I forget our reason for moving this four-page segment to the end of the volume, but if I had to guess, I’d say that its geographical remoteness works as a kind of counterpoint to the other four sections, which are all set within human civilization. It is not clear which segments, if any, are set within the capital city proper, but the kobold extermination Byron performs must at least be pretty close by, since in Chapter 2, he carries the kobold skins directly into the capital market from there.

When you get down to it, Chapter 1 is not that concerned with placing things in a neat timeline– even if you forget about the big flash-forward in the first four pages. It chooses its moments based on what will show you who the original party of five are as people, whether that means showing their present or their past.

When next we see Byron, he’ll still have the kobold skins we saw him get, so not much time will have passed for him, and Gravedust will have reached the city limits, so it’ll only be a bit longer for him. It’s uncertain how long it will have been for Frigg, as she seems focused on aimless mischief before she hooks up with the others– she could have come straight to the capital from the nunnery or just farted around for a while first. But Syr’Nj will no longer be a soldier and Best will already be well-known and well-regarded right in the capital, so they’ll have definitely made a bit more of a jump.