Dandalv retreats again into his tower. There, using the bone from the dragon skull of Cinderalis, he creates a powerful magical staff to replace Vesuvian. He emerges six weeks later, and winter is coming to the Red Keep.
Xoon and company had busied themselves with their duties. Rumors had arrived at the Keep that the legendary warrior Ashoka, long thought dead, had settled to the south. Xoon fitted his company for cold weather travel and headed out to find him.
On the way, they dispatch a small nest of stirges. They also discover a ragged company of hunters and fur trappers. The two groups talk, and the ornery hunters agree to pledge loyalty to Xoon if he kills the giant scorpions that had been plaguing them recently. The warrior and his allies find the scorpions’ lair and dispatch them quickly enough.
Then, hearing tales from the hunters of a mighty giant boar dubbed Goretooth, the company tracks the beast down and subdue it. Brother Jon returns everyone to the Red Keep, and he takes the mighty boar back to his shrine to heal and perhaps join the druid.