We open in the town blacksmith shop. Krunch, a warforged, is working on a sword and Dragonclaw arrives from the Bornell ranch with four horses to be shod. But there’s a newcomer in town. A Hamadryad named Kalani.
She is new to the civilized world and quite fascinated by it. While watching Krunch craft the sword, the mechanical being miscalculated and bends the blade, much to the annoyance of his gnomish employer, and is sent out to take a break.
Dragonclaw chats with Kalani, and she decides to go buy a cowboy hat. Upon leaving they see Krunch, who’s just standing outside staring into space as he has no need to rest, and didn’t know what else to do, so he accompanies them. At the general store they meet a local farm family bringing their potato crop into town, and Kilana strikes up a friendship with Elizabeth, the farmers daughter. They notice she’s wearing a certain silver ring with particular engraving that she claims has been in her family for generations. Kalani forms a telepathic connection with her, (as she already has with Krunch and Dragonclaw) and the family returns home.
The three adventurers head to the griffins eye saloon for lunch, and discuss adventuring topics, and other small talk., hearing the family leave town in their wagon. After a few drinks (and cans of oil for Krunch) they hear a commotion outside. Elizabeth’s father is screaming for help, saying that “skitters” took his daughter.
Realizing that he means giant ants, the heroes mount up, (with an exclamation of “NOW, WE RIDE!” From Dragonclaw) and they begin tracking the girl.
They find where she has been dragged along with pieces of cloth from her dress and eventually find a hole in a hillside that the ants clearly are using as an entrance. They tie the horses up, and proceed inside, finding psychic impressions, and Elizabeth’s silver ring along the way to guide them,
They battle a large group of ants, and upon killing a particularly formidable one, find a pair of magic boots in its stomach, attached to an unfortunate skeleton. They proceed, and find the ant queen, along with a cocooned Elizabeth who is still alive but scared. They defeat the queen and rescue the girl, and even manage to domesticate 4 giant ants, who are confused and leaderless now without their queen. On exiting, Kalani’s horse panics at the sight of their insectoid steeds, and runs away, with her new hat on the saddle horn.
Unconcerned, the four mount up on their ants, (with a “WE RIDE” from Dragonclaw) and return to the town of Lynchtree as heroes.