The party arrived at Highhold, a walled town, and camped outside, as the town wouldn’t let Josette’s spirits inside. In the morning, Alexios, Brendan, and Ian visited Sir Clevyn, who turn out to be a weak leader surrounded by sycophantic courtiers. The thieves’ guild proved to be the real power in town, and Alexios made contact with the guild, but they rebuffed the offer to move south to Restwell. It was becoming clear that everyone considered Restwell a backwater village at best. However, Josette made contact with a covenant of three friendly shapers and spiritologists and arranged to exchange training with them later.
Moving south into the Pass, the party found huge fields of blueberries and spent the rest of the day gorging themselves. That night they heard strange wolf calls to the south. The next day, they found a series of downed trees and the tracks of a Giant Boar with feet the size of cartwheels.
They continued into the town of Restwell, where Lady Amalika Waystow warned them off, claiming that she was the rightful Lady of the town. She had the backing of Boitumelo Atkynson and three other mercenaries. Alexios called for a battle of champions, with Ian to face Boitumelo. As it turned out, Boitumelo was better, though Ian was stronger. Ian cut her abdomen but she put him down with a critical hit.
And then all hell broke loose. Josette rushed to Ian’s side to protect him. Boitumelo cut her badly, but then succumbed to a Control Person, and Josette and Ian were pulled to safety as the rest of the party and the mercenaries began an all-out brawl. Garrett and Lybias were wounded, while Balau lost a leg. Estecheo’s dog was wounded as well. Ultimately, Lady Amalika was snapped in half by Josette’s Bear Pouka, and Alexios called a halt to the battle. Boitumelo and the other mercenaries went to work for Alexios, and everyone was healed except the dog (which died in surgery) and Balau, who will have to find someone to cast a Restoration for him, eventually.
Alexios was now Lord of Restwell.