Traveling through the south eastern reaches of the Hundred Kingdoms, our heroes come across the half eaten remains of several militiamen and a number of sheep. Investigating the area, they spot an ambush ahead along the road. Zakiti crests the next hill in hopes of a counter ambush, but she steps on the broken bones the Arczechki have set as a warning system, alerting them to her presence.
A fight ensues, in which Zakiti kills the two that came up after her. Drac's horse is spooked by the bestial barbarians. Kaveh trades blows with, and eventually kills one. The fight is ended by Genjo breaking one of the barbarians against the ground and intimidating the rest: "Why do you even try!" Drac rides down the surviving Arczechki, so none escape. Our heroes are careful not to display their power too obviously during the skirmish. Drac suggests taking the head of one of the Wyld twisted barbarians to prove their presence, but is dissuaded by Kaveh's repulsion.
The next afternoon, our heroes arrive outside Meresh. Refugees crowd around the city gates and order is barely kept by the constables and militia. Livestock, especially sheep and goats are crowded into makeshift enclosures circling the city. Genjo and Zakiti learn that folk from the countryside are fleeing to the protective walls of the city. The poeple hope that the Sivo White will be able to protect them. (Genjo remembers that Sivo White was an honorable commander who opposed the armies of Thorns during the last war.)
Since Kaveh has a cart full of much needed food, our heroes are granted passage into the city proper. The streets are crowded with refugees, though the city seems to be doing its best to accommodate them. Kaveh travels to the merchant district and negotiates a bill of exchange for his wares. He also learns that the refugees have been pouring into the city for the last few days, especially since the abbot from the Immaculate temple was ambushed and killed on his way to a nearby town. Drac comments on his 'mercantile abilities' before finding an inn and stable.
Genjo makes contact with Ohn Ram, a businessman and smuggler. He confirms what Kaveh learned, discovers that Sivo has locked herself in the mayor's palace, and offers himself and his companions for work if Ohn needs anything. Zakiti makes contact with a young cutpurse to gather information. She learns that the Mayor is well respected by the people and a descendant of a hero who defeated the Arczechki in the past. Wanting to know more about the mayor's palace, she asks who would be able to provide more information. The cutpurse tells her she should speak to Beneficent Crossarchus.