Warlands: Dark Tides Rising #3
A large gathering of heroes have mysteriously been summoned to fight a growing darkness. Thus far we have an elf and dwarf named Laina and Baggot. An old priestly warrior, Zadok Shaw and Pelonis, his new young apprentice. And a half human, half frost giant warrior named Iona. All but Iona have met up at this point. Balen has had a prophetic dream that the group is trying to kill him. So he hired a group of mercenaries and attacked a town for supplies.
Balen's army decimates the city. He seems to be apprehensive about it. Somewhat remorseful. He is not really an evil guy, just an opportunist, so he feels out of place acting like a conqueror. His companion, Kyra, on the other hand is loving it. She is drawn to the power and is totally okay with the slaughter. They debate a bit but one of the survivors of the village massacre show up to attack Balen. Blaming him for the murder of his family.
He easily side steps and takes out the attacker. Again feeling a bit of remorse. Kyra cheers him on but he is adamant to point out that it was only for survival.
Iona is watching from a distance. She had come to Skarsgaard for some reason but found it laid to waste. This is a huge surprise to her.
Our party of heroes is heading somewhere and comment on the cold. Seems winter is coming early. The priest knows this is unnatural and comments about how the ice age will be here soon. This is kind of neat, it is referring to the Age of Ice from volume 2.
He also points out that it is not their concern and not the doing of the shadow-soul, their adversary. Baggot at some point also makes it known he is a Gnome. Which is kind of strange, I thought he was a dwarf haha. Not sure if that really matters.
They are attacked by Satyrs. This time Zadok assures everyone is the work of their foe.
The party escapes the attack with no more than minor injuries. Though Baggot is embarrassed and bashful about it. Zadok tells Laina that Baggot has feelings for her is why. She seems surprised saying he is nothing but a friend to her parents.
Kyra and Balen continue to debate his new role as Warlord. His new army is also getting drunk and partaking in their spoils. They have a woman tied up, obviously with plans to rape her.
Iona has had enough though. She charges in and kills a few of the men. After she sets the woman free and tells her to run, more men show up. Iona is quite powerful, she is easily defeating them as they come. Eventually Balen comes out to see what's going on.
Balen recognizes Iona from his dream and freaks out a bit. He thinks her being there, killing his men, is proof of his prophecy. She has no clue who he is though. Still, she does not like him since he just slaughtered a village. The prophecy does now seem to be self fulfilling.
She challenges him but he orders his men to attack. Before anyone can do anything, she tells him if she wanted him dead, he'd be dead. Slices his cheek then basically disappears. Showing that she is not just strong but also very fast.
The party arrives at their destination, Thayn, still not knowing what they seek. They are greeted by a priestly man that tells them they have been expected. Not by him but by a woman.
Turns out it is Iona. She knew they were coming thanks to her grandfather, Craedon. Laina knows that name so they are all instant friends and vowing revenge and whatnot.
Their new goal is revealed. To find the highest place in the world. After talking about what that might be, Pelonis mentions Luzien's Ladder, the Scalae Lux. They wonder if that is just a fairy tale, but seem convinced that must be what they have to find.
Iona shows her power in this issue. She is a pretty cool character so far. The others had a rough time with that group of Satyrs though. Maybe she'd be better off without them? 😆
Balen seems to be struggling to accept his role as a villain and Iona spared his life when she could have probably killed him. It'll be interesting to see if he doubles down now on his prophecy or starts to question things. He clearly has a role to play in the coming conflict. Still seems questionable which side he'll be on though.
Only three issues left, but they're doing well with the character development and story progression so far. It does worry me a little we might get cut off on a cliffhanger though. Either that or things will suddenly become rushed and crammed. But who knows. Maybe it'll flow well and have a solid ending! We will see.
To Be Continued!