With information of Wenda’s capture by the beast men, the team devise a plan to confront them in the morning. The warriors of the Honour Guard escort the casters to the location where the best man are camping, with an army of raiders planning to ambush them on the hill.
Upon meeting the Beast Men, their leader, Rusk the Third Claw, demands that the casters come with them. Alexei immediately charms Rusk, and asks if she can begin this meeting with a performance. He agrees, and Alexei begins beguiling the company of beast men. He is almost able to charm them without any negative attention, but one of the beast men becomes wise to Alexei’s plan and attacks, biting Alexei on the face.
This doesn’t hinder Alexei’s progress, as he asks Rusk to dispatch this person trying to ruin his performance. Rusk agrees and chases off the beast man who bit Alexei.
After the performance is finished, Alexei convinces rusk to peacefully release the hostages, Arthur and Wenda, who join the honour guard’s side. Rusk insists that the four casters leave behind their guard and follow him to the beast king, who will be coming shortly.
Meric, who is focused on Rusk’s status, sees an opportunity to challenge Rusk to a duel to take the place of ‘The Third Claw’. Rusk agrees, and a circle forms around the two as they battle. Rusk quickly outmatches Meric, which causes Meric to draw on wild magic to sway the battle. As he attempts to cast witchbolt on Rusk, he instead bursts into an explosion of flame. He ends up knocking himself out – but rusk is still standing.
Alexei then attempts to come to Meric’s aid, and in doing so breaks his charm on Rusk. Rusk orders his followers to capture the casters. As two beast men pick up Meric, the Jenno’s army unleashes a flurry of arrows from the field and beginning the ambush. Two beast men rush Alexei and stab him in the shoulder and in the stomach, and begin carrying his dying body over the hill. Rusk evaluates the situation and makes a run for it over the hill.
The honour guard leaps into action, Laudrin beelines to Alexei, and Wallen makes his way to Merrick. Bros and Terra stick by Jang and Cualli who attempt to down Rusk from afar with thier magic. At the soonest moment, Jang tells Bross to clear a path so he can get to Alexei. Laudrin is able to fight off the two beastmen who were carrying Alexei and Jang is able to stabalize him.
In a fever dream where he thinks he may have been the third claw after all, Meric hear’s Alexei’s voice command “You are NOT the third claw, wake UP”, jolting him away. He performs a shocking uppercut to the beast man carrying him, and is able to continue up the hill to try and defeat rusk – but he is unable to see him.
With Rusk having abandoned his army, the Honour Guard and raiders make quick work of the remaining beast men, but the raiders suffer heavy losses. After an hour of regrouping and investigating/raiding the camp site, the survivors make their way back to Breezefields to inform Little Jon and Regis of the outcome.
Regis is surprised to see that there were any survivors. Danya sees that Alexei is unconscious and instructs him to be brought to her dwelling. Danya reveals she is a surgeon, and is able to perform surgery on Alexei, bringing him back to consciousness. She also helps Meric with his wound. After regrouping, the team decides they have to leave in the morning South to Summercliff, where they will be able to use an oath tome to communicate with the Goldhall that an army of beast men is in the Gold Lands country side. Alexei spends the rest of the evening making sure the festival he organized on the previous day was received well, and spreading rumour of the “next Union day festival” and “how exciting it will be”.
In the morning, a scout wakes the casters up, and informs them of a small host of two dozen beast men approaching Breezefields bearing a white flag. Still shook from their encounter with the beast men, the casters take their whole Honour Guard, Breezefields militia, and raiders to accompany them to the parlay. This is met with disappointment from the Beast King, who suggest the extra forces were not need.
The Beast King apologizes for the actions of Rusk, and delivers his head to the party saying “As I understand it, this is how you do it in the north”. He also gives to chests of gold to the casters for the damages done to Breezefields and the lives taken. He insists that soon the casters and he will be working together, as it is written by fate.
The casters and their Honour Guard decide to leave immediately to SummerCliff. Alexei meets with little Jon, Regis, Wenda, Jenna and Danya instructing them that they will become one town and begin to work together. Asking for Wenda and little Jon’s approval, Alexei suggests the coin be used to buy infrastructure for the town from Summercliff. Little Jon and Wenda agree, as well as agreeing that they have interest in becoming one culture. In an attempt to remove the problem individuals from the town for a bit, Danya suggests that Jenno and Regis escort the party to the Summercliff as ‘honoured guests’.