The next chapter in the tale found each of the characters in mid-journey to their separate, but common destination of Sweet Creek. The two known surviving Zayns continued their path toward Sweet Creek with Keira serving as an able guide along with the aid of her faithful Sondraes. The reunion between Raed and Keira continued with conversation, confrontation, and catching up between the two while on the road. Gog-Grogoth left the incarcerating confines of the slums outside of Southwatch, toward open land and the roads out of Southwatch toward the South, where Sweet Creek lay. Bayard, too, left Southwatch, though leaving from much less dilapidated confines, and ably took the Llorn Road Southward toward Sweet Creek.
Travelling through at a steady pace through the forests of the Eastern Disputed Zone, Keira and Raed made significant progress through to the afternoon. Sondraes made a brief detour to apparently hunt for prey while the Zayns continued on – Raed at the mercy of his sister’s navigational abilities. It was then that both brother and sister had caught the sound of conflict, though at first the source and identity of such sounds were unknown. In order to ascertain the origin, Raed began to run toward the sound, but became disoriented in his charge through unknown wilderness. Keira took a contrary approach in favouring a stealth approach to the location, and keeping track of her bearings. Clearly knowing that Raed would lose himself to the wilds, she sent Sondraes to retrieve him and guide him to her. As Keira drew closer to the sounds, she could hear muffled shouting in Elven. Keira soon came to a small clearing leading to a roughened path in the wilderness; in the clearing she could see a fallen female Elf, she had been armed with a longbow, and donned with leather armour. Beside the fallen Elf was another Elf, but a male Elf. The male wielded a large sword in his two hands in the defense of himself and the fallen Elf. Scale armour protected his body from the onslaught of a raging Troll he was engaged in a melee with. The Troll appeared wild and savage, wielding a club that was more akin to a small tree, and wearing a simple loincloth as a garment. Keira, seeing the wounded female Elf, decided to risk entering the fray in order to see if she could provide aid to her. She attempted to tend to the Elf’s wounds, but her efforts did not succeed. The battle between the Troll and the male Elf was at a stalemate, and the Elf was losing ground to the sheer power of the Troll. Moments later, the Elf was knocked off his feet, leaving Keira exposed to the fury of the Troll. She managed to avoid harm, however, and Raed had made his way to the clearing. Seeing his sister in distress, he mustered an assault upon the Troll. In a surprising flurry of force, Raed managed to grievously wound the Troll, rendering it unconscious, where it bled to death. The male Elf thanked his saviours, both Raed and Keira. He was able to then bring his sister back to consciousness in a few moments, at which she then also gave her thanks to the Zayns. Both Elves were creatures of beauty, even amongst Elvenkind. Though just barely come out of unconsciousness, the female Elf, revealed to be named Akira Terr, had become an object of fascination of Raed. Keira found herself uncomfortable within the presence of Akira’s brother – Xalen Terr. Keira’s discomfort alerted Raed, and broke him out of his admirative gaze – duty took a hold of him and while the bewildered Terrs wanted to recompense the Zayns, they were driven away by the protective spirit of Raed. Before retreating, Xalen dropped a necklace with a pendant at Keira’s feet. Before both were driven off, it was revealed they apparently served at a Cell of a Barracks of Rurga.
Bayard the Master Collector’s trip to Sweet Creek began simply, he was able to navigate the roads leading out of Southwatch rather adeptly and with little ado. However, as the road began to grow wild, he found himself headed in the wrong direction, and soon confronted by two armed and suspicious figures. They broke into conversation with Bayard, inquiring about his business and whether they could work with or for him. After some work deflecting, it soon was apparent that these were outlaws looking for Bayard’s coin and valuables. After a brief but miserable fight on behalf of the outlaws, Bayard routed them into submitting to defeat. With a stern warning, he avoided any further violence, and the outlaws made their retreat and so Bayard continued into the wilderness, taking a side route toward Sweet Creek.
Meanwhile, Gog-Grogoth quickly found himself lost in the wilds, having no ability to read, nor navigate the land. After wandering for a significant portion of the day, he luckily came across a woodsman traveling through the forests. After a brief struggle with language, the woodsman pointed Gog-Grogoth in the direction toward Sweet Creek. Gog-Grogoth made his way roughly in the direction he was instructed, finding himself surrounded by wilderness once more. Within the wilderness, an arrow shot out seemingly from nowhere, striking Gog-Grogoth, but his armour held fast against the arrow’s point. Gog-Grogoth found himself beset by flanking Wolfen; one at his fore – wielding a longbow from which the arrow came, and one to his rear with a sword to his back. With terrifying speed, precision, and strength Gog-Grogoth set upon the Wolfen at his back, using the Wolfen as a shield from the archer’s arrows, and then cleaving into the beast with his azes. He then set to pursue the archer, climbing up the tree the Wolfen had situated himself upon. The Wolfen had leapt from the tree to avoid pursuit, but Gog-Grogoth buried his axes into the Wolfen, cleaving him to shreds.
As Gog-Grogoth was beset by the Wolfen, Bayard found himself crossing unto the Troll’s predicament, stopping briefly as Gog-Grogoth dispatched both with skill and tenacity…