Fionn Malendar, Viarri of Iressil, and Hearn went to the Starlight Path to try to find one of the necessary components for the Aeveen-killing sword. The source of the Starlight Path was supposedly created by the goddess Moriath’s tears, and the sword needs the tears of a goddess.
Once there, they run into Tierney Callum. He wasn’t dead, apparently, and looks a lot tougher now with half his face burned off. He has 200 soldiers with him and another 300 camped, so Fionn agrees to take Tierney to the source of the river (since Tierney wants to prevent them from activating the sword). Tierney tells Fionn that he’s holding Fionn and Viarri’s son, Tyrel, hostage away from the Shrine of Sacred Fires.
The party and subsequent army reaches a part of the river with no shore to walk on — simply steep mountain on either side. The water is shallow but the current is very strong, and one of the soldiers is caught by an undertow and drowned. They decide they need something to weigh themselves down with.
Fionn and co. take another path, but the way is barred by brutes. The brutes claim that it is mating season and there are violent rituals going on north of this pass, so it wouldn’t be wise for a mere human to enter. Fionn explains the predicament and the brutes let him pass, but warn him of the danger. Fionn, Viarri, Hearn, Tierney, and a henchman head north through a shallow lake and reach a shore with a large hole leading underground.
Going underground, they find themselves in a large arena-like room where a male brute is defending the honor of his would-be lover. Fionn sees that their boots are heavily weighted, so he defeats the male brute in combat in exchange for the boots. With the weighted boots, they’ll now be able to go through the fast part of the river.