Arah checks the health of the man who was hiding in the pile of bodies. He begs for food. Murad gives him a goodberry (after he makes sure it is not a fire seed), which the man eats greedily.
His garb is adorned with the heraldry of the Queen’s army. He says that his name is Tormund, a lieutenant in the Queen’s army. Arah heals him of his fatigue. Rod sneaks ahead to check that the way ahead is clear. The group takes Tormund upstairs to talk in relative safety. He says that he was the one who gave water to the horses when he snuck up to get water for himself from the well.
Tormund recalls how his men saw someone in the woods near the abbey, about a month ago. He was wearing a red robe and had the triangle symbol of the malevolent on his forehead. Their commander, Wilbur, sent word to the Cathedral of Fira in Llantry, who sent a priestess and two Knights of the Benevolent to investigate. This seems to have drawn the attention of the red priests of Zaur, who must have been hiding nearby. They attacked the garrison, killing most of them. Tormund does not know what befell the priestess and her knights. At that point, Murad’s mouse friends return to say that no other people are around.
Tormund informs the party that he has not seen Manuel, but that one of the priests wore a mask, shaped like a skull. The priests numbered three or four and they used magic to attack the garrison. Bertom of Cuford asks Tormund how long he has served in the Queen’s army. He answers that he has served in Lord Weedon’s army for three years. He has been part of the Queen’s army ever since Weedon’s troops were added to Her Majesty’s forces, about three months. Bertom looks somewhat suspicious, but accepts his answer.
Murad asks Tormund if he knows what the red priests were looking for. He says that he overhead two of them speaking of an artifact of the Malevolent. Tormund then asks Murad if they know what that might be and if they have seen anything like it before. Murad finds this question odd and asks Tormund why he is so interested. Tormund tells a tale of how he saw a robe man in Seafield over a year ago, carrying a strange item, shaped like a triangle. Tormund believes that maybe the item that the red priests seek is the same one. Murad nods, like Bertom, suspiciously.
The group decides that it is time to return to their search in the basement. Tormund offers to join them, but the party declines; they do not fully trust him. They ask him to wait in the stables for them. Murad instrcuts him that, if the party does not return in the next few hours, he is to go to the nearby village and find Maddy to explain what has happened. Tormund, reluctantly, agrees. To make sure about him, Murad casts Detect Magic and uses a charge of the Wand of True Form on Tormund. He is “clean”. Tormund laments that they do not trust him, but seems to understand.
Back down in the basement, Rod and Quintin search a large room to the south, a mortuary, and find several secret doors. Rather than opening them, they decide to check the rooms to the north first. They first enter a shrine of some sort. It’s main statue has been knocked over and damaged. To the west of this, is a large chamber, a hall of worship, possibly. A large triangle symbol is painted in the centre of the floor and the room emits an unsettling aura. Two flaming skeletal knights guard the symbol. As Rod enters the room, the guards are alerted to his presence and attack.
Rod uses the Token of Valeria and casts Web. The fire surrounding the knights sets the webs on fire as they walk toward Rod. Murad attempts to control them with the Token of Zaur, but it doesn’t seem to work. Both Rod and Murad feel as though their tokens seem to be feeling different. Quintin transforms into a four-limbed Gargoyle and Arah channels positive energy to cause some minor damage the skeletons. Arah notices that the knights bear the symbol of the Benevolent on their cloaks. Bertom moves up and casts Divine Favor.
Quintin pounds the skeletons. Arah finishes off one of them, and Bertom, the other.
Once the undead knights are destroyed, the party searches the room. The triangle symbol appears to be made of blood. Within it, are four stakes with bits of snapped rope attached.
As Rod checks an adjoining room to the south, someone wearing red robes and a skull mask enters the worship hall from the east. The figure throws the mask at Murad. As the mask flies toward him, Murad can see that the red robed man is Manuel!
Murad resists the effect of the mask. Quintin attempts to disable Manuel with sticky force bombs. Manuel evades the bombs and attacks Arah with the mask, who is also able to resist its effect, barely. Murad attempts to dispel whatever it is that is controlling him, but is unsuccessful.
As this is happening, Rod, in the adjoining room, notices that a secret door ahead of him is starting to open. He returns to the worship room, closing the door behind him. Bertom challenges Manuel. Manuel releases a flurry of blows onto Quintin, which causes him to drop, unconscious. Suddenly, another man enters from the south room. It is Tormund – he says: “I heard fighting, can I help?” Both Murad and Rod sense that he is not revealing his true intentions.
Arah heals Quintin, returning him to consciousness. He then strikes at Manuel with his teeth, claws, and tail, knocking him out. Immediately after this happens, a large, winged demon-like creature emerges from Manuel’s limp body. It seems to be on fire and carries a sword and a burning whip. It flies to intercept Murad. Murad counters by first summoning a dinosaur to aid him, then transforming into an earth elemental.
To the east of the room, the party can see that several animated corpses, wearing the heraldry of the Queen’s army, are closing to attack. Bertom and Arah channel positive energy and the undead creatures fall. Their channelling heals Manuel enough that he regains consciousness. He begins to sob, as the weight of what he did falls upon him.
With Murad hiding beneath the floor in elemental form, the demon turns its attention to Rod. He is hit by the demon’s whip and entangled by it. The demon pulls Rod toward him, burning him when he comes in contact with the demon’s fiery skin. Quintin engages the demon and damages it. Tormund offers his aid to the demon and attacks Rod.
Murad’s pet attacks Tormund, gravely injuring him. Weakened, Tormund tries to cast a Darkness spell to escape. The demon, not impressed that Tormund is trying to run, cuts his head off.
After much trading of blows, the demon, severely wounded, decides to flee. It teleports away, uttering these final words: “Perhaps you are of more use alive".