-Characters prepare to meet the delegation from House Torston. From the tower they see clan raiders pursuing a couple of fleeing peasants. The raiders are quickly dealt with and the smallfolk saved.
-Investigating further, the party discovers the wounded remnants of the lost patrol, who were lured into an ambush by the raiders. The patrol investigated the attack on the merchants.
-The raiders appear to be better equipped and more cunning in their attacks than usual.
-The Torston delegation arrives and pleasantries are arranged. In the train are Ser Nolan Torston, Laina Torston, Darren Daylan, and Ser Neil Lorcan. Ser Neil reveals to Owen and Cormac that a surprising number of clansmen from the Scarred Men have been sighted in the northern Gray Watches. He confirms that the clansmen have been better equipped as of late in his estimation as well. He mentions that Ser Nolan knows a lot about the clans.
-The charming Lady Laina Torston is excited about a rumored Tourney that house Daylan will host.
-The Torstons saw evidence of another attack by raiders. Further investigation leads to the possiblity of Septon Horace and Ser Linden Hunter having been taken captive by the clans.
-The Sharden contingent arrives via ship later that day and the evening’s feast goes without incident. After prayers led by Septon Whitney, the the Torston and Sharden contingents depart.
-A few weaponsmiths look at some of the weapons confiscated from the clan raiders. While it is the usual mishmash of items and makers, some are decidedly not local, coming from across the Narrow Sea, and some from the Seven Kingdoms, possibly the Reach.
-Finn and Tristan both head into town to find out if they can get a lead on smugglers who might be bringing in weapons. Finn turns up a Braavosi smuggler named Bergo, Tristan a man known as Skinny Ned.
-A ransom demand is received for Ser Linden. No word about Septon Horace. A message is sent to inform house Hunter and plans are discussed.
-Using the increase in revenue generated by the port, the party decides to pay the ransom. After a period of distrust, the willingness to meet the demand without any dickering shocks the clansmen into compliance, obviously thwarting the plans of the Blood Born leader, who was spoiling for a fight. Clan leader Zarkas son of Tarka, seems pleased with the deal. The party also meets Alric the Voice, son of Gathren, a fairly moderate clan leader. He informs them he has purchased Septon Horace from Zarkas, and has been discussing theology with him. He will turn the Septon over in respect for the characters’ good faith negotiations, but warns that many in the clans will see the willingness to pay as a sign of weakness. He also mentions that the clans have had run-ins with brigands who kill clan and Vale man alike.
-The exchange of prisoners for goods and coin goes without incident. Linden Hunter is happy to have been delivered from his ordeal. Septon Horace speaks about the mountain clan religion at length. He discounts the Blood Born as a political movement dressed up in religion and feels that it is just those seeking political gain pandering to the pride of of the warrior spirit of the clans. He also mentions that there are two non-clan members in frequent contact with the clans, Taranio, a Tyroshi sellsword and pirate, and Deldan of Holn, a former hedge knight who now lives like a clansman in the hills.
-A hunt is arranged so that Linden may audition a new squire, however the hunt quickly turns into a the social event of the month. During the hunt, Jord, the huntsmaster reports that a local farmer has been killed. Investigation reveals that the villager, Hort, was spying on the road for the bandits.
-The bandits are tracked down and ambushed. However, the bandits are seasoned veterans and the fight has close moments with many party members injured. One of the bandits, an archer named Tevan, is captured. He explains the brigands work in small groups, but all pay a tithe to Valorous Stone, the leader of a large camp somewhere near Gorham’s territory. He gives up information on their communication methods, their camps, and any informants, and confirms that Hort was killed for attempting to blackmail them. He also reveals that many of the bandits are former sellswords and veterans, though he himself is just a villager who turned from hunting to banditry to make ends meet. The sole bandit who escaped was named Farren. He is sentenced to join the Night’s Watch. The party places him in the dungeon, pending a northbound ship.
-Lord Martin arrives back in Hammond’s Teeth as the party recuperates. He is his usual dour self but seems content with the successful recovery of Ser Linden and the extermination of the bandits. He tasks Marcus to follow up with the bandits. More importantly, he is concerned with the political situation, seeking alliances with the other houses. He fears Torston may form a power block to the East with Daylan. He also hears rumors of trouble brewing between house Markel and Royland that could easily bring the rival houses to blows and destabilize the southern Grey Watches. He also thinks is extremely important to get a maester, particularly one who is good with ravens, because the lag in information without one is too slow. Finally, a meeting with other neighboring lords is going to take place at Cahill Castle to hammer out a unified strategy for dealing with the clans. Lord Martin wants to discuss strategy with the family beforehand.