Balin woke up and tried to sneak downstairs. Uncas woke and followed. Then they decided to look around and see if there were any clues as to what was causing the mysterious disappearances. After finding canine prints scorched into the road, they woke the others.
Finding no further clues they went to the innkeeper. He told them of how Cinder Wolves, as they had been named, had started appearing in the desert recently during the day. They were known to enter the town, but only really at night and never attacked anyone indoors.
After obtaining water for their desert trek, the group decided to investigate these disappearances. They set a trap and rested ’til nightfall.
Then they waited… soon it was midnight… nothing. 1:00. Nothing. 2:00. 3:00. Finally, from his vantage point on the roof of the inn, Balin saw a small flame floating above the road. It wandered into the square, past their trap, and then hovered up and over the statue in front of the inn. The group stayed in hiding and watched. 3:30, 4:00, 4:30. It continued to hover. Then, at about 4:52, the flame, the statue, and the rope tied to the statue that was part of their trap winked out of existence.
They decided to try again tomorrow and shoot the thing. To no avail. By 4:00am Uncas was wandering the town looking for any sign of something to hit. They rested and decided to go into the desert, which is where the innkeeper said the Cinder Wolves were appearing.