Eldur, Nvidia and Diesel leave the city because they want to check the maps from the book they cheated the Citadel out of. Also, Eldur wants to visit his parents whom he hasn’t seen for quite a while. They travel on muleback and after a couple of days on the well-maintained road, they have to leave it and cross the land using just a map. The night after that, they luckily decide against camping in a dried up river bed and are not drowned when a flash flood occurs.
With their water skins refilled, they move on. Around midday, Nvidia hears some pebbles falling and goes to investigate with Diesel. They are shot at and before they have time to do much, they are under attack from both sides. Eldur has to deal with an out of control juggernaut of a man and odes so by opening the ground beneath him, trapping him at least for a while. The others do their best to shoot and not get shot, which becomes easier after Eldur barbecues the sniper.
By the time the juggernaut has climbed out of the hole again, his companions are either dead or running. Eldur is all out of elementarism and faced with the choice of either attacking an opponent twice as big as he is or running, he runs. He runs past Nvidia and Diesel, who shoot at the guy and he finally collapses, with broken bones and bleeding wounds from bullets and from the fall. He is one of two survivours, the others are all dead. Diesel is heavily wounded as well. Nvidia treats all of them, more or less successful.
When she climbs up to make sure the sniper really is out of the game, she spots a truck a small way from the ravine they’re in and goes to investigate. She finds a cage with a Cerbora in it, a man named Chander, who is in pretty bad shape: missing an arm, almost starving and kept on filthy straw. She lets him out, shares a bit of her food with him and checks in the truck. There, she finds a couple of fingers, an Ikarim skull and parts of a wing and vials with urine – Chander’s, who explain that it’s toxic. Which is normal for some Cerbores. The men who attack them and kept him captive sell slaves and body parts to the merchants who deal in such things. There is a demand for fetishes made from everything but a Humanes, apparently. Rumours of this are nothing new, but so far no-one has had any confirmation.