Brother Kel, along with Aleesia, Iwlgar, and Sparrow, set out to travel to some of the nearby villages in hopes of purchasing any excess grain they might possess. Julia has provided them with coin although many of the places they visit scarcely have enough for themselves. Only when they reach the village of Croglin do they come upon some villagers willing to negotiate, and only because a plague had wiped out many of the households and left them with a small surplus.
They are given quarters within the manor house attached to the village's peel tower to wait for the headman to return and approve the deal. That night however, the village is set upon by Scottish reavers eager to steal the food for themselves. Most of the village is set ablaze as the villagers themselves find sanctuary in the peel tower. Brother Kel and Sparrow use their crossbows to keep the reavers at bay as the last of the villagers flee inside. It is only when the reavers threaten to execute three of the villagers who did not make it to the tower do the characters leave its protection and sally out to fight them.
There is a short battle where Iwlgar and Aleesia are able to slay the reavers leader as well as several of his followers. With Aleesia brandishing her flaming sword, and her fire drake spewing more flames at them, the morale of the reavers breaks- and those still capable flee into the countryside. With much of the village in shambles, most of the villagers travel elsewhere to find shelter with relatives. A few families, with no where else to go, accompany the characters back to the Inverted Tower and find shelter there.