This issue is available to read free, care of Wendy & Richard Pini at http://www.elfquest.com
Skywise and Cutter abandon the trolls and journey deeper towards Blue Mountain with their wolf-companions, not knowing what the future holds for them. After several days' journey, the brothers-in-all-but-blood reach the edge of a forest.
The forest welcomes Cutter with ominous serendipity: first, while freeing a struggling squirrel from the swamp, the squirrel bites his hand. Then Cutter falls into the muckwater and becomes poisoned with infectious bacteria.
While Skywise and Cutter wander through the shadow-laiden forest, Cutter's costitution gradually deteriorates. He faints by the stream and Skywise resolves to find whistlingleaves to cure his fever. Skywise admonishes cutter not to follow after the ghosts of his family because anyone who sees the High Ones in a fever dream is too close to them to survive. Skywise searches honestly, but he cannot find any whistlingleaves until a breeze comes and helps him.
While Cutter is resting, a human named Nonna notices the creature and decides to care for it. Cutter resists but is too weak to fight, flashing Moonblade and only cutting the human's finger. Nonna's partner, Adar, secures her and meanwhile Cutter's wolf attacks.
Adar burns the wolf's eye with a firebrand, and when the wolf finds Skywise, the elf concludes that only humans could do such a typical thing as to wound this animal. So Skywise attacks the human-holt and before any injuries could occur, Cutter explains to his companion that the humans were in fact helping the elves for the first time in their memory.