That night: It’s quite chilly, what with the winter coming on. They build a fire, which wards off the local wolf pack. Thick-Brow approaches Little-Mountain for mating; she accepts and they go off into the darkness. Afterward, she tries to motivate him to take over the hunting band, and is miffed when he declines. Meanwhile Rock-Head takes a saber-tooth from Thick-Brow’s pack, but he gets reported and chewed out.
Back around the fire, Little-Mountain tells the myth of the Sky Mammoths; how the Bird Spirit granted wings to the Mastodons when man dared to use sleeping-drug against them, making the odds uneven.
The PCs arrive at the willow trees. Green-Leaf communes with the Willow Spirit, learning that people have indeed been in this forest, and she gets vague directions… but there’s something about a fire that has the trees spooked.
Searching for tracks on the way to where the people were, they find a very faint trail which may have been left by the marked mammoth. Entering the forest, they find signs of a fire – with burnt human remains.
A hunting party of Lava People appear (attracted by the PCs’ fire last night). They tell the PCs this is their land: get lost! “You are not Valley Folk, who are you?”
There is a tense standoff, while the Lava People shaman orders the PCs to leave and the PCs try to get some information. They learn that the Lava People come from the nearby volcano, and that they don’t want the PCs to go in any westward direction. Finally the Lava People lose their patience, and attack.
The Lava People shaman falls back and attempts to summon a lava barrier for protection, but Far-See attacks him before he can complete it. The PCs do well; Green-Leaf slays one Lava Man (after he’d been nearly killed by Spring-Thorn), and all of the rest of the Lava People are badly bruised when they finally admit defeat, at Thick-Brow’s command. Of the PCs, Big-Hand and Thick-Brow are both wounded and Rock-Head is near death. Thick-Brow decides to give Rock-Head a sabre-tooth, as a reward for his bravery. The PCs retrace their steps to the edge of the forest and camp for the night, while the shamans Green-Leaf and Little-Mountain tend to the injured. The next morning, they decide to make their way back to the crevasse.