Brogate, Sitdun, and Tulindranadel enter the inn’s common room to find Baiard and Marla engaged in drinking games, something their compatriots have been doing for quite some time given their inebriated state. Visibly upset, Brogate decides to leave the pair behind as the rest renew their investigation. On their way out of the inn they encounter Hothwyn and Theonascence; the pair having taken to spending time together as their common interests have helped them bond easily. The elven rangers accompany the trio on their search for the murderers.
Resuming their westward search, the group exits Crossford and heads for the outlying farmsteads. Tracking is very difficult for the young rangers, as the North Route is a highly traveled road. The group instead opts to ask the various farmers if they saw or heard the riders passing through during their escape from Crossford a couple of nights ago. As each family in turn says that they have not heard anything the party grows disheartened. As they very nearly convinced that they have chosen the wrong path of inquiry they receive a glimmer of hope: one family did hear some riders pass through that night, moving very fast and heading southwest. Emboldened, the party continues onward until darkness begins to settle. One farmer is willing to allow the party to sleep in his common room for the night. The group agrees that their quarry has too great a head-start and resolves to return to Crossford in the morning to procure horses.
The adventurers arise, break their fast, thank their hosts for their hospitality (leaving them a few gold pieces for their trouble), and head back to town. Once they arrive, they head to the nearest stable and begin haggling. Realizing that the prices may be more than they can readily afford the group returns to The Aleing Halfling to seek a loan from some of their companions. In their continued drunkenness, Baiard and Marla put up little resistance as their are persuaded to part with their coin. Returning to the livery stable with new coin in hand they have enough to purchase four horses with saddles and tack for each.
By this time the hour is late and the party decides to retire early and start their search early the next morning. Upon returning to the inn they see that Baiard has a new drinking companion, a comely dwarf lass who introduces herself as Deree Earthfoot. They all commence to drinking and swapping tales into the late hours of the evening, finally retiring when they must. All is well and quiet until Tulindranadel is awoken in her room by a noise. Groggy from drink and lack of sleep, she nevertheless spots a small figure in her room riffling through her backpack. Tulin reaches for her blade while shouting an alarm and the intruder dashes for the door. The others are awakened by the commotion and a chase quickly ensues.
The unknown figure quickly exits the common room of the inn and flees into the street, party in tow. Tulin manages to cast a magic missile that strikes the thief, forcing a masculine voice to cry out in pain. He darts into an alley and begins scrambling up a building. The elven warrior in frustration throws her longsword at her quarry and manages to nick him as he clamors over the ledge onto the rooftop. Sitdun and Theonascence give pursuit up the wall while Hothwyn attempts to follow the pursuit along the street. Sitdun takes a dangerous fall into a courtyard and Theonascence stops to aid him. Hothwyn hears the thief exit the rooftops and enter the street but is unable to see him. The elf’s keen senses do manage to make out something amiss in the darkness down the street and surmises their target has employed magical darkness to cover himself. Hothwyn gives pursuit but the lead the thief had was too great, and the young ranger’s tracking abilities are not as refined in more urban environs. Returning to his companions they all return to the inn to discuss the events and formulate a plan of action. Tulin finds her discarded backpack on the street and retrieves it. As the party makes it way into the inn she discovers that the only items that appear to be missing are the bone white apples taken from the dark druid’s grove.