After resting at the local inn, the party, along with the aid of Ronan Ragefang entered the mine once again. To their dismay, the room beneath the hatch through which they had previously traveled into the mine was crawling with the giant ants. Ronan offered to cast a mighty spell to clear out the room, thus summoning a great fireball to engulf the ants. Many of the insects were fried by the spell, the remaining survivors running away through the tunnel shafts. Finally the party re-entered the cave and continued on their previous course to what looked like a large and very remarkable room on the map they had found.
Passing the egg room and rounding a corner, the party came upon more ants, these ones larger than the past combatants, and black. Jeremiah Took aim at the nearest large ant and fired an arrow. Narrowly missing the ant, and now aware to the parties presence and intent, the large black ant charged in with abandon. The group stood fast but alas Kain was grappled and carried back farther into the room. Soon after Zekthal too was grappled, even his great orcish strength couldn’t break the ants grasp, his fate matching that of Kain, to be carried back into the room. After some brilliant healing from Ti, the party fought their way to their grappled friends and freed them by slaying the large ants.
The encounter finished, the party continued on their path to finally reach the large room marked with a “crown” on the map. What they came upon was without question (in their minds) some form of ant-royalty. The Queen ant, a massive, hulking beast began to speak telepathically to Zekthal who took point for the group. The queen asked why the party attacked “them”. After much deliberation, the party realized that the ants which originally ambushed them in the mine (on the first day) were red, where these ants were in fact black. This seemingly pacifistic colony requested simply to be left alone, and said they had existed in relative peace with the humans who mined for salt in the tunnels. Making an offer that the party thought beneficial for all, the group extended to slay the red ants, enemies of the blacks, and in doing so requested that the black ants move deeper into the caves to allow for expansion of the surface dwellers. The party and the ants (through the telepathic communication of Zek, reached an uneasy truce… the group would continue deeper into the caves to exterminate the red ant colony thus helping the black ants while continuing their mission for answers, and the lost miners/explorers.