The party sneaks back into town, on the way seeing a number of soldiers leaving, heading back towards the house. They are rolling a large barrel. They crouch down and consider taking these guys out. Eomer points out they could kill these guys and hide the bodies in the woods or dump them in the ocean. Enoch responds that even if the bodies are never recovered, the Alidians will still assume the townies are responsible, and take revenge on them anyway.
The party goes to the tavern. Beck is passed out at the bar. The bartender is red-faced and wearing a large bruise on the side of his face. They realize the soldiers must have come here and taken some ale. They wake Beck.
His head snaps up, “Alright! Let’s go get those guys.” He doesn’t realize they have already finished.
They lead him out of town to where Skeve has made camp. Skeeve examines the horn and identifies its magic properties. Apparently if you blow the horn it will stun anyone caught in front of it. The horn will be unnaturally loud, as well, perhaps even reaching miles away.
Thu’fir goes to the blacksmith and lets him know how things went. He shows him the horn. The blacksmith tells him the owner of the horn died several days ago, killed by Alidian soldiers. Thu’fir gives him fifty gold for it anyway. They look over Thu’fir’s map and Gereg explains that if they want to avoid the road, then there are two ways they can travel south.
Northern Mar Tesaro.
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“The first way is that you could head west, cross the bridge, and then head south through Upper Bolwood. The woods are dense and unyielding, and some travelers tell tales of Ettins prowling on the edge of the woods from time to time. If you come through the woods you should find yourselves in the village of Woodhurst.
“The other way you could go is to head due south over Tinderward. This would be much faster by my count, but it would take you over flat open grasslands where you have no hope of hiding. If you encounter the enemy soldiers, you’ll be discovered for sure. Furthermore, you would have to pass over the Weather Hills, which are home to a nasty and devious tribe of Goblins.”
Thu’fir examines the map before he replies, “Which way would you say is the most dangerous?”
Gereg shruggs, “Beats me. I always take the road. “
In any case, Gereg has no idea which way Endo went. Thu’fir thanks the blacksmith and returns to the party where they debate over what path they should take. There is much discussion about which path would be better. They argue about which way Endo might have gone, and if he would want them to follow him. Eventually they decide on the south way, over Tinderward. They sleep.
At dawn they set out. Beck awakens but doesn’t seem to be too hung over. He doesn’t say anything about the night before.