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Cursed Caldera is the eight episode of The Dragon Prince and eight chapter of the first book, "Moon".

Ellis leads the friends to the Cursed Caldera but warns it's crawling with nasty monsters. Viren tries to force Runaan to talk.

Plot

Callum, Ezran, and Rayla stumble upon Ellis and her pet wolf, Ava, deciding to join the group to help them seek the miracle healer near the rim of the Cursed Caldera where the healer first found Ellis and Ava. After a long day of travel, Ellis warns the group that they are about to encounter horrifying monsters soon as they progress. Callum devises a countermeasure in the event they face a threat, assigning roles for Ezran to light up Bait, Ellis, and Ava disorienting the monster, Callum to use his wind spell, and for Rayla to finish off the monster with her blades in order. Though the group doubts that a wind spell will be effective, when the word "fool" is mentioned, Rayla recalls the Ancient Draconic word of lightning, "fulminus", which Rayla believes is the trigger word for the lightning spell. This allows Callum to finally direct the lightning on a target.

Viren visits Runaan's cell, attempting to convince the starving elf to eat or drink. Runaan remains firm as he proclaims that he is dead. Viren offers Runaan a chance of freedom if he decides to reveal the purpose of the magic mirror from the King of the Dragons that he will bring later on. Runaan does not comply, leading Viren to realize that Runaan is following the Moonshadow philosophy of accepting death, making him fearless to it. So Viren plots to find something that will make Runaan fear more than death itself.

The group so far has not encountered any monsters as they journey through the Caldera's dead forests. They then spot a monster's carcass, finding it killed by a huge bite mark. Suddenly, a huge leech-like monster emerges behind the body and prepares to attack them. Callum signals to initiate the plan, but in their rush, Ezran makes Bait glow its body at them, temporarily blinding them all. Their plan quickly falls apart, resorting to scatter instead. Ellis takes Callum to ride Ava as they avoid the monster by climbing a high rock formation, while Rayla takes Ezran to climb atop a tall tree. The group decides to remain where they are until the creature loses interest. As they wait, Rayla converses with Ezran of how her hesitations led to her failures as an assassin and Callum conversing with Ellis on his capabilities as a mage with or without the Primal Stone. After a while, Rayla claims it is safe to climb down and seems that the monster has moved on. However, it returns and catches them all off guard. The creature scatters them all again but they eventually resolve to reenact the plan. Ezran, Ellis, and Callum all managed to do their part. While the monster remains stunned by the lightning zap, Rayla tries to close in and barely manages to land the finishing blow that finally kills the monster. Once the monster finally is killed, they all breathe a sigh of relief while a horde of smaller leeches makes their way to Rayla. When these leeches reach her, Rayla falls over in a panic. Callum quickly uses Aspiro to remove the leeches from her.

Viren brings the mirror to Runaan's cell. Viren shows him a pouch that Runaan initially thought as a bribe but realizes in horror that the coins inside are meant to be a threat if he fails to cooperate. Viren unveils the tarp to reveal the mirror and Runaan only expresses his shock that Viren succeeded as he claims the mirror is "worse than death", but Runaan still refuses to reveal its nature. Viren no longer finds Runaan of use to him. He grabs his staff and recites a spell that begins consuming Runaan's essence, causing Runaan to scream in agony before ultimately being silenced. Outside, Gren overhears the screams and finds Viren emerging in a dark appearance, holding up a coin that shows Runaan trapped inside of it.

Callum, Ezran, Rayla, and Ellis finally spot the tree where the miracle healer found Ellis and Ava, almost near the rim. Ava suddenly whimpers sadly, to which Ezran tries to understand what the wolf is expressing. Ezran then bears terrible news to them; somehow knowing, that even if they make it to the rim, he claims there is no miracle healer.

Cast

Trivia

  • A continuity error occurs in this episode, as Rayla claims that the miracle healer has appeared three years ago. As Ava is only two years old, and Ellis stated it to be two years since she found Ava, this sentence is incorrect.

Credits

  • Corvus tracks the footsteps Bait left in the previous episode's credits.
  • Ethari is pictured for the second time, this time devastated upon realizing that Runaan's metal lotus has sunk upon being trapped inside the coin, not realizing that it hasn't sunken entirely to the ground yet.[1]
  • Ziard's staff can be seen as it is later shown in “Sol Regem”, implying that it is the same staff used by Viren inside the episode.
  • Ellis can be seen admiring a magical amulet in the credits, which she previously mentions Callum should have one day.
  • An alternative draft version of the image showing Runaan trapped inside the coin was accidentally released onto the website, in which Runaan's upper body is shown instead of just his face.[2]

References

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