Beowulf and Rate pursue the brigands who have captured Scorann and Slean for ransom, Beowulf opining that another thane organized the abductions to prevent Scorann voting for Rheda at the gathering. The kidnappers are routed but Scorann is mortally wounded, asking Rate to support Rheda. Back at Herot skin-shifter Koll's wife Sylvi faces trial and death as the villagers assume she was aware of her husband's true nature when they married. A sympathetic Elvina helps her and her daughter to escape though Koll is slain by Rheda's brother Abrecan. He is in turn confronted by Slean who voices his suspicions that his uncle was behind his abduction.
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