The party recover from their tense fight with Bronn, helping to restore the city in part. Nova departs in silence, apparently stealing the First Sword when she does.
They meet Malacked, the new Sword at the Door of Knight, and Tyl Frum’s replacement. He asks them to help the people of the Heartland, who are terrorized by an ongoing series of disappearances.
Arriving in the Heartland the party are informed that many people have gone missing though there are no true suspects and no signs of foul play.
They also learn that nearby bandits have become increasingly militarized and outfitted with contraband weaponry.
Agreeing to take it upon themselves to help find the missing people they search the ruins of the Heartland, and an ancient mansion rumoured to be haunted.
Inside they find it is indeed haunted, as ghosts and monsters attack them from shadowed rooms. A harrowing encounter with a beholder zombie leaves Dyllur a pile of ash, forcing Thorin to use the last of the teeth to resurrect him. There trouble is rewarded when Thorin finds a flametongue longsword after the battle.
They earn the emnity of a vicious animated doll (though they do not know how) Which attacks at random from darkness and flees into darkness after brief battles.
Climbing through the cursed house they find evidence of it’s past life, and some clues as to what may have happened. Reaching a large room they encounter an ancient night hag, seemingly the once responsible for the ruin and desolation present. As the fight turns against her she reverts to her beautiful form, only for Melcer to strike her head from her body.
The mansion begins to shake around them as it collapses. Escaping barely they make their way through the woods. Fighting werewolves and fending off attacks from the doll.
They make it to freedom, only for Melcer to present the decapitated head of a young woman as proof of their exploits. Taken in and interrogated, they are eventually released without being charged.
Setting off for the cabin of a warlock near to Sunsdale, Thorin and Dyllur find themselves fallen into a pocket world seemingly controlled by the warlock. After a tense run to escape they are back in the cabin, where Melcer has been reading and learning very little.
Striking out to explore more ruins, they find nothing initially. Then they find an old cellar that has been turned into a large network of tunnels, which look to be inhabited. Finding none of the missing people, they move on. Next they find a derelict village with clear signs of habitation, hearing people approach, they hide, when the column of people disappears they are unable to find them.
The party journey’s to Aardglass, where thanks to Thorin’s presence they receive a heroes welcome. They are feasted and pleasured for several days, while Melcer (poorly) negotiates the price of a complicated work of smithing.
Returning to Sunsdale they find it burning, a fire of unknown origin has claimed many lives.
Following Valeen to the suspected source of the fire they find a family murdered by knife, and strange paintings in ash and blood on the walls and ceiling. Valeen is overcome with despair.
Outside a Warlock has made his presence known, blasting several knights who tried to impede him. Seeing the party he calls on them to correct their mistake in allowing this ‘darkness’ out, so that he can continue his work in peace. Threatening death and dark fire if the party doesn’t comply.
Inside Captain Valeen has taken her own life by sword.
Bion Dalith head Statesman of Sunsdale runs about like a fool in robes, panicked and stricken with despair. Tyth strikes him and assumes control of the situation, leading the Firebrand Riders of Stelan’s Watch out of the gates and into the woods surrounding the city, to fight whatever is out there, as shrieks and yells can begin to be heard and shapes move out in the darkness.