Chapter 5: The War of Fear

While successfully holding back the minions of Unrest from invading all of the Faydark, the Healers United took many casualties. Seeing his friends fall to the minions of Cazic Thule sent Loral into a rage. He traveled back to his home of Felwithe, but the demons followed him, if only in his mind.

Then opportunity presented itself to strike back. A long time friend of Loral from his hunts in the lands of Kunark, Dinirose the Enchanter, sent word that they were amassing a force from the highest guilds in the land to counterattack Cazic Thule in his homeworld, the Plane of Fear.

Loral traveled to the dark swamps of the Feerott, where the rumored portal to Fear existed. After tracking a specter's roar through a wall in the mountain, Loral found the cave. The catacombs in the mountain almost did Loral in, as the specters scythe slashed at him while he ran aimlessly into the cave. Then around a corner like many hundreds before it, Loral faced the portal.

Dinirose and a black robed necromancer stood by the portal. Icebone skeletons surrounded the portal but left the party alone, as if inviting them to step inside the portal and greet Cazic Thule himself.

Loral's fear almost overtook him, but the images of his friends being cut down by Thule's minions started his heart afire again. He stepped up on the stairwell that lead to the portal and after whispering a last prayer to Tunare, he stepped inside.

The blood red sky burned Loral's eyes as he stepped out of the fiery portal. The land stretched in front of him, covered with horribly twisted trees and scorched earth. His small party had already traveled ahead of him, so he ran to catch up, but the vile denizens of this cursed place caught up with him first. The stinging cold of some white spider-like creature hit him like a crashing wave. Along with it came two red demons, who bit and clawed at him. Loral fell to his knees before their savagery. He was unprepared for such creatures and fell quickly. Blackness surrounded him.

It was not the beautiful face of Tunare that his eyes laid upon when he awoke, but that of Dinirose. A dwarven cleric had returned his soul to his body and he stood up once again, weakened and disoriented. The red sky was still above him, but now he felt a wetness falling on him from it. It seemed too warm and thick to simply be rain and he was horrified when he saw the blood streaming down his armor.

Apparently his companions had found the raiding party and had dragged his corpse along with them. The dwarven cleric called upon his own gods to restore Loral, and they began preparing for the small war against Cazic Thule's minions.

Vile creatures so unnatural they never would walk the earth of the prime material plane slashed and blasted at the war party. Minions of Thule that Loral had only heard about from Ciric, his mentor, or had seen in ancient tomes written back in the days the Ring of Scale ruled the Norrath. Some demons as small as goblins or fire beetles fought with the fury of giants or wurms. Mutated apes and towering ghouls all clawed against the earth in search of the blood of mortals. The giant squid headed Amygdalons, the elite guard of Cazic Thule offered the most resistance, blasting with poison clouds and cutting with viscous claws. They soon fell to the party, though, with limited casualties.

For days, the party traveled across the dark vile lands, slaying demons and hell-spawn with no mercy. Many priests from many gods traveled with them, and Loral had found himself spending more time blasting down the demon-kin than he did healing. Only occasionally would one of the vile creatures slay one of the warparty, but a quick prayer to Tunare would restore them to this world.

The holy war lasted two weeks, but finally it was apparent that they could not stay in this land forever and Cazic Thule himself was not to be found. Loral bade his friends goodbye and gated himself back to the lands of Kunark. While the walls of the ancient Iksar castle were far from the warmth of his bed in Felwithe, seeing a blue sky again was enough for Loral to realize what home really meant to him.