The companions prepare themselves for a fight, with the sounds of the clockwork soldiers marching to their position in the open courtyard deep within Shacklefield. The marching ceases for a time, to be replaced by sounds of combat. Further investigation by the heroes brings little to bear; the figures seemed to be in combat, but with whom they couldn’t determine.
After a moment to recover from the icy prison, the burly figure of Commander Jules Maynard rumbles up to his feet and begins assessing his situation. Seeing most of his fighting force brought low and in disarray, he conscripts the companions to his efforts, insisting on taking these noisy foes head on.
With great consternation, the heroes follow and the whole group is confused in seeing hordes of rats making short work of the clockwork soldiers. Maynard is greatly confused, but is quickly assuaged by the companions who suggest he see to his troops. Distracted from the dangers momentarily, Maynard rallies his troops and the whole lot of them begin the march back to the Black Star.
During the march, the companions brief Maynard on how helpful the roguish Boswell Dunbar had been through this crisis. Maynard seemed to withhold his opinions, continuing on in grim silence.
The group eventually reach their destination; Maynard throws open the doors and walks to the center of the large tavern, quick to confront the leader of this band of thieves. From his terraced office comes a little masked string of curses and Boswell soon rushes through the heavy doors into the common area. There is a tense moment of silence between the figureheads. Maynard’s Minutemen had since filed in and lined the wall opposite of the delinquents who had since abandoned their card games.
After several more moments of deliberate tension the Lord Commander thanks the roguish lord of the Black Star for his hospitality and formally requests the aid of Boswell and his forces. Boswell endorses the idea with a sheepish grin.
The shock hits all witnessing like a cudgel to the noggin. Following the display, the troops mingle in with the bandits and there is a general good time to be had by (mostly) all. Perhaps troubled by what’s to come, Sayer spurs the advances of Thranka.
After a well earned rest, the companions come together again with the figureheads they’ve brought together. Each represent their own opinions on how to proceed.
Jotun commits himself and all of his brothers to the cause, though they show great hesitation to work alongside any of those besides the companions directly.
Nozzalthorp Frayfeather relinquishes information on the Tower itself until the companions suggest intent on destroying the Tower, a plan which exasperates the gnome to a point of dogged silence.
Lord Boswell confides that his men are no soldiers, but suggests that the show of solidarity in the hours prior between the men may prove useful if the Minutemen would support his goons.
Margot deems herself capable of sabotaging the gates with primed explosives, though she fears that her mission would be impossible to carry out without an capable guard.
Thranka Suun has her own opinion, but keeps it to herself.
With a coordinated plan to reinforce their resolve, the heroes set out to confront the Master of the Tower once and for all.