Scan and Pock pass three days in the Church, recovering from their ordeal. Scan spends the time in meditation, seeking guidance from her Goddess. After he recovers from his wounds, Pock seeks solace at the local watering hole. He learns what he can about the impending visit of the Queen, the rumors of the abandoned keep at the edge of town, and the local brews.
One afternoon as the duo is discussing the week’s events they are visited by a tall woman dressed from head to toe in robes. Her face is veiled and only her white colorless eyes show. The woman introduces the duo to the barbarian Ashar, who will accompany and guide them on the next stage of their quest. While they are being introduced an acolyte enters with news of a new arrival: T’Charr has found his companions! All seem to rejoice at the reunion, except for Scan, who sinks deeper into withdrawal.
The next morning, as the group prepares for noontime meal, they receive word that Scan has taken her own life in the prayer chapel.
The group runs in to find Scan impaled on her own sword. T’Charr tries in vain to revive her. Pock and T’Charr are instructed to leave the room, and when T’Charr resists, Ashar is enlisted to forcibly ensure her absence. Ashar and Bishop Kas’Nan are left alone with the body while Pock and T’Charr pace outside the chapel door.
A short time later, the two men emerge… with Scan walking behind them. Scan seems different: her eyes shine a brilliant white, and her formerly dark plating seems weather-worn and greyed. A soft light seems to be emanating from within the gaping wound in her chest, which has not closed. She telepathically assures T’Charr and Pock she has returned and the duo, evidently too happy to see their friend to question any further, rejoice.
As they make to leave, the four adventurers are handed an envelope. It contains a summon to the audience of Bishop Kas’Nan to receive a quest. Although the group is indebted to the Bishop they decide to return to the scene of Gorrwynn’s death to see what more they can learn…
… which is nothing. The party finds clear marks in the floor where a large box was dragged from one end of the room to the other, but no sign of passage in or out, and no sign of their foes. Only a small red stain remains of their friend Gorrwynn, and T’Charr determines that a cleansing ritual has been cast over the site.
Frustrated, the group returns to the Church and happens upon a hapless desk-clerk. They ask for an investigation of the keep, and after some threats of bodily harm, learn that an investigation has already taken place and nothing was found. Frustrated, again, the group decides to leave behind the strange happenings at the keep and see what the Bishop had in mind for their next step.
The group meets with the Bishop and learns of three quests. The group is allowed to choose between them. Scan and Ashar express a desire to accompany some missionaries on a mission to the Eldeen Marches, where there are likely to be Lycanthropes that must be removed, while Pock and T’Charr remain silent and exchange telepathically meaningful glances. Later, Pock tells the group of the troubling history of the Church in the Marches and their patterns of deception and murder of innocent Shifter (and other) communities. T’Charr raises a protest, but Pock (now arguing the other side) points out that the group should in fact accompany the hunters as a “mitigating force,” and T’Charr – either confused or persuaded – agrees. The group leaves in three days.
During his time in local bars before the death of Scan and the return of T’Charr, Pock learned of a recent robbery along the same road the party will shortly be travelling on. The party takes this lull to further investigate this story. They speak with Meinod the Gnome merchant, who owned (he would say “owns”) the stolen merchandise. Meinod is a friendly Gnome who has attained power in the town through his exclusive contracts with the Queen, who maintains a summer house on the lake. Meinod takes a Gnome-ly liking to Pock, going so far as to offer Pock a discount, which he graciously declines. Unfortunately Meinod does not know who robbed him since it was just the city’s (only) stagecoach driver, Grimpan the Dwarf, who was present at the robbery. Meinod does not seem to trust Grimpan’s recollection of events and implies Grimpan is a bit of a drunk. Meinod promises the group a reward if they can recover his merchandise and he provides the party with the site of the robbery. When the party expresses some hesitation (they will be on another mission, after all) the Gnome simply asks for the names of whomever the group spoke with at the Church and assures them it will not be a problem. The party agrees.
Outside the shop, The party considers finding Grimpan and getting his side of the story but decides against it. Two days later they leave on their quest. To their surprise Meinod has attached his own contingent to the missionary group and received permission to delay the entire mission long enough to let the adventurers retrieve his stolen goods, or determine they are gone.
The group sets off and finds the site of the robbery. As they follow a trail off the main road into the woods, they are attacked by a particularly stealthy group of Gnolls. Battle ensues, and despite a rough first round of combat for Scan the party makes short work of their enemies. The party is suprised to see Ashar cast a particularly nasty arcane spell, which Pock and T’Charr recognize as the arcana of a Wizard. The group explores the clearing and finds a lone trail leading deeper into the forest…