Five years prior, Midland was scrabbling for soldiers due to the One Hundred Year War raging on in full force. To curb his need for an army, he assembled all able-bodied criminals in Midland and offered them work as soldiers. One man, Wyald, stepped up to assume command over the criminals. Another convict, a large man named Barbo, took offense to the smaller Wyald thinking he was entitled to command. At Wyald's request, the King of Midland authorized a duel between the two to determine who would lead the Black Dog Knights. Barbo's restraints were removed, but Wyald chose to keep his on. Barbo was then armed, but Wyald was not. The result of the duel: Barbo was impaled on an ornamental spire atop a tall tower, having been thrown by the victorious Wyald.
The King has felt an inhuman presence emanating from Wyald, and says that the Black Dog Knights have accomplishments under their belt similar to the ones earned by the Hawks. With the Black Dog Knights on their heels, the Hawks will have no chance.
On a farm just outside Windham, Griffith is bandaged up, and the Hawks are given a cart, some horses, and clothes for Griffith by the well-meaning farmers who still hold Griffith in high regard. Judeau drives the cart, Casca sits in the back with Griffith, and Guts and Pippin ride their own horses. Casca props Griffith up so that he can watch as Windham, the capital city of the kingdom Griffith wanted to inherit, slowly fades into the distance.
Wyald and his gang wander onto the farm and ask the farmers if they've seen Griffith. The girl he asks trembles in fear of him, but he assumes that she has, in fact, seen Griffith. To amuse themselves before beginning to hunt after the Hawks, Wyald has the Black Dog Knights destroy the farm and kill everyone living on it while he takes the girl into the barn to have his way with her.