The adventurers prevail against the zombies in the room, although the zombies prove to be remarkably resilient. When the zombies have been killed, the large Ogre Zombie turns back into the weak Randal, and Flint shoots an arrow and pins him to the wall.
Chinicum and Lydia intimidate Randal, who reveals important information to the group. They learn:
• “Sultana” is the Leader of the Cult.
• Zombies are being created to be released into the city to sow chaos. Another cell will take advantage of the chaos.
• The orb was corrupted from its original healing use by Cult mages, to turn people into zombies. It can probably be shattered easily.
• General Lamentation is planning a big attack on Clearview in 48 hours, and this has to do with an ex-member of the cult.
• The zombies that were in the courtyard are no longer there and have probably been portaled away, along with the mages who are no longer in the asylum.
The group decides to take Randal captive and bring him with them to Clearview, in order to make sure he is telling the truth. Flint shoots an arrow at the orb and shatters it. They release the remaining inmates of the asylum.
The adventurers take Randal and return to Althea, Wellby, and Mad Max, and explain the situation. Wellby agrees to stay behind to find care for the released inmates and Mad Max, but promises he’ll follow as soon as he can. Flint, impressed by Wellby’s helpfulness, pays close attention to him and perceives that Wellby is a good person at heart who is struggling with some unidentifiable inner demons.
The adventurers set out for Clearview (with a bound Randal), a 12 hour journey on horseback. Halfway to Clearview, they stop for the night and they each have a dream. They are in the now-familiar, dark dreamscape. A woman says, “What have we here? Visitors? I was not aware this was even possible!” She is pale, with long black hair, and is flipping a dagger into the air. She states she wants out, and speculates that if she kills them she might escape. She draws her blade, but the now-familiar old man appears, causing her to stalk off. The old man tells them that they are heading into great danger in Clearview, and he wishes to give them something to protect them. At his bidding, a black bird flies to Kurshk, plucks out his own feather and holds it out to Kurshk. In a flash of light, the black feather disappears and a golden feather appears emblazoned on the back of Kurshk’s hand. Kursh scoffs, “A feather? Perhaps I’m to tickle my enemies with it when they come swinging their axes!” The old man, unperturbed, explains that as long as the adventurers stand before the darkness, they will be protected by Kurshk. At this, the adventurers awaken.
They continue on their way. A half-hour from Clearview, they have a clear sense that they are being watched. Flint perceives a group of humanoids trying to stealthily approach, and magically envelops these scouts and spies in fog. Cid transforms himself into a bear, and the adventurers attack the surprised enemies!