The next morning, Basque wakes up the prisoners to begin his interrogation. He starts with the Stag Lord, whom tells Basque that he has no name. He informs the party of their operations in the area, which have been to racketeer money out of the few locals who live in the area. He sent scouting parties down to lake Candlemere whom never returned, and had dispatched Kesstle to the northern Narlmarches to extract tribute from Oleg. He was surprised to learn Kesstle had been killed, apparently believing that her lack of appearance when due to return had meant she’d left the Greenbelt. The other bandits, whom Kesstle had spoken of when she’d been interrogated, if they ever existed, never returned to the Stag Fort to report their fellow’s demise. Basque questions the Stag Lord about the fate of a family at Nettle’s Crossing, who reveals he’d never known about the murder there, leaving Basque disgusted.
When questioned about what is in the fort’s basement, the Stag Lord refuses to tell them exactly what awaits, but enigmatically tells the party they’ll be able to handle it. The party proceeds down into the dank smelly dungeon like basement, and are ambushed by constructs inside. As they fight, a werewolf attacks the party, which Aeldur determines to actually be a shapechanged druid. Aeldur, wearing the Stag Lord’s helm, is mistaken by the druid for being the Stag Lord; and is attacked viciously by the druid, until he retreats to the ceiling of the basement. Elzbeth casts Grease on the ceiling, causing the druid to slip and fall, ending the combat as he returns to his human form.
The druid curses at Aeldur, questioning him about why he’s finally come to kill him. Aeldur then removes his helmet and reveals his true identity to the beaten man, asking who the man is, and why the Stag Lord has imprisoned him. The druid tells the party his name is Nugrah, and that he is the Stag Lord’s father. Upon questioning, the party learns that Nugrah abused his son, whom he regarded as a failure, until he was ambushed by his son and thrown down here to rot away. Disgusted with the man, Aeldur kills Nugrah.
The party search the keep finally, discovering a large sum of treasure and equipment, which they load up onto their cart. They also find out that Aeldur had accidentally killed Falgrim Sneede, who’d been on watch in the towers. After loading up the prisoners and Sneede’s body, the party departs for Nettle’s Crossing.
After a few days of travel, the company eventually arrives at the river, and Basque summons the ghost residing there by ringing the nearby service bell. Upon presenting the bandits to the ghost, it commands him to throw them from the bluff onto the stony rapids below. Basque complies, and executes the rest of the bandits, recovering the Stag Lord’s body as proof of capture for the Swordlords. The party then departs for Oleg’s that afternoon.
Finally, after weeks of being gone, the party arrives back at Oleg’s victorious. Basque has word sent by fast courier to Restov that the Stag Lord has been killed; a reply arrives soon after bearing a new charter to settle the Greenbelt by the authority of the Swordlords acting on behalf of King Surtova, and that a starting fund will soon be provided to accomplish this. In the meantime, settlers begin arriving at Oleg’s after receiving word of new lands being opened up south of Restov.
As tents begin setting up around Oleg’s, the party decides to discuss the issue of governance at a meeting. Basque nominates himself as ruler of the new country, which the party agrees to with little resistance; Basque then takes the title of Baron. Aeldur claims the title of Sheriff, position of Warden, protector of the nation’s rural areas and enforcer of the law in the countryside. Ephya claims the title of Archmage, position of Magister, dean of the nation’s higher learning and magical employment. Harry claims the title of Lord, position of Spymaster, head of the nation’s intelligence network. Grull claims the title of Bishop, position of High Priest, head of the nation’s religious institutions. Elzbeth claims the title of Lady, position of Grand Diplomat, chief diplomat and negotiator. At the conclusion of selecting their own titles, the party discusses the other positions of government left unfilled, and decide to extend invitations to Kesten Garess, Akiros Ismort, and Oleg Leveton to become members of their council. The party asks for Kesten to take the title Lord Commander, position of General, commander of the nation’s armies. For Akiros to take the title Lord Commander, position of Marshal, commander of the nation’s watch and enforcer of the law in the city. And for Oleg to take the title of Lord, position of Treasurer, the nation’s financial accountant and tax collector. With no other names forbearing the party concludes its meeting, still in need of someone to occupy the position of Councilor, representative of the people, and Royal Assassin, executioner of the king’s justice.
In the following day, after announcing the leadership of the new nation to the people gathered around the Fort, Basque is approached by Loy Rezbin, a commoner from Restov with aspirations of higher station as Basque’s Grand Diplomat and connections with powerful individuals in Brevoy. Convinced of his usefulness, Basque discusses the proposition with Elzbeth, who agrees to take the position of Councilor instead. Basque raises Loy to lordship and makes him Diplomat.
Finally, after a few days of waiting, a cart bearing large amounts of gold arrives at Oleg’s trading post, along with large amounts of building materials sent by the Swordlords. The party then announces to the settlers around Oleg’s that the expedition south to the Tuskwater will begin. Basque instructs Svetlana to direct new settlers down south to the location of their new city, indicated on Oleg’s map.
Upon arriving at the site of their new city, Basque declares the founding of their new nation, the Barony of Anatoray, and the name of their capitol will be Sancere. Over the next few days, Grull, Jhod, and the rest of their clerical staff, begin purifying the Stag Lord of its undead taint, and soon enough, construction begins on Sancere castle, with a tent city sprouting about the construction site.
During the building, a group of Kobolds approaches the city, revealing themselves to be of the Sootscales clan. Sootscales talks to Basque, telling him that he has heard of the beginning of the human settlement and desires to be a part of their country in order to avoid conflict between the Kobolds and Humans. Basque accepts his offer, informing Sootscales that by pledging fealty to him, Sootscales will rule as his vassal over the Kobolds, with protection under Basque’s law. Basque sends Loy with Sootscales to explain the responsibilities and privileges the Kobolds can expect from their expanding nation.
Eventually, after more than a month of construction, Sancere castle is complete.
A few days later, a few of Aeldur’s rangers begin receiving reports of disappearances. Deciding to investigate, the party heads to a makeshift tavern where the latest disappearance was reported. After a brief chat, the party learns from the bartender that a young serving woman hadn’t shown up for work since leaving after her last shift last night. Aeldur finds her tracks and follows them, eventually leading the party to her mangled half eaten body. Aeldur determines that, given the recent full moon and the body, this must be the work of a werewolf. Basque decides to put out a warning of a murderer on the lose.
The next night, as the party is on patrol looking out for the werewolf, they hear a cry for help just outside the city. Upon rushing to the scene, they find a portly man being attacked by a werewolf. The party rushes in to attack and subdues the werewolf.