They are maybe a mile down the Middle Road when it happens. A dark voice accosts them from the tunnel behind, and turning they find themselves confronted. Three figures in black robes, two of them armoured, bearing the golden badges of Deneith Blademarks and with longswords drawn. The third is hooded, and it is he who commands their attention. His right arm is sleeved and hidden from view, but his left is exposed. Its metal skin gleams dully in the dimly lit tunnel. It is the arm of a warforged, gloriously crafted in brass and blued steel. It is this arm he raises toward them, an orb in his hand. There is a blast, and a sound like rushing flame. Brasshead collapses where he stands. A wave of pain ricochets through the psychic bonds shared by the party, and Manekatari screams aloud. Reeling, they find themselves on their knees as the world swims violently about them. The Blademarks have sheathed their swords and are dragging Brasshead back down the tunnel. And then there is another blast, and Tabitha can taste Khyber in the air, on the dust that fills her lungs as the roof of the tunnel comes hurtling down and the world fragments into chaos.
The road is blocked. The party pores over the rubble, calling Brasshead’s name and looking for a way through, but to no avail. There is only one way left for them to travel, and that is the way they were headed anyways. So they trudge onwards, their number lessened by a member, their hope lessened by far more.