Because what’s a little betrayal between friends?
The party is ambushed by Kirin and four other river drovers from the village. Leading them is a strange man who stayed at the Slug and spoke with Arturus durig the Summer Festival. The stranger exihibits strange powers and tells Kirin that he will be rewarded if the party is killed.
The candidates are forced to fight men they have known their entire life in a harrowing river battle. Unfortunately all of the drovers are killed, including Kirin. The stranger, however, gets away.
Melaine and Johnathan are unhurt, the Magi after hearing a description of the fight, concludes that the man was a Warlock and a Kingfriend. At least, she supposes, Pinewood will be safe because the Warlock King now knows they have left the village. The rest of their journey is uneventful and they make it to Hectal.
Following Melaine’s advice, they leave the Warforged outside of the city to avoid drawing attention to themselves. Johnathan parts ways with Arturus and heads back to Pinewood. Melaine gets the party a room in an inn and tells them to stay put while she hires a ship and warns the Duke about possible attacks. Despite the candidates increasing distrust of both the Magi and her abilities, they decide to stay in the Inn until she comes back.
They are visited by Penrod Telden to tells them that he was sent to bring the party to meet Duke Thomas Peirce. They ask about Melaine and he tells them that the situation is complicated. They are shown in to the Duke and Peirce tells them that Melaine is an imposter and liar. With the Duke is a Shifter that Arturus had seem before but did not seem fit to tell the others about. Apparently he is called the Daughter’s Hunter and he works for the Magi. He is the one who alerted the Duke to Melaine’s deception. Peirce tells the party they must stay in the keep until the REAL Magi come and take them to Dragonholt.
Penrod takes the candidates to see Melanie who is really a young woman not that much older than the party. In her cell she explains to them that a fire many years ago destroyed much of the Oracle. Because the existing information is vague at best, a rift has formed in the Magi over how to deal with candidates. Melanie claims that she works for Langduring Wyvernspear, a Magi of the 3rd Order who beleives that the bearers of the Marks of Power must find their own way. The Magi of Dragonholt, however, wish to strictly control the heroes reborn, so much so that the candidates wearn’t just put in the village of Pinewood… they were bred.
The party is unsure of what to do next, but they decide that they need to set off on their own. Penrod, who is a childhood friend of Langdurin’s helps them all escape with Melanie. They soon discover that Hectal is under attack by an army of Goblinoids. The make their way through the streets of the city, fighting small skirmishes that are quickly decided by Melanie’s magic. On their way to the docks they meet up with the Warforged who shows a surpising grasp of free will.
They make their way to The Endurance the ship that Melanie had hired for them. Before the ship can sail however, an large group of Goblinoids charge the dock. Melanie gives the candidates her magic bag and begs the party to seek out Langduring in the city of Arlen. She grabs the last remaining explosive and charges the Goblinoids, inexplicably the Warforged joins her. The young wizard sacrifices herself and detonates the explosive, destroying the dock and freeing the ship. As the party sails out of the harbor, they look back at the burning city and see the Daughter’s Hunter watching them leave…