Amid the chaos at the Borsari villa, resolutions form quickly. Roberto stays behind to tend to the wounded, while Ettorio, Opilio and Vesper plan to track down the escaped Crevant and rescue Ivella. The Scarhawks are not difficult to track over the western fields, and the group gains extra confirmation they’re on the right track when they encounter the local errant Taltikkan monk Bandegan, a half-conscious Scarhawk in his grip and a young lady trailing after him. Bandegan confirms that the Scarhawks rode past, and that he knocked one out of the saddle. He agrees to come along with the group on their errand.
Opilio tracks the Scarhawks to an old windmill, built in an ancient Dysian tower, that stands by the gorge that marks the boundary between Borsari’s land and that of his neighbor Potifol Whiteknees. Ettorio scouts ahead, learns where most of the Scarhawks outside are stationed, and the group agrees to climb the gorge to minimize their chances of being detected. Opilio is able to carry the not-quite-an-athlete Vesper on his back as easily as if she were a lightly-stocked backpack.
Ettorio plans to cut loose the horses and cause a distraction, but a keen-eyed Scarhawk archer spots him and creases his ribs with an arrow. The resulting fight goes poorly for the Scarhawks outside the building; the group fights hard, and the agitated horses are a lethal obstacle that only Ettorio manages to navigate safely. One Scarhawk surrenders, two flee, and the remaining seven are cut down.
The group barely has time to catch their breath before Crevant appears. His half-orcish, likely Ossenlander second-in-command Klygur has Ivella tightly in hand, and Crevant attempts to dominate the characters into surrender. However, the negotiation quickly spirals out of his control. The three begin to convince him that his only possible chance of survival is to relinquish Ivella and surrender without further fighting, a prospect Crevant seems on the brink of accepting before Klygur shouts “What are you doing?” at him, and sours things.
At that point, Ettorio begins to spin fantastical lie after fantastical lie, beginning with “You’ve got the wrong girl; that’s a servant look-alike” and moving on to insinuating that Crevant has been paid to double-cross his men. The lies confuse absolutely everyone with the (possible) exception of Ettorio, and when Klygur shoves Ivella aside to take a swing at the “traitorous” Crevant, the heroes make their move. Crevant and Klygur are badly wounded before they even get a chance to defend themselves, which makes the fight rather one-sided. Ettorio steals a kiss from Ivella mid-fight, Opilio smashes Klygur into oblivion, and Vesper brings down Crevant with her banshee’s vestige. Another Scarhawk is taken captive, three more flee (one smashing his way through the old wooden planks of the shed rather than be cut down), and Vesper catches Crevant’s pet red-banded tyrant eagle in a cloak, showing the animal more compassion than it showed her.
When the fight is over, the group checks the rest of the old tower windmill. They find the Scarhawks’ traveling gear and pay chest. More interestingly, the basement contains a statue of a kneeling robed skeleton cradling an emaciated, possibly mummified child. This statue is known to local children as the “Sad Mother,” and they recognize it as an old, old memorial to those who’d died of plague.
On impulse, the group searches the basement more carefully, and finds a concealed plague-tomb. However, someone else has clearly been there more recently: a pair of tarnished silver and turquoise rings have been left in the palms of the insect-winged angel statue overseeing the tomb, all the niches for plague corpses have been emptied, and three bones have been left on the floor in the pattern of a plague-pit marker: the unholy symbol of Phouth.
Ettorio and Opilio return Ivella, and Vesper and Bandegan deliver the captives to the constable. The four convene to interrogate Crevant, and discover that he’s been in the pay of Potifol Whiteknees. Further information-gathering from the overly cooperative Spotted Cat (who finally gives his name as Carpa) and the Falcon and Goose’s proprietress helps confirm that the person “Cabrio” was actually the gamekeeper for Whiteknees, and seems to have been coordinating between the Scarhawks, the Spotted Cats, and the mysterious black-and-white-haired man “Salzar.”
Andelac Borsari, once given a chance to express his thanks, gives each of the group a purse full of a hundred gold regnants. He also encourages Ettorio to take Crevant’s masterwork Ferraregante cinquedea, and Opilio to take his equally finely crafted breastplate, as fair spoils. Vesper, with slight ethereal nudging, begins to wear Secordis Ossomont’s pin as her own; she also makes plans to have Galignante’s cat’s skin made into a cloak. Exhausted after a very long day, the group finally retires, with plans to lay a trap for Whiteknees’ gamekeeper on the morrow.