Reekon and Mortredd are seen in the Dagger Assault by a man of Khemir, a ruined city that relied on robot slaves and whose people have never worked for themselves and are not eager to start. Arzon and Feryl see this but Reekon tricks the Khemirites into attacking them, so on their way to tell the other Spectral Knights the Capture Chariot is damaged and Arzon injured. The Darkling Lords promise to supply the Khemirites with slaves in exchange for their allegiance, and Darkstorm has a group disguised as poor wanderers enter the Spectral Knights' castle to let them in. They steal Leoric's and Witterquick's power-staffs for the Darkling Lords, who best the Spectral Knights, remove their totems, and force them into slavery as an alternative to torturing the New Valaricans. When Feryl and Arzon finally make it back, Feryl is captured to protect Arzon, who escapes - but Darkstorm orders that he must surrender, or the other Spectral Knights will be forced to work the dangerous vanadium mines. Written by
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Reekon, drive faster. Our lord Darkstorm expected us back long ago.
And the wages he pays us, he's lucky we're coming back at all.