The issue begins with Agrivar deep in thought. He is troubled by Labelas Enoreth’s plan to retrofit the Realm’s Master and turn it into a weapon with which to storm the heavens. He is also suspicious of the god’s motives. Although Labelas does not detect as evil to his paladin senses, he realizes the god is not all that concerned about their little mortal problems.
The rest of the Realm’s Master crew seems to have fallen in line though. Even Minder, who watched Labelas destroy her god just last issue, seems to have come around to Labelas’ point of view. This change of heart seems mostly to be because of Labelas’ healing of Captain Omen, who Minder has always been shown as especially close to.
Labelas does little to earn such trust though. When a clumsy dockhand almost drops a beam on Labelas’ head, he prepares to take his horrible vengeance on the sap. Agrivar intervenes and prevents Labelas from disintegrating the dockhand on the spot. This doesn’t keep Labelas from doing it once everyone’s back is turned though.
Before this can be discovered, Venus Flytrap Men attack the town.
Concerned that these aberrations may damage the ship, Labelas demands everyone clamor aboard while Minder gives it the old heave ho. Once they are out to sea, Labelas decides that it will cost him too much magic to save the town.
The Realms’ Master crew seems fine with leaving the people of Ruathym to die until Agrivar realizes Foxy is still back there. When Labelas refuses to go get him, Agrivar strips down to a loincloth and swims to shore.
Agrivar arrives in the nick of time to prevent Foxy from being eaten, but soon the situation begins to look grim for the both of them. Ishi begs Labelas to help, and ultimately appeals to Vartan who still exists deep within the god. Rather than fight a psychic battle with himself, Labelas chooses to use his powers to wipe out the Flytrap Men. Labelas arrives just in time to save Agrivar and Foxy, although it is pointed out that all of the villagers are dead at this point.
Labelas unceremoniously deposits the pair on the deck of the Realms’' Master before paying a visit to Ishi. Since he saved them at her request, he feels she owes him a little “sexy time” below decks in return.
Agrivar attempts to intervene again, but is casually slapped away by the deity. This gives Ishi a chance to scratch Labelas’ face. This enrages the god, who uses his power to put Ishi into “a dreamless sleep”.
Agrivar then challenges Labelas to a sword fight. Not wanting to expend more godly energy, the god agrees. Agrivar briefly gets the upper hand, but Labelas shows Agrivar a bit of Vartan which causes the paladin to hesitate.
In a moment of pure maliciousness, Labelas uses his powers to amplify Agrivar’s addiction to alcohol. This causes Minder to intervene, which is bad news for Minder because the annoyed god shatters her golem form!
- Vartan’s god is named Labelas Enoreth. In the previous two issues of this arc, everyone referred to him as Enoreth. Starting with this issue, everyone refers to him as Labelas. Jeff Grubb is still listed as the writer, so I wonder what caused him to make this change?
- Speaking of the creative team, this is the first issue not drawn by Rags Morales. No offense to Tom Raney, but I definitely miss Rags art style.
- This issue contains the first reference to the Demiplane of Fear, the pocket dimension where Captain Omen cosigns his artifacts, in awhile. This is obviously setup for next issue.
- I like the concept that Labelas is less evil than uncaring, but it is not really borne out by his actions. His vaporizing the dockworker even after he was calmed down and his increasing Agrivar’s addiction to alcohol both seem purely malicious acts.
- I am a bit disturbed by the treatment of the poor people of Ruathym in this.
- Next time I play a halfling, I am going to use the curse “Sweet Bandobaris on a Bender!” if I can. I don’t care that the god no longer exists in D&D 4E.
- Not a fan of the Agrivar the Barbarian look.