As life would have it, with only a month to go on the trio’s mercenary contracts with Kurdan’s Blades, the unit is hired by Mad King Ganymedes of Kyros to take part in a punitive expedition against the rebellious cities of Ghandar, a southern province of the Elephant Kingdom. Setting out immediately from Hillias, the Blades join a small loyalist army at Kyros City which then heads south to take the rebellious city of Azagara (near the Ghandar jungle) in a surprise assault.
Tasked with scouting ahead to prevent locals from warning the city of the army’s approach, not far from Azagara the heroes reach a small village and come across a fellow scout group of Valk riders torturing an old man and his young grandson. Fruz and Tymon launch a furious mounted charge while Subotai uses his composite bow to lethal effect. They defeat the Valk and honor the last wish of the dying old man by vowing to take care of his grandson Jura. In exchange he tells them that a man’s weight in silver is hidden in the House of the Red Door in Azagara. Suddenly a single Valk warrior, thought to be dead, manages to escape on his pony to the jungle outskirts – a brief chase ensues but all that is found is the mangled body of the pony in the jungle underbrush. The heroes sense primal danger nearby and decide to backtrack to chase the rest of the villagers, only to discover they have already reached the city and have warned the inhabitants the enemy is coming.
General Tunamos, the loyalist army commander, marches quickly on Azagara. Its small defense force is lined up outside the city’s low walls. The heroes deploy with the rest of the Blades on the army’s right flank and a bloody battle soon commences. The trio are instrumental in fending off a surprise attack by native warriors pouring out the nearby jungle, and the city defenders are routed after a brief but spirited defense. The mercenary units comprising the bulk of Tunamos’ army chase the fleeing defenders through the gates – eager to the loot and plunder that is the right of conquerors.