The rest of the evening was mostly uneventful for the group, as they prepared for the journey the following morning. Gwyn opened the tattoo shop and had some customers; gladiators who were inspired to join the army and wanted a tattoo for their regiment. She carefully used her magic to aid her work. After the shop had been closed, Morg asked Gwyn about the possibility of repairing his magical axe, having broken it during his fight with Quick Wenzer. Gwyn, becoming more experienced in her magical abilities, knew that it could be repaired and arranged for it to be worked on while they were away.
Merric set about gathering information on House Tsalaxa in the hope of finding out something useful before they started to follow them. He was only able to uncover rumors of the house’s involvement in espionage, assassination and blackmailing schemes. They also had a reputation for dealing in “recovered” cargo, furthering their suspicions that they were responsible for the attack on the House Wavir caravan and Kelvor. During this time Castri went to the Artisan District to check on the statue that he had commissioned. With the war effort going on, he found it would be at least a few weeks before it was finished.
In the early morning the group gathered their belongings and headed out of the city, while Castri waited near the House Tsalaxa warehouses. Shortly a group emerged from the warehouses and headed out of the city. The group consisted of three kanks, a pair of half-giants and a half-dozen men. Castri joined up with his companions and they followed about a mile behind them.
For three days they trailed the House Tsalaxa group, making sure that they appeared to be nothing more than a small group that happened to be travelling in the same direction. While they did encounter other travelers on their journey, most were hurrying on their way and did not stop to talk. After the third day the group turned east, following the road leading to the Silver Spring Oasis.
One caravan that was encountered during the fourth day was a House M’ke caravan headed west towards Tyr with a load of nuts and spices. They stopped to talk for a few moments when Gwyn hailed them as they passed. They had nothing of value to say about the group from House Tsalaxa nor did they have any knowledge of any recently uncovered ruins. They did mention that their caravans were having a number of run-ins with raiders bearing a snake skull mark, but they mysteriously stopped recently.
On their fifth night, they group decided to investigate the Tsalaxa camp and try and learn more. Gwyn and Castri crept up to their camp and saw two of the men discussing a map while the others were either resting or taking turns watching with the half-giants. After observing them for a while, they overheard them mentioning it was a week further until they reached the “fort”. Shortly after they put the map away into a large pack and settled in for the night.
Castri started to head back to his camp, but Gwyn, in an impulsive moment used her magic to turn herself invisible and moved into the Tsalaxa camp. She reached the large pack without being noticed and rather than try to search for the map case, she grabbed the entire pack and started to run. One of the goliath’s noticed the missing pack and just caught sight of Gwyn as her magic faded. Rousing the camp, they all chased after Gwyn into the night.
Gwyn’s long elven strides allowed her to slowly gain ground on her pursuers, but several of the guards were able to keep pace long enough to fire arrows, several of which wounded her. Before too long she caught up with Castri, who had turned around when he heard the commotion and realized that Gwyn had stayed behind. The two continued to run, hoping to rejoin their group before having to face the wrath of House Tsalaxa.
Vinara, Morg and Kelvor had heard the sounds of trouble and, fearing that Castri and Gwyn had gotten into trouble, began to run to help them. They met up with each other near some low rocks and quickly took cover and the House Tsalaxa forces descended upon them. Kelvor lured a robed human into a poor position and he was quickly cut down. The half-giants and the other human proved much harder to take down and the party suffered many serious wounds. Vinara and Morg were both briefly knocked out during the fight and everyone, except for Castri were badly wounded before the fight ended.
Things took a turn for the worse when the archers arrived and began pelting the group with arrows. The party was not able to concentrate on any one particular target effectively, causing the fight to last a long time. Eventually they wore down their opponents and the House Tsalaxa forces began to fall one by one, with Merric dealing most of the final blows. Exhausted and bloody, the group subdued the human instead of killing him, hopeful that he would rather answer questions then be put to death.