In the dead of night, the Dragon Watchers go about picking clean the bodies of fallen kobolds. They collect (in total) 32 gp, 200 sp, and 200 cp (yes, you have to carry silver and copper, you're just lucky these kobolds apparently had their life savings on hand). Thorgrim is also set on collecting not only his first decapitated head of the adventure, but also requires one of the toothpicks of a spear the kobolds were wielding. Duncan, meanwhile, bullies all melee fighters into taking similarly toothpick-like kobold slings with them. That being done, the party decides to finally address a barking Dox off in the distance. Thorgrim, Wanda, and, of course, Xencarth, go to investigate. While Thorgrim only wants to kill things and doesn't particularly care if he gets swarmed by 30 or so kobolds, the others caution him away from the idea. Wanda comforts him, however, promising to find him a nice dragon to fight.
Jager is healed by Xencarth, while Faedi tends to their severely injured host and Raven distracts the kiddos. Afterwards, the entire party returns to sleep, as they will all need to restore their strength for another long day of traveling. When they all awake, however, they discover a trashed lower floor and the blood of one last kobold, one having snuck back in and gotten killed by Adam. Wanda relays the dying words of the kobold, who predicted the imminent destruction of all the towns and cities of Aenn. Duncan remarks that these are strange dying words for a kobold, who traditionally exhibits fear and desperation at the end of its life. Wanda remarks that they should get to Forest's Edge as soon as possible. As they eat, tend to their horses and prepare to set out, Jager gives 2 gp to Adam in an attempt to compensate for damages, while Faedi says goodbye to the girls. She takes a moment to ask Adam where their mother is, and discovers that (shockingly) she died giving birth to the youngest. Dem cliche feels doe.
The group resumes travel on horseback for the next few hours. Duncan is traditionally talkative; the elves are traditionally silent; it's all pretty chill. Eventually, the group spots a small stream in the distance and decides to make a quick stop so that their horses can drink and rest and Duncan the Aristocrat can bathe (which he does, wearing nothing but the mask and in full view of the party). The elves move upstream so as to keep their distance from the naked human and the dwarf, who is now singing his favorite sea shanty at the top of his lungs while playing with his new kobold head. Xencarth blesses his remaining apples and eats one, additionally giving one each to Dox and his horse. Jager, meanwhile, "whispers sweet Amastrian nothings into super-chill mare," (Harlig 2017), while Thorgrim goes about sharpening his weapons and Wanda takes care of her sickle. Once the Watchers are finished tending to the needs of themselves and their horses, they set off on the road again.
The next few hours go on without incident; however, somewhere along the road, Xencarth notices a head poking out above a small hill. The group decides to investigate, but finds nothing but a few very small shoeprints… (oooooooooooohhh) Unable to discover anything further, they move on for yet more uneventful hours of travel. They make camp just as the sun has finished setting, and determine the night watch: Wanda and Duncan first, Xencarth and Dox second, Jager and Thorgrim third, and Faedi and Raven fourth.
The first watch is uneventful. Xencarth and Dox experience some paranoia during the second, and are unable to determine whether or not it is justified. When the third watch begins, Xencarth decides to only feign sleep for the next hour and a half, to see if anything interesting happens.
Xencarth whips around at the first sound he hears, producing a flame in his hand to reveal a very surprised young halfling ruffling through the druid's things. "Oh. Hi!"
Dox catches the halfling as he attempts to escape. Jager and Thorgrim whip around; the other party members start to awaken to the noise. As people begin to argue whether or not they should kill the thief, Wanda's eyes go wide. "Milo?"
Wanda states that she met the halfling in a small farming village in the Hills of the Free Folk, roughly 10 years ago. Milo, after quite a bit of fearing for his life, reveals that the village was burned and his parents were killed by a dragon. Sympathy ensues, though some characters are still pretty set on killing him. Duncan in particular is fine with the halfling being murdered, and Jager is considering it. Xencarth is somewhat uncertain but leans against killing the halfling at that particular moment, and Raven seems ultimately impartial but goes along with Faedi's assertion that they cannot possibly kill him. Thorgrim wants to let the halfling go as well, saying only that he's "been in his shoes before" (ooooooooooooohhhh dat background doe). After a great deal of arguing and some intense character-ing, the Watchers eventually decide to keep the kid tied up for the night and let him go in the morning.
Duncan wonders why the hell Wanda seems to know everyone in the kingdom. Wanda provides no explanation.
In the morning, Duncan kicks the asthmatic halfling awake and unties him. He scurries off thankfully, with a gift of 2 gp from Thorgrim, an apple from Xencarth, an angry Amastrian dismissal from Jager, and a confusing insult in fairy from Duncan. That being settled, the party once again prepares themselves for the journey to Forest's Edge, expecting to make it by mid-afternoon, hoping that anyone at all is still alive when they get there.