Roman, Arien, Nolofinwe and Varen continued their search for Shanna in a hive filled with aggressive ants. They soon encountered several giant ants, a swarm of smaller ants and a strange insectoid creature described by the Hactuan residents that escaped capture. Through blade and magic, the ants were destroyed, but the wounded ant man escaped down a dark hole.
During the battle, Arien used her powers to blink into the ethereal realm, where she spotted a surprised Vermelda. The hag attempted to put Arien to sleep, but she resisted the spell before blinking back into the material plane. The next time she blinked into Vermelda’s realm, the sorceress blasted Vermelda with a lightning bolt prompting the witch to flee.
Varen followed the insectoid to the hole and heard whimpering and buzzing from the darkness. The hole appeared to be trapped to collapse, but with growing concern for his mother, Varen hastily jumped into the blackness. Roman followed down the hole, landing on Varen, and crushing the bard. However, the barbarian managed to land on his feet and sliced through the fleeing insectoid.
But the chamber held two more of the creatures. One stood at a bloody altar, its claws perched above a heavily bleeding drow Varen assumed to be his mother. The other attacked Roman, poisoning the enraged barbarian. Varen used his most powerful magic to polymorph into a Drakon and fly over to confront the insectoid at the altar.
Nolofinwe quickly used his druidic powers to change into a rat in order to scurry into the chamber after the others, while Arien remained behind…