- Before reaching the town the group encountered a group of slavers taking some Northlanders captive. The Outriders wisely chose to strike first and executed an attack that ended in the death or capture of the slavers, but only one of the three Northlanders survived. The survivor, a northlander named Yoth, was grateful and offered them the hospitality of his people.
*The group gained entry to Maergis, and despite Hunter’s almost catastrophic tactical miscalculation at the gates, were given the opportunity to prove their worthiness to join the slavers within in the service of the apparently supernatural lord Dactylos. To do this they were forced to fight a man that Toothpick knew they could not beat, but they were saved from their impossible fight by direct magical intervention, which may have come from Dactylos or from the enigmatic figure of Content Not Found: marius
*When the arcane smoke cleared the party had been transported from Maergis to the mountains once more, where they met and spoke with a being who called himself Content Not Found: marius. Marius made mention of himself as a Chronicler, the last of his race, and seemed most displeased with the fact that he was meeting the three commanders of the Outriders “too soon”. Apparently Marius had expected forces to have made contact with the three of them under different circumstances, and was extremely surprised to find them working as mercenaries.
- Marius told the commanders that they should go to Torin’s Reach, nestled in the mountains to the north of Longstride to receive guidance, and that they should leave the lands around Empyrrean as quickly as possible.
- Concerned for their comrades that they now knew to be held by the Maergis slavers, the commanders executed a daring ambush and managed to rescue Weir, Akara, Miri and Content Not Found: clem from being sent to Empyrrean as part of a tithe from Dactylos. Though wounded, their men were alive, and they sent them back towards Baerlon.
- Despite the magical concealment that Content Not Found: marius had placed on the Outriders, something within Empyrrean found Toothpick and ripped the knowledge of their rescued associate’s location from his mind. When the commanders caught up with the caravan, all those within were listless and uncommunicative.
- When medicine failed to bring them round Hunter turned to his newly acquired faith in the primal night god Ikanden, and attempted to use the old god’s will to drive the controlling force out of Akara. The war of wills tore the threads of Akara’s being asunder and killed her, cracking the Amulet of the Sightless Eye in the process.
- It was then that Hawk perceived the threads of brilliant light coming from their comrade’s heads, and linking into a vast black web in the sky. It was a web he had seen before in his dreams.
- Toothpick attempted to use his null ability to sever the link, but it became clear that this might kill them. In a strange moment of clarity he saw that the problem was above him, not within the minds of his associates. Tapping into knowledge he did not understand he projected his null into the sky, severing a thread of the web and freeing the minds of the comatose. Unfortunately the magical fallout began to level the terrain, toppling mountains like piles of leaves.
- It seemed that despite everything they would all be killed by the fallout, but Hunter spotted a cavern and drove the crazed horses towards it in a frenzy. Hawk, desperate enough to try anything, reached out and, to his surprise, caught a fistful of the black energy. Using his will to sculpt it he energised the horses, causing their bodies to decay at an alarming rate, but granting them the speed to take them into the cavern as the valley collapsed.