Kaz hog ties the unconscious prisoner and hangs him up in a tree. Kaz and Dactyl discuss putting sharp objects under him to make it less likely that the black knight would try to escape. Pepper lowers him down onto a blanket to talk and to be more humane.
Determined that the black knight wouldn’t escape until the group had had a chance to question him, Kaz positions himself to make sure he can hoist the Black Knight up off the ground if he tries to escape. Deni heals him and they talk… He asks the Black Knight what girl…The Black Knight says he has a message for him… He regrets to inform Deni that an associate of his doesn’t want Deni as his son in law. And that he’s sorry but the marriage will not go through.
Deni asks the Black Knight about the last time he saw Montgomery Brent. He tells them he hasn’t seen Montgomery Brent in a few months, but Brent knew there was a good chance he would meet Deni so he gave him this message.
They ask about Asar Vergas’ intentions with Dimira. He explains he doesn’t know all of Lord Vergas’ plans but he knows it won’t be good for the girl. He thinks it might be something to do with her blood.
After telling him that he hopes he survives, Deni disguises him as an elf, brands him with the symbol of the Silver Lady, and ropes him up so he is barely able to walk. The intent is that he’s supposed to find a kind soul to help him get free. Then they release him to wobble off into the forest. About 15 minutes after the group had left camp and had been walking they smell smoke. When they send Salt back there to investigate they find a forest fire started not far from the main camp. Deni remembers that theman’s hands had lit on fire when they had been fighting. The group decides that there is nothing they can do about a forest fire and so continue on their journey.
The group makes a much slower progress as their horses and ponies had been killed during the fight. During the 2nd day of walking they decide to get horses from a mining settlement they see in the distance. Kaz is upset when he discovers that they have no large horses. The miners grumble that most of their good horses had been conscripted by the army. The group is able to make do with what they have and are able to make it to Coravann on that day.
Once they get to Coravann, they are grudgingly admitted into the city by the guards. Coravann is a city built primarily out of stone. The people seem friendly enough, though they tend to be a little wary around the strangers. Ellynor seems to have trouble remembering where her uncle’s house is so it takes a little extra time to arrive. They eventually make it to the largest estate that they have seen in the town. Ellynor explains to them that her uncle is the Marlord. Deni freaks out about this. He starts cleaning his clothes and bemoaning the fact that his nicest shirt had been destroyed. When Pepper asked him why he’s so upset about this, Deni explains that you just can’t drop in on a Marlord. You have to be prepared, wear the appropriate clothes. He also explains that he had not realized her uncle was the Marlord and the news has surprised him.
After bathing and dressing in fresh clothes provided by the Marlord’s household, the party descended the stairs to be ushered into one of the smaller dining rooms. There they saw the Marlord, sitting, surrounded by paperwork. Marlord Coravann looks up as they enter and he motions them to sit down as he shuffles his papers to the side and gives them to a serving man standing nearby.
He eyes the group and they look around nervously noticing that Ellynor was not joining them for this meal. The servants quietly and efficiently come in and serve a steak and kidney pie. After the servants had finished serving and the Marlord tells Deni he recognized him from when they were both in Ghosenhall, the Marlord says,” My niece Ellynor told me what happened. I would like to hear what happened from you.”
An uncomfortable silence follows as the group turns and looks expectantly at Deni. Deni takes a deep breath and starts telling their tale. Fearing that the Marlord was a devout follower of the Silver Lady, Deni skimmed over the truth. Deni tells theMarlord that they accompanied his niece back to Coravann and were planning on taking her back to the Lirrenlands. The Marlord said that he agreed that Ellynor should return to the Lirrenlands but he disagreed that the group was the best escort for his niece. Deni’s argument was purely that he was Deni Crane. Coravann admitted to knowing of Deni’s reputation but that didn’t make him a qualified guide through the mountains. He argued that Deni’s reputation actually made him a less than ideal companion for a young lady.
