While torn between escape, exploration, and scavenging for the gear they would need to survive on their own, the group is noticed by a trio of Guards of the Faithful, bearing spears and clubs, and armoured with uncomfortable looking breastplates emblazoned with the Community’s handcrafted wooden sunburst symbol on the upper left side.
After a brief scuffle where an oddly flat-footed Karnak was aided by the quick efficiency of Grantur, and the deadly cat and mouse antics of Trevorwere interrupted by the blunt simplicity of Maral, the guards were looted of their useful weapons (slings and stones, spears) and 2 of their breast plates, and the group went to put the scare into the youths setting up for the evening meal.
Sending them screaming into the monastery, all but Grantur oblvious to the fact that the stone religious haven was not quite deserted, the group headed down the bridge toward the village below.
Once in the village, the group split up to rescue an old man being held slave by a cruel vegetable sorting woman with a riding crop, loot shoes and consumables, and set the place on fire. The Old Man, soon recognizeably not all there, lead them out of the confusion of tents and supplies, down a tunnel of stone steps, and out onto the moon and ring lit plains.
Not stopping to rest, the group made for the forest, camping only when exhaustion began to take hold. Choosing a defensible spot by a stream, the escapees set watches and passed the night without trouble.
The next morning, while hunting Grantur gave chase to a Broken Rabbit, but was himself hunted by Dirk Wasps which spread their ire to the whole camp, ultimately choosing to savage Trevor unto the point of semi-consciousness before they could be eluded by diving into the stream.
The Old Man, who refers to himself in the third person as ‘The Gardener’took care of their ills with Grantur and Maral’s assistance, and while seeking ingredients for a suitable poultice for the stings, discovered a strange edible plant which was alien to his experience. Its taste was surprisingly tangy and not unlike a citrus fruit, but it resembled a long blade of grass. Everyone enjoyed the new taste and the relief from prison soup.
While resting and allowing the poultices to work their wonders, the group fell to talking, and soon decided that heading south, into Cushulain, and the Empire beyond was the best choice for now.
Late in the day, they set out to put more distance between them and the Community of the Faithful, deciding to follow the banks of the stream.