Stuck waiting a week while Aaron is “repaired” by the Count, Nisca and the others spend sevral uncomfortable days answering questions at the Gravecharge Cathedral as Inquisitor Trajan Kraask has been assigned the difficult task of tracking down their missing comrade Narsius. Nisca (leaving out the part of how she was mad at the time) reveals how she had him abducted by Goblins – a troubling fact, but one the church is wiling to overlook as an act of desperation to avoid the company of a known Necromancer, and thus forgivable, given the circumstances. Discharged with the admonishment that should they run into him again they should persuade him to turn himself over to the church, the Heroes are released to finish preparations for their journey. much to Nisca’s surprise she finds her contingent of Foot Soldiers from the Judge has increased again by half, and Kendra has found her a personal maid, Freda (formerly of the Count’s townhouse staff). She also finds that while the Church itself seems unwilling to provide her with new Acolytes given her consorting with a known Necromancer, the mysterious (and creepy) Father Gregor Kraus has decided to take on the task of being her personal chaplain and spiritual adviser all the same.
After taking a day’s detour back to Schloss Caromarc to retrieve their newly revivified (and still partially living) comrade Aaron, they set out for the Shutterwood and the head of the Silent Trail. Leaving the Dipplemere Swamp is not without excitement, as while they camp their large expedition is attacked by a small swarm of Styrges – easily taken out by Aaron’s blade and Variel’s bow, but making for an exiting bedtime none the less.
The following day they enter the Shudderwood. Not to far in they find their path suddenly blocked by a collapsing tree and find their ensemble held up by a large band of bandits led by the ex-mercenary turned Bandit Chief, Elmeri Laukkanen. Variel, having dealt with many Bandit’s back in his days clearing out the Sundered Lands, notes the willingness of the Bandit lord to negotiate the price for their toll, and not only talks them down to less than half their original price, but even manages to persuade them to join Nisca’ merry band as escorts through the reputedly werewolf-infested forest!