At Fort Copped, Calvin and Koram discuss the deal made between the local hunters and Calvin. Koram, reprimanding Calvin for leaving his post to follow Mercy’s cat, generally approved and promised an equitable share for the hunters who manage to thin the number of Orcs.
Before getting into the logistics of meeting with Chief Bull to save Mercy though, Nix lambasts Koram for allowing morale to get so low as to allow a soldier to take the law into their own hands. Koram is dismissive of the concerns and Nix’s thoughts as he turn the argument against her for leaving without first making a plan.
After that, Alice joins the others to discuss what happened and what can be done about the orc problem. They come to a kind of agreement in that they do not want the orcs to be given free rein over the well and any places below the Fort, especially if there is some kind of mystical gift for them.
Calvin, confused by the voices he has heard, asks the soldiers about the Fort if they have heard any voices. At that point, the soldiers come to the conclusion that Calvin is most likely touched by the Mad God and has lost some of his faculties from the head blows he has received.
At the end, they agree that they cannot search the caves beneath without their healer, and that Mercy’s safe return must be their top priority.
Nix and Calvin leave to make contact with the local hunters for support, while Koram and Alice wait to prepare the Fort for a potential Orc attack.
Meanwhile, down at the orc encampment, Mercy found herself called to the dining hall that Chief Bull presided over. The Chief began asking about the Gift again, seemingly certain that Mercy knew of its whereabouts.
He was interrupted by the arrival of the Hunter. She walked in calmly amongst the Orcs who obviously despised her. She reminded Chief Bull that he was not allowed to kill Mercy and intimated that there was some higher power whom they both served who would be displeased if she were harm.
Chief Bull indicated that he understood and Mercy heard the mumblings among the other orcs. As the Hunter left, Mercy asked why Chief Bull allowed himself to be pushed around like that. Chief Bull responded by lashing out violently.
Mercy dodged, accidentally.
After apologizing profusely, she allowed herself to be knocked out.
Back at the Fort, Alice pored over her history books intently, eventually finding, with Koram’s help, an entry listing various materials. This entry revealed that some people had gone down into the depths of the ground under the Fort and had come up with various worked stone; stones which were used to lay the foundation of the tower.
Koram then left to go to the meeting with the Chief. On his way, the Hunter appeared at his side. She asked after the offer that was previously made, but Koram declined the protection of her benefactor. She stated that it could mean his death, and Koram understood but said that he could not control the rest of the Fort well enough to allow them to defect from Calindrost. He asked that her benefactor understand his position and that they not draw his ire. She slipped off without promising anything.
Nix and Calvin made their way to Bill’s Hunting Camp where they were met by an old hunter named Andrew. They asked Andrew to get the hunters to launch an attack on the orc encampment when Chief Bull was away so that the numbers would be further thinned. Further, they wanted him to have the local hunters continue striking against the orcs.
Andrew bargained with Nix. His son was lonely and hadn’t been able to woo a woman. Nix thought she might be able to convince someone to speak with his son Abel, but it readily became apparent that Andrew did not have just anybody in mind.
At the end, Nix agreed to have dinner, only dinner, with Abel on the 1st of Storms if that would gain the hunters support against the orcs.