Unknown to the seneschals war has now broken out in the east as Pantoria has declared itself independent from the Empire. As the Imperial fleet is still locked down in Ossaria, Imperial legionnaires are marching to quell the rebels before they can gain control over the coastal city of Godara.
Kaeso and Geb is enjoying a silent breakfast as seneschal Ignatia, together with tracker Awhero, arrives - looking for Horacio. As they do not know where he is Ignatia offers them to work for her and consul Quadrata, who wishes them to accompany the army travelling towards the Pantorian border. As for further details Ignatia explains they must remain secret until they have crossed the border. Short on money the two accept and depart within a few hours, leaving only a short note to the seneschals thanking them for their hospitality.
The journey with the army is uneventful and after joining with more troops in Thelamia they approach hostile territory and come under the watching gaze of Tumapec tribesmen whose loyality is uncertain. Ignatia decides it is time to share their mission: to circumvent the warzone and head towards eastern Pantoria where another graveyard city is supposed to exist. There she hopes to find a secret passageway to the east where consul Seneca has apparently ventured. Although there seems to be more to the story the others choose not to press the matter, delaying such questions until later. Instead they face a difficult task in leaving the army unnoticed - and preferably avoiding the Tumapec.
As evening approaches no plan has been devised and Ignatia is growing restless as news of a hostile army approaching spreads in the camp. But trouble is much closer than it seems; at night the Tumapec attack with fire arrows causing confusion and a few casualties. Awhero and Geb accidentaly notice that some of the army scouts have ventured into the officers' camp and decide to investigate. They however find themselves in the middle of a fight as the scouts attempt to assassinate the general. Managing to kill or distract several of the assassins long enough for reinforcements to arrive, the general is wounded but alive. After having been healed by the army's mages he calls the group to his tent. Offering a reward for their aid Ignatia negotiates for them to leave the army instead. The general agree and also provide them with provisions and arrange for them to leave together with his scouts in the early morning, thus drawing less attention. Satisfied with this arrangement they return to their tents and begin packing.
The following morning they leave camp and separate from the scouts by heading east. To avoid the tumapec they travel all night to put as much distance between themselves and the camp as possible. But their efforts are in vane as they awake to discover a dussin tribals closing in from afar. As their are not especially good riders they realize they will soon be caught - but Awhero saves the day by putting fire to the grass, creating an impenetrable wall to allow them to escape.
A few days later they reach the town of Bamun in northern Pantoria where Ignatia decides they should stop and try to gather some knowledge of the region. They split up and talk to the locals who treats them with suspicion. Geb is close to getting mugged but manage to talk his way out, claiming to be poor - but more likely his overly eccentric ways was interpreted as a, possibly contagious, illness by the thugs. Kaeso tries to gain information from a merchant who acts very suspiciously, but after being confronted about it, it is clear this was to avoid getting into trouble for talking to someone who looks to be imperial.
Not avoiding to get into trouble is Geb who finds himself arrested by the local militia after failing to explain his business in town. As simple men recently hired for the job they have little interest in Gebs exotic explainations and throws him in a small cell in the castle dungeons.
Awhero, Kaeso and Ignatia is unaware of this until they discover he is missing and overhears a conversation about a spy being brought to the castle. The conclusion that it is Geb who is being accused does not seem far fetched and as Ignatia expects his knowledge to be of some use to the later they decide to mount a rescue mission.
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