We pull out all stops to destroy the evil Dao and vanquish the vampire alternate Sparklegem in ferocious battle, causing Aviana to afterwards remark, “ Well. I won’t lie that your arrival is inconvenient. But at least you fight like devils possessed. Thank you.”
We learn from the newly arrived alternate Pensiar that things got messy in our universe when our alternates first arrived. Not only was alt-Sparkle a vampire, but alt-Lydia and alt-Chini hate each other for some reason, and alt-Cid tried to escape, causing chaos. Alt-Pensiar warns Cid that alt-Cid has been corrupted by wielding the nature magic of this alt-universe, and the same could happen to him if he uses his magic here!
Alt-Durkon learns from Flint that Durkon died a hero’s death, and is proud of that. Alt-Leucis reveals himself as a turncoat who is now helping the Glimmer. We are suspicious of him because of his counterpart Leucis’ role as General Lamentation.
We turn to planning the mission of killing the powerful Spelleater that alt-Lydia was planning to kill before she was inconveniently sent to our universe by our spell. The Spelleater is a guest at the Dragon’s Horn Tower and will be departing on the morrow. Flint asks many questions of Aviana, much to Kurshk’s impatience. Finally we determine that Kurshk’s initial idea is best, to fight our way in to the Tower, rather than to sneak in. We decide to take alt-Pensiar and alt-Durkon with us and leave Wellby and alt-Leucis behind.
We travel to the Dragon’s Horn and boldly approach. We are immediately involved in battle with a powerful Archmage and a Half-Red Dragon Veteran. We overcome and kill the Archmage with our weapons and magic. As he dies, he cries out, “Lord Chinicum – why???” Before we have a chance to finish off the Half-Red Dragon Veteran, he turns to Chini and says piteously, “Lord Chinicum? Have I displeased you, my lord?”
Now we understand why alt-Lydia hates alt-Chini! We immediately make use of this new information. Chini begins by ordering the half-dragon to go out into the forest and think about how he has disappointed him. As we enter the tower, we see an assortment of guards and guests. Chini orders everyone inside to leave. Nearly all immediately obey. We are surprised to encounter alt-Mialee, who stays, and also to our horror, a fabled Beholder.
Beholders are bulbous-headed, floating, diabolical, egomaniacal, creatures with multiple eyeballs on tentacles, but this one doesn’t seem to live up to his reputation. He declares loudly, “I DO NOT KNOW YOU!” and then proceeds to introduce himself as “I-gor” and to say stupid things.
Flint catches sight of a mage lurking in an adjacent room and calls Chini’s attention to him. Chini “orders” Flint to shoot him, and Flint “obeys” and pierces the mage with several well-aimed arrows. The mage sulkily departs.
Alt-Mialee comments, “Surely you’ll be more pleasant with our… other… esteemed guest. He’s upstairs.” Surely she is referring to the powerful Spelleater that we are here to destroy!