The group find a small cave at the edge of the farm, and through Rey‘s Dancing Lights they see a small creature living within. The creature tells them in Draconic to leave but Rakshasa tries to enter the cave, triggering a trap. Eventually the group convince the creature to surrender and return what it stole, and they discover it’s one of the small lizard-like Kobolds which they fought at the farmhouse. The kobold identifies himself as Kirtul, and says that he is the last of his tribe, and was brought here from another world by The Tome. He agrees to join the group on their journey but briefly disappears when they visit the farmhouse. They find the young man, whose name is Ramas. He seems to be recovering and has been joined at the farmhouse by his mother, who the group hear but don’t see.
The group soon reaches Riverstride, where Sahri grew up. Sahri takes Kirtul to join her at the local Adventurer’s Guild where she is reunited with Rhogar and Ayesha, friends and fellow guildmates. Rey meets a group of fellow bards and their leader, Jocelyn Silver-Tongue is impressed by her skill. Rakshasa talks to Reverence, who seems quite distant, and later blames her mood on family troubles in Hasamidat. Ghesh and The Spectre find the local Storm Church and speak to a worried woman named Vonda. She says that an earth elemental is beset in The Badlands and later says to Sahri that the elemental is searching for an artifact called The Dark Chain.
The group leave Kirtul behind in Riverstride and go with Vonda to find The Elemental. They soon find it, but it acts suspiciously and eventually reveals it lured the group here. Vonda and the Elemental attack the group. Ghesh and Rey’s spells quickly destroy the elemental, but the group are shocked to find the elemental was really a human woman assuming an elemental’s form. Ghesh kills the woman for her blasphemy and the group manage to extract a confession from Vonda before killing her. She’s working with a clan of Gnolls under the command of someone named Keth The Black Claw. The Spectre realises reinforcements are coming and urges the group to hurry after they burn the bodies. They are soon beset by a host of six Gnolls and a giant Hyena.