The conversation turns to how the party came to be in Ellynor’s company and Kaz blurted out that they had saved her when they saved a bunch of people from the Lumanen Convent. Kaz realizing that he had probably shared more then was absolutely necessary looked sheepishly down at the steak and kidney pie as he decimated it, picking out the vegetables and trying not to eat the meat. Deni tried to talk past this explaining that the Lestra was planning to kill Ellynor because she was a mystic.
Finally Marlord Coravann explained that he has a problem. A few days ago, the Lestra appeared at his house and informed him that his niece had been kidnapped by Deni and his friends and that she believed they would brainwash the girl and heading this way. She was in town right now and was expecting him to turn the perpetrators over when he apprehended them. The Lestra told him that they would brainwash the girl to tell some story about the Lestra trying to kill Ellynor to turn the Marlord against the Silver Lady.
After taking off his polymorph ring Pepper explained to the Marlord that he couldn’t be taken to the Silver Lady. If she got him, he would never see justice he would be strapped to her alter as she killed him. Pepper empathetically explained to the Marlord about the 14 goddesses and the Lestra’s involvement in hunting Pepper. While Pepper was talking Deni magically sent Cammon a message asking what the Marlord was thinking. After a pause Cammon responded that the Marlord was considering what they said and what he should do and that he was going to send Ellynor to go to the Lirrenlands. Pepper appealed to the Marlord, asking him to do the right thing and yes they had invaded the convent and killed the guards but they did it for the right reason.
The Marlord said,” What about law and justice? The Lestra can back what she says with proof. Not only were you there at the convent by your own admission but the Lestra has Mr. Crane’s name written down in an interview that a Sister Primrose had conducted with him. A local innkeeper reported that he had seen you at his inn and that he had overheard you making plans to kidnap someone from the convent, and if all of that wasn’t damning enough Rosurie, Ellynor’s cousin, was an eye witness to you snatching Ellynor. “
The talk went on for a while. At one point Pepper sent Cammon out to get the tapestry they had looted from the Lumanen Convent basement. Pepper explained that it was hidden away so that its secrets would never be known. Pepper also told Marlord Coravann about the excavations that the Library of the Society of the Illuminate had started that had been attacked by agents from the Lumanen Convent.
Marlord Coravann considered what they said for a long period and took a deep breath. He explained that he was going to call his men in here and they were going to arrest them. If for some unexplained reason they happen to get out of their cells and escape through the back door…. Under a strange coincidence they might find their supplies and mounts waiting for them. He ends his announcement with a request that he would prefer it if his men were not injured in this process.
Deciding to trust the Marlord the group allows the guards to lead them away to the dungeon. They wait several hours there, till it becomes night fall then Iriel starts picking the lock to the cage while Pepper mind controls the guard to open his cage and walk away. Iriel and Pepper quickly and quietly get the others out and they make their way to the back of the dungeon. There as promised they find their mounts and supplies. They even find some extra supplies designed to help them survive in the cold weather.
About a half hour after they had left the town, as the group was starting up the mountain path, they hear the sound of a rapidly approaching horse. Though the sound indicated that the horse is near, when they turn to look at it they see nothing. Suddenly, in their midst, Ellynor appears. She smiles at them and tells them that she’s sorry she is late but she had to sneak out. The group then begins the long climb toward the Lirrenlands.
After a while the group made camp. During Dactyl’s watch he feels the ground rumbles and goes to wake up Kaz because he fears that they are going to be attacked again. As the rumbling gets worst they decide to wake up the whole group. Just as they are waking people up 2 drakes descend on the camp. The fight is swift but brutal. The drakes are swiftly defeated, especially when Dactyl discovers that they are vulnerable to fire. Though the group almost loses Iriel and Cammon they are successful in slaying the drakes. As Pepper and Deni heal people up the group looks around wondering what else is going to jump out of the darkness at them.