Outside the crumbling ruins two bandits rushed Agnes Linna. She managed to make a fast cry for help before a punch to the gut knocked the wind out of her. Keeled, red faced and moaning, she was brutally thrown over the back of a giant pangolin.
Rade and Mig drew hunting bows while Birch, spear in hand, attempted to run the bandits down on foot. Nimble Mig shot the short, stocky bandit in the neck. He fell bleeding. She hit the other bandit, a grim woman named Lizra, in the arm. It was quite a shock for Lizra, who mounted her beast and with a pained shove, unloaded Agnes. The pangolin barked and bolted as Lizra jabbed its side with the pointy heel of her boot.
Birch interrogated the first bandit as he lay dying. The bandits, as it turns out, had taken the wrong woman. Mig was their intended target. Her husband, Rhain hired them to return her to the Crux Alliance Caravansary. Birch surmised the thugs worked for his old boss, Nester, the head council member for the Crux Alliance Caravansary.
Rade helped Agnes back to her caravan, leaving Mig and Birch to argue over the fate of the grim bandit.
Mig had never learned horsemanship, and had no chance of tracking the grim bandit on foot. Even so, she was determined to go after her with help from Birch, a fledgling rider. Birch would hear nothing of it. Lizra would live to fight another day.