The party continues on the road towards Versay Orsa. They hear distant explosions, but opt to ignore them, knowing that they are on a very tight time table. Soon they pass a wagon train of merchants, most of whom appear to aggressively ignore our heroes due to the recently mounted giant arms on the wagon. As they continue through a wood the road becomes incredibly well maintained with what appear to be magical street lanterns placed along it.
They then encounter Blackwing, a firbolg who tends to the stretch of forest between here and the mountains. He is friendly, but cautions them against bringing any harm to either the trees or the animals of the forest. After they part ways, the party spots a particularly large black bird flying over them. A little further they find a shallow grave, uncovering it Yarfik casts "Speak to the Dead" and the corpse tells them that he was hunting a rabbit when a huge black bear attacked and killed him, also mentioning a large black bird.
The party finds a space cleared for them to rest with pre-cut firewood, as Blackwing had told them there would be. Once camped, Ylldove fills them in on some of her history (a very lonely childhood, never really having friends, and then encountering the orb that connected her to Xaoc). His offer of love was what convinced her to become his warlock.
That night Cassian takes the first watch. He sees a large crow perched on the wagon and ultimately rouses the party when he hears a sound very similar to what he heard when they fought the blink dogs previously. Ylldove is able to detect that the bird is illusary magic. Yarfik and Olash hear more "pops" and then snarling in the dark. The party goes back to back and is confronted from two sides by large black panthers with six legs and two tentacles a piece. The crow cackles.