Arriving at Myrtekki, the characters are told to go and erradicate what is assumed to be a small cave of Rodenthrals (a race of rodent humanoids) to ensure that there are no problems when the Volren army attacks the city under siege. Much to their surprise, it turns out to be a massive city with hundreds of the vile creatures. Knowing that they could not possibly kill them all, they sneak through and investigate. They happen to find a Markash, a giant frost spitting horned toad. The creature is kept as a form of entertainment by the rodenthrals. They decide to release the imprisoned creature.
The creature seems unstoppable, eating every rat creature in its path and making no sign of being restrained, until through a stroke of pure serendipity, () leaps onto the creature and finds that riding it and controlling it comes quite naturally to him. The creature, given both revenge on its captors and a well needed feast, becomes quite docile and the swordsman takes it as a mount.
With the aid of their Lombax friend, they find a secret passage from the rodentral city under Myrtekki which they decide to use as a strategic tool.
The assault on the town commences. The Volren forces are split in four; one group to the main gates, another (with our heros) to a side gate, one more (with the commander) through the secret passage into the city, and one more small one around back.
The “Hornets Nest” archers immediately move to take the bell tower (a rumor states that there is an enchanted bell that will help the tyragen in it. Also, it is a great vantage point) While the main force deals with a large mass of troupes. Most fall with time, but our heros are given trouble by a group of five high level monks who seem almost impossible to kill. One by one they fall, one to a beautiful shot taken from the bell tower by the hominus archer, another trampled under foot of the markash, another to the tips of spears, and so on.
The group assaulting the front gate was given some trouble by priests, but in the end came out victorious. The rear crew decimates a vastly stronger force, routing many Tyragen. However, as the partisans converge,they find that the secret passage was a trap, and a major portion of their force (along with their commander) is trapped within the town center.
Regardless, war is war and they decide to burn the remaining enemy in the town square alive with the prisoners. The captain, in a show of great bravado, makes an escape but the rest are killed in the fiery blaze.
After the battle, they notice their Lombax friend sneak off. Following him, they witness a discussion between him and the tyragen leaders. Confronting him about the conversation, he admits that he had been acting as a mole, but only because they have his sister as a slave and will kill her if he does not. They decide, since deep winter is almost there and little happens in the way of war during winter, to help him. They plan to go deep into enemy territory, find the sister, save her, and make it back before the end of winter.