Having finished their business in Pandemonium, the heroes now resolved to free the rest of the R-Series. These, Odine had told them, were trained in an academy somewhere on the borders of the Savage Land, formerly well hidden but recently revealed to the eyes of the Espers. This academy – which Gwendolen dubbed the Acampemy – held most, if not all, of the remaining R-Series weapons. They also learned, that Gwen’s home village – Ruhenheim – had been abandoned, and resolved to investigate this after the R-Series had been freed.
The five climbed up on Momo’s back, and flew eastwards. It was a long trip, and not one which could be cleared in a single day. Momo must land to rest his wings, and the heroes themselves would need time to prepare their attack. Gehenna spoke with Momo, and learned some troubling things; after a short rest, he borrowed the dragon and flew northwest, to the prison of Bahamut. There, he spoke to the old Esper about Truth and Reconciliation. The Father of Dragons told him, to seek the hidden passage in the Heart of Pandemonium, where he might find some answers.
Gwendolen, meanwhile, sought to test the strength of Ryana. They went into the forest to fight, intending to sharpen their skills against other Living Weapons. Ryana had learned much in Pandemonium, it seemed – she had mastered a form of secret martial arts known to the Esper MISTER MIYAGI.
While they were away, however, a band of roving cultists of Konsu, the Moon God, fell upon their camp. They attacked Jessica and Leesa; in themselves, they were a small threat – but unfortunately, they had been duped into service to Elizabeth Weir, the Tenth of Kardus. She arrived, amused by the battle – and came face to face with Gwendolen, returned from her training with Ryana. Elizabeth’s duty was to guard the Academy, and she intended to fall back to this more strategic location – but Gwendolen managed to goad her into attacking by being really, really annoying.
The ensuing battle was chaotic and dangerous. Jessica and Leesa held off the cultists, while Gwen and Ryana – shortly joined by Gehenna, who arrived from Momo’s back – did battle with the Tenth of Kardus, whose power was the ability to manipulate swords. Gwen shattered her weapon, but it didn’t help; as long as Elizabeth held the hilt, she could control the fragments of the weapon, and turned them into a swarm of sharp, jagged metal. Gwen tried to wrestle her down, but it was foolish – she and Elizabeth were both struck by Gehenna’s pet meteor, and shortly thereafter the swarm of jagged metal tore the Living Weapon to shreds. Gehenna remained to fight Elizabeth almost alone, and while he defeated her with fire and flame, it was not before she could deliver a mortal wound unto him. Only Ryana remained standing.
Now, the fight came to a standstill. Elizabeth Weir was not alone. Tony, the Iron Fist, the Sixth of Kardus, came to her aid. He could have slain the heroes there and then, but Elizabeth’s wounds were too serious – he could waste no time in returning his ally and lover to the Academy, so that her life might be saved. He did, however, punch out Ryana.
After Gwendolen’s body rebuilt itself, she was a far cry from her usual self. Snarling, naked, bleeding and bestial, she had only revenge on her mind. Gehenna feared what he saw, and took her aside to speak with her. He learned her true nature, at long last.
The battle had come to a draw, but the heroes had an advantage. The Esper Alexander arrived, healing their wounds, giving them another chance to attack the Academy before Elizabeth could recover. Keith and Michael designed a plan – Keith would distract Tony, while the other heroes made a frontal assault.