The story so far: Prince Aalok led a force of vampires to quickly overtake the fort of Shal'Hazar. The only escapees are a soldier named Jerell, a mage named Delezar, a seer named Zeph, and an elf princess named Elessa. Aalok is Malagen's son, sent to claim the Darklyte Armor to thwart a prophecy that a hero would use it to destroy Malagen and his horde.
The issue begins with the aftermath of the attack. Many died. Aalok has a magical book that seems important in his quest. While the party of four flee to try to warn the others, Aalok sends the orcs under his command to deliver a message to his father. The orcs seem to be the vampire's daytime protectors. Verdemis does not seem to trust them though.
We get some backstory on Elessa after this. She is asked about elf help. She warns that the elves are not allies and think other races are beneath them. But they have no choice and she leads them into elf territory. The news of the attack has also reached the human King who gives orders to fortify, though it will take 2 weeks to mobilize.
We also get Zeph's backstory here as the party travels through the forest. Zeph's village was attacked and wiped out by Dran Berserkers. Zeph survived because of his innate magical powers. When they tried to attack him, it lashed out and destroyed the berserkers. Delezar happened across his village shortly after and found Zeph. He took him in and has been training him to hone his powers.
While they tell the story, Zeph warns of approaching danger. The party is attacked by an elf scout band. Though no one is hurt and Elessa recognizes the elves involved. She demands to be taken to the elf capital.
Given that she is the princess, they obey. This is the first time in over a decade outsiders are allowed in. Elessa is not very welcome herself except by her younger sister, Zana.
Zana takes the others to the Skirmisher's Hall at the request of Elessa. A supposedly safe place for them. Elessa herself goes to confront the Queen. Eltyra does not give her much time to plead her case and immediately says she is violating the law by ignoring her banishment. The punishment is death and she orders the guards to kill Elessa!
This issue was not very heavy on the action but we got some great visuals and character progression. One thing I really love about the Dreamwave books is their environment splash art. It is something you do not see in many other books but it is really beautiful.
The story mostly focuses on Elessa in this issue. Explaining the elves are not allies. Bringing the party back to the elf capital. Meeting her sisters. And ending with the order of her death.
But we also got some insight into Zeph, one of the most powerful of the bunch and most important.
It will be interesting to see what happens to Elessa and the others if the elf Queen is going to continue to be so stubborn. And what could this mean for the rest of the world? With Aalok on the move can anyone stand up to him? Even if they can, what about the rest of the vampires? Aalok's group is just a small part of the Dataran forces and they made short work of a heavily guarded fortress. Guess we'll find out as we keep reading!
To Be Continued!