On the heels of the attack on the caravan master, the group sprang into action to rescue Quinray and the young woman from the village. Ember talked to one of the young men acting as a member of the city guard to get an idea of the lay of the land, then was able to secure a horse from Andren, one of the men who runs the Baron of Mutton. Gnarl was also able to come across a horse to ride, though his was gained through far more questionable means, as a trader had left his horse saddled in the stable while he went inside to look into lodging. Kell and Koreth pursued the kidnappers on foot, using Koreth’s tracking expertise. Barrah, realizing she alone in the group could overtake the villains, took to the water, using her natural ability to swim to quickly make up ground. Meanwhile, Thaelen was left with the task of working with the local guard to determine exactly what had happened.
While the others worked on pursuing their quarry, Quinray was jostled back into consciousness. Initially hesitant to give away his awakening, he was unable to squirm free of his bonds, but was able to drop a map case behind him as a clue to follow. Eventually, the sorcerer decided he had to take a chance and began actively working to escape the man carrying him over his shoulder. Quinray managed to slide down the man’s back, throwing him off balance. However, he soon discovered that he was outnumbered six to one. Just as the bandits closed in on him, he heard a shout from the darkness. An arrow whistled into one of the thugs, followed closely by the untrained riders on their borrowed horses and Kell brandishing his twin swords. Then from the water burst Barrah, cutting off the kidnappers from their boat. Quinray endeavored to cast spells with his hands bound together, managing to wound the man trying to flee with the young woman over his shoulder. After a few tense moments, the group was able to slay the entire group of ruffians, saving both Quinray and the girl. After checking to be sure the woman was uninjured (though still unconscious), the party decided to return to Milborne rather than attempt to rouse her while still in the wilderness. After receiving assurances that the woman was truly all right and would be willing to talk with them the following day, the group retired for the night, attempting to rest up for their morning meeting with the town’s mayor, Darius Carman.
In the morning, Quinray, Koreth, and Barrah made their way to the Carman Mansion, where they were made to wait for what seemed an extremely long time. Upon being admitted, they informed Carman of Milborne’s new status as a part of Vo Mandig. The mayor did little to hide his disdain for the news, but ultimately agreed to engage in talks with the duchy’s official representatives if the group agreed to look into a local problem for him. Much of the farmland to the south of Milborne had been slowly turning to marshland with no explanation, potentially hurting Carman’s finances. As a show of good faith (as as payment for services rendered), Carman promised to pay the group 50 gp each, with an additional reward of 1000 gp for the group if they manage to solve the mystery.