Bree and Kasiashi decide to go door to door in the town on an apology tour in an effort to regain the trust of the villagers and glean some much needed information. Aoeth and Varis rejoin the party while Gil watches over Hugh in the stocks.
Ertainia tells them that Varis attacked Gila last night and that she and Ertania hid out in her cottage and never saw the party. Which is strange since the party saw Gila and Ertainia on the street that night. And Varis claims he has no recollection of attacking anyone that night. Gila eventually reveals that her real reason for being in Bramblebark was to study the Eltreni arch that was off in the woods. The one the party destroyed. Oops!
Another villager, Hora, tells them of the existence of dream magic. That groups of people can dream the same dream and have the same experiences of things that aren't real, like a mass hallucination. She also reveals that she's been having a dream where a little girl is taken from the village by a wolf, carried past the arch to a mill, dragged down a tunnel, and deposited in a room with many other children. The party knows that the events in Bramblebark are so much bigger than just a few wolves: now there are missing children, ancient portals, and shapeshifters involved. So far, Hora's dream is the only lead the party has so they decide to follow it. The party offers to escort Gila to the arch clearing.
After Hugh is released from the stocks, the party heads off in the direction of the arch. But once they hit the forest, they lose the trail and get turned around. Eventually the party stumbles upon a dark river that no one remembers. The river water was black and strange and across the river was a wall of absolute darkness the party can't see past. All of the sudden, Hugh is snatched into the void. Gil hurls fire and Kas shoots arrows into the void (but with a Nat 1 she manages to shoot Hugh instead). The darkness eventually dissipates to reveal a kind of beholder: a floating orb with a giant eye, gaping mouth, covered in eye stalks but with a bark like texture (we decided to call it a Treeholder).
After an intense battle that involved crossing the black water river (that somehow doesn't get you wet), the party was able to dispatch the Treeholder and harvest it for parts. The party levels up to level 4.
Gila then reveals herself to be more than she seems and tells the party the story of Saru...