The party journeys south to Heirburgh, along the remains of a pre-War highway. They pass through the remains of several settlements, all abandoned, some eerily so, before arriving in Heirburgh. The village hires the party to dispose of some giant ants, which are currently nesting nearby. The party does so, deploying nail-bombs and dynamite to blast the tunnels closed, and handily resolves the issue.
The village of Heirburgh is a fishing village along the southern coast of the Reach, and the party is able to trade ant meat and other goods for room, board, salt and fish. The villagers are cautious, but friendly enough. During the night, a great, luminescent sea-beast moves past the village in the dead of night, causing much consternation and alarm. Though none can identify what creature it is, it leaves the village unharmed, excepting an oily, noisome sheen that washes ashore the following morning.
The party spends a week or so working alongside the villagers, accumulating salt and fish for their labors, restocking their supplies. When the party’s stores are replenished, they set out along the Long Road once again, heading along the coast for Deacon’s Ferry, a town built out of a former naval station. Along the way, the remains of several other settlements, all abandoned, are found, as is the ruins of a raided caravan.
Arriving at the walled town of Deacon’s Ferry, it is noted that the purple-and-yellow banners of the Children of the Atom, a rather extreme faction of the Machine Cult of Mars, fly from the battlements. Soon,the party finds a small band of monks from the Children of the Atom under attack from a sizable force of Wasteland bandits. Seizing the opportunity, the group engages the bandits, and, after a pitched battle, manage to kill most and drive the rest off. Thankful for the rescue, the surviving members of the Children of the Atom get the party past the skitaarii guarding the town’s gates.