To the surprise of everyone, Margravine’s Brawlers successfully return home without further incident. Their mysterious beetle baby is brought to the Light’s resident master of beast lore, Poggle. Under the looming gaze of Udo, taxidermied wolf-hater of legend, Poggle will hopefully discover more about the new species. Arriving at the missions office, our heroes are praised by Margravine for their straight-forward success and sends them on their way. Sora brings her rusted mace to Tanith, armory forge-master, for repairs. Meanwhile, Viso is challenged by a rival wrestler named Aftar, just barely losing in a classic two-out-of-three falls match. Exataerg is finally relocated, and brings the group news. Investigating on his own, he has learned that Exotique , a clothing stall run by someone named Azad, may be connected to the shady criminal Organization. The Brawler’s agree to look into the lead eventually.
A new day arrives, and our heroes eagerly await their next mission. Exataerg, having arrived far earlier, tells the others he overheard the Rude Dudes accepting a gnoll tracking mission. In a shocking first, the Brawlers actually have to debate their next mission selection. Hunting gnolls wins out over delivering medicine, while pets continue to go missing. Leaving the city once more, the group quickly discovers their survival skills are…lacking. Only Sora’s spectacular tracking ability saves them. A small group of gnolls attempts a pathetic ambush, succeeding at downing Viso multiple times but little else. Thanks once again to Sora, the gnolls’ camp is discovered in a small cave, though it contains nothing of interest besides a small statuette. The combination of Sora’s tracking skill and Exataerg’s evil detection lead them to far larger gnoll contingent. Exataerg leads the Brawlers on a nearly suicidal chase through the woods, hoping to defeat their enemies through attrition and a questionable guerrilla warfare campaign. Fortunately reason prevails, and our heroes return to the city relatively successful.
As expected, Margravine is thankful the Brawlers managed to succeed without getting sidetracked. She does, however, express concern about the sheer number of gnoll bandits they encountered. Our heroes also learn the Rude Dudes were sent on a completely unrelated scouting exercise, bringing into question Exataerg’s hearing. During dinner, Alexander uses his newly acquired transformation abilities to disguise himself as the Rude Dude’s mentor. He masterfully convinces the rival group to perform twice the normal training that night, before rejoining the Brawlers.