After equipping and supplying the half-orcs, the party sets out to escort them to Blawtro and deliver them to the Talltrees Trading Company, but with assurances that rescue will come shortly afterwards. Loria, the parties new recruit, heads off scouting while the rest of the party travels more slowly with the main body of transported.
Camping on the first night, the group encounter a strange group of man-high lizards with extensive natural camouflage. They sneak up on the campsite, but don't attack, although they startle Loria badly. Morwen is able to communicate with them using Speak with Animals, and they prove to be somewhat intelligent, bargaining for food in exchange for guarding the camp at night.
The lizards also mentioned that they were on guard against the "dead tree spirits" in the vast clearcut nearby. Luckily, no dead tree spirits appear during the night, and in the morning the group moves on.
They aren't so lucky on the second night. Upon waking in the morning they discover that one of the half-orcs is missing. The others don't believe that he would have left on his own, so a search begins.
After some tracking, the trail of the lost prisoner is found, heading up into the hills to the south. Morwen, in wolf form, also encounters an odd, rancid rotting-vegetation smell in the area. Several miles into the hills, they discover the shredded remains of the missing half-orc. He is half-eaten and bound to a tree with tangled roots and vines. The rotting stench is thick around the corpse. More tracking identifies that the stench trail goes further south into the hills, but the party decides not to follow.
Everyone returns to the road after burying the remains and the group continues on to Blawtro.