Traveling the East Way from Arabel to Winterhaven, the young paladin Elios Winterhaven hears a commotion from the woods. Obscured by the dense forest trees, Elios leaves the safety of the road, leaving his mule behind, and stealthily investigates the ruckus. He soon comes upon a band of four highwaymen assailing a lone female elf.
Without no concern for his own well-being, the brave Elios calls forth a challenge to the group of ruffians, drawing the attention of their leader and distracting the other minions from menacing the elf. After a brief exchange of banter, conflict ensues.
Elios and the newly-met druidess, Caelynn Nightbreeze, easily dispatch the gang of brigands, slaying the leader and two others while accepting the surrender of the fourth and final cutthroat. Among the meager possessions of the slain villians Caelynn finds a small blue gem which she reveals to the young paladin. She then wills that the corpses be left to nature.