The party leads the host of Nevermore citizens through the dark forest, with the town of Choron their ultimate destination. As the sun sets though, they know they will not emerge from the wood before nightfall. They decide to set up camp, but Xylia the druid is unsettled. There’s something lurking in the forest, she’s sure of it. She tells Samur and he tells her to take the wilden Romendar, and scout a bit, but not to go too far.
Romendar lumbers toward the rear of the company and picks up a scent. A group of large predators, smells like bears, are stalking the group. He gets ready to inform the others of the predicament when a child comes running from the brush explaining that several children and their mother got separated from the group and have been set upon by monstrous bears. Romendar then hears a shout from the woods. A woman, screaming the name ‘Ursataur’. The wilden knows there’s not much time, so he takes off into the woods.
Xylia hears the shout and the heavy footfalls of the wilden as he tramples into the forest. It appears Okabe and Estemar heard as well. The three of them take after Romendar. Samur sees to the people of Nevermore and tells them to remain where they are and then goes to join his companions.
Romendar finds a woman and two children are cornered against a stony ridge by several bears, one of which is very large and covered in sharp spines. The wilden charges in, startling the bears and providing just the distraction the captives needed to escape into the woods. But Romendar is clearly outnumbered, but still he fights. When things start looking grim, his companions come in and join the fight. The smaller bears are dispatched, but Romendar senses something different about the large bear, a sentience uncommon for such an animal. He throws his weapon down signifying that he doesn’t want to battle the bear. The fierce creature approaches him and surprisingly mortally wounds itself by clawing its own chest. Before dying, the creature similarly slashes Romendar’s chest with his bloodied claw, forging a bond between the injured Wilden and the spirit of the First Bear, Ursataur. Romendar has unknowingly set his feet upon the path of legend.
When morning comes, the companions continue their trek back to Choron. Once there they leave the Nevermore citizens in the care of the town, who don’t seem particularly well-supplied for such an endeavor. Nevertheless, the people of Nevermore are not turned away. The companions, meanwhile turn their attention to finding the witch hunter, Leopold Mulkin, who should be finished crafting a weapon which may prove critical in defeating the witch, Izell Yar. Okabe is also still intent on finding the remains of Chronus.
Unfortunately, the companions find that Leopold has been kidnapped and there is no sign of the weapon he was crafting for them. Clues lead them to the home of a brute named Garko as well as the bookish school teacher Minnow Kinder. Minnow is found reading a book which could prove valuable to Okabe’s study and he tells her it’s important that she give the book to him. Minnow refuses, saying she checked it out of the library and Okabe can read it when she’s finished and the book is returned. Okabe attempts to relay the urgency of his request, but to no avail. Minnow refuses, but hints she may be willing to part with the book if the adventurers paid for the price of the book and perhaps a bit more for her generosity. Reluctantly the heroes agree, and Okabe gets the book. Minnow further implicated Garko in the kidnapping of Leopold.
Garko’s house is vacant, but a few questions at the local tavern give clues that the brute may have gone to the temple (which was once dedicated to an unknown God, but now serves as a tourist trap for those interested in the legend of Chronus).
The companions explore the temple but find nothing out of the ordinary but an out-of-order stairwell leading up to the bell tower. Samur and the others decide to take a look upstairs and are surprised to find unnatural shadow creatures roosting in the tower. The monsters stir at the party’s intrusion and attack.