With the banner party stripped down, Osbert was lacking solid council and had sole responsibility for the task laid at his feet. The party holed up in an attempt to draw Adelbert and the horde to them, but were nearly caught and had to take to the water as the first attempt failed. (In the meantime, Osbert has discovered that the banner couldn’t be destroyed piecemeal.) With a bolder stroke, they took their boat south and around the Ogre Isles until they found a large settlement of at least 300 ogres gathered around fires.
The banner party approached closely and waited until the undead were near enough to draw into a fight with the ogres. Osbert set fire to the banner as the scouts tried to gather information. 1 ranger died in the attempt, but not before important things were learned. First, the ogres were not seen to rise as undead when they died. The ogres outclassed the undead, except for Adelbert who dominated any who faced him. When the undead died, they vanished in a puff of bone dust, just as they had in the Hag’s Wood so long ago. And the instant the banner’s ashes were scattered, Adelbert paused and looked to the Northwest (in the direction of the Hag’s Wood) and the undead retreated.
Osbert and his party successfully escaped from the scene of battle and headed for Krondal’s most recently-acquired village.
Krondal set about trying to remove the tainted silver from the tribesmen, but this was a potentially difficult task. Rather than approach it on a person-by-person basis, he took his appeal directly to the tribe where his powerful gift for oratory could come into play. He clearly laid out the dangers of the coins and explained how he’d seen it work with his own eyes and he promised to make good on the loss to the tribesmen. He felt confident that all was accounted for. Now, he just had to figure out how to dispose of it.
Ageron began thinking how to counterbalance Krondal’s growing power while also tying him more closely in alliance. Back at Dunwick, he was forced to make a choice for the award of the primary and secondary contract for gunpowder. (The craftsmen finally had their first batches ready for testing.) It was decided to go with Gunnar’s less impressive, but more reliable powder. Felix soothed Hans’ hurt pride by requesting he make a large artillery piece which could use his powder to better effect and ended up getting Hans to provide powder for the rangers.
Gina joined Krondal in his new home. Plans were laid for the future, with Gina wondering about the chances of finding a peaceful way to merge tribes.
Everyone converged at Krondal’s village for negotiations, and fortunately the banner party turned up shortly thereafter on a clear day, bearing the report of their progress. Old memories were stirred, and they began to think of ways to beat the horde.
ASIDE: Armond and Holtz had taken off in pursuit of their quarry. They traced him directly to the Sigmar lands, and knew not to enter in without being announced. But as they stood just outside the boundary totems, they noticed hoofprints in a patch of drying mud that they first took for the mercenaries’ mounts. But then Armond developed the opinion that the hooves were of larger horses…heavily shod horses…with cleft hooves. They raced back to Krondal to report what they discovered.
*Per Vilkata: *During their journey to find the missing boatman Holtz, at first, secretly used his ‘skills’ to help them remain hidden while tracking their prey. It wasn’t long till Armond started getting suspicious. It wasn’t until their return trip that Holtz slipped and cast a spell where Armond could see. He quickly swore Armond to secrecy with the threat that he (Armond) and Governor Dun could be killed by the Fidelli for consorting with a Wizard. With that threat Holtz was sure that his secret was safe. Armond wouldn’t dare tell anyone and risk his life or that of the Governor’s. Of course he didn’t take into account that his own actions would make the others suspicious.