After an uneventful night, the party is rested and ready to tackle the journey ahead of them. Descending the stone tower where they emerged from, they make their way towards where they saw Kerbol's Hollow. They enter the first shortly, following trails carved out by man, mer, and beast. After about a half hour of walking, the party is almost ambushed by a group of extremely large wolves that are common in the area. Luckily, due to Dra'Jhad's handy magic skills, they're able to spot the wolves and prepare themselves for the battle.
Even with their preparedness, the wolves give them a tough fight. Outnumbered, the party attempts uses their magic and combat skills to turn the wolves against one another, and then wipe up any remnants. Although almost everyone is hurt by the huge, Warg-like beasts, they emerge victorious. Taking a few canines for trophies, they leave the rest of the bodies and continue on towards Kerbol's Hollow.
Another hour or two walk through the Beech trees and underbrush take them to Kerbol's Hollow. It's a small village, with maybe thirty residential houses. The party walks to the town center, a circular plaza with a water well in the center. Deciding to take care of business first, they visit the general store, blacksmith, and the resident mage. While visiting the orc blacksmith, they learn that Guy Falbert would gladly pay the party for the location of the wolves they had slain. The town hunter, he could use the meat and pelts. The party decides to save this option for later and visits the magi.
Upon entering the shop, they are confronted rather abruptly by the high elf mage, Lucilious Lamolos. After affirming they aren't with the Mage's Guild, he agrees to help and they purchase the spells they need for their journey. Rufia, being short of gold, makes a deal. As long as she agrees to return a package to Lucilious' retainer in Evermore, he'll make a deal for a couple of spell tomes for cheap. She agrees, the party already bound to return through Evermore after dealing with Ignar Red-Mane.
They make their way to the Weary Traveler and negotiate the two open rooms for the night. After a hot meal, the party rests well and awakens early the next morning. A second hot meal and a quick conversation later, they're heading off to see the mayor of the city, Claude Wickheart. It's not hard to find him in the largest house in the Hollow, placed up against the stone cliffs.
The party arrives and is confronted by the guards at the gate. They're able to boast their way through the front gates and walk through the garden and to the door. A portly manservant greets them and takes them into a waiting parlor. Not long after, they're escorted to the Mayor's audience room. He sits behind an ornate desk, hunting trophies adorning the walls. Mayor Wickheart welcomes to the party and, wasting no time, the party confronts them about the disappearances.
Talks ensue, where the mayor informs the party that no one had been reported missing that couldn't be accounted for. He discredits the original claims and instead directs the party towards the South Caves, near the entrance to the Hollow, where they may find Ignar Red-Mane. Although the Mayor and the guards haven't seen Ignar, they suspect the caves may be a good hiding place. The party leaves soon after, leaving for the south caves.
It only takes a few hours before the party arrives at the caves. A thorough search reveals a cave that shows signs of recent occupation. Dra'Jhad sneaks in to scout ahead and comes upon Ignar Red-Mane and two of his crew. Wasting no time, he shouts to get Ignar's attention, then casts a strong fury upon the minds of Ignar's allies. Before they can make a move against their leader, Ignar advances and plunges his steel battleax through Dra'Jhad's chest. He falls to the floor unconscious, severely wounded.
The rest of the party rushes in and a fight breaks out. Dra'Jhad is able to regain consciousness, and Rufia heals him of his ailments. When Ignar sees the fight will be lost, he pleads for mercy and asks for the party's help. He claims one of their own party members had been kidnapped and was only the latest in a string of kidnappings plaguing the Hollow. Admitting they had done wrong along the way, he claims their intentions were pure.
The party is not impressed and before they can finish him off, he is decapitated by his ally. After a struggle, the party is able to take down the two remaining members of Ignar's crew. They take their heads and loot their corpses, finding a vellum contract with a wax seal. Opening the letter, they find it reaffirms Ignar's words from earlier, and also lets them know the name of the missing crew member: Svanna Bear-Slayer. With that done, the party rallies themselves to find the last bandit, whether to kill or save, they are unsure.