Xue Zen arranges for the loan of a small boat from the Navy. While the rest of the team gathered supplies, Grey Mist arranged for Zed and Wisp to stay with Maglev and the rest of her team in Richmond.
The team, including Arthur Morris, sets off in their boat and quickly enters the fog. The trip through the fog takes much longer than expected and as they travel through the mist various changes take place. The first thing that they notice is the boat itself changes from a technological vessle into a viking longboat. The heroes themselves also go through various changes. All of their magical powers and devices are doubled in power – and all of their standard powers and devices are halved in power. The other noticable change is that Arthur changes form to be a bit more ‘demonic’.
Rowing the boat, they eventually come to the end of the fogbank to find a small island group underneath what appears to be a midnight sky – the full moon providing a luminous light to see by. Atop a hill on the largest island they see a Castle that looks straight out of a ‘B’ horror movie – as they first spy the castle, a bolt of lightning crashes across the night sky.
Grey Mist lodges his mace in the prow of the boat and flies ahead, dragging the boat through the water using his magnetic powers toward the castle. Passing one of the smaller islands, the group is distracted by a flare. At first, the Vanguard is afraid that the flare is an alarm warning the denizens of their approach, but they decide to investigate. The Unknown Soldier is able to discover a hidden cove where they are able to beach the boat. All is quiet for 10 seconds when from out of the bushes appear 7 Navy Seamen.
The Seamen tell the story of how their frigate was engulfed by the fog. One second they were standing on the deck of their ship and the next they were standing on the deck of a huge masted wooden warship. They struggled to steer the beast as none of the crew had any experience with that class of vessle when they were attacked by three beautiful flying women with sharp teeth. Following the women were a crew of humanoid ‘sailors’ led by 2 super-powered foes. One was small and lean and their attacks seemed to bounce off of him. The other was a behemoth of a man who dealt tremendous damage with his sabre. These seven survived the combat by leaping overboard and they were able to swim to shore where they have been hiding ever since. They also warn the heroes that the ship’s guns translated into wicked cannon-like weapons. They still see the ship periodically while it patrols the waters. They also periodically see a skeletal dragon soaring through the skies.
While at the Navy alcove, Arthur goes into a trance – similar to the one that Astrid does when using her Cosmic Awareness. When he awakes, he tells the Vanguard that his sensitivity to the magic world is much stronger here in what he calls the ‘in-between’ world. He further reveals that he has divined three things about this world:
- If the land bridge is successfully completed, then the magic world will be able to anchor itself to Center City.
- He senses the presence of a Portal of immense strength that is anchoring this mid-world to this spot. If the portal is destroyed, then perhaps the mid-world will also be destroyed.
- A single mind dominates this realm – controlling the natural and magical laws of the place. We will not be able to leave this land without the permission of this entity.
The heroes decide to investigate the Castle. Astrid, Grey Mist, White Star, Xue Zen, and Arthur leave in the boat while the rest stay behind with the Navy men. Upon their arrival on the large island, the heroes a set upon by 7 wolves with evil looking red eyes. The group easily dispatched the wolves, but not before one give a keening howl – one that is answered from somewhere else on the island. During the battle, Astrid successfully uses her death touch on several of teh wolves – and is staggered by the immense cost in vitality that it causes her. She is forced to rest to gather up her energy.
Astrid astrally circles the castle and notices a path on the opposite side of the island. Grey Mist summons up a fog bank to hide their movements and carries the heroes to the path. Grey Mist dispels the fog, but notices that the clouds above are rolling in at a rapid pace, obscuring the ligt from the moon. He attempts to clear the clouds away, but as soon as he does, the clouds roll back in. He quickly determines after a brief battle of wills that the weather is being controlled by another force and hurls a challenge into the night that ‘Gandalf the Grey… Mist’ is here!
No sooner do the words leave his mouth than the skys open up and a thunderstorm drenches the area. Out of the darkness, two buxom, gothic clad young women – with fangs – attack without warning. Battle is quickly joined. In her weakened condition, Astrid is quick to fall under the attack of the foes. The combined might of the heroes quickly fells one of the opponants but as they turn their attention to the second, a small group of wolves join the fray and bolt of lightning from the stormclouds begin to rain down on the group. Xue Zen is struck by one of the bolts and is severely weakened by the blast.
‘Gandalf the Grey… Mist’ uses his magic phone to snap a picture of the woman and learns that she is named Delphine and her package of weaknesses shows that she is indeed a Vampire! He is surprised to discover that contrary to popular legend, the only way to kill a vampire is to drive a wooded stake through her heart, decapitate her, AND burn the remains.
Arthur, still encased in his sphere of light, begins shooting beams of light at the heroes. These rays of light revitalize the heroes and help them continue the battle.
Unknown to the Vanguard, another foe invisibly wandered the battle. Only his eyes were periodically visible… eyes which attempted to lock on to the eyes of one or another of the heroes. White Star meets his gaze and falls under his mental control. She begins firing her vibratory bolts indiscriminately among her companions.
A mighty blow from Grey Mist’s mace forces Delphine to turn to mist. Arthur’s globe exlplodes bathing everyone in light. All of the heroes regain vitality and health and White Star attempts unsuccessfully, to throw off the mental compulsion, and the invisibility of the enemy is dispelled! A tall, gaunt man in archaic dress stands among the Vanguard, he snarls ferally and he and White Star immediately attack the group in a frenzy. He directs lightning to fall from the sky on the heroes. The Vanguard attempts to counter attack, but the foe is too well trained and too difficult to lay a hand on for the heroes to prevail. Grey Mist snaps a picture of this man as well revealling him to be Baron Zelmut – another vampire.
Combat rages on with Zelmut raining lightning on the heroes and White Star peppering the heroes with her Vibratory abilities. Xue Zen falls to the onslaught—but Arthur continues to provide health to the heroes, bringing Xue Zen and Astrid back into the fight.
During the fracas, Baron Zelmut successfully manages to bite Xue Zen. Xue Zen escapes the Baron by entering the Astral Plane. From their, his ghostly form continues to taunt the Baron—laughing at him that he would have to go to sleep sometime and then they would find him. The Baron responds to Xue Zen saying, “That assumes that in this land of eternal night I ever have to sleep…” and he fired a bolt of lightning directly throug the Astral figure of Xue Zen (with no effect).
Astrid was not as fortunate… a bolt of lightning struck her with immense power… and her lifeless body falls to the wet earth. Arthur lets out a scream as her body splats into the mud and suddenly the entire world goes black.
When the black recedes, the heroes are standing on the site of the battle but all of the foes (both conscious and not) have disappeared. The Vanguard stands by Astrid’s still form and wonder what to do next.