The party arives safely in Ankh, and takes a few days much needed rest. Further scrying reveals the man with the Riftgate is now in Knodhi, and seems to be part of its defenses. The man still posesses the Riftgate. He spends much time at his duties, and much more time drinking, dicing and whoring. At least he’s not mysteriusly traveling further away anymore. Everyone enjoys the short respite, Balthius and Linnaeus each get a small amount of spell research done, and Pello works on his potions.
Balthius acquires fresh horses from his family’s estate, and the party travels to Knyrik uneventfully. Upon arriving they are disapointed to learn that their old companions Bleddyn and Kanza have both traveled elsewhere. It is no surprise they did not wait when their companions vanished without a word, but still disappointing. They also find the Thasoan army on the verge of a major decision. Themarodes has sent Lord Marius with his elite Shields and the cavalry, which he had slowly withdrawn as the Nessian forces pulled back from Knyrik. He intends them as a reserve force, since he didn’t know where the main Nessian army was headed.
Balthius is able to determine that the Nessian army is on its way to beseige and sack Knodhi. With this knowledge, Themarodes decides to attack the remaining Nessian forces at Knyrik, and then make an attempt to protect Knodhi. The battle goes perfectly according to plan… until Atomus is wounded by an enemy spear. He falls away from the fight, more angry than hurt, and brooding upon revenge. The result is devastating.
Just as the main infantry forces are coming together, he summons up a thick wall of ice which forms amid the enemy lines, breaking up their formation. Those who are not caught in the pocket are run down by Marius cavalry.