The party moves further into the camp, engaging another group of thugs, this one armed with a cannon. Shelby deftly sneaks up and dispatches the cannoneer, just as a sickly fog appears among the other bandits. Hacking and coughing, they stagger out of the necromantic mist while the leader, made of sterner stuff, charges straight towards the intruders. The wail from his weapon sends Aliya fleeing before he finds himself embraced by Ssay’s coils. However, the naga is in for a rude surprise when a bandit reaches the cannon and fires! Fortunately he is still coughing up blood from Euchtia’s death fog and the shot goes wide. Hauling the thrashing bandit leader along, Ssay moves to loom over the bandits gathered around the gun and Shelby. Distracted by this threat, the bandits are made short work of by the rogue.
However, while the combat is going on, the bandits’ pack of dogs are unleashed and come upon the unaware Lelyss. Pushed up against a wall, the lamia is surrounded and mauled by the pack before she can loose another arrow. Seeing the lamia’s peril, Ssay drops the lifeless husk of the bandit boss and rushes to her aid, ignoring the other dogs snapping at the tip of her tail. Roaring, she grabs one of the dogs, but as she does so, another dog leaps at her, sending her tumbling. Disregarding her vulnerable position, the naga grabs the offending beast by the throat as she comes crashing down, twisting around as she is carried forward by her momentum. He tail whips out to grab two more dogs in her coils before she comes to a halt next to a grateful Lelyss. Next to them the other dogs snarl and prepare to lunge at the supine naga when a surprise Schultz crashes into them from the side, sending them tumbling into each other, leaving Lelyss to focus on the last beast hounding her. With Aliya splattering hunting dogs left and right among the second pack and the huntsmaster unceremoniously snuffed out by Euchtia’s necromancy, the battle soon swings back into the party’s favour.
As the last dog breathes its last among Ssay’s coils, the naga immediately regrets passing over all those flasks of “sparkly water”, since she is now unable to help the badly battered Lelyss. She looks increasingly annoyed as the lamia has to use her remaining scrolls of healing because of this. Noticing the naga’s reaction, Euchtia tosses her a small potion with an amused look on her face. Nodding her thanks, Ssay hides the bottle and “discovers” it so she can feed it to Lelyss. Assured that the lamia will be okay, Ssay reluctantly agrees to move on — while scolding Lelyss for apologizing for making a tactical mistake. Euchtia also tells the duchess to take better care of herself, but is unsurprisingly harsher about it.
The party heads into the bandits’ last retreat, coming upon an inactive golem inside the dank cave. Remaining whisps of cloudkill do not seem to bother it, but before they can investigate further a shot rings out from the darkness. A hill giant accompanied by a pack of dogs strides out, with Ssay taking up position to block the way to Lelyss. The enemies launch themselves at the naga, the giant’s whip tearing vicious gashes in her skin that bleed profusely. Euchtia’s posse move up as well, earning them their own lashes from the giant’s whip. While the party is stuck fending off the dogs, Shelby drops her gun and sneaks around the bellowing giant. As the others move to engage, she stabs him in the back, dispatching him.
After the battle, Lelyss fusses over Ssay’s wounds. Euchtia does the same with Aliya, only to be distracted by all the blood. Swiping her hand against Ssay’s gut, she tastes the blood of both warriors until she snaps out of it, realizing Aliya might need care… Finished with Ssay, Lelyss helps the other warrior (but doesn’t she seem less fussing?). Further in they find a bunch of unresponsive slave miners, but the others convince Lelyss they should clear out the place before they get distracted.
Ssay tries to push the inactive automaton aside, but it comes alive and tries to punch her! They fight furiously, but even Ssay’s huge blows do little against its enchanted hide. reeling from numerous heavy blows, Aliya manages to get close enough to the golem to call upon the Power of the Mountain, delivering a shattering blow that sends it crumbling as a cantankerous voice complains about someone accicdentally activating the thing. “Shit, intruders” is all he can manage before Lelyss, having decided against calling for surrender, nails him with a hail of arrows, killing him more stone dead than his crumbled creation.
The camp cleared, the party picks up loot — Ssay even offering to carry a crate of potions they find! — frees the slaves and salvages the cannon before leaving with two prisoners in tow. Though triumphant, the cursed wounds left by the golem on Aliya worry Euchtia and she declares the town temple to be their first destination on the way home.