Solemn and Jim wait until night and meet with Gibs at The Laughing Demon. They purchase two different types of narcotic from him and rent a room at the inn. They proceed to smoke one that Gibs described as “making you see sh*t.” They have a vision in which iron bars suddenly appear on the inn’s windows and the mattress becomes a pile of moldy straw. Their names begin to be spelled out in blood on the headboard. When Jim’s name finishes, he collapses on the bed, and it appears his throat has been slashed open. Solemn’s name finishes, and he blacks out as well. When they wake, it is morning, and the room is back to normal, but the bloody names remain.
Il-kor and John wait in the sheep pasture outside town, and near midnight, John hears buzzing overhead. He activates a sunrod and reveals two stirges descending towards him. He quickly slays one of them, but the other latches onto his neck. Before Il-kor can kill the thing, it drains a large amount of blood, leaving John weakened.
Viktor, Block, and Mike, who are hiding near a shack within view of the memorial, notice a man approaching the shack counting a stack of gold. He proceeds inside the shack and Mike approaches the window. He sees the man hiding his gold inside but the man spots him and chases him down the road with a shortsword. When the man returns, he sits on his front step with a torch and a sword, watching for Mike to return. Block attempts to sneak up on the man and incapacitate him, but his blow only alerts the man to his presence. Block flees as well, but not before receiving a nasty cut. While the man chases Block, Viktor makes a quick search inside the man’s home but finds nothing of note.
All but Jim and Solemn return to the estate to fill the others in.
Block uses spells to heal his sword wound. Il-kor and John present the stirge corpses to the town deputies and claim a reward (though they still wonder how stirges could have carried sheep away.) Viktor sets out to visit the shack again, whistling a tune as he walks, but is attacked by a stirge, which seems to be moving in time with his whistling. He slays it before it can harm him, however. He suspects that the stirge attacks are connected to The Piper of Illmarsh, since they appeared to follow his music, so he visits the jail and urges the sheriff to place a curfew in effect to protect the townspeople until the Harrowstone spirits can be dealt with.
Solemn and Jim clean up the blood in the inn and return to the estate, but tell no one of the visions they saw, since they don’t want to fill the party in on the drugs involved.
John asks the Jim if he has any sort of healing for his weakened state but is told no, so John and Il-kor head to the temple, where they pool their gold to have a lesser restoration cast on John, which brings him almost fully back to health.