The ghost of the wizard Beobaras has been more than fair with our heroes, so Rhionwyn suggests they go get his body and restore him to his resting place. There are orcs in the upper galleries, and some few of us get banged up, but eventually we discover they are led by Lughnuht’s ghost! Once Beobaras’ ghost gets hold of him, Lughnuht doesn’t last very long.
Beobaras’ body lies where Blackburn, the Necromancer, slew him, right in the middle of his wizardly work room. A vast cauldron holds heaped blue-black crystals of mordite, the concentrated essence of death. Other hoards of alkahest, the ultimate solvent, and orichalc, the ultimate metal, are kept apart, because if the irresistible acid ever touched the undissolvable metal, well, there’s no telling what would happen!
His body wears the original ring of which our ghost-hiding rings are copies. Otho takes it, with Beobaras’ permission, and asks what it does. It bends, scatters and gathers light, allowing Otho to become invisible. Which is what happens with hobbits and rings, apparently.
Unfortunately, as we carry Beobaras’ body back to his coffin, it seems the bandits we ran off in episode 2 have come back! There are more of them this time, and they are positioned between us and our loot. Their leader has a mithril shirt under his clothes, which breaks every arrow Rhionwyn and Elrohir can land, until the see the glint of mithril through a rip and change targets to his legs. The bandit is captured.
He says Jardine sent them to get Beobaras’ ring – her Uruk-Hai are no longer with her, and she seemed under duress when she gave the bandits their orders. So perhaps someone else is making her do this, but it hardly matters – either way, we cannot just go up to Jardine and count out her share without risking an ambush, or worse.
What, then, shall we do? Otho volunteers to become invisible, find Jardine, and determine what’s going on, while the rest of us remain nearby to help. And that is where things stand for the present …