The witch Magdal thanks the four for their assistance in defending the Bonfire Ash. She informs them that there are many bands of capricaurs scattered throughout the woods, and at least one seems to be allied with an Overworld musician further east. Honora, Abbron and Bralta return to the inn, while Baden rests and meditates at the Valakynd — he also inquires if Magdal is “passionate” herself, but the weary witch informs him that she is not seeking to bear a daughter at this time, and he is… replete with solar energy.
They reach Spurwall the next evening. At the Spitted Boar, they begin trading news. They learn several things of interest:
- The village was attacked by capricaurs three years ago, but Cyr Bastaan scattered the attack.
- The villagers know of the music, and avoid it. Only a few dare sleep outside, such as the huntress Dristella.
- Cyr Bastaan does not ride out any more, in part because he cares for his wife, who fell ill not long after his wound.
- Bastaan’s huntmaster also died on that ill-fated boar hunt, to be replaced by the son Samtan.
Bastaan’s sergeant Caeth also stops in the tavern, and inquires the traveler’s business. They inform her that they intend to strike at the nearby capricaurs. She seems to dislike the thought of stirring them up, but wishes them luck.
In the morning, they visit the huntress Dristella. Baden picks up some odd jealousy from her when she mentions Caeth, but she has little bad to say about the sergeant. She advises the travelers on how to find the capricaurs’ territory.
Following her lead, they find the edge of said territory and discover something unusual — old bones, the remains of at least eight capricaurs strewn across the forest floor. The remains seem to have been here since the summer. Proceeding further, they alert a capricaur scout, and chase it back to the lair.
Once the capricaurs have the advantage of numbers, they engage. Their leader also emerges, a satyr piper that compels them to strike with his music and shouts about “a treaty.” The beast-men put up a good fight, but are not strong enough to overcome the travelers. The satyr cringes and grovels when badly wounded, and only one of his “revelers” is left standing.
The satyr (who gives the name of Chassidos) explains that on Midsummer night, a knight with twin axes tore apart his band and told them to draw no closer to the walls. He describes the knight as wearing a fur cloak and boar-tusks on his helm, and claims that the earth shook beneath his feet and boars tore apart many of the capricaurs in the woods. They deduce from the satyr’s odd speak that he is a newcomer to the material world, and elicit a promise from him to retreat back to the Overworld in exchange for his life.