In which our heroes set forth, under the auspice of Beorn their erstwhile host, to seek out news and rumor of banditry plaguing his people. They came to find an abandoned boat on the Anduin, feathered with Goblin shafts and carrying the corpses of Odo and Merovech, both warriors in the service of Beorn. They found clues that a third party had been in the boat, and tracked this party over hill and dale, around village and through tree-stand, until coming at length to the village of Stonyford.
Challenged at the crossing by elders of the village Hartwulf, Ava and Wiliferd, our heroes were able to convince them to let them into the village. From Hartwulf they learned that there had been a murder in the village, and that the murderer, a young swordsman named Osric was sent north to Beorn for judgement.
Our heroes approached the widow Brunhild, whose husband, Rathfic, had been stabbed by Osric. Attempts were made to engage her in conversation, but ultimately Diltwiler, child of the kindly West, was able to win her trust by helping her repair the damage to her garden done by an over-zealous Elf. At length, he learned a secret – that it was Brunhild who stabbed her husband, and Osric who took the blame for the act.
Following Osric’s trail, the heroes came to the encampment of Valder the Bloody, a group of questionable men somewhere between a woodland militia and a band of bandits. They were able to overwhelm Farron, the man assigned to watch over Osric, and convinced Osric to come with them.
At length, the plan emerged for Osric to determine the true nature of this “militia”, and to meet the heroes at the house of Radagast the Brown. He did so, having learned to his dismay that they were in fact bandits, and were planning a raid on Stonyford. Word was sent north to Beorn by way of deer, and the heroes gathered with Osric and a band of Beornings led by Ennalda to face off against Valder the Bloody’s men.
Outnumbered almost two to one, the heroes were able to prevail through preparation, and beat back the fierce assault. Valder the Bloody felled two Beornings, but was felled in turn by Ennalda, with the aid of a thrust of Diltwiler’s blade. Alas, the blade broke upon his armor, but it was enough to distract him from Ennalda’s killing stroke.