At the village of Stonyford, Frida, Beran and the Bride persuade the village’s leaders that they travel at Beorn’s bidding and are seeking a fugitive. The villagers tell them that the escaped prisoner is one of their own – a young man named Oderic who murdered his brother-in-law, Rathfic.
As the adventurers ask more questions, they learn that Oderic was an orphan who was taken in by the warrior Helmgut and his daughter Brunhild. Oderic was never fully accepted by the village and held himself apart, even more so after Rathfic settled there and married Brunhild. About two weeks ago, the two men fought for some reason, and Oderic stabbed Rathfic to death, after which he was arrested by Helmgut for the terrible crime of kin-slaying. Beorn’s men took him away for trial; they fear that his escape is a sign of doom and evil.
The adventurers try to question Helmgut, but the old warrior is drunk and lost in his own misery. They then question Brunhild, who is in mourning for her husband and saddened by the loss of her foster-brother. Frida aggressively interrogates Brunhild, who confesses that Oderic was planning to leave Stonyford and wanted her to come with him. When Rathfic interrupted them, the two men argued; Brunhild attempted to separate them, Rathfic struck her and then Oderic stabbed him. Furthermore, she tells them that Oderic returned not two nights ago, whispering through her window; he told her of his escape and that he was striking west across the Great River to seek his fortune and never return.
Frida tells the village elders that Brunhild spoke with Oderic, and the adventurers take a boat down the River in search of Oderic. After several days on his trail, they track him to a forest near the Gladden Fields, and find signs that he has been captured by armed men occupying the woods. As they search further, they encounter a patrol of men from the South and do battle, taking one alive as prisoner. He tells them that Oderic is the ‘guest’ of Valter, who brings an army from the south to take the weak northern lands.
Now the adventurers must decide whether to find Oderic and bring him to justice, or warn the Wilderlands of invasion…