Rahl, Dagmar, and Tryggvi were asked by Fintan Finnsson to investigate the disappearance of some sheep from Voriof’s Sheep-pen. Up at the Sheep-pen, they were told that 7 or 8 sheep had vanished, apparently overnight. Tryggvi noticed a woodpecker perched on a tree on the Hillhaven side of the Roofbeam and decided it was a sign from the Orlmarth clan wyter. They found some irregular sheep-hoof prints and followed them into the woods.
They encountered a shaman whom they eventually learned was Bofrost, the clan chieftain of the Hillhaven clan. He cryptically gave them directions and a stick carved with runes. Deeper in the woods, they found a ravine with a number of distressed animals, including a Orlmarth sheep, and eventually concluded that the creatures were the victims of Broos, chaotic creatures that impregnate their victims.
After killing the animals and burning the carcasses, they explored a cave and found a group of Broos performing a ritual to summon a spirit of Malia, the spirit/goddess of disease. They used the stick to kill most of the broos and stop the summoning, but the lead broo, who was hairless and diseased, was able to flee.
Bofrost explained that the cave had been used a long time ago to summon a great evil. (Snorri later explained that this was probably Mad Ovad, a long-ago chieftain of the Hillhavens). He asked them to participate in a ritual in which they gambled with spirits. They won a number of spirit charms. He told them that they would meet first as friends, then as clients, and then as enemies.
In Fire Season, the clan journeyed to Clearwine Fort for the coronation of Leika Ballista as Queen of the Colymar. Rahl impressed a group of poets with his own poetry, and Tryggvi met Elmulf the Walker, a Lhankor Mhy Wild Sage.
At the inauguration, the tribal Goodvoice, Henkist Coin-in-the-Hand, demanded that Leika show the tribal the Ring of Friendship, part of the tribal regalia, and Leika confessed that it had been stolen from her. Snorri reluctantly declared that according to clan law, she had harmed the tribe, was no longer an acceptable ruler, and would have to go into exile. In the ensuing uproar, Kangharl Kagradusson declared that he was the new king, and that he had negotiated with the Lunar governor for a reduction of the tribal taxes. The Black Spears declared that he was King Blackmor (an ancient insult meaning that he had behaved without honor), and left the tribal hall, taking the sacred Black Spear with them, saying that he should come take it if he could.
Several days later, at an Orlmarth clan moot, Gordanger explained that a hurried meeting of various tribal leaders had agreed to not oppose Kangharl, for the following reasons:
1) Kangharl is one of the most powerful warriors in the tribe, and he and his clan are willing to fight for his claim to the throne. In particular, the Varmandi and the Konthasos refused to oppose Kangharl because it would lead to war.
2) Several clans, include the Arnorings, the Enhyli, and the Konthasos, supported Kangharl because of the promise of lower taxes.
3) The Hiordings supported him because their clan is closely allied with the Taralings.
4) The Narri refused to commit to either side.
5) Only the Black Spears were willing to explicitly oppose him, while the Ernaldori and Gordanger discretely opposed him. Gordanger, Snorri, and Morganeth agreed that in such a situation, prudence dictated that they not openly provoke violence.