After defeating Lord Carrion, the gatekeeper, the heroes entered The Black Gate.
Within they were engulfed in darkness, and wracked with pain. Garyn, the dwarf, was told to surrender his might, so that his companions might live. He chose to do so, and voluntarily failed the test of endurance, granting a boon to his companions.
The heroes then found themselves on a featureless plain, facing a robed figure, which asked them to prove that they were dead, to pass into Orcus’ realm. Each hero had to convince the figure that he could not be alive to pass.
Suddenly, the heroes found themselves facing Orcus, demon prince of the undead. All of the heroes except Klyred, were asked to pledge themselves to him, slay Zirithian, and bring him back the sword, Nightbringer. Garyn, Grant and Vier’gara agreed. Smimleton refused. Klyred was asked to beg for mercy, and also refused.
After successfully completing the three challenges, the heroes found themselves in a hallway, in Zirithian’s Ziggurat.
They soon discovered that Lareen had been taken prisoner. After much discussion within the party, Klyred healed her, and she agreed to help them destroy Zirithian.
Once the heroes engaged Zirithian, Lareen professed her “undying” love for him, which he forcefully rebuffed, telling her that he never loved her, and he was only using her to prevent mortals from entering his realm, a task which she failed miserably at.
Once Zirithin was destroyed, however, Lareen and the other undead crumbled to dust.
Zirithian’s sword Nightbringer fell to the floor with a clang, and two aspects of Orcus appeaered, one with a mighty claw, and one with a giant eye.
Nightbringer was scooped up by Garyn who immediately broke his pact with Orcus, and plunged the sword into the giant eye, fulfilling the Keeper’s bargain.
This set off a chain of events that ejected the heroes from Deadhold, and caused Garyn to immediately lose almost all of his strength. He was extremely exhausted, and on the brink of death.