As the heroes settled into life at the defunct temple, and were introduced to some new comrades (Himo Staratli and Micaiah), the Westcrown Rebels’ intelligence efforts were bearing enticing fruit: Arael and Evarinya were to be transported from the custody of Westrcown’s government to the Order of the Rack’s Citadel Rivad; in their passage through the lawless region in between, the only protection the Order would enjoy would be their own force of arms. Janiven predicted that, complacent in their reputation, the Hellknights would leave the prisoner transport too lightly-guarded.
Seizing the opportunity, our heroes rushed out to set an ambush. They ultimately prevailed, but things didn’t go according to plan: Caradoc impulsively killed one Armiger/Hellknight journeyman, partly due either to his own passions or to Janiven’s refusal to share information about (as she put it) “the real enemy”; the heroes then struggled to cover up the killing.
Evarinya dressed up as the deceased (using both magic and captured clothing), and Orris scattered the defeated combatants along the forest path with instructions not to return to the Order of the Rack. As the heroes worked to foster the assumption that the deceased either ran out on his employer or was killed by shadow creatures, night was falling: they decided they would not be able to enter the city in a safe and timely fashion, and scrambled to find shelter for the night.