Tyree immediately grabs Linda and yanks her away from the bloody Avar, struggling to restrain her. With a strength beyond her slight frame, she fights against his strong grip and growls like a wild animal, clawing, scratching and lunging at his throat. Unsure of what to do, he tosses her into the pit of writhing insect-like creatures. Instead of devouring her like they did the Avar corpse, the creatures rise up to break her fall and bring her to gently rest on the ground. A shout from Marius draws his attention from the unusual scene to another just as strange. Elorn, the former shaman of Tyree’s home of Redhold, steps out of the shadows behind the Darkspawn in melee with Armon and Broga, and raises his staff to cast a spell. The Darkspawn glow in a pale green light and their attacks become noticeably stronger and faster. Now sure that the shaman has truly betrayed his people, Tyree draws his weapon to engage the traitor.
Across the pit, Corryn and Cathal watch Izot through the metal bars of a prison door as she quietly sobs, not seeming to notice them, her face and torso still human, but her lower half something else entirely, a grotesque, tentacled, bloated form. Cathal tells him that they need to kill the girl. After his success at saving Berchan from the taint, he is hesitant to give up on her just yet. Unsure of what to do, but glad that neither of them has the skills to open the lock, Corryn only hopes to spare Berchan the sight. This may be a fate worse than death for the boy’s sister.
A high pitched screeching from the pit draws Marius attention away from Elorn and the Darkspawn, and he watches through the flickering torchlight as Linda, with the help of the insect creatures, claws her way back out of the pit. Writhing black tentacles latch onto the edge on either side of her, and Marius watches in horror as they drag a bloated, maggot-like body attached to Linda’s torso out of the abyss.
Using his most effective offensive magic, Marius repeatedly blasts Linda with waves of kinetic energy, knocking her back into the pit, but with each blast, she closes the gap between them. He gently encourages his friends to deal with the Darkspawn quickly while he keeps the newly transformed Linda at bay a few more moments.
The sound of rending metal and crashing stone from across the room heralds the next crisis. Marius can see Corryn’s light wisp approaching briskly, and behind the mage and Cathal, another of the tentacled creatures. No longer content to merely enhance his Darkspawn allies, Elorn mysteriously steps out of the shadows again and takes offensive action against them, filling the room with searing flames, burning Darkspawn, mothers, and heroes alike.
With four Darkspawn defeated by Broga, Armon and Berchan, the path opens up and the party makes a fighting retreat back into the hall. When Elorn moves to flank, Marius brings to bear his most potent weapon, words. Traitor, betrayer, coward, hippocrite. The insults fly until Marius sees on his face regret and resignation, and the shaman vanishes. The ladies however are not so easily swayed. Izot and Linda move faster then their forms would suggest, making it impossible for the party to simply run away. Preparing to make their last stand if necessary, everyone is stunned into inaction when a calm but firm voice from the darkness states simply, “There’s no need for all this violence.”