The heroes go through Nerub Chad’s notes and discover that Chad was planning to start his own merchant house with his ill-gotten gains. The PCs decide to pursue his plans for their own benefit.
In order to avoid questions from any established merchants they meet along the way, the heroes decide to travel off the path. They go through the stony badlands surrounding Tyr rather than taking the road. This proves difficult and after two days their mekillots become thirsty and refuse to go any further.
Fortunately, the heroes are able to find water. They form a sort of “fireman’s brigade” with the freed slaves to transport water from the shallow river they found deep in a gully to the mekillots. The giant lizards prove capable of drinking an extraordinary amount. The heroes also take this opportunity to drink and refresh the caravan’s dwindling water supplies.
However, the river is not entirely safe. Two of the freed slaves vanish mysteriously. The heroes track them to a stony outcropping near the river, where they encounter a tembo – a wrinkled, hairless canine creature with very powerful jaws and even more powerful psionic abilities. The tembo proves a formidable foe, with its sharp claws and its life-draining powers, but they defeat it.
In Tyr, the heroes gather information and learn that Chad traded the Heartwood Box – the sacred artifact of Nambok’s people – for the Ansible which was used to keep the slaves in line. The trade happened in Balic, which is where Nambok will need to go if he is to find the artifact. The four dwarves who have accompanied the heroes thus far come from South Ledopolis, which is on the way to Balic, but they refuse to return without Ladner, the architect whom they were traveling to Tyr to rescue. Sylas bribes a band of elves to rescue Ladner and bring him to them at a location outside the city. The dwarves assure him that he will be richly rewarded.
While in Tyr, Tserick studies the Tyran style of psionics. He learns to shape his mindscape with artistry and skill, drawing inspiration from the natural world, but ordering it into a graceful garden. Meanwhile, Sylas receives an unexpected visit from a Templar of the Sorceror-King of Tyr, the Tyrant Kalak. The templar explains that Kalak has been behaving in an erratic fashion recently, ordering the construction of an immense and elaborate ziggaraut for no apparent reason. Kalak has ordered his templars to retrieve the Heartwood Box at any cost. However, a certain faction within the templars fears that Kalak’s goals may run counter to the interests of the city-state, and do not wish him to obtain the Box. The templar warns Sylas to leave the city quickly and secretly.
Sylas takes this advice seriously. As he exits the inn, he spots a suspicious beggar who seems to be watching him a little too intently. Suspecting the “beggar” to be a spy, Sylas slits his throat. He and Tserick follow a winding path through the city, alert for pursuit, and end in the elven market. There Sylas purchases forged documents to allow his new caravan (outfitted with kank wagons instead of the large clumsy mekillot wagons) to leave the city without attracting the attention of the Templars.