The Trade Way skirts around and between the huge Trollbark and Misty Forests, but passes though many other smaller forests that don’t appear on maps. While passing through one such forest, Samardag the Hoper’s cart was attacked by a pair of giant spiders, accompanied by an ettercap. The spiders attacked the horses, but Dona, who was guarding that particular caravan, immediately leapt to the defence. Heironymous Caine, Seraphina Tealeaf and Thertranna saw what was happening, but Breonna was in another part of the caravan, not close enough to help.
It was during this fight that Thertranna noticed two additional ettercaps stealing a pair of horses from another cart while everyone was watching the fight. “Hey! The horses!” she cried out, and raced to catch one of them while the others fought the spiders. Captain Caine managed to hurl dead spiders in different directions while Thertranna was severely wounded by the ettercap. While the second escaping ettercap continued to lead the horses away, Thertranna channeled her inner comedienne and reduced the ettercap to Hideous Laughter. It tried to get up several times, just enough to prevent her from escaping its reach.
Meanwhile Dona and the others dispatched their ettercap. Dona raced to assist Thertranna, while Caine picked up Seraphina and chased the third ettercap, which had led the horses some distance into the forest. They finally managed to recover the horses, but the severely wounded ettercap got away.
They returned to the caravan to a scene of tragedy. Thertranna was unconscious but alive, but alas Dona had not survived the fight.
After giving her last rites, Seraphina dispatched a rider to return the body to Elturel to be laid to rest. The others drowned their sorrows at the cart of one Beyd Sechepol, who sold ale to the caravanners during their trip. It was here that an elf if indeterminate gender approached and fell into conversation.
The elf introduced him/herself as Berrian Amakiir, a ranger of some skill. He/she gained their trust and joined their party.