Having completed their mission in the deserts, the Nine Banes of Duinnor are recalled to face a final threat in the northeast forests of Vanara. Five are killed in battle before the witch is vanquished. As a result of this costly encounter, the reputation of the surviving members of the group is greatly diminished, and there is resentment on the part of the families of those who are killed. For a number of years, Collandoth is shunned by all but a few, and becomes a wanderer and, later, a Watcher, his earlier deeds mostly forgotten.
The Eastlands Realm continues into general decline. After the Dragonkind invasion, people are reluctant to resettle the region. Once-fertile fields go unplanted, and many villages and towns are never rebuilt while others are simply abandoned. There is also unrest and growing resentment against new taxes levied by King Inrick of Colleton and the tributes collected for Duinnor. Riots are so common in Colleton that Inrick rarely ventures forth, and his small army is hard-pressed to keep order. Meanwhile, in other parts of the Eastlands, people go hungry, and many choose to migrate north to Glareth or south into Tracia.
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William Timothy Murray