As the party approaches the town they see several men in black robes loading goods onto two wagons. Some of the figures notice the approaching party and hail them. The party can see several villagers held hostage.
As the party huddles to discuss what to do, Thakon and Bovas head off around one side, while Jasper sneaks around the other and Lyra turns into a giant eagle to scout. While the party debates on how to bait the guards around the wagons Thakon closes with and kills one archer in a single blow starting the battle.
Battle commences with strong opening moves. Oath casts Lightning Bolt which electrocutes four of the guards and cultists. One of the cult leaders starts casting spells killing a villager and hitting Lyra. Drugan and Grom move into position. Mira creates a Wall of Wind around the crossbowmen. The last remaining guardsman rushes Oath and kills his horse, trapping him underneath.
Darius, a knight armored in black lacquered plate and three additional fighters join the fray. He uses Flicker (magical dagger) to launch himself into the air, falling down on Drugan and knocking him off his horse. As Lyra swoops to kill the cult leader, she is knocked out of her animal form by Darius. Grom and Smoke attempt something awesome, but are not quite as acrobatic as they were hoping. Grom still manages to restrain four enemies. Jasper finishes three of the four restrained enemies. Mira rides forward a casts hold person on Darius, but it’s short lived as he calls out to Nerull for her blessing. His armor is wreathed in purple and blackish flame. Lyra goes bear and attempts to maul the new fighters. Thakon grabs one and tosses him in the well, eventually drowning him. Oath eventually escapes from under the horse. Grom uses Misty Step to launch himself into the air and try the same maneuver he saw Darius use. Darius sees a worthy competitor in Grom and starts alternately attacking him, Drugan and Mira.
Mira calls on her Spirit Guardians. Oath uses Tasha’s Hideous Laughter to disable Darius. Jasper, Smoke and Grom finish off the veterans. Oath lightning bolts Darius. Darius form darkens and fire pours from him which makes Lyra and Oath afraid of him. Thakon gets a critical hit on Darius. Grom goes down, is healed by Jasper, then goes down again. Drugan staggers up to Darius and runs his spear through his shoulder forcing him to his knees and knocking him unconscious. Grom is healed, Mira uses prayer of healing on everyone. Mira attempts to revive the fallen villager. The party strips Darius of his gear and searches the other bodies.