Buferd T. Justice followed the path of Zot and Kaan, speaking with Gannis and eventually coming before Marzell himself. Reluctantly, the cleric agreed to honor the contract that Kaan and the others had made with the lich and passed south. Before long the group was together again. Days later, they came upon an abandoned village. As they inspected the site, they found a mass of piked men and women on the other side of town. No children were found. Buferd and Phen moved to begin burying the unfortunate townsfolk and as they did, a mass of shadowy crows merged together, forming a massive crow made of pure negative energy. A fierce combat followed and the companions destroyed the beast and buried the dead.
Later, on their way to see King Osric, the adventurers came upon an elven huntress on a wooded plain. She was stalking a prize stag. However, unknown to her, she was being stalked in kind by a number of large tusked beasts. The companions sprang into action, alerting the woman to the peril and launching deadly attacks at the creatures. During the battle, the elf was severely wounded, but remained alive thanks to the group’s efforts. They approached her to speak and as they did, Phen and Buferd noticed that the name ‘Princess Oksana’ was etched into her exquisite longbow. They alerted Kaan to that fact as they neared. The princess was curt and rude, demeaning them for assisting her. Kaan told her that the lich Marzell was interested in obtaining her and she snorted and started off. The party followed, informing her that she would either speak with them or suffer the consequences. Tempers flared and Oksana turned her bow on Phen (one of the more vocal of the group), shooting him with a bone arrow that sucked the life force from him. The Halfling, all patience gone at this point, retaliated, calling a sheet of fire down upon her, rendering the princess unconscious. Though scorned for his actions, Phen was rather proud of himself.
The group arrived at King Osric’s fortress soon after. The place was pathetic, battered and beaten by constant attack. They entered the keep and met with Osric, who wanted no part of the dealings with Oksana or her father the Baron. Kaan initiated a truce between Osric and Oksana and she was released, though with only minimal possessions (her spellbook was fed to Norbert, Phen’s raptor companion). As she departed the princess vowed to see the group’s swift destruction. Having heard that kind of threat numerous times before, they laughed it up and returned to the business of repairing Osric’s keep and talking strategy with the King.