Having defeated the cult of the New Dawn, the heroes take some time to themselves while Nacu completes his training with Atabusha and Kaz trains with the Aryashi. When the training finally comes to a close, the heroes prepare for their journey northward. One day out from Urukan they encounter Wendil, who tells them that they will never make it through the pass and that you cannot teleport into the Mizlan. He suggests that they follow in the footsteps of Ran and Shir, taking the hidden route known as the Dragon’s Road.
Heeding this advice, the heroes begin heading northeast to the secret entrance described by Wendil. Two days later they encounter a force of some two-hundred Black Vel led by a robed figure. Shir parlays with the robed figure in hopes that it is the Nezuran woman he misguidedly believes is his destiny. Instead, he is confronted by Sharapte Anun-Rehu, the leader of the Nezuran host in the West. Sharapte, by way of his captain, informs the group that he is unimpressed, and has decided to kill them himself.
Sharapte engages the heroes alone, hurling magic and swinging his double-bladed weapon in blindingly fast arcs. The heroes fight valiantly, but soon fear they are outmatched as Kur-Dan and Utog are both cut down. Things look truly dark when Shir falls, bleeding onto the sands, and in desperation Rasha flips a coin of Wendil and tempts fate. Good fortune smiles on the heroes and Nacu is flooded with power, raising his allies instantly. However, even renewed the heroes are hard-pressed and things begin to look bad once again. Several of the heroes fall once more, but Sharapte appears haggered and in a last ditch move Rasha hurls a bolt of flame that against all odds fells their foe. A strange voice whispers to Nacu to plunge the Vel Blade into Sharapte’s heart. Heeding this call, Nacu stabs the Nezuran just as the Vel horde swarms over him.
When the heroes awake the find themselves in cells. A Black Vel captain tells them that they are to be kept alive until the arrival of Sharapte’s mother, to be punished by her personally. The Vel Blade apparently prevented the resurrection of Sharapte. For weeks on end, the Black Vel take Shir from his cell daily to face one of them in single combat. Having heard of Shir, descendant of Ran, they wish to test themselves against him. Each day Shir returns victorious, but bearing new wounds freshly healed for the next days fight. One day at meal time a Black Vel enters bearing their food, but she reveals herself as Alessa in disguise. She has scouted the fortress and relays her intel, so that the heroes can plan their escape.