The group spends some time in the tavern, talking amongst themselves about the Circle and about each other (though Gregg remains evasive about his own past). Mort visits the village hall once again and asks the former prisoners for their names and for information on where they live, intending to perhaps help escort them home at some point.
After a couple more hours, a villager finds the group in the tavern (Mort having returned by this time) and informs them that Sid is waiting over by the well. The group departs and goes to find the homunculus, who is indeed waiting for them and who leads them back to Kargak’s house as soon as they approach. They are led upstairs to the workroom once again, and are greeted by Kargak, who returns their weapons to them, explaining the magic properties the items have now been imbued with. The group are pleased with their newly-enchanted equipment, and thank Kargak. Mort asks whether there’s anything the dwarf wants in return, and Kargak mentions that he’s always interested in acquiring new magical items which he can investigate. He also says that he might be able to help them again in future, though for now is somewhat tired from the enchanting he’s been doing.
Finally, the dwarf cautions them to be careful in their explorations of Downdale, and once again urges them not to go near any of the strange hooded figures (the ones from the bandit camp), should they see any.
The group then sets out, heading back toward the bandit camp by the route they came the previous night. Travel is much quicker this time, and the group covers the distance in half the time it took them before. Even climbing up the ledge in the forest isn’t too much of a problem. Finally, the group reaches the edge of the Farflow and can see the entrance to the bandit camp once again.
However, this time, things are different. The bridge has been repaired. There are a few columns of smoke, but none from the campfire that burned there before – on entering the camp, the group discover it has been almost utterly destroyed – though the stockade walls are still standing, every building has been destroyed (by fire or physical force, it seems), and there is no sign of any of the cages (not even pieces of melted or splintered metal in the case of the metal cages). Also, perhaps oddly, there are no bodies – whatever has struck the camp was either allied with the bandits, or chose to take them alive. Or perhaps the bandits simply fled before it struck. Whatever has happened, Shiraka can find no trail to follow, and advises against doing so anyway, on the basis that if the camp could be destroyed this completely, the three of them will stand little chance. She suggests that perhaps this was a deliberate show of power for those who might come to the bandit camp, as they have – after all, if this force could do all this and leave no trail, why would it need to repair the bridge to reach the camp?
With several possible conclusions to think about (though Gregg and Mort seem convinced the camp was destroyed by the bandits when they knew their secrets were going to be revealed by those who escaped), the group decide they may as well return to Farwatch and report their findings. They damage the bridge again, so that no-one else (they hope) will enter the camp, and then return to Farwatch, arriving in the early hours of the morning as they did the previous night.
Sid awaits them, and once again leads them to Kargak’s house, where the dwarf waits in his main room (on the ground floor) with Ulrik, the village elder. The two greet the group (while Sid disappears upstairs, presumably to take up his usual post), and proceed to explain between them that during the group’s absence, Komtor Sarumi returned to Farwatch, albeit rather briefly. He arranged for the former prisoners to be taken to wherever they need to go, and apparently spent some time speaking with Bannek before taking the human with him in his hasty departure to deal with some kind of urgent news he has received.
Kargak, during this explanation, mentions the Komtor claimed he would “make a decent example” of Bannek – Gregg is immediately upset, assuming the worst, and starts complaining loudly, revealing the remainder of his knowledge of the former bandit (that he was a survivor of what happened at Downdale, and that Durneg took him in and subtly helped him). While Mort grumbles to himself, annoyed at having supposedly wasted time returning to the camp and therefore missing the Komtor’s return, Ulrik is confused at Gregg’s view on things, clearly not understanding the meaning behind his words. Kargak, however, is clearly somewhat better-traveller (or at least, in possession of a greater knowledge of realms outside of Embrachal), and hastily explains that “making a decent example” of Bannek means literally that – making an example in a good way, a former bandit being put on a new path, and that people aren’t simply put to death in this land because of things they might have done. Ulrik seems shocked by this very concept.
Meanwhile, talk turns to the subject of Downdale. Gregg and Mort wonder whether whatever struck that village is related to what is happening now. They also relate the news of what they found when they returned to the bandit camp, and Ulrik says that he and Kargak will see to it that the Circle is informed. Shiraka points out that whatever struck Downdale, as it was so long ago, may have nothing to do with the events at the bandit camp, a suggestion agreed with by Mort.
Ulrik, meanwhile, suggests that as the group have shared about as much information as they can for the time being, they should get some sleep. He says that though the former prisoners now no longer occupy the village hall, the bedding there has not yet been cleared away and the group are welcome to use it.
Kargak bids them farewell, saying he’ll be interested to know what they discover when they visit whatever’s left of Downdale. The group departs the dwarf’s house and heads, with Ulrik, back to the village hall – Ulrik sees them inside and then retires to his own home. The group settles down for the night and gets some sleep.
The next morning, some villagers come in and offer the group food – Shiraka takes hers outside to eat. Mort then heads over to the outpost to see about using their training grounds, while Gregg remains in the village hall, studying his spellbook.
Shiraka approaches Gregg, bringing up the subject of the three of them supposedly being a “pack”. She says that pack members need to be able to trust each other, but that she doesn’t trust Gregg because she has noticed the way he constantly evades any talk of himself. Gregg proves her right as he then tries to avoid the subject, saying his life isn’t important and that he wants people to judge him only by things he’s doing now and not by things he’s done in the past. Shiraka admits she can sort of see his reasoning, but says that he is a result of everything that has happened to him before, and so his past is by no means unimportant. Shiraka becomes rather annoyed, growling at Gregg and pointing out that she can see he is continuing to evade the subject. She accuses him of “hiding himself” from the rest of the group (or at least, from Shiraka – she is aware that she doesn’t know how much Mort knows about Gregg, since she doesn’t know how well they already know each other), and says that he’ll earn neither her trust nor her respect until he decides to be more open about himself. Gregg continues to evade, telling her he needs to study his spells so that he can cast them properly (or words to that effect). Shiraka angrily gives up, and implies that she may not remain with the group once they have completed their business in Downdale. She then leaves.
Mortaar, meanwhile, has been practising in the training ground, wielding his sword against the magically-strengthened training dummies there. Shiraka arrives, having headed there from the village hall after her argument with Gregg, but doesn’t mention this exchange to Mort. She instead says that due to her usual role in combat (as using her spirit companion to help and support others), it would be useful for her to see how Mort fights in order to better help him. The two exchange information about their various skills and powers, and Mort explains about his rage, saying he uses it as his source of strength but that sometimes it can fully overpower him and cause him to lash out even after all his foes have fallen. Shiraka asks whether there would be any way to calm him should this happen, and also offers to use one of her own spirit-powers, the ability to stop a person in their tracks, should Mort ever lose control of himself and attempt to attack someone he shouldn’t. She also suggests that perhaps her Path in life has led her so that she can guide him along his.
She then watches him train a while longer, until eventually he decides he’s had enough. They then go to meet up with Gregg in order to set out for Downdale, which they are told lies roughly south/southwest of Farwatch and which they will find if they follow the signposts along the road.