Arriving in Canguine in the quiet dusk of spring, the heroes say their goodbyes to the captain and crew of the Hanged Man. Allende wishes them good luck and provides them with their share, as any who serve on his crew are due. The crew point them in the direction of a comfortable and relatively calm inn, under the sign of the Green Man, and the heroes make their way there to spend the night and consolidate.
During their dinner, a strange man enters the inn and approaches the heroes, addressing them in Castillian, though his accent is clearly Montagnian. He hands Rosa a note, evidently from Fiora, that warns of some lurking danger and extends the reward offer to include information on this unknown threat. The man excuses himself and leaves as mysteriously as he arrived, disappearing into the rain and mist.
While discussing their plan of action, Carlo suggests that the party split up, in order to maximise their chance to survive any future encounter with Fiora by attempting to find out anything about her past using his contacts at home in Vodacce. Fiora is a renegade Strega, after all, and is bound to have some enemies, and probably a family. Leni and Rosa agree with Carlo’s plan, and Erich agrees to travel with him to see their mission through, while the other two continue on to retrieve the compass from Batiste in Carleon.
Trusting that Fiora and her mysterious friend don’t want them dead before they complete their task for her, the heroes accept their arranged transport, and after a brisk, but uneventful, carriage ride, arrive safely in Carleon, at the sign of the Donovan’s Arms, to plan their next move.
Visiting at Batiste’s manor, Rosa and Leni convince Batiste that they are explorers looking for funding for an expedition. Batiste treats them to a dinner and proudly shows off his collection of artefacts, including the compass that they seek, while Rosa and Leni regale him with stories of their adventures thus far. Batiste’s bodyguard, a tall and imposing man, looks on carefully while the heroes enjoy Batiste’s hospitality.
While Batiste is showing off his collection, Leni enquires about the conspicuously empty case next to the compass, each of which seems to take pride of place in the otherwise underwhelming collection. Batiste confides that he had an item that would take its place, but it, along with part of the expedition that was bringing it back, have gone missing. Batiste suspects foul play, and the heroes offer to retrieve the item. Batiste is happy to accept their offer, and suggests he would reward them for their service with another item from his collection, of their choice, such is the worth of the item he wishes retrieved.
The heroes first investigate the “salvage” operation company that Batiste contracted to retrieve the item, a scroll case bearing the seals of the Numan Empire. Though already late in the day, the company clerk is still in the office. Leni easily bullies the man into giving them the information they need; that one of their employees, a rogue by the name of Jorgen Hildegarde, along with some of his crew, has made off with the item, stealing it from both the salvage operation, Videl and Gundarsson, and Batiste. He suspects they will be hiding out at an old disused Montagnian outpost a short ways outside of Carleon. He provides simple directions, and the heroes set out first thing the next day, buying possibly the worst nag of a horse they have ever seen to help them travel a little faster.
They arrive at the outpost in the afternoon, though their poorly mount does not survive the journey. A stealthy approach and lightning assault leave the thieves unconscious or dead, and the scroll case in the hands of the heroes. However, it turns out that the heroes aren’t the only ones interested in the artefact, and a group of three men led by a charismatic, apparently Avalonian man, offer the heroes a deal; six hundred guilders for the case unopened.
Unfortunately, Rosa has already opened the case and inspected its contents, being strangely attracted to the prospect. The case contained what appears to be a map surrounded by strange glyphs, though neither are at all recognisable. At first, Rosa feels odd looking at it, but the sensation passes.
The heroes refuse the deal, and though the three men are clearly well armed, they leave in peace, offering to negotiate a more suitable deal should the heroes reconsider, telling them to present themselves at the sign of the Brown Bear in Carleon, as his “master” is very eager to have the artefact in his care.
After returning to Carleon, the heroes rest for the night. Rosa takes some time to make a copy of the map and parts of the glyphs, while Leni has a surgeon see to his shoulder, hit by a pistol ball in the fight at the outpost. The next morning, Rosa is shocked to find that the map, without the glyphs, has seemingly appeared on her back, drawn in scar tissue. She recalls a sharp pain when she first looked at it, but has only now noticed its presence. She shows Leni, who views this as a terrible curse. Despite this shock, the heroes return the artefact to Batiste, who exchanges it for the promised price; the compass is now in the hands of our heroes, who depart upon receiving it.