Meeting at the Temple of Ehlonna the next morning, Shil shares with Lina, Rasand Runa the information from his encounter with Lord Xavhorn. In order to better investigate the kidnappings, and to set up fall-men to be the “Clerics of Vecna” that Lord Xavhorn is looking for, the quartet head out of Healwud’s gates down the West road towards Clifforð.
On the road they run into an apple merchant (Runa: “Song for two coppers!”), who informs the troupe that he hasn’t had any trouble on the road, nor has he heard of any road blocks, nor seen any guardsmen. Sensing that the West road is clear, the group cuts through the forest to the south road, where they spot an archer and decide to divide and conquer. Lina and Runa startle the archer with the usual offer (Runa: “Song (and dance) for two coppers?”), and distract him as Ras and Shil clear the right and left side of the road, respectively.
As the women engage the archer in conversation, drawing him down the southern road, Shil ambushes a fairly unskilled bandit guardsman to the east of the road. At knife-point, the man is made to take off his belt and allow Shil to bind him with it. On the west side of the road, Ras ninjas another bandit man on duty, stabbing him through the leg and eliciting a scream of pain. At the sound, the archer with Runa and Lina becomes paranoid, shouting, “Who are you people?!” and attempting to make an escape. Shil and Ras drag in their bound bandit counterparts, and begin to interrogate them all.
After some violence and bloodletting, in which the throat of the most afraid bandits, clearly not one natural to the profession, is slit, Runa entreats and then demands for Shil and Ras to stop. When they do not heed her, she sings “sleep”, and, against all rulebooks and regulations, Shil, Lina, and the bandits slump to the ground. As Shil threatened from an ethereal realm that if the three men weren’t dead, he would kill Runa, she has Ras kill quickly while asleep the man which Shil brought in. Then, she and Ras interrogate the remaining bandit, confirming the information given by the other bandits:
-The man who recruited them was named Garrick, a ranger with a wolf who gave out odd jobs to the men of the town. The “bandits” were not informed of the end result of their kidnappings, only given instruction by Garrick to bring all travellers on the road to their camp, situated between the West and South roads. Every so often (yesterday was the most recent day, in fact,) the prisoners are taken away, to where the men know not.
-The remaining man expects there to be three more of their band at the camp right now, but then also expected Garrick (fairly surely confirmed to be the powerful ranger who we slew) to still be alive.
With this, the remaining man is killed as quickly and fearlessly as possible, and Shil wakes up frustrated, but with three bodies to present to Lord Xavhorn.