This issue opens with another dream sequence. This time it is Minder, who is dreaming about being finally called home to the realm of the dwarven gods. At least she thinks she is, until she finds the gates locked before her. Minder hears battle-drums in the valley below and realizes it is not yet time for her to rest.
This is a nice contrast to Vartan’s dream sequence a couple of issues ago. Whereas Vartan could have joined his god but couldn’t forgive him, Minder wants nothing more than to join her god but cannot because of her sense of duty.
Meanwhile, back in reality, Los and the Akri are trying to bust down the foundry doors. Inside the foundry, tempers fray among the Realms’ Master crew. Omen wants to open the doors and fry the Akri with a Lightning Bolt. Ishi wants to stay put in the hopes that Agrivar and Foxilion can mount a rescue. This prompts disbelief from both Vartan and Omen, who believe Agrivar is dead. Ishi won’t hear it though, as she has faith in her love.
Tempers are running high on the other side of the door as well. The Forgemaster takes a bit too much pride in the strength of his doors for Los’ taste. Karse also draws Los’ ire by suggesting they merely starve the Realms’ Master crew out. Los decides to leave Karse to continue the assault while he takes the Forgemaster and Longerra with him to come up with another plan. Unseen by all, Foxilion follows behind.
Back in his chambers, Los decides to activate his secret weapon. The Forgemaster presents him with a wand and explains to him how it works. Simply press a rune along the base and a beam will activate the nearest statue. The statue will then seek out the nearest living victim, absorb its life force and take its form. Los decides to test it on Longerra, to the Forgemaster’d delight. Unfortunately for the Forgemaster, Los isn’t done playing with his new toy.
Los decides that he has had enough of the unreliable Akri and that his new statue warriors will prove a more than adequate replacement. Foxilion has seen enough and slinks off. About then things go to hell as Karse activates all the statues and they begin absorbing the Akri.
Foxilion is nabbed by Karse, who brings him to Agrivar. She lied to Los about Agrivar’s death and bound his wounds while he was unconscious. Agrivar is understandably suspicious of Karse’s motives, but she proposes an alliance. There conversation is cut short though, when one of the living statues notices them. This proves to be merely a temporary setback though, as “Agrivar the Barbarian” takes it out.
At this point the living statues have reached the foundry. The Realms’ Master crew is doing a decent job fending them off, when suddenly the Minder erupts from one of the statue molds to help out. Of course, Minder has undergone a few changes.
With Minder back on the team, the other living statues are quickly dispatched. Los is stunned when the Realms’ Master crew emerges from the foundry victorious. He is even more surprised when Agrivar shows up alive with a meat cleaver. Not that Agrivar does anything with it since before anyone can blink Karse tears out Los’ throat.
Karse then tells the Realms’ Master crew to leave immediately or become prey. Ishi makes a bizarre comment wondering if the crew is any less savage than the Akri before heading out the door.
- This issue had three pencilers: Linda Spofford, Rags Morales, and Chaz Troug. Dave Simmons inked all three. Linda and Rags’ art styles blended together rather well, but I felt the shift to Chaz’s style halfway through was obvious and abrupt.
- I am going to go on the record as saying I am not a fan of Minder’s new Barbie doll look.
- I wonder if the Realms’ Master crew asked for directions from the Akri on the way out or if they went back to wandering aimlessly in the desert? I suppose Omen could have teleported them away, but next issue they are shown wandering in grasslands. I guess Omen’s magic is still unreliable enough that they might not have wanted to risk it.
- Karse did tell the crew to grab provisions on their way out, but considering that the Akri are cannibals I wonder what type of food they picked up?
- Ishi’s comments about the Realms’ Master crew being as savage as the Akri struck me as odd considering that the Akri are cannibal cat people.