With night falling and a storm rolling in, the heroes decide to stay the night with the shepherd, Larmon. D’ari settles in with the sheep and sheep dogs in the barn, while the rest of the party make themselves at home in Larmon’s living room by the hearth. Rain begins to batter at the roof as they finish their dinner and settle in to sleep.
In the barn, D’ari notices one of the sheep dogs stand up and start to pace and growl beside the door. She peeks out and, within the flash of lighting, sees several people approaching the house. She’s quick to sneak out the back of the barn just as the dogs begin to bark. The barking alerts Larmon, who tells the others in the group that he thinks he sees someone outside. Merric slips out the back of the house and notices that a group of 8 men have snuck up and paused outside the house, with weapons drawn.
At once, the rogue and the warlock attack. Within the rain, a viscous battle unfolds. D’ari manages to light up 5 of the 8 people with fairy fire before the strange mage paralyzes her. Not long after, Tara is paralyzed as well. Even with two of their own down, the party manages to fight off the attack and take the mage prisoner.
Even with death staring him in the face, the mage refuses to talk too much. He sneers and laughs at the party, telling them that his prophet sees all, and that the Crushing Wave cannot be vanquished. He speaks of a creature named Olhydra who will swallow the valley in water. D’ari is left alone with the mage, and after many minutes of screaming, the barn falls silent and D’ari leaves, having taken care of the mage.
Shaken, Larmon goes to look at the people who attacked his home. He is confused and frightened, pointing out that the mercenaries look like they came from Rivergard Keep, but he isn’t sure why they would be attacking them as they guard the river from brigands and thieves.
The party manages to find some sleep and Larmon is a bit relieved to see them go. They are torn over whether to head to Feathergale Spire as they had planned, or go to Rivergard Keep. In the end, they decide to head to the Spire first, since it is closer. They move through a small gorge that leads towards the spire. A pair of nesting griffons are carefully skirted around and they pause when they spot a group of gnolls foraging near the river. Sneaking past them fails, and the gnolls are quick to attack, laughing in high-pitched hyena noises each time someone (even their own) is hurt in battle.
The slaughter is quick, but the heroes take a bit of damage. Once the group of gnolls is brought down, they turn their sights back to the Spire.