The party discovers the aging Etu’Sauri Lucas is a member of Sir Robert’s crew. When confronted, he tells the party that Erik got away from him in the mountain cave, killing young Billy in the process, and he subsequently came to Penshin to help his old friend Robert. He confirmed the party’s suspicions that he had not been sent by the Kisharans and had hunted Erik for his own reasons.
True to his word, Pedro is found waiting some leagues south of Penshin on the coast with the much-needed supplies. The six week journey around the horn and up the coast to Werstergarde goes without incident, during the time, Lucas takes Moriel under his wing and begins to train her as an Etu’Sauri, and Gronk has a conversation with Sir Robert which results in him making even more haste. In Westergarde, sir Robert and Lucas depart and Vladimir uses his connections in the city to secure a job for Isabella as a lady in waiting for the Duchess. The party secures a carriage and authorization to swap their team out at the mail stations and spend the remainder of the winter travelling the Imperial road to Hillcrest.
Arriving, they find that the refugees from Riverton had arrived safely in the fall, as well as the half-giant Chumley. Itchy had died of his wounds from the explosion, and Shara Tev had taken over his position as Company quartermaster. There have been increased goblin raids from the East through the winter, and there had been some starvation amongst the army. The party, along with Corky, reports in to Mengst, who congratulates them on their mission and tells them to report to Stein in the morning to pick up the hunt for Sergei Volkov and his unit. That night, Poppy and Vladimir are approached by Warder Thomas and given the post of Warder, and Gronk receives a more impressive suit of armor than he bargained for when he originally placed his order with Itchy.