The party has turned south from settled lands and is cutting across wilderness north of the swamp. The party notices signs of former habitation, and recalls that this was an area of many battles in the conquest of the northern duchies. Roland spots something ahead, which on further investigation turns out to be three skeletons and some rusted equipment. As Trollog approaches, the skeletons, Pidgeon, Sarge, and Hamfist, animate and address him as their captain.
The skeletons explain that they have been waiting for their captain to return so they can complete their last mission – the assault and capture of a nearby bunker. Cora recognizes that the skeletons are probably reacting to Trollog’s scabbard, and will not leave the party until their spirits are laid to rest. The party agrees to help the skeletons complete their goal.
The ‘soldiers’ show the party to a ridge overlooking a copse of trees, which the undead perceive as enemy soldiers. Trollog gives the order to attack and the skeletons begin assaulting the trees. This angers a sprite living among the trees, who assumes the attackers are planning to destroy the trees. After a short fight, in which Pigeon nearly kills Cora with a stray shot, the party instructs Pigeon to stay behind as a lookout. He agrees, and his spirit is set to rest.
The party continues their march up the hill. A network of small tunnels permeates the hillside. From these caves a clutch of drakes emerges and attacks the party. Hamfist and Sarge perceives them to be enemy forces. After subduing the drakes, the party leaves Hamfist behind to guard the pass. As his spirit passes, his skeleton turns to stone.
At the top of the hill, the party approaches the bunker. Although the enemy is long gone, a gauth beholder has taken it over as his lair. The gauth attacks the party with his pets, the scorpions Calamitas and Venia. After a difficult battle, the party manages to fell the aberration. Trollog commends Sarge for completing his duty and capturing the bunker. After the party says their goodbyes, Sarge’s skeleton dissipates and his spirit moves on.
The party continues south towards Mirkshire, the last town before the Sinking Swamp. Entering town, they arrange for the halfling Thomas Burrfoot to lead them across the swamp. Intending to leave in the morning, they book a room at the Muckraker. Their dinner is interrupted as the recruiting officer they attacked enters the room. Expecting a fight, the party is surprised to find that the army has been chasing them to issue a formal apology from the Duke for their treatment of Opus.