Having grown tired of sleepless nights filled with visions of his ordeal as a child in Devonshire, Ashley Preston finally gathers the courage to travel to the ruined town. He takes a caravan north, from Brellwynn. Midway through the journey, they are beset by vagabonds, who take them prisoner.
Through guile and trickery he is able to escape with Bart Ferro, an adventurous young dwarf and a mysterious masked paladin (another prisoner of the highwaymen). Together the three head on to Arcadia.
On the way they all realize they are headed to Devonshire, for various reasons. But as they pass Arcadia, riders alert them of a disaster in the city. The paladin takes leave to see if he can help, but Bart and Preston continue on. Until a broken wagon wheel stops them dead.
Riding the donkey to search Arcadia for a spare wheel, Bart catches up to the paladin just in time to aid him in battling strange creatures. Of the town, there are no survivors, only shambling corpses some several days old.
Back at the wagon, Preston is attacked by great beasts, but manages a distraction and escapes, running at full tilt to his allies who have already cleansed the town of its foul energy.