Location: North Road, unnamed settlement
POV: Karigan G'ladheon
- Captain Immerez
- Stevic G'ladheon
- ]]F'ryan Coblemay]]
- King Zachary Hillander
- Kariny G'ladheon
- Armsmaster Rendle
- Estral Andovian
- Berry Sisters
- Settlement children
Karigan travels along the north road, plagued by biters, for a week. She begins to see evidence of people, but avoids people. She sees teappers, woodsmen, and merchants, and armed teavellers. While hiding in the woods, she thinks of reading the message. She watches Torne and Jendara pass by on the road, bickering.
Several days pass. She is ambushed b Torne and Jendarra. They force her to dismount. Torne threatens Condor. They sort through her belongings. Tone steals Karigan's brooch, Jendara steals her mother's jewellery, including a troth ring, which she wears, much to Karigan's horror. They also keep her sabre, but throw away her blanket and spare clothes. Karigan attempts to attack Jendara, but is knocked unconscious by Torne.
She awakens with her hands bound. The weapons are eating from Karigna's stores. They have rifled through her pockets. They ponder how she came by such nice things. Karigan notices that the mercenaries don't seem to get along very well. Torne tells her that they will be telling anyone they encounter that she is a thief, and kicks her in the ribs. She sees the ghost of F'ryan.
The next day, they travel in a thunderstorm. Jendara insists that Karigan be allowed to wear her rider greatcoat. She finds that her pockets are empty. The mercenaries ride Condor, but find the ride uncomfortable. At midday, the mercenaries do not feed her well. She notices hey seem to have been starving. They reveal that they used to be soldiers of a very high order. They discuss greenie tricks, and Torne strikes her face. She calls him a coward.
They pass through settlements. Torne buys supplies, boasting about catching the thief. He claims that she has murdered a green rider. At one settlement, the settlers treat the mercenaries to a feast while Karigan is tied up to a tree. The settlers mention that Groundmites have been seen in the area, and mention the creature Karigan killed, mistaking the sword wound for bite marks from an even larger creature. A small boy speaks to her, wanting to know if she killed someone. She says no. The boy runs away.
Later that evening, Karigan hears the voce of the ghost. She cannot understand what he tries to tell her. Settlement children approach her. They pester her with questions, and Dusty, their leader, feeds her. The children run off after replacing her gag. Overnight, the children fill her pockets with food.
They continue travelling toward North.