Aras and Fiva enter the town of Durodes, a small town on the highroad to the Divide. As he attempts to buy goods, Aras is ambushed and beaten up by a band of men who are not willing to allow him to bring a wood elf into town. He is nearly dragged to death by a horse until Fiva cuts him free.
Fiva engages with the five men that nearly killed Aras, and threatens them. They doubt her, and find her threats to be silly. However, they find themselves outmatched as she draws her bow, and she kills all five of the men over their treatment of her friend. A young woman with red hair and a large floppy hat witnesses the murders, and seems to approve of Fiva’s actions.
Fiva returns to tend to Aras, but the town’s guard has been summoned to arrest Fiva for murder. The two escape further into the Great Forest, and do not stop overnight due to the circumstances.
The two have now run completely out of supplies by the next day, and Fiva resorts to hunting a deer to ensure her and Aras have enough food. She shoots one, but as the two track it, they find that another arrow is sticking from the deer.
The two meet a half-elf named Ryhar, another ranger who had managed to shoot the deer at nearly the same time as Fiva did. Though he is wary to give up his kill or allow strangers into his company, Ryhar allows the two to stay at his campsite overnight. Though Ryhar is not fond of Aras at all, he takes a quick liking to Fiva. Figuring this out and fearing that he may attempt something during the night, Aras stays up all night in order to allow Fiva to sleep in peace.
In the morning, Fiva and Aras hear the sounds of a fight and go out to investigate, and find Ryhar wrestling with a young bear. He attempts this in order to impress the wood elf, though Aras is not amused by these attempts to charm Fiva. Upon later informing Ryhar of their desire to go to South Ahrea, the half-elf states he was heading to a elf village in that direction and would be glad to guide them.
The trio travel for two days in the Great Forest. As they approach the village, however, they are stopped by a band of Northern Riders. They inform the party that they are within King Windsor the 2nd’s private hunting grounds, and prepare to arrest them for trespassing. However, they soon realize Aras and Fiva are wanted for the deaths of slavers and the villagers in Durodes, and attempt to apprehend the two for those crimes. A Legion of Vas band runs into this exchange, however, and begin attacking the Northern Riders.
Aras, Fiva, and Ryhar escape into the woods, though Ryhar nearly strangles Aras upon questioning him about the allegations of murder. Ryhar lightens up slightly upon noticing Fiva was training an arrow on the back of his head the entire time, and Aras explains that he kills slavers that capture elves. Upon the explanations for the slavers and the incident in Durodes, Ryhar lightens up as realizes the two are allies for the common good.
Realizing they are doomed if they stay where they are, Ryhar presses the two to follow him to the wood elven village – where they would be safe for at least several days.