As the weary group travels through the night they are beset by a pack of wolves. Haul’s arm is savaged and he is nearly unhorsed. His blood seems to respond of it’s own accord covering the head of the beast and crushing it’s skull before flinging it away. The party slaughters the beasts but not before taking some grievous wounds and the destruction of one of Dashtan’s prized blades at the hands of Ikki.
Our adventures lay their eyes upon Red Larch at midday. They quickly settle into the Swinging Sword with Lord Thann handling the sleeping arrangements and covering the expense of their stay. As the group makes their entrance into the establishment the owner, Kaylessa Irkell, becomes more and more perplexed and frustrated. Asha heads to the Allfaiths Shrine to make her daily devotions, while the rest of the group take a brief respite at the inn. Dashtan and Emilianna decide to pay a visit to Harburk Tuthmarillar, Red Larch’s constable. They receive directions from the inn’s proprietor and find Harburk at Jalessa Ornra, the butcher’s home.
Harburk briefs them on the situation informing them that for the past several months travelers along the Long Road have gone missing. He is able to advise them that it seems to happen primarily to travelers that set out close to nightfall and it doesn’t seem to matter what direction they are headed. Harburk informs the pair that one merchant’s wagon wandered as far north as Westbridge before being discovered so he couldn’t pin it down to a specific geographical area. Emilianna negotiates the rendering of four of the wolves from the previous nights combat before the pair return to the Swinging Sword.
The group decides to take the evening to rest and begin their investigation in the morning in earnest. The group orders a meal and discuss the information Harburk imparted over dinner and drinks. Rath curious about the unusual beverages his companions are imbibing approaches the bar and orders a rum, based on Asha’s recommendation. Hunter Irkell, the snotty oldest son of inn’s proprietor, attempts to trick Rath into drinking an entire tankard of rum. Fortunately Asha intercepts it and the two share it. Dashtan finds much to his dismay that he will be rooming with Thaladen and decides to play a brotherly prank and bury him under his luggage.
Rath awakens to find himself tangled in a tree, his antlers wedged between two branches, Asha laying at the base of the tree. He disentangles his body but decides to remain suspended by his antlers and go back to sleep. Emilianna wakes early and hits the town to find supplies. Ikki has a conversation with a puffed up blue jay that is less than useful. Dashtan awakens to find himself buried under Thaladen’s luggage. The two decide to breakfast together at which point Dashtan notices that his brother is missing the pinky toe on his left foot. Dashtan inquires about the foot and upon receiving the story wishes he hadn’t.
The brothers adjourn to the common room for their morning meal. Haul, seeing Thaladen, creates an awful odor forcing the pair outdoors. Haul settles takes there table and orders himself breakfast. Asha awakens and comes inside. After cleaning herself up she joins Haul for breakfast. Kaylessa attracts Asha’s attention and takes her to Rikon, her youngest son, so he can relate an event that happened to him the previous day at Lance Rock. Rikon tells Asha of a strange wild-eyed man with a matted beard that scared them away threatening them with a flesh eating plague.
Meanwhile Dashtan, tracks down Hunter in order for the lad to introduce him to Ghileeda, a maid at the Sword, who might know something about the missing travelers. Ghileeda is a little frightened and seems very concerned about losing her job but eventually confides that she has been going through bags of travelers staying at the Sword. She tells him of one traveler who had a mask made of bronze that looked like some kind of “devil.” She also tells him of a current resident who has all manner of strange and frightening things in his baggage. Dashtan quickly ascertains she is speaking of his brother.
The group reassembles and armed with the information that Asha has received they prepare to set off for Lance Rock.