Almost immediately into the next day’s travel, the crew hears the scream of a woman somewhere farther into the woods. Alocan, Ruze, and Roarke all snuck over to see what was going on while Vaslof hid.
Alocan’s attempt to help the woman turned out to be a bad idea once it was revealed that she was actually a Succubus who was pretending to be a damsel in distress in order to find people to feed to her pet Howler.
Roarke punched her head off after Vaslof shot her Howler, Alocan turned it into a skeleton, and Ruze ripped off her fucking arms. Blood. Everywhere.
Alocan was horrified.
Not long afterwards, the group heard the sounds of children and decided (quite wisely) to ignore it. Well, except for Ruze… Ruze ate nine Goblins and came back with wretched gas.
At the end of the forest lands, Roarke stopped cold and informed them that he could go no further, but, before he left, he bestowed a gift upon Vaslof (something that is bound to a place and time). Roarke said Vaslof was not to open this until they could give it to Cendath for it may be able to help get him to come back down from insanity. He also informed the two of the fact that Sultan will have someone waiting for them in the next settlement. Do not doubt it.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the neutral zone, there is some sort of strange cottage that appears to be inhabited by some sort of Desert Giant.
Once they are forced to interact with said “Giant” the next day, Vaslof and Ruze threaten him, Alocan feels bad for him, and, well, their new “friend” gives Alocan a new ring. It turns into a weapon… amongst other things.
The “Giant” knows about the slavers and lied about when they came through with Palevith, but, otherwise, seems eager to give information in order to help Vaslof and Alocan dispatch the Sand Sifters.