appear to look very slightly ill – a condition Gronk recognizes as likely warpstone poisoning. They are introduced to Leitus in his expansive laboratory, which also contained the bodies of a Halfling and a Human who had obviously recently been tortured, Alton recognizes them as Ferris and Shep – both from Volkov’s unit. After some exposition it is found that the two rogue soldiers had attempted to infiltrate Leitus’ compound in an attempt to steal his device – which he has been developing for over a thousand years in an attempt to seal the Waygate. Leitus is convinced that he can develop a counter to the Waygate, essentially sealing it closed, but he requires vast volumes of star-metal to accomplish his goals – which is why he has been mining the region as he’s discovered impact sites – the mine behind the goblin bloom is one such mine (they collapsed and flooded it when they realized they wouldn’t be able to keep the goblins out). The neutrality of the elven peoples hit Leitus hard, and for thirty years (a moment in time to him, really) he’s harbored quite a bit of anger. So when it came time to test one of his devices – a device which shifts the very fabric of the universe around a locale – he chose Tir’Valar. The device essentially locks every living thing frozen in time. He freely offers the party all the star-metal they may need to construct Corky’s anti-cannon device, on the condition that Mengst agrees to meet him to foster cooperation.
As Moriel becomes increasingly agitated, the party withdraws from the compound to discuss their options and to avoid a confrontation. While they are discussing their options, they lose track of Poppy, who presumably snuck off during the argument to take matters into her own hands. Roughly half an hour later, a plume of smoke begins to trickle from the underground compound, and Poppy emerges with Leitus’ device, sprinting ahead of his very angry followers. The party escapes to Everwatch, where they brief Mengst and let Smoot and Corky discover how to operate the device. From there, they proceed in turn to Dorothea, J’sta, and Tir’Valar to release the Elves from their imprisonment. In Tir’Valar, Moriel is nearly set upon by Cutter, Lars, Steen, and Kirk, four of Volkov’s men who were attempting to prevent Leitus from activating his device. Detente is established and the four men plus the party proceed on to Sidarthe’minwe.
The wardens of Sidarthe’minwe recognize Cutter’s team, disarm everyone and lead them and the party in through some galleries to a small study, where they find the scholar Etari’sul, as well as Volkov and the last of his team – Shar’we, Bink, and Lassiter. It is revealed that Volkov was seeking Etari’sul to discover secrets of the Ringwielders and had been trapped when the Elves defended themselves from Leitus’ plot. When pressed about his perceived betrayals, he rubs his temples and responds:
“You idiots…Stein is a Kisharan!”