The Long Road/ The per’lous night/ Lone make sweet/ The coming light
Jin, the exiled swordsman, has signed on to defend a merchant caravan. Much to the dismay of the caravan leader, their guide is murdered in the night, his throat slit, with no one the wiser. The caravan wanders for a while before Mara stumbles into their view, still on the run from her tribe. After a tense exchange, the caravan leader agrees to feed and shelter her in exchange for her skills in navigating the area.
The caravan takes off, back towards the mountain, hoping to evade any Stonefast patrols and the levies they charge for passing through their hinterlands. The caravan leader stubbornly insists that they find an old path through the mountains, ignoring the better judgement of some of the caravaneers. Fortunately, after a day of slow progress, Jin discovers some manner of ancient road and Mara concurs that it seems to be heading in the right direction. The caravan takes off again, with heightened spirits.
During the very foggy night however, natives ambush the merchants, killing two guards and nearly-fatally wounding another. Jin masterfully displays the skills he has been hired for, swiftly dispatching natives left and right while Mara tries to save one of the grievously wounded guards, not having much luck in the melee.
After a short, but bloody fight, the natives retreat back into the jungle. The next day, the caravan finds itself in front of an ominous gate, leading maybe to safety, or even more peril…