After traveling for hours, the group leaves the caverns of the Eerie behind, entering ancient stone ruins carved too large for human use.
The Shadow Lord arrives, disappointed that they made it so far into the ruins without being killed. They should’ve been killed a dozen different ways, and somehow they avoided the traps. Then it realizes that the Coffin must’ve been helping them, and it hopes that they killed it to steal its wisdom.
The Shadow Lord opens a dozen different passages, and the screams of furious dead emerge from each one. An army is coming for them. The spirits surround them in moments, filling the room in preparation to kill them.
They don’t stand a chance, they’re going to be slaughtered.
Zeke screams in desperation, accusing the Shadow Lord of being a coward who won’t dare face them in person.
This seems to work—the Shadow Lord calls off his army, opening only one door of many. It invites them to join it to die, then vanishes.
Shayliss Chastises Zeke for his stupidity, but he insists it was their only chance. It worked, after all.
Suri appears, begging Rook to turn around. He refuses, and Suri is horrified. She refuses to watch Rook die, and finally vanishes.
They follow the path directly to a throne of bone and corpses. The Shadow Lord waits, along with Justice trapped beside the throne. She’s still alive, somehow.
Zeke demands the Shadow Lord return Justice, and he responds with amusement. They’re the first humans to attract its attention in a long time. It offers them a bargain to trade one of their lives for Justice.
Rook volunteers immediately, and the group tells him to shut up. It’s probably a lie anyway.
The Shadow Lord responds in rage, furious that they would imply its word wasn’t good. It insists that all its promises must always be kept. Lying is for lesser creatures. Justice is incredibly valuable, but its willing trade her for one of their worthless lives anyway.
The group deliberates, wondering if there’s another way. Zeke suggests they just fight it, but Rook argues. The Shadow Lord is too powerful, he thinks. They’re doomed.
Shayliss agrees that the Shadow Lord can’t be killed. Damocles is on her side, but Padric would rather die fighting then sell out one of their own.
! Flag Check: All We Can Get
! Flag Check: Reluctant Partnership AND Helping Hand