After returning from their scouting, Boomer and Kunola shared what they saw. The ranger did not approve, but our heroes decided to approach the strangers under a flag of truce.
As they approached the gathering, they were accosted by three men from out of the brush — leveling crossbows at them. They demanded the group disarm and lie down on the road. By and large, the group did as they were told but the nervous warriors kept a distance and sent one of their number back to camp.
Soon after Dremahl and Kallius could see shadowy figures spreading out into the woods, but could determine exact where they were. After a few minutes, a quartet of strangers came up the road to meet them.
This group seemed to be led by a short, broad black-blooded man. He demanded to know why the group was here and what they wanted. Celeste explained that they were from Wytcvhport and in the wilds on ‘church business’. She added that a large group of old world Aerinorns had landed in the city and were foliowing not a day or two behind. He asked how they felt about the outlanders and she responded. "we’re out here, right.” This seem to calm him.
He offered to let them use the salve barracks for the evening, if they could come to terms. They suggested a trade with the military saddle reclaimed from the ettercaps, and he agreed. He added that his boss was engaged in a ‘sensitive’ business matter this evening, and they should not get curious.
The group returned to the barracks and made camp outside the low buildings. They found a disassembled guard tower, and when they tried to rise it they were yelled at to stop. So they did. From a rooftop, Boomer could see lights on the water coming toward the group, but could not make anything else out. So they rested.
In the pre-dawn haze, the goblin decided to do a little scouting. He found two guards around the barracks asleep, and left them be. He moved down to the complex, which showed signs of very recent vandalism. He avoided the attention of the few men that were standing about and went to one of three tents around the remains of the bonfire.
He peered in and found a handful of people sleeping on pallets, and human woman bound and beaten. He moved to the next tent, and when he opened the flap he was faced by the naked cheeks of a man pulling up his pants. Surprised, the man turned and the goblin tossed a bomb over his shoulder and set the inside ablaze.
Boomer ran, followed by the half-dressed bandit. Three of the folks outside were distracted by the spreading flames and did not notice the goblin scurrying through their camp. One did, and fired a crossbow bolt into him as he fled.
Empowered by his infusion, the little alchemist outpaced his pursuer and made for the tree line. Unfortunately, he came upon a drunken bandit returning a morning constitutional. The unarmed man quickly gained his wits, and tackled him.
Boomer smashed a bomb across his foe’s back, dousing them both in flames. The man screamed and slumped, while Boomer’s oft-scorched hide shook off the burns. He moved into the trees while shouts rose up from the now-wakened camp.