After returning to Stambrecht, the heroes discover Griltag (Adgar’s mentor) dead in the smoldering ruins of his forge, the remains of undead scattered about. King Ofric says Adgar’s family has been taken to safety and the heroes decide to investigate, tracking the undead back to where they emerged from the sewers and remnants of Old Ardia. They soon realize the attack was surgical and no threat lurks in the depths. This is followed by the arrival of Amunet.
Amunet appears disturbed, her normally expressionless face troubled. She reports that Darakan, Thakan’s brother, was slain by a vampire lord and hung from the walls of Menethar. Following that, she traveled to find that Skardus’ clan had been attacked by undead as well, but had repulsed the assault. She also found the wreckage of one of the caravan of Mutana’s brother, but no bodies were found. The heroes’ families appear to have been targeted.
Amunet offers to open up a gateway to Menethar when the group has completed their business. After returning to Menethar, the heroes take some time off to rest and recuperate. During the downtime Thakan has a conversation with Amunet, who he finds drinking in a hallway. She intimates that she knows of the dragon’s offer, and that perhaps it would be better for them to take Menethraxia up on it. Amunet says she is as much, or more, a monster than the dragon. Thakan tries to offer comfort and declines her offer, believing still there is good in her.
After the break, heroes meet with Lord Ethna in his war room, where they are introduced to Lord Awilar of Marathea, who has joined their cause. Lord Jerovel then enters the chamber, and sternly greets his son, Thakan, saying that Thakan is now second in line for the throne and so must rise to his new station. The conversation is uncomfortable, but oddly some of the heroes appear taken by Lord Jerovel’s no-nonsense approach. It soon becomes clear that Lord Awilar has joined them because of the dragon threat, and the three Lord’s indicate that Amunet and her bard friend have convinced them to put Menethar at the heroes’ disposal once Azazae has been dealt with, including resources from all three kingdoms.
As they discuss their plans, a horn sounds in alarm. Amunet teleports the heroes to the battlements, where they see a vast horde of undead on the horizon with siege weapons in tow. Amunet immediately starts to cast, but finds she is locked in a magical struggle with Azazae, who has joined with a circle of acolytes to boost his power. The struggle, for better or worse, removes the strongest wizards from the battle until one wins. The heroes prepare for the assault as the second battle of Menethar begins.