The adventurers are joined by the last of their company, Leif Njallson, a druid of the Oaken Grove of Erik, and they set out to put an end to the banditry arising from the bandit camp on the Thorn River. The weather is warm and auspicious.
At the edge of the forest to the Southeast, they encounter what seems to be some sort of giant, otherworldly moth, whose hypnotic wings drive Chibenhar momentarily mad. After a grueling combat, as much against the beast as against their own instincts to run, it is finally defeated. Not, however, before implanting its seed within the chest cavity of the ranger Gar.
The adventurers press on, through hill and dale and the heavy forests of southern Midjarna. Gar recalls that Happs Bydon, before being unceremoniously executed by the Vos warrior Chibenhar, spoke of a camp on the Thorn River, so after reaching that landmark follows it south to root out the bandits. Creeping as stealthily as he can, Gar scouts the camp and does a headcount: 4 warriors and 2 more—probably archers—keeping watch from tree stands. Little did he know that he was spotted and the bandits were lying in wait when the party returned in full force.
Luckily for them, Leif’s harmony with the plants of the area allowed him to coax them into entangling most of their foes, preventing them from fleeing and severely hampering their ability to fire their crossbows.
After a pitch battle, in which more than one of the companions falls, their leader Kressle falls to a crossbow bolt and the bandits who are able to flee into the undergrowth. The archer Oesgir and the mute warrior Etto fall in line and grudgingly pledge to help the adventurers in return for protection from the Stag Lord.