This issue begins with the Outcast standing on a cliff and bemoaning how he is so evil that other evil people shun him. Sucks to be him I guess.
I should note that for the rest of the comic the main story follows what is going on at Eliminster’s tower while the bottom of each page has a panel containing silent story following what is going on with Agrivar, Ishi, Vartan, and Minder. I will recap these tales separately.
At Elminster’s tower, we are presented with two drunken wizards swapping bad jokes. Lord Mourngrym is still nervously fidgeting and asking Elminster permission to check on his wife Shaerl. Elminster tells Lord Mourngrym to stay put since Shaerl had yelled at him earlier for getting underfoot.
Honestly, he needs someone to tell him that one of the perks of being a lord is that he doesn’t need Elminster’s permission to see his own wife.
Foxilion asks permission to use “the little halfling’s room.” Of course being a halfling this is code for “rob the place blind”, but only Lhaeo seems to understand this. So the wizards continue to get drunker, Lord Mourngrym continues to fidget, and no one notices as Foxilion unleashes an assassin from the bottle he was imprisoned in. Oops!
Foxilion makes a run for it and manages to run headlong into Lhaeo, who had come looking for the halfling. The assassin catches up to them and is ecstatic to have finally found his prey, “the last heir of Tethyr”
For those of you who are not steeped in Realms’ lore, Eminster’s scribe Lhaeo was actually the last of the royal line that traditionally ruled Tethyr. When his family was killed in a coup, Lhaeo went into hiding and eventually ended up under Elminster’s protection. Elminster works hard to keep Lhaeo’s true identity secret, to avoid situations like this.
Anyway, Lord Mourngrym has had enough of drunken wizards arguing about the comparative powers of various artifacts and decides to slip out the side-door. He runs right into the assassin (there is a lot of that happening), and the battle begins in earnest.
Drunk as they are, Elminster and Captain Omen eventually realize that there is a massive melee happening in the hallway and they should probably do something about it.
Faced with two wizards, the assassin decides that discretion is the better part of valor and flees. On the way out of the tower, the assassin stumbles across the very pregnant Shaerl, who had come to the tower to seek out her husband. He takes her hostage, but is unprepared for her mean left-hook. Elminster uses this opportunity to imprison the assassin again.
Just as Captain Omen starts to question who the assassin was, Shaerl then announces that she has gone into labor. Captain Omen announces that everyone should prepare for a long night.
Back to the silent story. It begins with the Realms’s Master crew and remaining dragons making plans to assault the Outcast in his lair. Well, everyone but Agrivar, who quit at the end of the last issue.
Agrivar watches his friends go, but then sees a mountain lion being threatened by a pack of wolves. Agrivar jumps down into the fray and helps the mountain lion drive off the pack. The man and the cougar share a quiet moment before the mountain lion sees a deer and runs of after it.
The sequence of events makes Agrivar think back to his confrontation with the red dragon. He realizes that the red dragon was merely acting according to his nature, but that there is a bigger picture at work.
Unbeknownst to Agrivar, the cougar turns into the bronze dragon Murilantilathenes who had assumed that form to teach him a lesson. Murilantilathenes makes his presence known to Agrivar and the two fly off to join their comrades.
Unfortunately, the battle against the Outcast is not going well. When couple more dragons sacrifice their heads to the outcast’s staff, the ground begins to tremble. Out of the earth itself springs the legendary Tarrasque!
- OK, I admit that I don’t like the Outcast much. For the villain of a major story arc, he seems awfully underdeveloped.
- Personally, I was glad to see a storyline dealing with Lhaeo being the last heir of Tethyr, even if it was a minor plotline in a comic book. As far as I know, this is the only place it was ever dealt with.
- I am also glad that Lhaeo had the good sense not to let Foxilion wander free for too long.
- Personally, I liked the split storytelling technique used in this issue. Even if Captain Omen’s “Its always a long night… when a new life comes into the Realms!” comment was a little forced.