The party sets their sights on the forsaken county of Virlych, where Gallowspire reaches out from the dead landscape like an obsidian claw. The eternal poltergeist storm makes approaching by air deadly, and the mysterious Witchgates divert teleportation magic away from the lich’s lair, leaving the party little recourse but to travel by foot through the Ebon forest. On they way, they consider stopping at Renchurch, the headquarters of the Whispering Way: a cult worshiping undeath and likely source of information about Tar-Baphon’s supposed return.
During their journey, they happen upon a camp of Knights of Ozem, the once prevalent order of crusaders. Though they are disturbed by the undead company he keeps, the knights are deferential to the Lastwall paladin Thomas of the Armstrongs, and listens to his story. They suggest they share camps for the night to safeguard against fell horrors, but then go their separate ways.
Lucius and Pop-Pop are drawn to the prisoner the knights travel with, a sickly looking woman bound and chained. Lucius discovers the woman is host to some great evil, who plans on having the knights deliver him right into Lastwall, unaware of the fortresses fate. Lucius pushes the creature’s patience too much, who emerges in a whirl of smoke and the woman’s screams. The outsider’s true form is revealed: a tall, decayed daemon with a cloak of filthy feathers and a bleached horse skull as a head. Grey-Eye identifies it as a Leukodaemon, a deacon of Apollyon, the Horseman of Pestilence.
The daemon immediately attacks, spouting swarms of flies, blasts of negative energy and arrows dripping with disease. Luckily Thomas, Rufus and the Knights are well trained in fighting such creatures, and hold off the assault. Unfortunately, they’re unable to mortally wound the daemon before it teleports away with a laugh and a cloud of miasmic fog.