Meanwhile, the members of the Company of the Black Lantern led their army down into the deep reaches of the earth to find the dark elves of House Vrama. On their way, they encountered a small city of kuo-toa as well as some other monsters. The kuo-toa proved reasonable, accepting a small tribute for allowing the army to pass. And for the most part, the monstrous beasts of the subterranean realms seemed to give the large group a wide berth.

After days of travel, the Black Lanterns became wary, and rightfully so. As they entered a large cavern, dark elves charged out in ambush. Some rode velociraptorlike lizards, while others were accompanied by bugbear warriors. The Black Lantern brought their own mercenary army to bear, and the two large groups clashed. After a tremendous battle, the Black Lantern troops emerged victorious. Although many were gravely injured, the clerics among them healed them quickly, keeping overall casualties low. The group pressed on.

It wasn’t until well into the underground journey that Gaerioth noticed that the dwarf leader, Soren Clanstone, was acting strangely. Specifically, he noted that, when the group reached a watering hole, Soren didn’t drink from it, but sat quietly. Gaerioth told the others, and they watched the dwarf carefully for a time. Finally, Serai grew tired of the situation and grabbed Soren, tricking the dwarf into teleporting with him back to Ptolus. “We don’t trust you and can’t take any chances,” the sorcerer said. Then, Serai teleported back to the Black Lanterns far underground, leaving the bewildered dwarf in a tavern.

Little did the group realize that Soren was actually the dark elf Vastare in a magical disguise. This dark elf of House Vrama not long ago impersonated Sercian, which sparked this whole quest to begin with. At least he could do no more harm to their quest now.

Next: The Company of the Black Lantern reaches Ul-Drakkan, fortress of House Vrama. The others enter the Dark Reliquary and find more than they expected. And there’s even a villain who shows up in both places. But how can that be?