Touching down upon the alien surface of the land beyond the Ukuta, The Nameless Company debates their next move. Deciding to head towards one of the great plateaus that arise in the distance, they start their featureless trek through the endless fields of waving red dzhate grass. As they traverse this distance, they overhear the sounds of great swarms of predators, devouring hapless in huge numbers, getting closer and closer to their impromptu camps every night.
The following day, they happen upon a swarming pack of the creatures – strange, bipedal hyena men that crawl on all fours like beasts and share one horrifying hive mind. Giving battle to the creatures, The Nameless Company are quickly overwhelmed and attempt to flee. In so doing, however, Thistle is accidentally left behind and, completely surrounded by the ravenous creatures, she’s devoured by anyone can rush back to her rescue.
Recovering what they can of their ally’s remains and mourning her passing, the companions are forced to press onward, to continue seeking any clue as to the Standard’s whereabouts. Fortunately for them, as they march further north, they eventually come upon the settlement of Nuuthi Akar, a ramshackle palisade fort, constructed by the Hkoaz, descendants of the Mad Legion. Flying above their fortress walls, Zanna is the first to spy the much coveted Standard of Eternal Battle, waving subtly in the wind.