Another chance meeting on the road, in the wilderness, Al’teen, Vengeance, Namsire, and Valorine all happen to be going after the same magical artifact. They agree to pursue it together, for safety in numbers. The map leads us to a tomb, Valorine and Vengeance are both hit with some weird spell, causing them to become sluggish and unaware of encroaching enemies. Al’teen is able to release them eventually, but it’s clear that this won’t be a clear cut treasure retrieval mission.
In the tombs, they play with witchfire, fight a mummy, learn why scarabs are terrible, and finally find the gem. Upon contact, it speaks to us in Blight’s voice (who else?), blood starts running down the walls, the gem shatters, and the whole building begins to collapse into a pool of blood. They run, but before managing to escape, they see another dimension of fire and scary things. Somehow, everyone manages to get through the door, and they all awake in the graveyard.
The tombs are gone and Orin is there – he condescendingly lets the group know that they, once again, owe their lives to him. Blight had dropped them onto the plane with the demons and he saved them. Valorine and Namsire exchange stories with their new companions and all agree to continue together.
A Battle of Nightmare
As the four are traveling, they reach a place where the cries of a baby are plainly audible. They hasten forward, only to be caught in the magical soothing powers of some song. Eventually the song ends, and they meet the singer, Fink, an innocent goblin child with no understanding of his own power. With him is a baby that he has saved from his home village as it was destroyed.
The group decides he may as well continue with them. After all, they can’t abandon these two innocents! Fink asks if they can stop by the manor where he is from, and they agree, not knowing that this will be the most challenging fight yet…
Of course, when they arrive at the manor, there are all manner of monsters, and Fink disappears. The group battles for what seems like 7 hours before finally beating off their enemies, the most troublesome of whom were the scarabs and the harpies. Afterwards, they take a brief rest to heal themselves.
A New Companion
Before even deciding to continue on, a Dwarven airship appears, seemingly out of nowhere. It’s not doing well, it’s on fire and is being harassed by a nightmare. Even more shocking, a tall human man hastily ascends, calling to the group to get out of the area, because “this thing’s coming down!”
They start to move out of the way, and skeletons also appear out of nowhere. The fight consumes them and they battle it out right underneath the flaming airship. After subduing the skeletons, they traverse to the front of the house to destroy the nightmare that they saw touch down there. Before they can get there, the nightmare flies up, and the airship follows.
However, the rider’s footsteps and the broken window of the manor clearly show his direction, so they pursue this enemy instead. As they race through the house, they hear Fink and the baby crying out in terror. The room at the top of the stairs is full of monsters, whom they hack through. The minions are destroyed easily, but the behemoths and the nightmare rider take some doing. The battle raged, so fierce that nearly all were bloodied, and one unfortunate, Namsire, was cut down with a mighty blow.
Seeing their companions fall, the group steeled their resolution and finally manged to destroy this foul nemesis. Upon inspecting his clothing, they discover he is an important agent of Blight and, while not expecting them, relevant to their quest. Karn, their new addition, has brought with him a gift from Sozin, a new-and-improved resurrection scroll. How handy!
However, before they can make use of this valuable and much-needed gift, Fink, the baby, and a woman they’ve never seen before appear out of the room in the corner. They walk over to Namsire, sing, and he comes back to life! The group is then surprised, to say the least, to discover this kind and benevolent woman is none other than their pawn-master Orin.
Orin leaves them all, taking Fink and the baby with him/her?/whatever, leaving us with a new gift, the ability to understand all languages. The group goes through the possessions they’ve gained in the battle, Al’teen cleanses and destroys the “bad” stuff, and then Namsire and Valorine tactfully let the others know they they’ve really got more important things to be doing. The group splits, with Valorine and Namsire heading off to pursue their new quest (and not get beaten up by the terrible rolls of their current companions anymore), and Vengeance, Al’teen, and Karn continuing to follow the heart.