- 1 April, 456.
- Marcus is on foot, returning home after 15 years abroad.
- He hears the sound of fighting and moves to investigation.
- Discovers a fight between a Celt band and a Saecsen one. Several of the Celts wear distinctive tattoos that he recognizes as belonging to his family, so he draws his weapon and rushes forward.
- Bradan ends up killing one man by repeatedly smashing his head against the other man’s.
- ‘Bishop’ Paulus is badly injured.
- The fight ends with all but one of the Saecsens dead; after Angus interrogates him, this final man is effectively pressed into slavery.
- Reunion transpires. Bradan and Meadhbh are initially surprised, then pleased at the return of their long-lost brother.
- Due to Paulus’ injuries, it takes them 3 days to reach Caer Tarian.
- Chief Caddell is overjoyed at the return of his second son and declares loudly that a feast is to take place to celebrate not only Marcus’ return but also Heddwyn’s return from Ynys Môn after he survived his ordeal to become a druid.
- A few days elapse as everyone prepares for the feast.
- A hunt is declared. Bradan, Marcus and Meadhbh all volunteer to accompany the hunting party. All others are going to loiter around the chief.
- During the hunt, a bizarre mist rises up to envelop the hunters and when it vanishes, they all find themselves elsewhere!
- Meadhbh is startled when dozens upon dozens of owls begin hooting at her from the large tree they are all perched upon. Suddenly, four skulkers emerge from cover, see her, and charge. She handily kills one, badly injures a second and sends the other two fleeing in terror. Just as she is about to step forward to pursue one of those fleeing, she hears a bestial roar followed by Bradan’s battle cry and rushes to aid her brother.
- Marcus catches a glimpse of an ethereal beauty and follows, stumbling upon his own group of skulkers. All three of them fall before his battle skill. Before he can figure out what’s going on, he hears a bestial roar followed by Bradan’s battle cry and rushes to aid his brother.
- Aedan, Angus, and Paulus are near Chief Caddell when spears fly out from concealment, killing the lord’s horse and causing it to trap him underneath it. A fierce fight ensues as the three men defend the trapped baron from the assassins. Several of them are felled, resulting in the others retreating in the face of impending reinforcements and the general badassness of the defenders.
- Bradan is startled when dozens upon dozens of ravens begin cawing at him from the large tree they are all perched upon. Suddenly, he hears the sound of something large smashing through the trees and braces himself. The largest bear he’s ever seen appears, pausing to look at him before roaring. Bradan responds with a fierce battle cry and attacks. He is surprised to see the bear actively defends itself! He is further grievously injured by the bear and is in a dire situation when the ravens and the bear all begin to laugh. Bradan braces himself and dances back and forth with the bear briefly, though it looks bad … until Marcus and Meadhbh appear and rush to aid him. The ravens go silent and the bear becomes just a really big bear, which makes it easy game for the twins.
- On a small hill, overlooking the region, Heddwyn watches the three siblings, recognizing that all three have had an encounter with the Sidhe. Bradan has seemingly drawn the ire of The Morrigan and Meadhbh was warned of danger by Flidais, but Marcus’ encounter is unclear. Suddenly, Paulus joins him and Heddwyn notes the bishop’s eyes are golden. A different voice than his own emerges from the priest’s lips, warning Heddwyn that dark times are coming. He must be prepared for what is to come and what must be done. Within the year, this caer will be in ashes. Heddwyn recognizes that the bishop is being puppeted by Myrddin Emrys himself!
- Three of the skulkers are captured, but none of the would-be assassins are. The skulkers are identified as being armsmen for Lord Atticus, one of Baron Caddell’s rivals.
- The skulkers insist (believably so) that they were just on a cattle raid. They weren’t trying to murder anyone.