Plantlike blights attack the caravan. A blight launches needles at Balthus, but it hits Janus instead. Balthus nearly kills the needle blight before it wounds him so bad he falls unconscious between the carts. Devlamin is scouting up ahead and takes down two twig blights on his own before returning to finish the wounded needle blight. Wenda is hit by a needle blight before one of the guards destroys it, and one of Aris’s guards is killed in the fight.
The caravan decides to load up the dead guard’s body and move on from that spot. Devlamin still can’t locate the road, so he leads the caravan into an area of dry, cracked terrain, with lava showing up through some of the cracks.
While scouting out ahead in a small, rocky canyon, Devlamin sees a creature watching him that appears to be an walking dead version of himself. He calls Balthus up to take a look, but the creature had ducked behind a rock and disappeared.
The caravan makes it about 10 miles and camps on the dry, cracked terrain. Balthus, Devlamin, Mott and Goodwin carry the dead guard a couple hundred feet from camp to an open pool of lava and slide him in. While heading back to the camp, they are attacked by two flying creatures made of magma that breath fire. They also see that a fire creature of some sort has risen out of the caravan’s small campfire and is causing havoc in the camp. The destroy the magma ceatures, but not before Balthus is once again dying. He is only saved by the first aid skills of Mott, the strange companion of Queen Hyretta’s son, Goodwin.